Best European airports

(Very nice! Well done. I corrected the grammer. It deserves a better headline. Jennifer)

Since 1999 Skytrax has published the list of the world’s top 10 airports and Asia comes out on top again.
This London-based company, established in 1989, is the leader in air transport research, a reputation built on the strict adherence to its founding principles.
According to the 13.250 million questionnaires completed by 106 different nationalities of airline customers during the survey period (June 2015 – February 2016), the winners’ list of the 2016 edition doesn’t show remarkable changes.
Asia confirms to host the best airports, with Singapore at the top of the list for third time in 3 years. Also the second and third ranks are unchanged: Incheon International airport and Munich confirm the same positions from the last years.
The German airport is the first out of 3 European winners in this challenge.
Why have they been selected and rewarded?

foto 2.jpgMunich airport is the second busiest German airport and the secondary hub for Lufthansa. In 2015 it has welcomed 41 million passengers, with an increase of + 3.2% from 2014.
The structure, 28.5 km far from the city-center, covers an area of 1.560 hectares, of which 925 hectares are greened.
Besides the 150 shops of local, national and international brands and 50 different restaurants and bars with a wide choice of cuisine, the airport offers some unusual activities.
An art exhibition area has been developed inside the hub: several artworks are permanently installed and the contemporary architecture of the airport is another piece of art in itself.
Some relaxing spaces have been created in the Schengen and Non-Schengen areas. Here passengers can take a rest in the recreation rooms, enjoying reclining and non-reclining seats for reading one of the books available in the free library. foto 3.jpgA spa treatment in the 8-meters-long indoor pool at Hilton Hotel is at disposal of the passengers, as well as the Cosmetic Institute in Terminal 2 if facial and body treatments are needed.
For visitors looking for something more, the barber shop -for being always neat and tidy- and the napcabs –where to stop a moment between flights- are the replies to their desires.
foto 4.jpgA unique experience takes place every year and passengers have the chance to be part of it as well: the “Surf&Style Event” is promoted by Lufthansa, in collaboration with the airport, and it is the biggest stationary surfing wave ever at an airport. Adults and children can surf and then chilling-out at the beach next to the pool.
The airport provides also a “Stopover Guide” for passengers in transit in Munich between two flights: depending on the time availability, it proposes developed plans for under-4-hours stops, over-4-hours and over-6-hours ones, allowing visitors also to get out of the airport and breathing some fresh air.
From mid-November, a Christmas atmosphere envelopes the hub: 450 real Christmas trees, a 15-meter-high giant Christmas tree, a huge ice skating rink and a Christmas market take place every year in the airport.

foto 5.jpgAccording to the Skytrack world’s top 10 airports list the second European hub is Zurich, occupying the 7th rank.
The building site of the airport was opened in 1946, after the referendum approving the building loan of CHF 36.8 million. The first takeoff and landing took place 2 years later, while the new passenger terminal has been inaugurated in 1953.
In 2015 it has welcomed 26.281 million passengers coming from or going to the 169 destinations linking the airport to the rest of the world.
It covers an area of 916 hectares, of which 74 replies to the conservation of the natural environment.
The airport offers different types of facilities, such as the Transit Hotel, where passengers can rest for a few hours, a shower facility in various locations around the hub, family services where children can play in a safe area and some smoking lounges for visitors addicted to cigarettes.
Zurich airport offers more than 160 different areas dedicated to shopping and dining: between the passenger area and the airport center, the visitor can experience more than 60 restaurants and bars and a hundred of boutiques happy to satisfy any need.
Many activities have been planned for visitors needing to relax between flights: tours around and inside the hidden parts of the airport, a dedicated staff organizes children’s birthday party (for sure, in a very unusual place!), while every Thursday the airport proposes a live dj set and special bar menus for the “Zurich Airport Afterwork”, where people can relax in a post-work ambiance.
foto 7.jpgThe real nouveauté is represented by “The Circle”, a multifunctional center just few steps away from the hub.
Covering 180.000 sqm of useable space and CHF 1 billion investment, this building designed by Riken Yamamoto and Field Shop wants to become the new city center.
It will be inaugurated in 2018 and it has been planned to host hotels, a convention center, a medical center, spaces for offices and moreover, like art and culture spaces, restaurants, entertainment and boutiques.
The building design aims to create an atmosphere similar to that of the traditional city center, while high quality materials and fixtures will give a cosmopolitan touch.

The last European airport in the Skytrax list is London Heathrow, which is the busiest UK airport and the busiest airport in Europe by passenger traffic.
foto 8.jpgIt covers an area of 1.227 hectares and it offers 185 destinations with an average number of passengers (arriving and departing) per day of 201.000.
Born in 1930 as private airport, it became a civil one from January 1st 1946 with the inauguration flight to Buenos Aires.
In 1951 the activity of the airport lead the authorities to approve the construction of permanent buildings: little by little, the Europa and the Queens buildings saw the light, as well as the Oceanic terminal, the Terminal 1 (opened in 1969 and now closed) and the Terminal 5 in 2008.
The activities set in the airport have been planned for fully satisfying customers’ needs.
Through the online Heathrow boutique, it is possible to book the items (payment is not requested in this phase), receiving a confirmation mail by the Shopping Services Team up to 3 days before the travel. Once at the airport, passenger visits the boutique, experiences the shopping and buys (or not) the items selected some days before.
A personal shopper is also available at the hub: by fixing an appointment on the website, the Shopping Services Team contacts the client for discussing about some formalities. After the security controls, the shopping experience with a personal shopper starts, focusing on the client’s desires.
A special service of “Terminal shopping transfer” is at the disposal of visitors with more than 3 hours flights-stop for discovering the boutiques in the other terminals. Moreover, the “Home Delivery Service” for purchases delivered to any UK mainland residential address allows passengers to enjoy the flight.
Another service at the disposal of the passengers is called “Collect on return”: visitor can experience the shopping at the departure and then pick up purchases once back at the airport.
Facilities like these help passengers in their daily life: the “Baby milk order service” is one of these. Travelling with a baby isn’t so easy, because of the security controls and the forbidden items, most of them very necessary for the health of the baby. This formula replies to particular needs: parents can order the milk or the food online and then collect and pay at the pharmacy located in the departure lounge.
Similar services are available for flowers, for touristic tickets, for SIM cards and also for “In flight picnics”. Clients can ask this service available just at Heathrow airport: all the restaurants of the hub join this facility and passengers have just to choose the kind of cuisine they prefer and enjoy the meal on-board.
Moreover, spa treatments, medical support for vaccination and malaria prevention treatments and a shoe service are available in the airport terminals.
Finally, many events animate the hub: 2016 celebrates the Queen’s 90TH birthday with mini-flags and crowns for kids at the departure and arrival halls. Music too helps for creating a relaxing atmosphere: many singers have been invited to perform in one of the terminals.

Until recently, airports – like ailway stations and shopping malls– were considered “non-places” where people were obliged to go and stay for long hours, without offering any kind of facility and entertainment.
In the last few years, airports have become places where passengers can spend the time enjoying new experiences and relaxing between two flights.
Indoor design, services and animation activities are planned to create a unique atmosphere, because airports are living spaces where spending quality time.

Photo credits:

pixabay.com

Wikipedia.org

Hilton.com

Wikipedia.org

info.thecircle.ch

Wikipedia.org

 

Officina Profumo Farmaceutica in Florence

In the heart of Florence, close to the church of Santa Maria Novella, there is a place where flowers, roots and trees help people adding tenderness to their daily lives.
This is the case of Officina Profumo Farmaceutica of Santa Maria Novella, a space where nature and human curiosity have given birth to a magical atmosphere lasting from more than 400 years.

