Monday, August 24, 2009

From Milan: Salumeria Peck

I am in Milan ( about 40 degrees today...but happy to be here!) at the temple of gluttony and pleasure. The building Liberty facade is a testimonial of the history of "Salumeria Peck" now known around the world since they export some of their specialties in different countries but when I grew up it was just for Milanese like me. Founded in 1883 and still at the top.
Restructuring the store was a very complex job, says Arch. Roberto Beretta, since the space is made of four different buildings and required important structural changes. Food preservation and lighting were also a priority. Three levels, 3300 mq. all furnished by Poliform custom made inch by inch.


Main floor gastronomy space with butcher, bakery, the best cheeses, prosciutti, cold meats, take away delicatessen, sweets.

First floor with Patisserie and Coffee and tea shop, also a place for a lunch break meal.

Cotto floor and furniture made of Pear wood for the enoteca with about 5000 different wine labels.
Heaven on earth for food and wine connoisseurs.

Monday, August 17, 2009

From Milan: Moschino Maison

Italian label Moschino (please always pronounce the Italian CH as it was a K... more like Moskeeno) found inspiration in the work of Salvador Dalí and put in the windows (always among the city's best windows' displays) of the via Sant' Andrea boutique, in Milan, a living-room scene taken from Salvador Dalí "Soft construction with boiled beans". Of course Moschino Maison's humor called the installation "Soft construction without boiled beans". Textiles and metals, beiges and browns, tilted chairs and table, weird angle of the drapes' rod, a painting of clouds, sagging walls, colors and smooth contours... all relate to the original artwork.
The hand-made furniture is available upon request.
It is also now Moschino’s turn (after Armani, Missoni and Versace) to open its luxury hotel. The building will be a former neo-classical style railway station, transformed in a surreal space, with 50 rooms and 15 suites, a garden, a spa and a gym. The hotel will be designed by the artistic director of Moschino, Rossella Jardini who said of the project: "The ordinary world is painted with a brush of surrealism.".

Bedroom Petals

Hall "The Dream"

Contemporary design and fairy tales are the themes. Each room will tell a fable, with humor and optimism, the same "joye de vivre" that is the spirit of the collections of Moschino.
The Hotel should open before the end of 2009 near the trendy Corso Como area in Milan.

Images source: Art News and

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Anonimo Veneziano

Since I will be in Venice soon, to visit friends, to enjoy its timeless beauty and also to check the "Biennale", I feel I should share this with you!

"Anonimo Veneziano" an award winning drama is one of my favorite movies and I could watch it many times over. It was filmed in 1970 by Enrico Maria Salerno (a very famous Italian theater actor at the time) in his debut as a director in a magnificent Venice without tourists as a background (and should I say foreground too).
Listen to the music... and enjoy some images of the city.

Salerno's script, co-written with Giuseppe Berto, features Tony Musante and Florinda Bolkan as an estranged couple reunited for a day. They wander around Venice reminiscing about the ups and downs of their marriage, wondering what drove them apart. Extraordinary photography of the best Venice has to offer, some scenes were also filmed at the centuries old Bevilacqua Textiles factory, where Bolkan was surrounded by the most luxurious damasks and silks in an explosion of colors.
The most fascinating music "Adagio from Oboe concert" by Alessandro Marcello (1669-1747 and brother of Benedetto) makes some scenes even more romantic.
A real Venice, a hymn to desperate love, a man dying in a dying city...a movie, at least for me,
 impossible to forget.
From the movie script:
"Do you really fear the past?"
"No, it is not the is that I can't tolerate anymore the smell of this city. She is dying, she is going back to mud...but it is just this that makes her beautiful: she is dying".
The same year (1970) we had "Love story" movie (another impossible, desperate love) which I saw once and never felt like I have to see must be my fascination with Venice or the intensity of this particular movie or perhaps just the memory of who I was at the time!!!

On a more prosaic note:

When in Venice I always go once to "Locanda Montin" Dorsoduro 1147 where a famous scene of the movie was taken. A good restaurant with local specialties and a charming atmosphere, especially if in season you can sit in the courtyard under the canopy of greenery.
Very romantic indeed... and the distance between tables allows intimate conversation...

You may also like to read:
Venice Biennale

Friday, August 7, 2009

What Opaline says about Brillante

I received a very nice comment today from a blogger I did not know:
"You have one of the coolest blogs I've found in a while. I hope you don't mind if I "steal" from you often (with credit, of course) for my Sucasa design sites"
so I went to check their site... please go and read Opaline, you'll find many interesting things.
It was also great to see my own photography on their blog! All my images are for sale and they can be found on my website, on my blog and many more in my portfolio.
For any information please contact me via Email, I will be pleased to provide you with details.

