Verdura Resort: A Peaceful Sicilian Getaway

Verdura Resort:
A Peaceful Sicilian Getaway

Nestled between the stunning Valley of the Temples in Agrigento and the charming town of Sciacca, the Verdura Resort is a masterpiece of modern luxury and traditional Sicilian charm. This expansive resort spans 230 hectares, featuring lush olive and orange groves and a pristine private coastline stretching over 18 kilometers. The resort’s idyllic setting is just an 80-minute drive from the airports of Palermo and Trapani, making it an accessible yet exclusive destination.

 

Designed by the acclaimed architect Flavio Albanese and with interiors curated by Olga Polizzi, Verdura Resort combines bold modernist architecture with a deep respect for its natural surroundings. The use of local materials like terracotta, ochre, stone, sand, and wood ensures that the resort blends seamlessly into the Mediterranean landscape. Strong geometric lines echo the design of traditional Sicilian houses, while the interiors reflect the island’s rugged and vibrant character through warm colors and handcrafted details.

 

Sustainability is at the heart of Verdura Resort’s operations. The resort features solar panels for hot water production, a comprehensive water recycling system, and a policy that limits automobile circulation to preserve the natural beauty of the landscape. These eco-friendly practices have earned the resort numerous accolades, including the “Committed to Green” environmental award supported by the Italian Ministry of Environment.

 

The resort boasts 203 elegant rooms and suites, each offering breathtaking views of the sea from private terraces. The accommodations range from Deluxe Rooms, with their contemporary Sicilian style and private sea-facing balconies, to the expansive Acacia Suite, featuring a private pool and spacious outdoor terraces perfect for dining and relaxation. Each room is adorned with handcrafted Sicilian ceramics, colorful local textiles, and luxurious amenities designed for ultimate comfort.

Under the creative direction of Chef Fulvio Pierangelini and Executive Chef Emanuele Riccobono, Verdura Resort’s dining options celebrate the rich flavors of Mediterranean cuisine. The resort’s restaurants use fresh, locally sourced ingredients, including produce from the resort’s own organic farm. Highlights include the Zagara restaurant, offering elegant Mediterranean dishes with stunning sea views, and the relaxed Amare, where guests can enjoy freshly caught seafood on a beachfront terrace. The Granita Bar, with its vibrant decor and extensive cocktail menu, is the perfect spot for a refreshing drink with panoramic views.

 

Verdura Resort offers a wealth of activities for guests of all ages. The Verdùland Kids Club provides engaging and educational programs for children, while teenagers can enjoy a dedicated area with sports and entertainment. For golf enthusiasts, the resort features two 18-hole championship courses designed by Kyle Phillips, complemented by a state-of-the-art Performance Institute approved by the European Tour.

Fitness and wellness are integral to the Verdura experience, with facilities including a fully equipped gym, yoga sessions, and extensive jogging and cycling trails through the picturesque landscape. Water sports enthusiasts can take advantage of the resort’s private beach and diving center, offering a range of exciting activities.

 

For those seeking an even more exclusive experience, the Rocco Forte Private Villas provide a perfect blend of privacy and luxury. These 20 modern villas, inspired by traditional Sicilian architecture, are set on a hillside overlooking the bay and offer the finest amenities, including private pools, dedicated housekeeping, and concierge services.

 

The Irene Forte Spa, set amidst the serene orange and olive groves, offers a sanctuary for relaxation and rejuvenation. The 4,000-square-meter spa features 11 treatment rooms, including a double suite, and offers a range of innovative treatments using products from the Irene Forte Skincare line. Guests can enjoy hydrotherapy pools, a Finnish sauna, and a range of holistic therapies designed to nourish both body and mind.

Adding to the resort’s allure, the Missoni Mare Beach Club offers a chic and colorful retreat where guests can relax in style. With custom-designed sun loungers and cabanas featuring Missoni’s iconic patterns, the beach club perfectly encapsulates the vibrant spirit of Italian summer.