During the 13th century, the area on the north-east of Florence hosted poor people coming from the countryside living in very miserable conditions.
The Dominicans friars decided to settled down here, close to the church of Santa Maria delle Vigne that, during the 14th century, has been rebuilt and named Santa Maria Novella.
The history of the production is very long: the sale of the rose fragrance is confirmed by historical sources dating 1381 and its commerce increased rapidly during the epidemics.
foto 11.jpgFriars grew flowers and plants in the garden next to the Officina and they were used to prepare creams, fragrances and ointments. Caterina de’ Medici loved so much these products, that they were made exclusively for her.
In 1612 the Pharmacy opened to the public and its reputation spread all over Europe; during the 18th century, the production was exported also in India and China.

Today, it is considered one of the most ancient commercial activity in the world, with an heritage of more of 400 years. It has survived to the confiscation of the just-born Italian government in the 19th century, which let the nephew of the last Dominical director, Cesare Augusto Stefani, taking the leadership of this business activity.
Nowadays, the fourth generation of this family takes care about this timeless pharmacy.

Walking through Via della Scala, the very sober entrance could be missed because of the traffic, the bars tables on the little street and the many hotels halls similar each other next to this door. Just the inscription “S. Maria Novella” in capital letters confirms you are in the right place.
The current entrance (established in 1848 after some renovations works) reminds to a noble building, with flowers and leaves sculpted in the stone following the edge of the door and creating the shape of an arch.
The facade is dominated by a sun with its rays, the symbol of the Dominican friars order.

foto 1.jpgOpening the door, a long hall with a niche on both sides hosting the statues of Galeno and Igea (health and medicine gods) welcomes the visitor and leads to a room decorated in neo-gothic style, with white and blue floral decorations.
From here it is possible to access to the sales space, one of the ancient chapels of the monastery dedicated to St. Nicholas of Bari, in which the production of the Officina is exposed in severe walnut tree wood furniture, clashing with the light yellow chosen for the decoration of the walls.foto5.jpg
foto 6.jpgLooking to the ceiling, a colored frescoes represents the four continents and underlines the fame of the pharmacy all over the world.
Tradition reports this chapel (now the sales room) was built on order of Dardano Acciaioli for the Dominican friars, as thanking gift for having treated and recovered his illness.

On the right wall of the sales room, a big door leads to the Green room.
foto 7.jpgBuilt between 1335 and 1337 as private apartment, from 1542 it has hosted the laboratories, while in the 18th century it became a salon where important guests were received, drinking hot chocolate (a very fashionable drink at that time) and meeting friends.
The walls are adorned with a special wallpaper called “filaticcio di seta”: it is a technique born in Lucca using a lower quality – but very resistant – silk used mainly for decoration purposes. In the case of the Officina, the walls of the room are inspired by a floral theme, in which gold and green create a sophisticated atmosphere.
The damages of the Arno flood in 1966 were recognizable mostly in this room, but thanks to the restoration works established for celebrating the 400 years of this historical pharmacy, it has been possible to discover again this little treasure.

foto 8.jpgThe little door on the left leads to the ancient pharmacy.
From 1612 to 1848, the sales room was located here and the access door was in the cloister inside the garden (now part of the Carabinieri school).
The counter, cabinets and furniture are the originals ones, created in the 18th century, as the stucco decorations of the vaulted ceiling representing dragons, golden eagles and fruit festoons, very popular motifs at that time.

foto 9.jpgGetting back to the Green room, the door on the opposite wall leads to the sacristy.
It is called also “Room of the waters” because for a very long time it has been used for conserving the distilled waters.
The walls are completely covered by frescos of the 14th century attributed to Mariotto di Nardi, a painter of the Giotto school, telling some stories of the Passion.
The original painting has brought to light thanks to the restoration in 2012, when the 19th century modification have been removed, showing the original decoration.

Officine Profumo Farmaceutica is a very unique place: once left the world outside, visitors are welcomed in a calm and relaxing atmosphere.
The place is full of history and anecdotes: the discovery of the rooms is a time travel, where the contemporary time seems to be excluded from this oasis of peace.
Fragrances, prepared in the same way from centuries, help the body and the mind to take a moment, before deciding to go back to the 21° century.

Photo credits:

Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella

 

Iconic Italian lamps – part 2 –

The successful history of the Italian light design from the period after WWII to the end of the century has celebrated the fantasy and the out-of-the-box way of thinking of the Italian designers.
The beginning of the century has been quite hard for the professionals of the sector, because for the first two editions, Italian projects did not meet the favorable opinion of the commission.

foto 13.jpgThings changed in 2008, when Alberto Meda and Paolo Rizzatto are selected for “Mix”, a reading lamp with a flexible body and a flat top. It has a very long-lasting performance (helping to reduce the energetic waste) and its particularity is due to the kind of light generated, which is warmer than the usual LED lamp.

During the 2011 edition, the awards have celebrated 2 projects.foto 14

“Elica” is the result of Brian Sironi researches. It is made up of a metallic body and an aluminum arm, from where the light comes.
For switching on and off the light, it is just needed to turn the arm. The stylistic choice of not adding other elements replies to the desire of conserving the aesthetic harmony of the lamp body.

foto 15Paolo Rizzatto, together with Francisco Gomez Paz, are the creators of “Hope”.
This ceiling lamp is a new interpretation of this kind of lamps, mixing the magic of the traditional ones with contemporary technology and materials.
It is projected for multiplying the light coming from the lamp-bulb for creating a sparkling effect, as the diamond which inspires the name.

 

 

foto 16The last edition, in 2014, has rewarded the Italian creativity and efforts of some designers, such as Enzo Berti for its “Bitta”.
It is an external lamp inspired by the nautical bitt, used for winding the mooring ropes, whose shape reminds to a mushroom.
Commission has appreciated the discreet new interpretation of this traditional and symbolic object, with a touch of unusual functionality.

Davide Groppi has won twice: the first time with “Nulla” and the second with “Sampei”.foto 17.jpg

Nulla” is the result of a research for creating the “light without a source”. It consists in a 18 mm hole in the ceiling, a special optical system and the LED technology: these are all the ingredient for the creation of a deep and sensual light effect.

foto 18

Sampei”, in collaboration with Enzo Calabrese, is very tall and thin lamp, able to enlighten the floor or the table, thanks to its flexible body. Commission has selected this lamp for its capacity of being “(…) at the same time, a table lamp and a ceiling one”.

 

The illumination of the places where people spend time (such as houses, museums, hotels) has become the subject of studies of many designers and architects in the last decades.
Italian creativity and style have been able to surprise critics all around the world for their functionality and simplicity, becoming iconic pieces part of the permanent collections of the most famous museums.
Next appointment with Compasso d’oro is in 2017: which will be the creations aiming to become the future Italian iconic lamps?

