Sunday, February 27, 2011

Milan, 2011 fashion week

Emporio Armani

It was snowing heavily in Vancouver today, but Spring will be here soon.
In Milan the 2011-2012 Women Fall and Winter collections show is in full motion.
A bit confusing, I know, but this is how weather is behaving lately and this is how fashion works, showing collections several months in advance of the seasons. Today I could have used some of these gorgeous coats from the Emporio Armani runaway of this week.

I am a big fan of Giorgio Armani fashion, he has supreme style, he creates true elegance and he always uses the highest quality. I confess I have Armani suits bought many years ago, not just still beautiful and timeless but, miracle… even if I gained two sizes I don’t know how but they still fit me! due to a superb way of constructing clothes, I guess.
All these images are  from the latest Emporio Armani collection, and as you can see the only splash of color is given by some accessories, otherwise it is all black on black, dawn to dusk and dusk to dawn.


Giorgio Armani many years ago recognized the need to target the young adult market.
Emporio Armani  is an upscale label  for individuals in their 20′s and 30′s.  Of course I would feel totally comfortable wearing almost everything in this collection, even if my age bracket is a lot different. The label is very elegant and sporty at the same time and it is considerably cheaper than the other Armani lines:
- Giorgio Armani Privé
- Giorgio Armani
- Armani Collezioni
Let’s continue with the latest runaway of Emporio Armani for Fall-Winter 2011-2012.


Comfort and pure sophistication at the same time!

Bravo Giorgio!

Photography: ImaxTree
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Friday, February 25, 2011

Vicente Wolf and Vancouver

Patricia Gray, Vicente Wolf and Albarosa Simonetti at Buildex, Vancouver Convention Center

I may be the last to talk about Vicente Wolf visit to Vancouver  since already Peter of The Cross blog and Maria of Colour Me Happy blog were faster than me in putting together beautiful posts so last but not least here I am with my version:
I joined Facebook about two months ago, still not sure why and what and how but I can tell you…it works! On Tuesday I saw a message from Vicente, scheduled to be in Vancouver the following day for a talk at Buildex, who was asking where to shop for Native art in Vancouver and several people responded to him, including me…so when he arrived I presented him with a list of places and after the talk I asked him if he would have liked to be accompanied around by Patricia Gray and myself  and we happily ended up going shopping  together. 

Vicente Wolf at Inuit Gallery of Vancouver

Patricia Gray and Vicente Wolf

Vicente Wolf

Of course we spent most of the time talking about design, you can imagine how I was mesmerized by being able to listen to this iconic designer at the Seminar and knowing him better during the excursion in different art stores.
To know more about him, read also Ivan Meade's great interview HERE.

Interior design by Vicente Wolf
Interior design by Vicente Wolf
At the end of the day he offered us drinks at the Fairmont Hotel, again an opportunity to exchange ideas, until his TV interview was approaching. The next day Patricia and I met him again by coincidence, while taking a break from the Trade Show having coffee at the Fairmont, just across the Convention centre.  At that time we thought he was already on the plane, flying back to New York but there I spotted him, walking into the Lobby with his hand luggage and we spent another enjoyable half an hour together. Since I greatly admire him also as an extremely talented photographer I had then another opportunity of asking him more about his passion.

Interior design by Vicente Wolf
To end this post I just have to say that I was already very familiar with his work aesthetics, his superb books, his interesting blog…but in those two days I discovered that Vicente has also a great sense of humor, not just a great sense of style!

If you don't have them yet I encourage you to read his marvelous books
full of extraordinary ideas and images:
Learning to See (Artisan, 2002)

Crossing Boundaries: A Global Vision of Design (Monacelli Press, 2006)

Lifting the Curtain on Design (Monacelli Press, 2010)

I am sure you’ll enjoy them and learn something new from every single page.

Photography of VW in Vancouver by Albarosa Simonetti

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Midnight in Paris

A scene from “Midnight in Paris” (or afternoon in Monet’s garden in Giverny…)

The new film by Woody Allen “Midnight in Paris” will open the 2011 Cannes Film Festival in May. The romantic comedy is described by the director of the Festival as “a wonderful love letter to Paris,”  adding: “It’s a film in which Woody Allen takes a deeper look at the issues raised in his last films: our relationship with history, art, pleasure and life.”  The movie follows a family travelling to the city for business, and a freshly engaged couple that has their lives transformed.
The cast includes Owen Wilson, Marion Cotillard, Kathy Bates, Adrien Brody and for a cameo role also the Italian artist Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, France very own first lady, apparently receiving  a bit more attention than the others.
Woody Allen, Owen Wilson and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy

Woody Allen and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy

But let’s talk about Interiors, as part of the film was shot in a gorgeous Parisian apartment in a building Napoleon III style (Second Empire)  and of course with a monumental  front door and soaring ceilings.
Owen Wilson and a typical Parisian wrought iron railing.

This image of the apartment is not part of the movie, but was shot for an exhibition of contemporary pieces of furniture, as the Chesterfield sofa by Poltrona Frau  and the chair Grande Papilio by Naoto Fukasawa for B&B Italia. Exquisite original wood floor and walls and ceilings decorations. The dark grey creates a very elegant background for antiques or for contemporary pieces, the large and tall windows allow the light to play with the different shades of grey.
I can see drapes not perfectly hung and a throw on the sofa casually draped around cushions, I have no idea about this choice but perhaps the photograher wanted to create a lived-in atmosphere in such an austere apartment of the past.

