in Arts+ Crafts, Interiors, Ispiration, People

Davide Dormino’s studio

Davide Dormino‘s studio is a stratification of art signs.

Nothing is there by chance and you need a bit of time to notice and understand all the different signs scattered around his studio in one of the most vibrant areas of Rome, Pigneto.

As soon as you arrive, your attention focuses on the big art work illuminated by the big windows of this space with an unexpected industrial feeling. The eye is drawn to the sculptures – the rusted-iron nails, the busts, the wooden skeleton casually lying in a corner- and the wall dedicated to his latest project “Anything to Say”, an interactive public art project widely published and shared.

Your mind then settles down and slowly thousands other details leap out, from the beautiful traces of Davide‘s handwriting that are everywhere, to the collection of old nails, fascinating sketches, old shoes on the shelves, canvases back to front, hanging down chairs and the red sealing wax dot under the iron sculpture-guillotine.

And it is not difficult to spend time here because Davide Dormino puts you at your ease, with his mix of passion and nonchalance, the sweet smile and the secure gestures, the directness that sometimes, paradoxically, makes him look absent-minded.

If you want to know more about his art and about his project “Anything to say”, visit his website but also have a look at the images that come out when you search for Davide Dormino on Google that in part chronicle his public life.

Photographs by Elena Giavarini.

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(Photos by Elena Giavarini)

in Arts+ Crafts, Interiors, Ispiration, People

Stella Jean’s studio

Some of you might recall that 2 years ago I wrote a post entitled “I ♥♥♥ Stella Jean”. Well I still really like her work and every time I am invited to a wedding I think that the perfect look for me would be a white man-like shirt and an African inspired shirt, alias the most iconic outfit designed by Stella Jean (see a photo of hers with ‘my outfit’ below).

A few months ago I met a very talented young woman, Giulia Bertuletti, who works as a video-maker, director and photographer (have a look at her videos in Vimeo) and she showed me the photographs below that she took at Stella Jean’s studio in Rome for the magazine Marie Claire Korea.

Because I have recently developed an obsessive interest for creative people’s working places, I decided to ask her if I could publish the photos on my blog and here we are.

I love the fabrics Stella Jean use and the combination of feminine cuts, masculine elements and African patterns.

Today I visited another really interesting artist’s studio (Gaetano Zampogna) and I might go back to take some more photos of it (in the meanwhile you can see a few in my Instagram).

Soon I will publish some pictures of the super creative studio of Davide Dormino. Stay tuned for plenty of inspiration!

stella jean, giulia bertuletti photography, fashion, artist's studio, studios, african textiles

stella jean, giulia bertuletti photography, fashion, artist's studio, studios, african textiles stella jean, giulia bertuletti photography, fashion, artist's studio, studios, african textiles

stella jean, giulia bertuletti photography, fashion, artist's studio, studios, african textiles

stella jean, giulia bertuletti photography, fashion, artist's studio, studios, african textiles

stella jean, giulia bertuletti photography, fashion, artist's studio, studios, african textiles

stella jean, giulia bertuletti photography, fashion, artist's studio, studios, african textilesstella jean, giulia bertuletti photography, fashion, artist's studio, studios, african textiles

in Color Inspiration, Furniture, Interiors, Ispiration, People

An incredible majolica tile collection

Last Saturday in Palermo, almost by chance, I discovered a gem Le Stanze al Geniowhich you can see in some of my photos of below.

Le Stanze al Genio is a private house, visits arranged by appointment only, where one of the biggest collections of majolica tiles in the world is kept.

The house/museum is on one floor of a building built between 1500 and 1600 AD and has ceilings decorated between the 18th and 19th century and some beautiful Liberty furniture.

The family that lives here has collected and restored majolicas from Sicily and Campania (the region where Naples is found), some of which are antique, and they have put them up on the walls all around the house.

Distributed around the 4 rooms is also a collection of vintage objects, toys, boxes (see my Instagram profile for a photo of those and some more photos of Palermo).

The passion they have showed in collecting all these gorgeous colorful pieces leaves you speechless.

Many of the majolica tile designs are incredibly contemporary. It can be a huge source of inspiration for graphic and textile designers and some patterns remind me of Missoni prints or some of the home fabrics on sale nowadays. The concrete tiles we see everywhere these days re-elaborate some of these designs.

What surprised my friend Rebecca and myself was that these are spaces that are lived in by the Torre and Benso family and within the walls covered in colour, among the al fresco ceilings, antique furniture, vintage objects and  17th century architectural features, there is also some Ikea stuff. It makes it real.

The art work, hanging in front of the windows and part of the collection “Babau” by Gai Candido, goes really well with the colours that fill the spaces.

In a few words, it is unmissable and they have recently opened the Stanze al Genio Bed & Breakfast with the same characteristics as the house/museum, so you can even sleep in it.