 

Established in 2014 out of a passion for local produce and a deep connection to the land, Verdura Società Agricola aims to highlight the bounty of Sicilian agriculture. The estate’s 230 hectares are home to over 3,000 olive trees, nearly 4,000 orange trees, and an array of other fruit-bearing plants. The resort’s organic farm produces a variety of vegetables and herbs, ensuring the freshest ingredients for its restaurants. Guests can participate in hands-on experiences at the Casina nell’Orto, where they can harvest and cook their own produce under the guidance of skilled chefs, enjoying the true essence of Sicilian cuisine.

The resort also prides itself on producing its own extra virgin olive oil from traditional local varieties. This high-quality oil, rich with the scents of orange blossom, artichoke, mint, and basil, is a staple in all the resort’s kitchens and is renowned for its exceptional flavor.

 

For golf enthusiasts, Verdura Resort offers an exceptional experience with its two 18-hole championship courses and a 9-hole par-3 course, all designed by the famous golf course architect Kyle Phillips. The Verdura Golf Club, host to the Rocco Forte Sicilian Open and part of the prestigious European Tour Destinations network, is known for its stunning coastal views and meticulously maintained greens. The recent addition of the East Course provides a new challenge for players, complementing the existing West Course.

 

Verdura Resort is more than just a luxury destination; it is a celebration of Sicilian culture, sustainability, and refined elegance. Whether exploring the rich history of the region, indulging in world-class dining, or simply relaxing by the sea, guests are sure to experience an unforgettable stay that embodies the very best of Italy.


Je vois encore: Emma Baroni Wins the IED Avant Défilé 2024 Media Prize

Je vois encore: Emma Baroni Wins the IED Avant Défilé 2024 Media Prize

Award presenters and the three winners of the awards. From left to right: Yves Tsou, Olivia Spinelli, Matteo Gagliano, Emma Baroni, Marco Servedio and Federico Boselli

Emma Baroni’s collection, Je vois encore

A few steps away from the magnificent Duomo di Milano, IED Avant Défilé 2024 unveiled its winners in Milan’s Palazzo Giureconsulti. Curated by Olivia Spinelli, Head of Fashion School IED Milano, Avant Défilé 2024 handpicked ten designers across the campus for this two-day fashion showdown.

 

In Palazzo Giuresconti, ten booths with installations showcased the ten shortlisted contestant’s fashion designs. A small fashion show took place every 45 minutes, bringing their clothes to life. Open to public on June 26th and June 27th, IED Avant Défilé 2024 welcomed people from all walks of life to come and interact with the designers. Based on their job and identity, they were also invited to vote for their favorite design. Three awards were established accordingly, which are Fashion System Prize, Media Prize and Public Prize. By the end of the event, the three winning collection of the awards were announced, and they are Marco Servedio’s “3K” (Fashion System Prize), Emma Baroni’s “Je vois encore” (Media Prize) and Matteo Gagliano’s “Cicardian Rhythm” (Public Prize).

Hailing from Brentonico, a small mountain village in Trentino, Emma grew up watching her grandmother work as a tailor-made menswear seamstress. She considers this as her enlightenment to the fashion world.After graduating from high school, she moved to Milan to pursue her fashion studies in IED. There, she got her first encountered with the industry. Emma described her years in IED as “creative and independent”, as the school offered the students a free environment for their creativity to run amuck. Fortunately, with her well-organized, autonomous attitude and a clear goal, she was able to leverage on the tools and the opportunities that IED has provided.

 

For her award-winning collection, Emma linked her birthplace to her design. Titled “Je vois encore, meaning I see it again in French, she told a hearty story about how her childhood memories and her adulthood experiences overlap. The nature, the plantation, the garden in front of her house and the villagers’ way of living, these simple but blissful happiness at home, and the déjà vu feeling she encountered elsewhere were her greatest source of inspiration.

As a child, Emma acquainted the world around her by filtering things through her senses. After her relocation to Milan, the hustle and bustle of the metropolis stimulated and encouraged her to observe the world differently. Weirdly, even though her hometown is hundreds of kilometers away, she occasionally had this déjà vu feeling that reminded her of home. By touching some fabrics that recalled the villagers’ traditional clothing; by coming across a small object inside the drawer that recollected memories of the day she used to treasure it; or by smelling a perfume that reconnected her from present to a specific day in the past, Emma’s sensual adventure gradually developed into a nostalgic collection. 

