“Fashion is a curtain that unveils the frenzy of poetry. Fashion offers us clues of the collective mood. Its frivolity is important because it makes light of what is heavy. Everything good in life has light or wants to become light,” said the Puerto Rican poet Giannina Braschi in a light-hearted interview with fellow Aquarian and fashionista Franco Lacosta, creative director of the ABC television hit series La Bachelorette.
During her teen years in San Juan, Braschi was a fashion model who was ranked among the island’s “10 Best Dressed”. She went on to become a professor of Hispanic Literatures at Rutgers University and to write iconic works of contemporary Puerto Rican literature. Yet, her love of fashion and design never waned.
Among her literary heroes is the iconic poet-dandy Charles Baudelaire whose prose poems and lyric essays comment on what style reveals about a person and a society.
In the Spanglish classic novel Yo-Yo Boing!, Braschi wrote in the spirit of Baudelaire, “I want poetry to be a fashion show–to have a taste of frivolity–savoir faire–a taste of time at its peak.”
In the recent interview with fellow Boricua Franco Lacosta, she explained how “Poetry and fashion hinge on those transitions between impermanence and permanence,” noting as well that both require humor and taste. Of designers and poets, she concluded, “We are the makers of manners, and manners require a clear expression of style. We capture the mood of our time and the fluidity.”
Click here for the full interview on the intersection of poetry and fashion in Photobooth magazine.