’89 domande a Diane Pernet – ASVOFF

Name? Diane Pernet (@asvof)

What’s your job? I direct a fashion film festival and am a journalist, creator of a line of Diane Pernet Paris perfumes and low-fi filmmaker.

Where did you go to high school? Lower Merion, on the Mainline which is outside Philadelphia.

What did you study at university? Filmmaking and communication. 

Can you give us a definition of art? A personal vision that passes an emotion. You love it, you hate it, but you feel something.

Your favorite style icons? Charlotte Rampling, Lucia Bose, Anna Magnani, Jeanne Moreau, Monica Vitti, Isabella Rossellini, Silvana Mangano.

Your favorite fashion designer? Dries Van Noten. 

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If you could live in one historical era, which one would you choose? Basically I am happy living in my own time but if forced to choose, 1940’s, I liked the fashion.

If you could spend a day with an historical figure who would you choose? Ghandi.

Who are the people that inspired you the most? John Cassavetes, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Charles James, Anna Magnani, Luchino Visconti, Federico Fellini, Pasolini, Quentin Tarantino, Wong Kar-wai, Bong Joon-ho, Iris Van Herpen, Alejandro Jodorosky. 

What do you think about influencers? Seems to be working. 

Do you think exist an objective aesthetic value or you think aesthetic value is just subjective? Cliché but beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, I think that holds for aesthetic value, subjective. 

What is the night you spent the most money to have fun? Going to Buenos Aires for 3 nights.

What do you do for fun? Visit galleries and spend time with a friend most likely over a cup of tea. 

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Where have you been on vacation when you were young? World traveller, I suppose at a young age the most impact came from a visit to the Greek Islands and Morocco. 

Where are you going on vacation now? No plans.

What’s the topic you are most expert in? Fashion and film.

Have you ever been in love? Absolutely.

Have you ever had a homosexual experience? No but certainly a lot of lesbians have tried to interest me in a relationship, I just don’t go that route.

Where do you live? Paris.

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Where are you from? I say New York but I grew up outside Philadelphia on the Mainline.  

If a regular person made a stunning work of art would you consider him an artist or just someone who made a nice/beautiful thing? An artist.

When, in your opinion, can you define a person as an artist? When they create something that passes an emotion and they have a vision.

Do you think that a person that doesn’t stand out in the art market is just because he is not worthy? No, it is more likely he doesn’t have the right connections.

Do you think that the relationship between art and drugs is just a cliché? It is a cliché, however there have been plenty of artists that created under drugs and alcohol.

Do you think that only the art market define what can be considered art and what cannot? No, because there are lots of artists who’s work we’ll never see. Maybe it will be discovered once they are dead. Like Henry Darger, Outsider Art or Vivian Maier. 

What do you think about Banksy’s experiment to sell his works on the streets for cheap? Do you think that the value of a work, in the eye of an observer, is given from the context in which it was seen?

I think Banksy and JR have created amazing public art. Art is art no matter what the context.

Which languages do you speak? French and English.

Which are your favorite places in your city? Bagatelle and Jardin des Plantes, not that I visit either that often. Still their beauty is serene. I also like to walk across Pont Alexandre III or have a tea on the terrace of Cafe Flore.

Do you have any political orientation? Yes.

Favorite movies? Opening Night, Death in Venice, Night Porter, Martha, Casanova, Fox and His Friends, Theorem, Lost in Translation, In the Mood for Love, Chungking Express, Jackie Brown, Parasite.

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Favorite songs? Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On, Ornella Vanoni – L’Appuntamento, Roxy Music – More Than this, Patti Smith – Because The Night, Tindersticks – Another Night, David Bowie – Heroes, Leonard Cohen –  I’m Your Man.

Favorite bands? Tindersticks, Roxy Music. 

Favorite books? A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, Kafka On The Shore by Haruki Murakami, Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin.

Favorite authors? Haruki Murakami, Isabel Allende, Joyce Carol Oates, Hanya Yanagihara, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.

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Favorite actors? Joaquin Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson, Gena Rowlands.

