To Be Or Not To Be (COOL)
Cool Mess, Upper East Side, NYC
Text by Domenico Paris
From TV to magazines through to social media and daily conversations, it is one of the words we are most likely to come across, yet its true meaning is not univocal. Quite the contrary, in fact: the word cool can be dangerously ambiguous.
We tried to shed some light on the concept of cool with an expert on the subject, writer Gaetano Cappelli whose book Quanto sei cool. Piccola guida ai capricci del gusto has just become available in bookstores across Italy.
Is there an absolute archetype that epitomises cool?
«Not an absolute one. I would define it as an intertribal aesthetic category that must constantly be redefined although, and I believe this is what matters the most, it is for and foremost the self-sufficient attitude of those individuals who are always at ease and know how to positively cultivate a good sense of humour».
Would you say that it is a specific trait entailing an attitude that is more about being active rather than passively reactive?
«Absolutely! It may sound like a paradox but being cool is a way of being beyond trends as, after all, trends must be dictated not endured. Starting from the way we dress to the way we speak, we should never be afraid as things around us can change suddenly whereas we are the ones who can decide to remain the same. Following trends is utterly uncool».
Are you saying that there is no difference between being cool and having an individual sense of style?
«There isn’t. The two expressions are synonymous, and both imply committedly unfettering yourself from society’s behaviour and formal cages. They both cite a strong personal attitude, which is either there or it is not. In this sense, how we are perceived outwardly by others could be the best way of measuring our coolness, this regardless of current trends and fashions».
How can we save ourselves from the unavoidable passing of fashions?
«By simply not allowing ourselves to be seduced by their ability to make everything one-dimensional, to reassure by offering a precise sense of belonging or image to those who follow them».
A cool designer?
«Tom Ford is definitely cool».
Quanto sei cool: piccola guida ai capricci del gusto
By Gaetano Cappelli
2017, Sonzogno Editori