On the antique card table the modern lamp Abat-Jour, designed by Ettore Sottsass  for B&B Italia. Again the cord of the lamp could have been shortened but I like it as it is, since it gives the impression that someone is living in the place, instead of a perfectly staged image for a magazine.

Black marble for the fireplace is a background for the contemporary silver candlestick by Ora-ïto for Christofle. On the right a vintage armchair covered in moiré velvet.

In this room we see a dark purple-red upholstery for the chair Moël by Inga Sempé for Ligne Roset near a vintage table surrounded by industrial look chairs. A B&W portrait is casually standing on the antique fireplace mantel, behind a teapot that looks like an Alessi one.

Until I will see the movie “Midnight in Paris” I will keep wondering about the interior decoration Woody Allen’s team has created for the story which spans a few decades of the last century.

Top image by Roger Arpajou © 2011
Interiors photography by Didier Delmas

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

For the love of cats!

Cats loooove cardboard boxes and cat lovers know well that their pets love to hide and spend time in areas not accessible to humans, but close enough so they can keep an eye on the situation. A brilliant Canadian company Loyal Luxe has created a series of little houses, dedicated to cats, in cardboard, to be easily assembled, inexpensive, functional ad unique.

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There is the mountain chalet

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The Native American tepee

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Of course small dogs can enjoy these houses too and feel safe sleeping or playing there.
These houses can support a weight of about 30 pounds so the cat can sit on the roof and write his new novel: “ It was a (dark) sunny and (tempestuous) calm (night) day…”

Pssst….don’t tell my German Shorthaired Pointer I am writing about cats.

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sweet Valentine

Hard to resist to this beauty…

San Valentino, on February 14,  273 AD, died as a Christian martyr's…little did he know about how this day would morphe into a crazy marketing of red merchandising, roses, lingerie, chocolate, same as in other celebrations, born on a religious belief and ended in a pagan ritual.


But we don't need expensive gifts to feel loved, since a delicate cake, a simple bunch of flowers, a genuine love gesture can make our heart sing and we can always sing... even if alone,
so Happy Valentine to everyone, couples and singles of any age and any gender.

Wishing you love 365 days a year!

Images by Rinaldo Rocco at “Sweety Rome” a delightful patisserie in Rome.

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Friday, February 11, 2011

I Saloni: 50 years young!

The Salone del Mobile in Milan, also called I Saloni,  is promoted this year with a touch of irony, a play on words referring to its spirit, always youthful and lively. Not even a square foot is available anymore, all the space is booked and I am sure it is the same for all the hotels in the city. From 12.100 visitors in 1961 to about 300.000 last year to celebrate great design and fair production in contrast to the many Asian imitators.

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I Saloni 2010, Visionnaire

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I Saloni 2010, Sicis mosaics

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Contessa Marta Marzotto and Zerodisegno team at I Saloni 2010

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I Saloni 2010

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Fuori Salone 2010

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Sawaya & Moroni Fuori Salone 2010

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I Saloni 2010

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Fuori Salone 2010

In 2010 we were in a global recession and a major chaos in transportations was created by the Icelandic volcano’s ashes,  nevertheless I Saloni was a success in terms of exhibitors and public response, due also to the courage of all the industries that instead of crying and complaining moved toward new lands: research, new materials, sustainable production.
“From Tuesday 12th to Sunday 17th April, then, a double appointment at the Saloni!
Come along to the Rho fairgrounds where you'll be able to see, touch, and try out all the best that domestic furnishing of every type has to offer, from stand-alone pieces to coordinates – in all kinds of different styles – from classic to design to modern – not to mention the trendsetters of tomorrow.
And to the city itself, where a multi-faceted cultural project will span various different historical locations, with a wide range of cultural events.”
(Text from I Saloni website)
In 2010 we saw Eurocucina, showing the most exciting kitchens, this year Euroluce (a biennial event) will come back with the latest creations of lighting.
An important show I don’t want to miss will be at the Piccolo Teatro  titled “Mani grandi, senza fine”  which will narrate interesting stories of the major figures of Milanese design from Vico Magistretti to Marco Zanuso, to the Castiglioni brothers, to Ettore Sottsass.

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Fuori Salone 2010

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Fuori Salone 2010

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Fuori Salone 2010

As usual the extraordinary events created for the Fuori Salone (happenings around the city for the whole week) will include  the Triennale Design Museum, where Alberto Alessi will be the curator of the exhibition "La fabbrica dei sogni" (Where dreams come true), near Piazza del Duomo there will be a multimedia installation with lights and music, at Villa Necchi Campiglio (set of the movie “I am love”) will be held a great exhibition of the works of best international graphic designers and so many more events I will write about before, during and after.

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Triennale Design Museum
“50 years looking exclusively to the future, involving the whole City of Milan, providing an opportunity for reflection on design, on the world of industry that has made it all possible, on creativity and on culture.”
I can’t wait!

Images ©  Albarosa Simonetti
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