If you want to see the images of another of my discoveries in Palermo, an amazing vintage shop, don’t miss the next post!









in People

The familiar world of Vito Nesta

Tonight I really feel like starting my new book “The beautiful fall – Fashion, Genius and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris” by Alicia Drake. I am going to lay in bed, try to move as little as possible to stop sweating (it is 35 degrees here) and enter the magic world of  Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfield, the epitome of creativity, two elegant creatures who managed to be prolific for a lifetime because they fed their minds with art and culture, not just fashion.
Even if I don’t know him yet (by the way, I would love to meet you Vito, fancy a coffee next time I come to Milan?), I believe that Vito Nesta, the talent that designed the beautiful objects below, is a person who has something to say as well.
His creations speak about a world that is disappearing in Italy but it is still part of our families, even if it is not in practice it lives on in the memory; it is a world where things were done slowly and properly, where things were repaired and not replaced. Thimbles, reels, balls of yarn, combs, shaving brushes, buttons are all part of the magic world of Vito Nesta.
In his hands every day objects become evocative designs in trendy colors.
My favourite? The nut and the reel in white,  they went directly onto my wish list.
Which ones do you like best? Don’t forget to see all the other Vito Nesta’s creations in his website!
in Arts+ Crafts, People

The poetic “Fisherman Mobile” project

One of the best part of being a blogger it is that you meet, in a virtual sense, a lot of interesting human beings and that people write you to present their work or products.
Yesterday I received a message from Valerio Vidali, an Italian illustrator based in Berlin and I decided to share his project because I find it very poetic and it is inspired by an artist I love, Alexander Calder.
Valerio, a part from designing books and many other things, creates mobiles “lightweight and balanced structures that hangs suspended in the air and.. move delicately thanks to slight air currents”.
Valerio has launched a crow-funding  campaign called “Fishermen Mobile”; you can buy his hand-crafts while funding the project on Verkami .
I think it’s a cool idea for a present and a magical buy for kids. Also I love the idea of buying something special and at the same time helping a talented person to achieve his creative goal.
Have a look at the video, it is really cute, it will win you over.

+deco_egiavarini_valerio_vidali_fisherman_4 +deco_egiavarini_valerio_vidali_fisherman_5 +deco_egiavarini_valerio_vidali_fisherman_2 +deco_egiavarini_valerio_vidali_fisherman_3 +deco_egiavarini_valerio_vidali_fisherman_1

in Arts+ Crafts, Color Inspiration, Ispiration, People

GNAM Museum and Paolo Echaurren

 Yesterday I went to one of my favourite museums in Rome, the GNAM -the National Modern Art Gallery– with my favourite two men in the world, Alex and Giulio. The gallery has an astonishing permanent collection and until 3rd April it is  hosting a Paolo Echaurren exhibition
I didn’t know this Italian painter, cartoonist and illustrator before, I was totally blown away. 
What do you think?


in Ispiration, People

I ♥ Iris Apfel

 I have my personal family tree composed of people who inspire me. They can be artists, fashion gurus, interior designer or carpenters, it doesn’t really matter what they do but how they think. It is generally filled with extremely creative people with a good historical sense and a quirky yet  sophisticated taste.  I read as much as possible about them, I watch all their interviews and they become my personal  mentors. I like to think of them as part of my inspirational ‘family’ tree. 
The new entry is Iris Apfel. She is a ball of energy and she has a brian sharper than a razor all at a modest 94 years old. Her collection of clothes and objects is incredible and she has a unique ability to put together different shapes, colors and materials and make them look like they were meant to be combined together. 
She is a genius in finding an elegant harmony in the ‘too much’ category.
Apart from being a textile designer, fashion guru, fashion consultant, stylist, she works as an interior designer as well; her house in New York is a very baroque example of her talent. 
+deco_iris_apfel +deco_iris_apfel_house_1 +deco_iris_apfel_house_2
photos by Luis Monteiro for How To Spend It
in Arts+ Crafts, Ispiration, People

Taxi fabric

Taxi Fabric is a project aiming to show what a big impact forms of expression, not yet widely recognised in India, like graphic design can have; the idea is to reupholster the seat covers of one of the most convenient modes of transport in Mumbai, the taxis
The result is an explosion of colours, a beautiful album of pictures and a well-made website with lots of interesting stories. 
From a marketing point of view this is a brilliant idea and I wonder why none of the big brands producing textiles for interiors have never thought about covering, for instance, the tube/metro/subway seats (Ikea?! I bet they will come out with something along the same line).
From an emotional point of view, I am glad that this is an Indian project because these talented young graphic designers deserve such a good window and Indian taxi drivers deserve such spectacular interiors (even if sometimes you have the impression you are going to die when they drive you around but this is my beloved India!).  


Photos from
in Color Inspiration, People

They all speak about: Camille Walala

My previous posts entitled “They all speak about:…” were dedicated to Jeremy Scott, Tori MurphyJessica Light, Yayoi Kusama, all creative minds able to anticipate the new visual trends and use the past to create an innovative and eye catching product. Some, like Jeremy Scott and Yayoi Kusuma are almost walking brands now, some, like Tori Murphy and Jessica Light are artisans as well as designers. I don’t write many posts with these titles because they are not many personalities who catch my attention because able to produce an idea that becomes a media success almost overnight
Camille Walala did so a little while ago with her collection for Aria Shop and in the last few months she has been published everywhere. 
The inspiration from the Memphis Group is striking as evidence that copying is good if that means taking inspiration and creating something new, no forging. 
camille walala
aria shop
aria shop
aria shop
aria shop
aria shop
Photos from Aria website and Itisnicethat. 
in Arts+ Crafts, People

The handesigner Giovanni Scafuro

Another nice find while wondering around, this time in Milan, was the little showroom of Giovanni Scafuro, in a pretty courtyard in Via Montevideo 4, in the design district. 
Giovanni uses cutlery and porcelains to make pretty objects of all kind. 
Amongst quite a lot of people who take themselves too seriously in Milan, the ‘handesigner’ Giovanni shows in his handcraft a joyful sense of humor together with a passion for old objects with a story and skilled handicrafts. My photos are not great because I was in a hurry and there wasn’t enough light for my photographic skills, so please have a look at his website to see more and better.


A painted fork on the street where the showroom is
Photo from Giovanni Scafuro’s website