Do you think that prison, as a deprivation of a person’s freedom, is a correct solution for an individual who violates the laws of society, or do you think it presupposes an acceptance of participation in the social contract that some individuals may not want? I think the entire prison system needs a new structure.

What could be an alternative solution to prison for you? More of a study as to how they ended up there and how they could actually be treated so they could be inserted back into society and not a revolving door back to a prison.

Do you think it would be correct to create a place where man can live in the state of nature, making him free from a choice of social belonging that is instead taken for granted? Could be interesting, seems more people are moving in that direction. I don’t see it for myself but could be a good thing for nature lovers.

The craziest experience you’ve ever had? A love affair with a young count on a Greek Island many many years ago.

What’s your favorite historical character? Marguerite Yourcenar, Ghandi,  and currently Greta Thunberg and Amanda Gorman.

Can you define yourself with an adjective? Authentic.

What’s your favorite artist? Anselm Kiefer and Anish Kapoor.

Favorite TV series? I May Destroy You.

If you were an animal which one would you like to be? Black panther.

How much do you earn now? Not enough.

Have you ever been offered money for sex? No.

Have you ever had sex with more than one person? No.

Have you ever cheated on your fiancée? Yes.

Have you ever cheated on a friend? No.

Do you have some regrets about things you wanted to do but you didn’t do? If so which ones? Not really, I think it is a waste of time to have regrets. I basically do what I want to do.

Do you have some remorses for something you did but you should have done differently? If so which ones? A few contracts, but I’d rather not discuss them.

Do you have some dreams that you are trying to realize? If so which ones? To continue building my empire and finding a worthy partner to make that real, someone of quality who can offer things that are not my strength, business acumen for example. 

What time do you usually go to sleep? 1am.

What time do you usually wake up? 7h30.

What’s your favorite city in the world? Paris where I live but Rome and Tokyo call to me.

Do you believe in some religions? I am a Catholic but I believe that there is something to learn from all religions and frankly I’m more spiritual than religious.

Your typical day?  There is no typical day. During COVID…get up tea, treadmill, internet, read, walk, cook. Only the past few weeks as restrictions loosen up visiting galleries and museums. Next week I will go to Bourse de Commerce Pinault, and am really looking forward to that.  

Do you have many friends?  Real true friends are always few, but I love them all and am fortunate to have them in my life. 

What would you do first if you won the lottery? Buy property, celebrate with my friends and share my winnings with them, a beautiful voyage could be nice.

The richest person you know? I have no interest in my friend’s bank accounts.

What’s the thing you like most? To discover new things be it art, talent or a location and to spend time with a few special friends.

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Your favorite dish? Eggplant Parmigiana.

Do you have some phobias? Not big on insects, love them in silver but not live. 

Last book you read? Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami.

«Limonov si è chiesto se ci fossero al mondo molti altri uomini come lui, la cui esperienza comprendeva universi così differenti come quello del detenuto comune in un campo di lavori forzati sul Volga e quello dello scrittore alla moda che si muove in ambienti firmati Philippe Starck. No, ha concluso, probabilmente no, e ne ha tratto motivo di un orgoglio che comprendo»
Emmanuel Carrère

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Favorite fashion brand? For wearing: Dries Van Noten, appreciating: Rick Owens, Valentino, Gucci, Iris Van Herpen, Jean Paul Gaultier, Raf Simons and Kim Jones.

The most precious material thing you own? A silver snail made by my friend Miguel Villalobos and a dark green jade ring by Shaoo. 

What do you usually drink at the bar? A Virgin Mary.

What do you usually have for breakfast? It varies tea first, I love a good Darjeeling, Happy Valley from Marriage Freres or Hochicha directly from Japan via a friend, then it depends could be fruit and rice crackers or muesli with almond milk.

Best party you’ve been to? Dries Van Noten celebration of his 1—50 100 collections and long long ago a party outside of Paris in an industry site for Kenzo an event that Mathias Ohrel had put together. Each room had a totally different atmosphere and the mix of fashion and film industry, prostitutes and artists was very unusual for Paris and people greeted you with smiles even more unusual for Paris and the food was all bio and healthy. This was 20 years ago still sticks in my mind.