Photo credits:

pixabay.com

adi-design.org

davidegroppi.com

 

 

Iconic Italian lamps – part 1 –

One of the most durable trends in interior design is the focus on the light.
From the ’50, Italian workshops have created some of the most famous types of lamps, which became cult objects worldwide.
The Compasso d’Oro award has been inaugurated in 1954 by Giò Ponti, for celebrating the quality of the Italian design and it is considered the most ancient award for industrial design in the world. Many designers have been rewarded during these years, also in the lamp category.
From 1954 to nowadays, who are the Italian winners in this section?

foto 2

“Table lamp Mod. 559” is the creation of Gino Sarfatti and the category winner for the first edition. It has been chosen for the small dimensions, for its functionality, for the simplicity of the shape with an aesthetic research at the same time.foto 3

Next year, Sarfatti won the price with “Modular lamp Mod. 1055”, for the attention to details in all parts of the creation. Moreover, jury wanted to celebrate the high level of creativity in all his creations and the mix of innovative and coherency of the designer’s style.
foto 4

In the same year, another lamp was selected: “Luminator” by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni. the structure supporting the light bulb has been studied for fitting with the light system of any house, thought for a long-lasting performance, characterized by an industrial style.foto 5

Many years later, in 1967, it was the time of Vico Magistretti and Joe Colombo.
The first created “Eclisse”, a table lamp with a turning device for controlling the intensity of the light. Commission has also really appreciated the high aesthetic and projectile value and forecasted the commercial opportunities of this lamp (which is still produced).
foto 6

Joe Colombo imagined “Spider”, a very simple but multifunctional lamp providing a solution to the table-wall-ceiling lighting problems through different modulations of the support.foto 8

Vico Magistretti has been selected for a second time in 1979 with “Atollo”, a geometrical project in which a cylinder with a pointed top supports an half-sphere.

foto 9In the same year, a designer collaboration led  another victory: they were Achille Castiglioni and Pio Manzù with “Parentesi”. Composed of a u-shaped metallic rope, the lamp maintains the position without any other kind of fixing element.FOTO 10

 

1989 has been a very important year for the lamp category: in fact, 3 out of 12 awards have been dedicated to the light components.
Michele De Lucchi e Giancarlo Fassina created “Tolomeo”, a new interpretation of the spring-system lamp, where the extension mechanism (the spring) is no more visible, as it was in the past.

FOTO 11“Lola” by Alberto Meda and Paolo Rizzatto is considered a pioneer on the lamp spiritualization trend: the use of ultra-light materials and the turning floodlight make this lamp a “contemporary classic” object.foto 12.jpg

Meda and Rizzatto, in collaboration with Riccardo Sarfatti, have been also selected for “Metropoli”, the revolutionary ceiling lamp. With a very simple and elegant shape, the lamp has given a new “dignity” to this kind of object.

 

Italian lighting style was appreciated worldwide, thanks to the innovative and unusual solutions and the creativity of the designers of the time.
The new century was close: will this favorable trend for the Italian style last in the next century?

Photo credits:

pixabay.com

arredamento.it

adi-design.org

oluce.com

flos.com

Luxury architecture goes green (and sustainable)

From the beginning of the new century, climate change, pollution and sustainability have caught the attention of the public opinion worldwide.
Little by little, society pushed economy to act following a green approach: the spread of the organic foods, the birth of the sharing economy and the attention for the recycling activities are just some examples of this trend.
Architecture too has been influenced by this green wave and a greater sensibility to these subjects has been shown in an increasing number of projects all around the world.

Oberhus, Unterhus and Türmlihus are the three twin-houses designed by Peter Zumthor in the Grisons canton. From 2009 to 2013, he realized the project, located at 1500 meters on the sea level.
foto 2The houses are completely in wood and thought like light-boxes between the sky and the mountains. They occupies an area of 140 mq each developed on 3 levels: on the ground floor there is the utility room, on the first floor the bedrooms and the guestrooms, while on the last floor there are the living room and the kitchen.
The pinewood and the landscape are the real protagonists of this project: the structures are characterized by big windows creating an extraordinary dialogue between the “outside” and the “inside”. In fact, it seems like that the houses are opened to the external world, where the wood is the linking element creator of this connection.

In Portugal, not far from Lisbon, the blaanc workshop has designed Casa da Vinha, a property dedicated to the wine production including a one-family house.
foto 3The nature is at the center of this project: the villa, of 320 m2, is developed on just one floor (for creating a continuity with the visual linearity of the vineyard) and it shows the use of local materials and techniques.
An example is the use of the rammed earth for the construction of the external walls: this practice is still present in Portugal and it has been chosen because of its ecological features (it is a perfect thermal and acoustic insulator). It has also a strong aesthetic value: some part of the walls show the rammed earth, reminding to big paintings marking the space of the room.
For reducing the use of electricity, the villa has some devices aiming to exploit the natural light, as for example the patio conceived for enlightening the rooms on the northern side of the building.
On the perimeter, some cork oaks protect the house from the sun, creating a fresh atmosphere inside the walls.

foto 4In Amsterdam, the MeesVisser workshop has followed the construction of a villa conceived on the principles of the green architecture, aiming to reduce the environmental impact.
The building sees the use of rough pinewood for the external facades, where big windows give an incredible airy sensation to the all structure.
The house is developed on 4 floors, covering a surface of 240m2, totally focused on the eco-friendly philosophy: in fact, some solar panels on the roof and a system for the rainwater recycle increase the sustainability of the project.
The disposition of the internal space is thought for exploiting the natural light: thanks to the windows –in fact, replacing the walls in some cases- all the rooms receive a good quantity of light, both on the southern and the northern side.

Another example of ecologic house has been designed by ARS° Atelier de Arquitecturas in Mexico, in the region of Ajijic, where lakes and mountains are the protagonists of the landscape.
foto 5The architects have taken inspiration from the environment, using eco-friendly materials and discovering the local building traditions.
Covering 234 m2 and developed on 2 floors, the villa external walls are made in reinforced concrete, with some inserts in Palo Dulce, a local tree, light but very resistant, for protecting the southern side of the building from the rays of the sun.
Indoor, the disposal of the space is very rational: on the ground floor the kitchen and the living room, while the bedroom is on the first floor.
A very particular device of this project is located in the kitchen: located in a not very enlightened space of the house, architects have let the light filtering from the roof just above the kitchen, through a series of concave beams.
Thanks also to the solar panels and the recycling system of the rainwater, the building is in harmony with the surrounding nature.

The increasing importance of the environmental cause has led people and professionals to rethink about the way villas, houses and apartment were designed and built.
It has been the occasion to discover old-new materials, mostly available on the local area, with incredible properties, or to improve techniques used by centuries but “forgotten” in the last decades.
It is a very exciting exercise which opens new frontiers to the fantasy of the designer and leads to the creation of new projects.

Photo credits:

pixabay.it
elledecor.it
threenovices.wordpress.com
atelierars.com

Ex-industrial district: new spaces in the city

Abandoned during the ‘80s, the industrial areas have been like a no-man’s-land in the heart of the city for at least a decade. Turin and Milan, the centers of the Italian economy, have particularly suffered  from this phenomenon.
In the ‘90s, the municipalities began showing a certain interest for these sites: renovation projects were approved, aiming to join these areas with the city, founding here the space for new ideas.
Big societies started thinking about the possibility of taking advantage from this opportunity: it is from this reflection that the ex-industrial districts had a second life.

LINGOTTO

Wanted by Fiat president Gianni Agnelli, it became one of the examples of the Italian modernity in the architectural field. Le Corbusier defined this building as “one of the most impressive performance the industry has never seen”.
foto 2.jpgIn 1982, Fiat decided to close the factory, because the production was moved outside the city, where bigger spaces were available.
The renovation works started in 1985, leaded by Renzo Piano, motivated in transforming these 378.000 m2 in the heart of Turin.
The architect decided to preserve the external façade and re-think the interior, because he wanted to give birth to a multifunctional area, open to the city and to future needs.
foto 3Works lasted around 20 years and Piano created a building hosting offices, a mall, a cinema, an exhibition center, a congress hall with an auditorium, spaces for hospitality activities and education centers.
On the roof, the testing track has been maintained, next to the meeting room called “the Bubble” with restaurant, a little helicopter platform and the Agnelli art gallery.
Inaugurated in 2002, this latter is hosted in what is called the “Casket”: reminding to a spaceship, in honor of the futuristic style of the original factory, it is made of crystal and steel and it is located on the roof of the building, in the middle of the testing track.