Image by Albarosa Simonetti
You may also like to read Home decor Fornasetti style

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fino Lino

"Linens are my favorite keepsake and should be handed down from generation to generation." Lauren Persson
Owned and operated by Lauren and William Persson, the design style of Fino Lino and its luxurious product mix is a direct reflection of their taste and design sensibility. Always on the cutting edge the store was designed for the comfort of the customers and their visual pleasure. Soothing color marries with bold exchanges of antique and new fabrics lending a sense of well lived in a grand room.
Fino Lino specializes in European woven jacquard bedding, luxury down duvets and pillows, custom designed bed frames from antique wrought iron, accessory pillows, porcelains and hand cut mosaics.
Fino Lino has sought out some of the finest linen houses in the world to create an extensive collection of the finest quality available today. Specializing in natural fibers, fabrics are exposed to the least amount of chemicals to maximize their wearability; in some cases the fabrics are completely chemical free. The fiber, quality of yarn, the weave, the thread count and the finishing, all contribute to the quality and comfort of the bedding.
fino lino

Fino Lino (2715 Arbutus street, Vancouver) is having the Annual Summer Sale
from August 1st through 29th with 20% to 50% off select in store stock.
Visiting the store will be a great opportunity to meet the beautiful and gracious Lauren, admire her taste in selecting luxury items (among them Anichini bed linens, a favorite of Michael Smith, Vicente Wolf and many other top designers) and in displaying them to perfection.
If you still have time after shopping pause at "La Petite France" a few doors down for delicious pastries, brioches or a Proustian madeleine.
Today I ordered a cappuccino (not too foamy, just perfect) and a "choc aux poires" a luscious and rich pear and chocolate pastry, savored while talking with Lauren about traveling, one of our passions.
Italian Linens and French Pastry, what a perfect combination...
(it would be perfect also the other way around!)
Images and Italic text from Fino Lino website

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Tobi Fairley & Vancouver Art Gallery

Another beautiful day was spent with Tobi Fairley, while she was visiting Vancouver, this time at the Art Gallery. We met for lunch on the terrace, sitting amidst fragrant jasmine on a gorgeous sunny day. The temperature was high but we were in the shade and too busy talking (or listening as in my case) to notice it.
Patricia Gray, Maria Killam, Michelle Morelan and I were all around Tobi, eager to know her better. The conversation was fascinating and, even if we only met the previous day, there was so much to share.
After lunch we went inside the Gallery for a tour.
First was the "Ought apartment" installation by the talented Vancouver artist (and contractor...) Reece Terris, a must see for any Interior designer or for any nostalgic person.


"Commissioned by the Gallery, Ought Apartment will consist of a tower that rises from the main floor to the full height of the central rotunda, in which sections from six apartments are stacked one on top of another. Each apartment will be furnished with discarded items from the 1950s (on the lowest level) up to the present decade (at the top). Through this process of “making strange,” Terris invites viewers to consider their relationship to the consumption and construction of domestic space and the role this space plays in locating a public as social subjects".

We then proceed to view The golden age of Dutch art a very impressive collection of art and objet d'art from The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
"This historic exhibition assembles some of the finest paintings by the masters of the Golden Age, as well as an outstanding selection of drawings and decorative arts that testify to the artistic sophistication achieved during this period, providing a fascinating glimpse into the daily life of this vibrant, urbane and remarkably wealthy new society."
A "camera obscura" (or veiled chamber) and a series of short documentaries were also worth spending some time at the Gallery. (More on camera obscura and David Hockney's fascinating theory about this optical device's use in painting will be the subject of another post).

There were many other exhibitions to visit but being a passionate of photography I wanted Tobi to see Andreas Gurski's "Werke-Works 80-08" .
gursky James Bond III Island, 2007 C-Print
"This groundbreaking exhibition presents a remarkable overview of the work of Andreas Gursky, the celebrated Düsseldorf-based photographer who is widely renowned for his ongoing project to compile an ‘encyclopedia of life.’ Now, for the first time ever, Gursky has chosen to present more than 70 works from throughout his career (...) Andreas Gursky: Werke/Works 80-08 offers a radical departure in the presentation of Gursky’s work. The majority of the photographs in the exhibition are printed in a small format that has not been used by the artist since the early 1980s and it is significant that he has chosen to do so at this time. For many years, Gursky has utilized increasingly larger formats in his work, monumental in scale and vision, but with this exhibition it is possible to revisit many familiar works at a scale and in a context that encourages a reconsideration of the individual images and his oeuvre as a whole (...)"
Gursky's talent is recognized widely and he is a the top of the photography art market, in fact one of his pictures "99 cents II" sold at Sotheby's for US 3.34 million only two years ago (I wonder if it would have fetched that price 6 months ago) setting the record for highest price paid at auction for a single photographic image.
99_cent_II,_diptychon_-_Photo_courtesy_of_Sotheby's 99 cents Diptych
Gursky almost always shoots at a distance, for his point of view he climbs balconies and roofs, photographs from cranes and in recent years even more frequently from helicopters. He also uses manipulation and multiple images which blend in one, that is why some of his projects take years to be completed. Canadian Art magazine has a great interview with Gursky on the occasion of his recent visit to Vancouver for the installation of this exhibition, which he carefully planned himself.
Thanks again to Ivan Meade who corresponded with Tobi regularly and gave us the opportunity to meet during her visit in Vancouver.
It was another delightful day with Tobi!

(Italic text and color images source: VAG website - B&W photograph by Albarosa Simonetti)
You may also like to read A day with Tobi Fairley
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