 

To complete this collection, Emma spent a lot of energy on textile research and played with different fabrics and materials. She manipulated the textile, like combining kneading and sand paper, to create interesting and distinctive effects. With the help of professional fabric makers like Shima Seiki, she was able to develop some special jacquard or tapestry textile. Also, with the idea of sustainable fashion, she incorporated recycled fabrics into her collection. The silhouette of her design is simple, and with the intriguing combination of color and textile, Emma turned her heartfelt story into a thoughtful collection about a déjà vu journey through all senses.

As Emma is graduating from IED this summer, she is keen on stepping into the fashion industry and starting her career as a knitwear designer. The victory of “Je vois encore” in IED Avant Défilé and is undoubtedly a recognition to her talent and fruitful outcome in IED.

Text: Yves Tsou


Alexander McQueen FW24 Campaign: About that London Eclectics and Eccentricities

There is an enduring and unbreakable bond between Alexander McQueen and London. Seán McGirr, the new creative director from October 2023, has chosen to build on this link for his first official campaign, staying true to the brand’s British roots. Although Irish and originally from Dublin, he is very familiar with London. Graduated from the prestigious Central Saint Martins in 2014, the same university where Lee Alexander McQueen studied before founding his fashion house in 1992, McGirr spent much of his professional years in this creativity-friendly metropolis.

Continuing the British soul of the brand, the Fall Winter 2024 campaign of Alexander McQueen aims to capture the eclectic spirit and vibrant energy of London. For the first campaign of his incumbency, McGirr has chosen to set in East London, an area that inspired Alexander McQueen’s pioneering designs. The campaign reflects the same gritty yet glamorous tones as the debut collection, giving it a timeless and contemporary feel.

 

Through an imaginative narrative that’s at once primal and poetic, the campaign vividly portrays the city’s youthful energy and diverse characters as they navigate its urban piers and streets. It’s a portrayal of contrasting tensions and energies, through which McGirr effectively captures the essence of London and translates it into a powerful fashion narrative.

The campaign is a tactile experience. The garments are bold and extravagant, and the opulence was all captured by Glen Luchford’s outstanding images. From the mini dress embroidered with shattered chandeliers and red and orange bicycle reflectors to the model’s cozy oversized mohair coat paired with horseshoe-shaped shoes. The sling bag comes in a warm blood red with a cold metallic T-buckle. But whether it’s the twisted silhouettes or the animalistic lavishness of quilted denim, or the sharply detailed dresses adorned with shattered black stones representing the hardened fragments of metropolitan life, each piece aims to evoke a visceral response and provoke a reaction.

 

McGirr describes the uniform of the new generation of Londoners as either constricting or protective, designed to satisfy a primal instinct. With a collection reflecting Alexander McQueen’s rebellious and glamour core identity but with a modern twist, the new era of Alexander McQueen is sure worth looking forward to.


Text: Matilde Manca


Fashion, Sun, Beach and Gin - Missoni's Summer Proposal in Sicily

Fashion, Sun, Beach and Gin

Missoni's Summer Proposal in Sicily

© Luca Brolio

In a dazzling display of Italian craftsmanship and creativity, Missoni has unveiled its latest venture: the Missoni Resort Club at the Rocco Forte Hotels’ Verdura Resort. Nestled along the southern coast of Sicily, this luxurious beach club will be the epitome of summer sophistication, blending Missoni’s vibrant design aesthetic with the serene elegance of the Verdura Resort.

 

This summer, guests at the Verdura Resort will be treated to a visual feast as Missoni’s iconic patterns and colors transform the beachfront. Inspired by the turquoise and emerald hues of Sicily’s summer landscapes, every element from sun loungers to cabanas will reflect the distinct Missoni Resort Club motifs. The seamless integration of these designs into the resort’s decor promises a unique and immersive experience, capturing the essence of both brands’ dedication to Italian style and craftsmanship.