PIRELLI HANGARBICOCCA

foto4.pngThe Bicocca district, in the northern side of Milan, has always been an industrial area. In particular, at the beginning of the 1900, Pirelli society decided to move here the production.
It was the first of many others, such as Breda, Marelli and Falck, all operating in the heavy industry.
During the ‘80s, the sites were closed and the entire area was completely abandoned.
Ten years later, the renovation works were approved by the municipality, aiming to create here a technological campus, with the opening of the second public university of the city.
In the meanwhile, Pirelli decided to maintain the headquarter in the district and in 2004, the no-profit Pirelli HangarBicocca Foundation was created, decided to open here a center for the promotion of the contemporary art.
With its 15.000 m2 of exposition area, it is one of the biggest spaces dedicated to this activity in Europe. The site is a museum of industrial architecture in itself: the Shed was built in the ‘20s, Cubo, in the ‘50s, for testing the electric turbines and Navate, in the ’60, for testing big electrical machines.
HangarBicocca hosts temporary and permanent expositions and events; the access is completely free and some gallery guides helps the visitors in the approach with the artworks.

FONDAZIONE PRADA AND ARMANI SILOS

foto 5.jpgOn the other side of the city, in Largo Isarco 2, Prada has inaugurated the new location for its foundation on May 2015.
It is located in an historical building of the ‘10s, where the Società Italiana Spiriti had its headquarter. The renovation works, leaded by Rem Koolhaas, started in 2008 and not yet finished.
The idea is to create a dialogue between the old structure (seven buildings where laboratories and stock areas were located) and the new parts (a temporary exhibition and a multifunctional area with a cinema and a tower), where welcoming the contemporary artworks.
The site covers an area of 19.000 m2, where the main interest is showing how two different styles can coexist, maintaining their distinctive features, because the final aim is to create an environment playing with the oppositions and the sensations this game generates.

foto 6The same interest in rediscovering abandoned places has led Giorgio Armani opening his museum in an old building in the Tortona district, in the southern part of Milan.
Built in the ‘50s and used as cereal stock area from the Nestlé group, the building has been renovated and from 2015 is the siège of the Armani museum.
Covering 4.500 m2 spread on four floors, this space welcomes a selection of the artworks created in 40 years of carrer, showing 600 dresses and 200 accessories, from 1980 to nowadays.
As Prada group, also Giorgio Armani wanted to valorize the origins of the place: the choice of the name is deeply linked to the nature of the location because “(…) this building used to store food, which is, of course, essential for life. For me, just as much as food, clothes are also a part of life.”
The general decorating style is very simple, following regular schemes and rational shapes. The renovation works have preserved the original profile of the building: it reminds to a beehive, metaphor of industriousness, highlighting the stylist research of the essentiality.

These are just the most famous –and the first- examples of a trend spread all over the country. Many other municipalities and societies are working together to create spaces where people can meet and spend time in a relaxing way.
The advantages of operations like these are many for both the sides: the city discovers unadopted areas, which can be the occasion for the implementation of new ideas and the solution to some critical situations; societies, from their side, find here the space for new activities and the occasion for building a relation with the city and the people.

Photo credits:

it.wikipedia.org
tripadvisor.it
oma.eu

Luxury hospitality discovers the islands of the Venetian lagoon

The extraordinary city of Venice welcomes every year 27 million of tourists on its 500 hectares of historical center at open air.
In the last decades, the heart of the lagoon has seen the growth of the hospitality sector, with a wide offer of structures offering any possible kind of commodity.
If the center is more and more crowded and less appealing for tourists and professionals, the city offers an alternative, just behind the corner.
The new destinations are the numerous islands composing the Venetian lagoon, far from the mass circuits and able to reveal surprising locations.

foto 2.jpgIn March 2015, the JW Marriott Group (4100 properties in 79 countries, generating incomes in 2014 for $ 14 billion) has opened its first Italian resort on the Isola delle Rose.
Born from the lagoon around 1870, this island has been used as shelter for boats, clinic and working man’s club, before being renovated.
The property, set on 16 hectares, offers 5 different type of accommodations, the largest Spa in Venice (1750 m2 of partnership with GOCO, one of the world’s greatest authorities in wellness), 4 restaurants and 3 bars.
Water, silence and nature are the three elements ruling on the island: the building is surrounded by 12 hectares of garden, while the style chosen for the interiors wants to create a dialogue with the lagoon and the history of the place.

Close to the Isle of the Roses there is the Isle of San Clemente, where the Kempinski group (founded in 1897, with 78 properties in 33 countries) is managing its new palace in the lagoon.
In the past, the island has welcomed a monastery, a military base, a psychiatric hospital and from March 2016, after renovation works, a luxury hotel.
foto 6.jpgOn its 7 hectares, the San Clemente Palace Kempinski offers a total of 191 rooms and suites with view on the lagoon, 6 between bars and restaurants, a spa and a fitness center.
Clients can have a walk in the property for admiring the gardens, the monastery and the church of the XII century.

In the northern side of the lagoon, the island of Mazzorbo offers another kind of unique experience.
foto 8.jpgBorn from an idea of Gianluca Bisol, the owner of the Prosecco historical brand, this resort is developed around the discovery of the Dorona, the native grape of Venice, loved by the Dogi and disappeared with the end of the Serenissima.
foto 9From 2002, the Venissa project wants to give a second chance to the treasures of the Venetian lagoon.
Around 4000 pieces are produced on this little land snatched from the salty water and where also the bottles are a local product made in Murano.
The secret vineyard is less than one hectare and it occupies half of the available land. The resort offers also a one-star Michelin restaurant where it is possible to appreciate a typical Venetian menu and a very limited number of accommodations on the islands of Mazzorbo and Burano (linked through a very suggestive wooden bridge).

The trend, launched by these international groups, is very appreciated by clients, who look for authenticity, silence and unexpected locations, close to one of the most touristic site all over the world.
The competition is moving in this direction and the islands of the lagoon have caught the attention of big players willing to invest in this delicate eco-system.

One of these is the Delle Grazie Island, between Giudecca and San Clemente, in the southern part of the lagoon.
foto 10.jpgProperty of the Stefanel group from the beginning of 2015 with an investment of € 11.200 million, the project sees the creation of a luxury resort 10 minutes far from San Marco square.
This 4 hectares island has a long history: artificially born in the Middle Age from the lagoon (this site was used as rubbish tip from the Venetians), it has hosted the pilgrims back from the Holy Land, a monastery, a powder magazine (exploded in 1849) and, more recently, an infectious diseases hospital until the end of the twentieth century.foto 11

In other cases, some islands are waiting for a new landlord. Crevan is one of these.    Totally renovated with its Austrian walls, 4 rooms, 3 guestrooms, a big living room and the conciergerie, the offering price is about € 9.5 million for this half-an-hectare isle in the northern part of the lagoon.

Very close to the city center and, at the same time, far from the touristic flows and the noise, the client of these resorts looks for a voyage inside the voyage.
From this unusual point of view, each crossing of the lagoon is comparable to a new experience, where the destination is a dive into a unique atmosphere.
The islands are like parallel worlds where to escape for enjoying the silence and the landscapes of a city revealing something new every time, even if it is unchanged from centuries.