What drugs have you done? Before age 25 I tried a lot, acid was the first drug I ever tried, opium a few times, heroin once only, speed in the form of diet pills, coke twice was like poison to my system, cannabis for decades and then nothing basically from 25 onward.  

If so which one is your favorite? When I was doing it marijuana especially Maui Waui or Lambsbread from Jamaica. I was not really into hard drugs but wanted to try everything. It was part of growing up.

And which one you use more often? None.

Can you tell us something about you that nobody knows or very few people know? When I was in high school I was a pom pom girl.

What’s your best talent? It used to be designing, then creating perfumes but currently and for more than a decade I have to say it is creating platforms and curating. 

The way you dress more often? No surprise here, long fluid skirts, long shirts, a veil and I love coats. My favorite designer for all times, to wear, is Dries Van Noten I just love what he creates. I even have a few pieces of colour from Dries which is a shock to the system.

What are the clothes you can’t stand to see on a man and on a woman? Low waisted trousers revealing their crack, unless of course they have an amazing body, otherwise I would prefer not to see it.

What’s your favorite show business character? Keanu Reeves, I like seeing photos of him on the subway. He seems very human.

If you can choose a famous man for a night, who would it be? If he was still alive, Steve McQueen.

And for a relationship? Keanu Reeves.

What’s the item of clothing you spent the most money on? Recently a pair of custom made shoes.

Your ideal holiday? Feeding myself on culture and great food. Accomodations are extremely important. I’ve traveled so much, perhaps back to Santiago de Compostela to the wonderful Hostal dos Reis Catolicos or to Tokyo and the Peninsula Hotel.

If you could talk in world vision for 15 minutes what would you say?I do not imagine myself talking for 15 minutes but my interest would be how can we best help you. Peace and Respect are the operative words. A friend set up a school for underpriviledged children in India, doing things like that are so important. More people should share their wealth to make people’s lives better, to give them hope for a better future. 

What you cannot stand on people? People that try to create mystery about themselves when there is none. They create mystery to cover up the fact that nothing is happening.

What’s the thing that make lose your patience the most? People that lie, which is pretty much a repeat of what I said above.

And what does never gets you tired of? A great sense of humour.

From 1 to 10 how important is being rich in your opinion? 5, I imagine I’ve never given a value to money, now is a good time to reverse that way of thinking. Character is far more important to me than how much money you have on your bank account however life is easier with money. I know it would have been far more valuable if I chose friends by what they could do for me however that is just not my way.

And that your partner is? It was never the thing that attracted me to a man. None the less money can make life easier for sure.

Do you know someone being a real racist? Aside from Donald Trump, not in my surroundings.

Do you think breeds can be applied on human beings like for all other animals?  I hope not.

Do you think that if people couldn’t post on Instagram about it, they would take part as well to social movements? Probably not.

What’s the most boring thing for you? People that don’t tell the truth.

What’s the most memorable trip in your life? A trip to Darjeeling long ago. More recently a trip to a greek island and also when I went to magical Santiago de Compostela.

What’s your source of inspiration? Life and everything around me.

What’s the best and worst choice you took in your life? Some very unfortunate partnerships.

Do you believe in everlasting love? I think the only unconditional love is with a dog.

Why is it so hard to have a lasting love today in your opinion? Do you think social networks are involved in it? As I’m so not into love stories these days it is hard for me to give an educated answer. 

What jobs have you done in your life? Fashion designer, photographer, filmmaker, costume designer, journalist, curator, creator of perfumes and creator of platforms.

What do you think about the existence of royal rulers for birthright? It feels out of touch with the times but many people are in awe of royalty, I just am not one of them.

What do you think about marriage? I was married 4 times and no desire to ever marry again.

And monogamy? Difficult.

What do you like the most about Italy? The people, the landscape, the respect for craft, pride, the music, the language, the food and the light.

And what you don’t like? This is directed towards working on projects together. Things are beautiful in the beginning, messy in the middle and beautiful in the end, I guess I could live without the messy middle.

If you could choose a person you know to read this interview, who would it be? Someone with deep pockets that wants to invest in my festival and my other projects.