© Style Du Monde

© Style Du Monde

The opening event showcased an enchanting dinner setup amidst olive trees, with long tables adorned with delicate lighting, creating a magical atmosphere under the Sicilian sky. The landscape, with its rolling hills and lush greenery, provided a picturesque backdrop, enhancing the overall ambiance of the evening. Guests dined on exquisite cuisine while basking in the natural beauty of the surroundings, making the event truly unforgettable.

 

Adding to the allure, a Missoni pop-up store will grace the resort, offering guests the opportunity to indulge in the brand’s exclusive fashion and home collections. The store itself will echo the vibrant patterns and color schemes that have made Missoni a household name, providing a cohesive and engaging shopping experience within the resort.

 

Complementing the vibrant decor, the outdoor lounge areas were decorated with Missoni’s colorful poufs, cushions, and throws, inviting guests to relax and enjoy the stunning views of the Sicilian coast. The seating areas, with their eclectic mix of patterns and colors, reflected the joyful and lively spirit of Missoni, encouraging guests to unwind in style.

© Luca Brolio

© Style Du Monde

Coinciding with the launch of Missoni Resort Club, Missoni has further announced an exciting collaboration with Malfy Gin. A toast to Italian elegance, this partnership has given birth to a limited-edition bottle of Malfy Gin Rosa, adorned with Missoni’s signature zigzag print and elegant silver accents. This exclusive bottle is designed to evoke the “golden hour” feeling, perfect for aperitivo moments that linger into the sunset.

 

The collaboration between Malfy Gin and Missoni is a celebration of Italian culture and lifestyle. Both brands bring a rich heritage and a shared passion for vibrant, joyful design to the table. The Malfy Gin Rosa, known for its refreshing pink grapefruit flavor, will now come in a collectible gift box, making it an ideal choice for stylish gatherings and memorable toasts.

© Matteo Lippera

© Matteo Lippera

Available from July 2024, the Malfy x Missoni limited-edition bottle will be sold in Italy, the UK, Greece, and through global travel retail channels. This partnership encapsulates the Italian flair for elegance and excellence, promising a sensory journey to the Amalfi Coast with every sip.

 

The opening of the Missoni Resort Club and the launch of the Malfy Gin x Missoni collaboration mark a new chapter in luxury lifestyle experiences. Together, they bring a slice of Italian paradise to the southern coast of Sicily, offering a blend of style, sophistication, and sensory delight that is sure to enchant visitors and connoisseurs alike. Whether lounging by the custom-designed sunbeds, exploring the chic pop-up store, or savoring a refreshing Malfy Gin Rosa spritz at sunset, guests are invited to immerse themselves in the vibrant world of Missoni.


Ruinart Blanc Singulier Edition 19: The Elegance and Sustainability Amid Climate Challenges

Ruinart Blanc Singulier Edition 19

The Elegance and Sustainability Amid Climate Challenges

Maison Ruinart, the oldest Champagne house, has unveiled its latest cuvée, the Ruinart Blanc Singulier Edition 19. This release showcases the brand’s ability to adapt to climate change while maintaining its signature freshness and elegance. With rising temperatures in the Champagne region, Chardonnay grapes are revealing more pronounced, aromatic, fruity, and spicy profiles. Chef de Cave Frédéric Panaïotis and his team have crafted the Ruinart Blanc Singulier to explore these unique expressions. This cuvée highlights Ruinart’s skill in adapting its expertise to a changing natural environment.

Edition 19 follows the success of Edition 18, responding to 2019’s record summer temperatures. Despite these extremities, the 2019 harvest displayed intense character and distinctive aromatic profiles. The blend includes 77% wines from the 2019 harvest and 23% reserve wines from previous years. The Champagne features a bright golden-yellow color with green reflections and aromas of nectarine, nashi pear, and candied citrus. The palate reveals notes of white fruit, floral tones, and a slightly bitter grapefruit finish, highlighting the wine’s tension and structure.