Photo credits:
jwvenice.com
travelforsenses.com
venissa.it
nuovavenezia.gelocal.it/venezia

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Zaha Hadid in Italy

The famous architect Zaha Hadid, died at the end of March, was particularly active in Italy. Besides Rome and Milan, the other projects in the country show a deep interest for nature, the local environment and the creation of a structure both functional and aesthetically coherent with the landscape.

Plan de Corones – Messner Mountain Museum

foto 1Opened in 2015 after two years of works, the Messner Museum is the final destination of a six-stop tour on the Dolomites.
The founder of this unique museum experience is Reinhold Messner, one of the most outstanding mountaineers in the world.
The idea generating this project is the interaction with the nature: the visitor enters into the mountain, explores caverns and grottos, before emerging on a side of the mountain, where a terrace spacing 6 meters from the mount side gives a 240° view on the landscape.
The building, dedicated to the discipline of mountaineering, is at 2275m on the sea level and occupies an area of 1.000 m2.
Built on the top of the mountain, where ice, rock and weather were the main enemies of engineers and architects, this project has seen the investment of more than € 3 million.

Jesolo (Venice) – Jesolo Magica

foto 2.pngDuring the Biennale Art Exhibition in 2009, it has been announced the launch of the Jesolo Magica project, aiming to create a multifunctional district near Venice.
Zaha Hadid imagined a building reminding to two flower buds laying on a table, with a central space dedicated to the social activities, while restaurants, spas and boutiques all around.
The project has been approved 7 years ago with an investment of more than € 100 million, but the building site has never been opened.

Milan – Citylife project

foto3.jpgIn 2005, the ancient Exposition center has been moved outside the city, getting available an area of 366.000 m2 in the heart of Milan, where an investment of € 2.2 billion wants to transform this district.
The winning project was designed by Hadid, Libeskind and Isozaki, aiming to create a mix of private and public spaces for boutiques, offices, apartments, parks and facilities.
Zaha Hadid imagined a part of the residences and one of the three towers.
The residential complex is characterized by sinuous lines and a playful use of concave and convex shapes, where the white and the light brown of the wood underline the fluidity of the building shape.
foto4The materials, the orientation of the apartments and the big park around the site show the attention to the environmental cause and the importance of a pleasant living places.
The tower, nowadays under construction, is thought like a spiral turning on its own axe. The internal space is built through the same fluidity characterizing Hadid’s works, where every floor is different from the others.

Rome – Maxxi: National Museum of 21st Century Arts

foto 5.jpgFor the first Italian museum dedicating 30.000 m2 to the contemporary arts, Madame Hadid has imagined a structure playing with the space.
Inside, lines and walls intersect and separate constantly for generating fluid spaces; outside, the building is integrated with the district through a complex geometric scheme. The sensation of freedom of the structure (costed € 150 million) was a very important feature for the archi-star, who decided to give to the building an L as liberation footprint.

Naples – Afragola High Speed Train Station

foto6.jpgThought as a bridge for connecting the two areas divided by the rails, the project aims to be considered as the center for a new business park touching a wide area around Naples. It has been conceived as a gateway to the city, a well-organized transport interchange from where people can reach and leave the city.
The building, covering 20.000 m2, will become the main passenger hub of the city, in which the trajectories of the travelers generate the shape of  the structure.
The project has been approved in 2003 with an investment of € 61 million and it is still under construction.

Salerno – Maritime Terminal

foto 7.jpgThe project, winner of the international competition in 2000, has been imagined as an oyster located in the working harbor and marina of this little city on the Mediterranean sea. Inaugurated in April 2016, it replies to practical and aesthetic functions: this area, connecting the sea and the land, is the place where control duties are carried out from the administration offices to national and international ferries and cruises passengers.
The site, covering an area of 4600 m2 with an investment of € 20 million, is perfectly integrated in the port and in the city landscape.

Reggio Calabria – Regium Waterfront

foto 8.jpgLocated on 22000 m2 on the strait dividing continental Italy from Sicily, the museum and the center for performing arts – the two buildings composing the site – are conceived for being admired both from the sea and the land.
The starfish shape inspires stability and symmetry, while the fluidity of the lines and the spaces allow to generate different areas dedicated to exhibitions, restoration, archives, offices, cinema and library.
€ 49 million have been invested in this project, aiming to define Reggio Calabria as one of the cultural capitals of the Mediterranean area.

Cagliari – Nuragic and Contemporary Art Museum

foto 9.jpgAs for the other works, also here Madame Hadid took inspiration from the world of sea.
In this case, the coralline concretions were the perfect example of what she wanted to create: an empty structure with a hard and porous surface.
The continuous research for avoiding corners has brought the architect to imagine an exposition center, as well as a public area projected towards the city of Cagliari.
This project, covering an area of 15.000 m2, has been approved in 2006 but the building site has never been opened. .

The Italian works of Zaha Hadid show a rooted interest for the environment, where the nature is a source of inspiration; moreover, she wanted to make her projects conversing with the place where they are located and playing with the space.
She was able to create unusual shapes and living spaces through a masterly use of fluid lines, because “ There are 360 degrees, so why stick to one?”.

Photo credits:
messner-mountain-museum.it
futurix.it
city-life.it
ilsole24ore.com
flickr.com

Ferragamo… 2016: a new era to come.

2016 is the year of sweeping changes, and for this company even more.

Salvatore Ferragamo is going through disruptive moments in the last months.
On March 1st, Massimiliano Giornetti stepped down from his position as creative director of the Italian luxury goods based in Florence.

massimiliano giornetti

Giornetti first joined Ferragamo in 2000 when he took over the menswear designer department, then in 2011 he was appointed overall creative director of the house.
Now it’s just a matter of time to get to know the name of the new “hand” of the brand.
His leaving just came in a string of big creative names departures as Raf Simons from Dior and Hedi Slimane from Yves Saint Lauren.

Moreover the next news from the house came on the 21st of April: the changing-of-the-guard with Michele Norsa leaving vacant the CEO post.
Coming from Valentino, he joined the company as chief executive officer in 2006 and led it till during its stock market listing in 2011. Since Ferragamo listed on the Milan Stock Exchange in June 2011, the value of its shares has more than doubled.
The company said Norsa will continue to work with the Florence-based company in a non-executive role until the shareholders’ meeting to approve its 2017 results, expected in the first few months of 2018.

On the 12th of May the fashion brand announced the new CEO name.
Eraldo Poletto, the former chief executive offer of Furla and credited for a doubling of sales in the last five years, will officially take over on August 2.

Well it seems 2016 it’s a brand-new start for this company… and it so happens that’s where my new experience will start too, with my internship in Ferragamo.

Let’s hope it will be a great year!!

M&M

 

 

Taste worth Danger

When it comes to delicate and dangerous food, that steeped in rich cultural significance and should be approached with respect, one should be very cautions when sampling them. Below are presented very special delicates that can cause very significant danger (or even worse results) if prepared not correct, though true gourmans travel for them all over the world and are ready to spent huge amounts.

Elvers

The ones that are very tricky to catch and known as glass eels are called elvers. Everything from temperature to bad weather can cause their numbers to drop significantly, making elvers a tough industry. Every fishing season in Maine,that generally starts on March 29, fisherman are hoping that the warm weather will lead to a bigger haul than the previous year, when they only caught 5,300 pounds of the little eels (the quota is 10,000 pounds). Naturally, value goes up when yield is low and last season saw prices upwards of $2,200 per pound for the little eels. The Economist calls these little eels “transparent gold”— since, as for comparison, Kobe beef is worth around $500/lb and blue fin tuna goes for around $1,300/lb.

