I’m super happy to bring you my latest Interior Design & Lifestyle article published in Society Magazine, where I give an insight into the essence behind Italian Design, what makes it so special and unique, and how it has influenced today’s concept of luxury in fashion and interior design.
Everyone knows that Italy is the home of some of the most exquisite luxury brands in the world. From fashion and textiles to automotive brands such as Armani, Ferragamo, Gucci, Fendi, Loro Piana and Ferrari to name just a few, Italian design is globally renowned for the highest levels of quality and aesthetics. But what makes Italian design so unique?
As a child, I would spend almost two months of every Christmas holiday with my Nona and Nono, who although are in Chile, have a strong Italian heritage from Santa Margherita Ligure. In every family gathering there were arms flailing, bellowing laughs and totally over the top mannerisms, always accompanied by a delicious meal rich in ingredients such as olive oil, pasta, cheese and tomatoes that my Nona would cook with traditional ingredients and recipes that have been used for many generations in the family.
The understated side of Italian style was always intrinsic in the women in my family, as I remember as a little girl admiring my great grandmother’s morning ritual finishing with her signature perfume and lipstick, or my Nona’s style staples of an all-white crisp tailored suit paired with her oversized sunglasses and golden tanned skin. This general attitude to life and style is an area that has forever fascinated me, and with time I’ve learnt to appreciate even more what makes Italian culture so unique.
A few years ago, while fascinatedly studying in the heart of Florence the essence of Design ‘Made in Italy’ in the Istituto Europeo di Design, I thoroughly enjoyed confirming – both inside and outside the classroom – that what makes Italy so special is that it’s an attitude and a lifestyle combined.
It goes without saying that the Italians are known for their impeccable style, however it goes far deeper than their exquisitely tailored wardrobe.
So, what is it that makes Italian design and style so unique?
The beauty of balance
No matter how much print, loud colour or bold silhouettes are incorporated, there is always an undercurrent of harmony in Italian style. Somehow it just works. This comes from thoughtfully chosen pieces that are still timeless accessories to pull everything together seamlessly. Ultimately, there is a balancing act between drama and sophistication that comes so naturally. And that’s where the beauty of balance plays in – if there is drama somewhere, it is balanced out with elegance.
Luxury in each detail
Even the smallest details are not left to chance. I like to think that a great part of the confidence that Italian women exude comes from their expertly chosen lingerie. Even if nobody but them is going to see it, Italian women still choose beautiful undergarments – not only for the confidence boost, but because well-fitting and appropriate underwear allows garments to fall more gracefully off the body. In other words, a great foundation must not be overlooked to create a beautiful and seamless final result.
Italians know the value behind a timeless high quality piece, and they use them often. They understand the importance of luxurious fabrics like linen, merino and cashmere, and taking good care of these basics in order to last over time. For many centuries, Italian manufacturers have been known to use only the best of the best in materials like wood, marble, aluminium and glass, as well as textiles like silk, wool and cotton.
Ultimately, this Italian tradition of understanding beauty, art and the good life can be transported into the fields of fashion, home living, and lifestyle and, just like most other art forms coming from Italy, they will never go out of style. It is truly an investment that will last a lifetime.
Stay tuned for next week’s Part II of The Essence of ‘Made in Italy’ published in Society Magazine, where we look into the competitive factors determining the success of Italian furniture, based on expert craftmanship, a winning manufacturing model and innovation.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT ITALIAN DESIGN AND STYLE IN GENERAL?
IS THERE ANYTHING YOU BELIEVE THAT MAKES IT UNIQUE?
I’D LOVE TO KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!
PHOTO 1 & 5
Photography by Daria Sydorenko
Location in Florence, Italy