89616Photo Credit: funkyfrogstock/Shutterstock.com

Not only tough to source, they’re also tricky to prepare. Similar to fugu, elvers can be toxic when eaten, able to cause internal cramping and sometimes heart failure. Though a single eel is tiny, it has enough poison in it to kill a rabbit—so imagine a bowl full of them. To avoid the health risk, elvers have to be thoroughly cooked, so eating it raw is a big mistake.

Fugu

It’s pretty widely known that fugu (puffer fish), which is priced around $200 a pound, is a popular Japanese delicacy that can kill if it is not prepared just right. Only highly-trained, certified chefs (only around 35 percent of applicants actually reach certification) should ever prepare the dish, because the puffer has toxic organs that contain tetrodotoxin, which will cause asphyxia if consumed. There doesn’t exist an antidote, so the best course of treatment is to support the respiratory and circulatory systems while the poison makes its way through the body.

89609Photo Credit: KPG_Payless/Shutterstock.com

Of course, people wouldn’t be risking their health for poor-tasting foods, so it makes sense that the meal is considered incredibly tasty (with the most lethal organs supposedly tasting the best).

To the Japanese, fugu’s allure lies in what they call a special umami – a clean and sweet taste, not a death-defying experience.The meat is texturally both crunchy and chewy – a sensational property the Japanese describe as shiko shiko. They also prize the fish for its seasonality, as it is typically consumed in winter.

A single fish can easily fetch between US$50 and US$150 at a wholesale fish market in Japan, depending on the variety – the costliest of which is a prime tora or “tiger” fugu. A complete meal at a decent Japanese restaurant can cost upwards of 200 USD per head (or more than 20,000 YEN). If you are in the mood for life-endangering adventure, just make sure to do your due diligence in selecting a restaurant with a certified chef.

Ackee

Native to West Africa this strange fruit is the national fruit in a major staple in Caribbean dishes—especially in Jamaica. While the tree isn’t indigenous to Jamaica, it ended up being grown in large amounts after being imported on slave ships and is now symbolic of the country. Ackee is typically cooked with salted cod and onions—some say it tastes like cheese and others insist eggs. It is treated more like a vegetable than a fruit though. and despite its popularity one should never pick his own unless he knows what he is doing. The ackee can’t be unripe or overripe and the rind, membrane and seeds are all poisonous. Actually, the only edible part of ackee is the pulp around the seeds. The illness associated with the fruit is called “Jamaican vomiting sickness” and can actually be fatal to some within 24 hours.

89614Photo Credit: Blacqbook/Shutterstock.com

 

Bespoke “B” Bed

Had a busy, busy day. Work, kids, traffic, stress… everything is on your shoulders. You search for a place where you can escape everyday life. Your one place, where you can, finally, take a deep breath and relax. This place is just waiting for you in your home. And here is why.

Savoir-Christian-Lacroix-Bespoke-Bed

Savoir Beds for a new bed set covered in Alcantara fabric (each for made-to-order) has collaborated with Sacha Walckhoff, the Creative Director for Christian Lacroix, who is known for extravagant haute couture and this design reflects his flair for drama. The artist was  inspired by the 1970s, as well as he drew from how the British company manipulates pocket springs for their line of mattresses and called the new bed set “B” bed. The frame features “pod-like cubby-holes and a headboard” inspired by these pockets, while the entire design is upholstered in blue Alcantara, the same high-tech fabric often used in car, yacht and aircraft interiors.

Savoir-Beds

 

The Fibonacci by Steinway & Sons

Steinway & Sons‘ 600,000th piano is named The Fibonacci (after the mathematical sequence, picturing the iconic spiral on its veneer) and is absolutely stunning. It is designed by Frank Pollaro and it took more than 6,000 hours over the course of four years to create the finished piece.

steinway-fibonacci-piano-8-1436967088-view-0

Here is what Darren Marshall, Chief Marketing Officer of Steinway & Sons, says about the famous piano: “The Fibonacci spiral is a representation of perfect proportions and natural beauty. Without a doubt, Frank captured those qualities in this piano, creating a work of art for the eyes and the ears.”

Fibonacci1962117a

Steinway has a history of gifting their milestone pianos, with the 100,000th model originally gifted to the United States White House before being added to the Smithsonian’s permanent collection—the 300,000 is still in the White House’s East Room. However, the nine-foot, Model D concert grand Fibonacci is actually for sale and it worth  2.4 million USD. The company is also planning to create up to six exclusive, limited edition Model B pianos inspired by the design. According to the company, the image was handmade using “six individual logs of Macassar Ebony, creating a fluid design that represents the geometric harmony found in nature.” The spiral’s lines continue from the lid to the curved base of the piano, while synthetic ivory inlay and patinated bronze adds some contrast.

Spritz, not just a drink at Eurobagno 2016!

This year at Salone del Mobile in Milan, you could find something anusual to wash your hands in.
At Eurobagno 2016, the pavillion exclusively dedicated  to design bathrooms, you may happen to see something like this:

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Huge glasses which could look someway familiar, even though not in such a big size.
Yes, that’s it: human size Spritz glasses.
The Italian company Regia has rolled out this washbasin collection, signed by the designer Bruna Rapisarda, called Lavabo Freestanding Spritz.
The company has always distinguished itself for its avant-guarde phylosophy, shown in its fresh, experimental, high-quality design.

For this product the designer has choosen two different materials: the vetro-ghiaccio, in several colours, and the livingtech, black or white both lucid and opaque.
The washbasin has the typical octagonal shape of the Spritz glass.
Try to think to this unique piece in the most amazing clubs around the world…
…Wouldn’t be perfect?! At least it would make you feel like being Spritz thirsty for sure!!

im004133_l_20160209_172341

M&M.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marni for Nespresso

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Have you ever thought about a new Nespresso coffee machine in collaboration with Marni?

Today i’d like to show you all my idea..

My project consists in the creation of a Co-Branding between Marni and Nespresso. Why?

I chose Marni because is the brand that most of all had great extensions to other fields. The two main event he created were:

  • The Flower Market during the previous edition of Salone del Mobile at Rotonda della Besana in Milan
  • The opening of Marni Flower Cafè at Osaka’s Umeda Hankyu department store, on March the 3rd

According to the first one, Marni organized an Exhibition with a flower market and exhibition stalls, displaying a wide variety of exotic flora-filled bundles and various products sold by the luxury Italian label. Colorful prints typical to the brand identity — illustrated by vibrantly hued geometric elements and organically composed shapes —printed on tissue paper, boxes and bags, thematically linking the event to the traditional Marnis’ language. Marni’s creative director Consuelo Castiglioni said that she had “always been fascinated by flower markets for their vitality and energy, because they smell of the local culture and are colorful and vibrant; not least, because flowers are an essential part of the composite Marni language, whose prints often reproduce phytomorphic motifs”.

While, for the Marni Flower Café the brand served Italian specialties such as focaccia bread and traditional cakes, and carried a range of customized Marni products. For the opening, Marni designed a picnic set, wood lunch boxes, multicolor furoshiki which is

a traditional Japanese foulards used to wrap boxes, as well as thermoses, floral bags, PVC vases and porcelain sets showing some of the label’s archival patterns.

What? As we can notice, flowers are Marnis’ main pattern. What I would like to create is a Nespresso coffee machine with special coffee capsule in a limited edition.

I thought that the perfect coffee machine could be Pixie. Pixie is designed as the SMART model, condensing a wide range of innovative, advanced features in a surprisingly small machine. With the new restyable Pixie Clips machine you can easily change the side panels according to your tastes or the latest design trends. It’s a way of expressing your personality by giving it a new look with a wide range of clip-on-side panels, playing with colors and textures. The panels I thought of will be representing Marnis’ main patterns. The first one will be with geometric figures, which is one of the Brands’ essence; the second one will represent flower and colors, inspired as well by the events that Marni has had in past years.

In addition, I thought about a coffee capsule in a limited edition. Nespresso usually creates 6 different coffee capsule in a limited edition during the year. What I’d like to create is a new edition which takes inspiration from Marnis’main patterns. Infact, the two Marnis’ coffee capsule will be sold in a same pack which contains twenty capsules.

The first typology will be created from the blend of fine roasted Colombian Arabicas, which develops a subtle acidity with typical red fruit and winey notes.

The second one, will be a combination of Arabics with a hint of Robusta from southern India. It’s going to be a full-bodied espresso, with a distinct personality and fruity notes. Coffee capsule will be sold in sleeves of 10.

According to my co-branding, the price at which I’d like to sell the machine is of 169€. The Pixie Nespresso machine has a cost of 139€, so, I decided to rise the cost of 30€ to sell the new Marni edition. Instead, Coffee capsule will be sold at 4,90 € as all Nespressos’ Capsule Limited Edition.

Where? As all the past important Co-Branding, my products will be available both on/off line. I chose this solution to give the chance to everyone to purchase it, considering that Nespresso boutiques are located just in main cities. The distribution will be worldwide and will be available just in Nespressos’ flagships.

Another idea that came up to my mind for my Co-Branding has been the philosophy that both brands share: recycling.

For this reason, in 2012, Marni created a collection inspired by recycling, especially for jewels. The “recycling” theme was suggested through large, flowers-shaped components, crafted out of recycled, bottle plastic (PET), colored and transparent, which created a voluminous garland, strung onto a black, satin ribbon.For Nespresso, instead, aluminium is also an ecological choice for their capsules because it is a metal that can be endlessly recycled. Recycling the metal only requires 5% of the energy needed for its initial extraction. This means that the Nespresso capsule is infinitely recyclable. The coffee grounds themselves can also be reused and transformed into natural fertilizer or ecological fuel for domestic heating. Nespresso has been encouraging recycling for a number of years, with options for capsule drop off in boutiques and recycling collection upon delivery.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a new coffee machine with Marni Patterns? 🙂M_mediaMainSchermata 2016-04-17 alle 19.22.25

Keep calm.. and go to Salone del mobile!

This year’s edition of Salone del Mobile fair  was composed by different exhibitions spread over the various pavilions in Rho Fiera Milano:

– Salone Internazionale del Mobile, such as International Furnishing Accessories Exhibition boasting more than 1,300 exhibitors
– International Furnishing Accessories Exhibition, divided into two core themes such as “Classic Furnishing Accessories” and “Design Furnishing Accessories”, allowing the the best knowledge in design trends
– Euroluce (International Biennial Lighting Exhibition)
– Workplace3.0/SaloneUfficio (International Biennial Workspace Exhibition)
– SaloneSatellite, dedicated to young, emerging designers and serves as a launch pad into the world of design
– Salone Ufficio, featuring people’s needs and emotions as key protagonists of the works on display. Any creation on exhibit was crafted with the aim of providing new smart office solutions to allow a new, anthropocentric approach to design.

Salone del Mobile organizers have reported that this year’s event attracted 372,151 visitors between 12 and 17 April. Great numbers that continue attracting visitors each year.

The 55th edition of the furniture fair at the Rho Fairgrounds was renamed as Salone del Mobile.Milano, underneath the umbrella of the newly branded Milano Design Week. It also included the annual young designers exhibition SaloneSatellite, and the bi-annual Eurocucina kitchen show and International Bathroom Exhibition.

Milan transformed this week, as designers and enthusiasts come from all over the world. Here are the pictures among the happenings during the most important week in design.

 

 

Chinese wedding picture

Last October the chinise actress Angelababy married the actor Huang Xiaoming.

On her special and luxurious day the chinise icon worn a custom-made Dior dress, which took half year to be created, as well as two more Houte Couture dresses by Elie Saab.

The total amount of the Chinise power couple wedding was about $31 million, nearly on par with the British royal wedding which cost was $34 million.image1

This is not the only example of a “gold wedding” that comes from the discussed China.

Does this trend come from a local tradition with deep roots or is it more kind of new emulation game of the western model?

Let’s consider few figures.

Proportional to their income, chinese couples spend more than western couples on their wedding. According with the China Wedding Industry Development Report, the avarage cost of a chinise wedding is around $12.000. The comparison of this data with the avarage annual wage of the urban population, which is around $8.900 make every possible consideration much more intresting.

What clearly emerge from this comparison is that eventhough, the avarage wage of a medium class chinese couple is not that high, they like to spend a remarkable amount of money on their wedding.

If we jump for a moment in the past we see that the traditional Chinese wedding ceremony was essentially a big dinner party. Now it has been transformed into a hybrid event influenced by many Western elements such as elaborate pre-wedding photo-shot (sometimes taken overseas: Europe, France, US), diamond engagement ring, white dress and expensive, exotic honeymoon.image1 2

Cultural drivers have made this big change possible.

An important issue which has to be considered is the nation’s one child-policy that was abolished just on last January. What we can logically assume is that today many chinise engaged couple are only-child. So there are two sets of parents from either side contributing to a single wedding and four sets of grandparents doing the same. An important family affair.

Another relevant curiosity, which is not that far from what usually happen in the south of Italy, concerns the wedding guest who pay partially for the wedding throughout the Hongbao, kind of a red envelop stuffed with cash.

So there are intrinsic and borrowed traditions which make the Chinese middle class and their brides with deep pockets a profitable target for all those Western luxury bridal brands that want to meet the opportunity linked to the fast evolving Chinese wedding field that seems a market eager to be guided toward a sectorial expansion.

How counterfeiting affects the luxury market

Counterfeited and pirated goods accounted for up to 2.5 percent of world trade, $461 billlion, demaging companies and state coffers.

The trade in fake products has also worsened in the past decade. The organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in previous study of 2008 estimated it up to 1.9 percent of the world imports, $200 billion.

Recent studies assert that the impact of counterfeiting is greater for rich countries, where most of the companies, making the higlhy desiderables branded goods, are based. European Union imported up to 5 percent of fake goods in 2013, $116 billion.

Same studies appoint China as the largest producer of counterfeited products. The reason of this increasing phenomeno can be found in the emergence of globalised value chain and in the booming e-commerce as distribution channel.AAEAAQAAAAAAAAQuAAAAJGVmZDNiM2Q4LWM4MzItNDY0MS1hMGVlLTRhZTkxZjdkYTU2MQ

Just few days ago the counterfeiting issue came up on magazines because Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, signed to become member of the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition.

The reaction of some brands such as Gucci and Michael Kors has been very strong and determined. The outrage over Alibaba’s membership raises fresh questions about how effective Alibaba has been in fighting fakes as it pushes to take its e-commerce juggernaut global.

Gucci, along with other Kering Group brands like Balenciaga have quitted the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition and they are suing Alibaba in the New York federal court. The Kering’s brands accuse Alibaba of knowingly encouraging and profiting from the sale of counterfeit goods on its e-commerce platform.

Alibaba answered to this strong accuse just saying that it is a “wasteful litigation”.

As result of the difficult situation by last Saturday Gucci’s name had been struck from the IACC’s website and Alibaba’s membership falls into a special category, without leadership position and voting rights. The Chinise e-commerce giant asserts that being still effectively member of the IACC would allow it to work more closely and effectively with brands to proactively enforce intellectual property rights.

Cestlav

It all began in a playful way, when Vittoria was pregnant with Theophile and invented soft stretch bell-bottom pants for herself that would adapt to the lines of the body, even in the case of a woman with child. She made her first pattern for V Pants, hunted up some fabric and called in a good dressmaker: the result was the first model in elasticized black lace. An icon of cestalv.it. 

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The strong point of this first model is that one size fits all (from 38 to 44 – UK 6 to 12, US 2 to 8), along with the fusion of color prints and elasticized cottons that adapt to any body, slimming its forms

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So the result is that V Pants are an instant outfit, creating a complete look that makes women elegant and sophisticated, matched with a simple white t-shirt or an oversized sweater, for a long leggy image that follows the forms of the body.

Let’s start to set a TABLE

Paravicini story starts at the beginning of the 1990’s.
Their purpose was to create plates that could bring back to the everyday tables the atmosphere and warmth that was lost to the industrial porcelain production.
For more than 20 years, their little workshop found the key to success in its small dimensions. In fact, we were, and still are, able to fulfil every client’s particular requests, never serializing our production.

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The Laboratorio Paravicini can satisfy the most diverse requests: every desire can be granted. Making ceramic sets in which all plates are different, but they are united by a common denominator. The result is a unique table set inspired by the customer’s own passions.

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Since 2013, they have created the “COLLECTIONS”: sophisticated designs, screen or digitally printed made in limited editions. Each and every piece is numbered.
The “Collections” are young in spirit, sometimes eccentric, always unusual. They are aimed to please an audience looking for collector’s items or objects to decorate their homes.

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Laboratorio Paravicini produces its own thin, white ceramic biscuit, on which Benedetta Medici and Costanza Paravicini hand paint or apply screen or digital printed designs. The final glazing is then applied over the decorations by high fire, and the result is a ceramic plate suitable for everyday use, indelible, non-toxic and dishwasher safe.

 

 

Are you ready to invest in this kind of luxury???

All that glitter is not gold

Looking at the Luxury world, where everythings is excellence oriented, is not difficult to realize that it is facing a period of big changes.

Many different trends lead, with their own role, the Luxury environment generating confusion and at the same time creating new paths and opportunities for future challenges.

A new calendar is going to replace partially the traditional one. The “Luxury Institution” is probably trying to get closer and closer to its customers and the See now-Buy now approach, which is having a wide and spread approval among brands which belong to the fashion field in the premium and luxury levels, can be considered the proof.

The trend which has been launched by Burberry and shared by other brands such as Michael Kors, Tom Ford, Tommy Hilfiger and Brioni with its new creative director Justin O’Shea, has became a huge issue to face, which could change the logic behind the “luxury experience” and the traditional organisation of the supplay chain.

Prada, Alexander Wang, on the other hand, have preferred to catch the new wave in a partial way. They launched for the FW-17 small capsule or just few pieces , part of their main collections, talking not about ready to wear, but ready to live, available just in the most important flagship stores all over the world. Artistic directors such as Arnaud Vaillant and Sebastien Meyer defined it “a common sense decision”.

Another significant new will affect the traditional calendar, Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele, beginning in 2017, will present one unified collection on the runway each season, he wants to integrate women’s and men’s fashion shows.image1

Alessandro Michele said in a statement

 “It seems only natural to me to present my men’s and women’s collections together. It is the way I see the world today”.

Gucci has been followed by Bottega Veneta and Marras in the decision to merge woman’s and man’s collections in the same catwalk.

How can these trends be defined now that they are drivers into the Luxury market?

Can they be considered as the natural effect of the fast-evolving approach which has always characterized the fashion field? Or is more about a way to escape the difficulties that the Luxury field is experiencing?

Hublot’s new Fifth Avenue boutique in NY

On April 19, the Swiss brand celebrated its love for New York through the opening of its Fifth Avenue flagship store.

The boutique, which arises between 57th and 58th streets, near Louis Vuitton, was conceived by Peter Marino, an American architect, who has already worked with the swiss luxury watch brand, but this can be described as the most important collaboration, in fact the flagship is the tallest Hublot’s store in the world (70 feet above street level).

The external façade, lit with LEDs, is made of black aluminium while for the interiors has been used particular materials, as the graphite-coloured leather for the seats, the stainless steel fixtures or the black lava stone and wood floors. The internal part conveys also high-tech innovation, as the “shadow-less” LCD vitrine windows.

Interior Hublot NY

Both exterior and interior design and style follow the identity of the brand reflecting Hublot’s fundamental message, the Art of Fusion.

Peter Marino said about the boutique’s design: “The sculptural movement inherent in the façade is an abstract notion of time and the perpetual mechanism of the watch.”

Before the opening ribbon cutting ceremony, an exciting show was implemented: a duo of acrobatic dancers descended from the rooftop and danced across the façade until they reached the ground.

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There, the newest Usain Bolt’s limited edition was presented. Guests were then invited to discover the store and all Hublot’s collection.

Later that evening the brand hosted a large-scale event at the Guggenheim Museum to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of All Black. The Guggenheim’s iconic, white space was transformed into an All Black experience in tribute to this important occasion.

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photo credit: http://www.hublot.com/en/

 

 

ARTcommunication

It is famous all around the world, it is inspirational for anyone loving art and it is just located in the very heart of Italy, Florence:

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The Birth of Venus (1482-1485) by Sandro Botticelli 

The “Galleria degli Uffizi” in Florence is an absolutely must as it is one of the most famous museums in the world. Visitors enjoy famous artworks and masterpieces in an historic building from 1574 representing Italy’s highly architecture excellence as its best. Botticelli, Giotto, Cimabue, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Raffaello are just a few names showing the dimension of exclusive artists and the greatness of a collection which is focused on the Renaissance and the time between the 12th and 17th centuries.

The museum explains the meaning of Botticelli’s Venus by using the approach of the Neoplatonic philosophy. Therefore the painting can be seen as showing “the birth of love and the spiritual beauty as a driving force of life.” So Sandro Botticelli is not just called a simple painter. He’s described as “one of the greatest poets of the line and drawing”.

 

‘Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.’ (Leonardo da Vinci)

 

While I was standing these days in front of the “Birth of Venus”, celebrating the view as a luxury moment, I was questioning myself:

What else communicates art and galleries nowadays than just culture, beauty and inspiration?

Businesses today are looking at interesting ways to reach out to quality audience,” said Sanjay Sharma, one of the international management at global auction house Christie’s in an interview  with the Economic Times Magazine. He describes Art as becoming an increasing communication tool for luxury brands to reach the upper class which invest in high-end art. Nowadays art galleries and auctioneers are seen as partner channel with a specific function:  To access to the target group and exchange knowledge and awareness.

Sotheby’s, the global art business auctioneers, offering since 1744 extraordinary opportunities to transact via private sales galleries or worldwide selling exhibitions, adapt to this point by offering even summer study courses in Understanding the Luxury Market . Thomaï Serdari, Luxury Brand Strategist and Lecturer at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in New York, teachs in it the “5 things you need to know”.

1. Luxury does not necessarily mean “old.”

2. The luxury market does not favor the rich but rather the smart shopper.

3. Luxury is both an indulgence and an investment.

4. The luxury market favors the well prepared.

5. The luxury market itself is not a thing of the past but constantly in flux.

 

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If you once stand in front of an historic or contemporary painting while being in a gallery or museum, never underestimate the presence and force of it as being more than just a piece of beauty, culture and inspiration –

Art wasis and will be pure communication – especially when appreciating it with a luxury view.