Ruinart is dedicated to sustainable viticulture, adapting to climatic challenges with innovative methods. By observing and questioning traditional practices, Ruinart has developed a modern vision deeply rooted in its historical expertise. Ruinart’s Champagnes are paired with culinary creations from renowned chefs like Armand Arnal and Claire Vallée, offering a unique gastronomic experience. Founded in 1729 during the Enlightenment, Maison Ruinart continues to blend centuries-old craftsmanship with contemporary sustainability, producing signature cuvées that reveal the best characteristics of Chardonnay.


LuisaViaRoma Escape Unveiled with A Summer Celebration in Porto Ercole

LuisaViaRoma Escape Unveiled with A Summer Celebration in Porto Ercole

LuisaViaRoma recently unveiled the inaugural edition of LuisaViaRoma Escapes, an exclusive experience designed to celebrate the summer season and showcase the latest offerings in women’s, men’s, accessories, and beachwear collections available both online and in-store. Set against the picturesque backdrop of Porto Ercole, a charming seaside town on the Argentario promontory, this event was an unforgettable journey through the pristine beauty and crystal-clear waters of the Tuscan Maremma.

 

Upon arrival at LaRoqqa Hotel, a recently renewed boutique hotel with a special focus on sustainability and love for the environment, a selected group of influencers and journalists were warmly welcomed with a personalized gift kit. This bespoke collection featured exclusive summer fashion and beauty products available only on LuisaViaRoma.com, including items from Le Rub, a new line of natural and year-round solar products, and Augustinus Bader, the renowned skincare brand known for its award-winning regenerative formulas enhanced by TFC8® technology.

 

The meticulously planned itinerary included a breathtaking boat trip to visit the very close Isola di Giannutri with a special “al fresco” lunch at the most charming restaurant and bed and breakfast of the lil island, Animosque; followed by lively seaside aperitifs at Isolotto Beach Club, and enchanting dinners under the stars. These activities allowed guests to fully immerse themselves in the unspoiled nature and serene waters of the region, providing a perfect setting to appreciate the luxurious offerings of LuisaViaRoma.

LuisaViaRoma Escapes served as a journey through the season’s hottest trends. For women, the event highlighted elegant one-piece swimsuits and daring minimal bikinis, glamorous evening dresses, and exquisite accessories. For men, the focus was on must-have swim trunks, linen pieces, and tailored shirts for impeccable evening looks. This experience invited guests to explore an exclusive selection of iconic brands and emerging designers that embody the essence of LuisaViaRoma’s DNA.

 

The combination of stunning natural surroundings and meticulously curated fashion and beauty products created a truly immersive and luxurious experience. LuisaViaRoma Escapes not only celebrated the mediterranean summer and offered a unique opportunity to discover the latest trends and innovations in high-end fashion and beauty, but also announced their overseas expansion with the great opening of their second store, the very first one in US: of course in New York City, of course on Bond Street; and we’re sure this one as well will encapsulate the spirit of LuisaViaRoma, blending elegance, exclusivity, and a deep appreciation for the beautiful things in life.


Kappa Proposed Exclusive Party Looks and Essentials for the Upcoming Kappa FuturFestival

Kappa Proposed Exclusive Party Looks and Essentials for the Upcoming Kappa FuturFestival

The highly anticipated Kappa FuturFestival returns to Turin this summer! First held in 2009, the event FuturFestival was originally a New Year event celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Futurism movement. After one year of hiatus, the festival moved its date to summer in 2012 and commenced a long-lasting collaboration with iconic Italian sportswear brand Kappa, whose headquarter happened to be in Turin. Kappa FuturFestival thus became the first Italian outdoor summer daytime festival and quickly gained popularity among domestic and international ravers.

 

Welcoming tens of thousands of electronic music enthusiasts from around the globe, Kappa FuturFestical is set to take place in Turin’s Parco Dora from July 5th to 7th, 2024. Promise to create an unforgettable experience for the attendees, the festival proposes a stellar lineup featuring Bonobo, Nina Kravitz, Marceo Plex, Skrillex, and many more over the three-day program.

To commemorate the eleventh edition of this iconic event, Kappa has launched a special capsule collection exclusively for the festivalgoers. To embody the spirit of the Kappa FuturFestival, the collection reimagined the brand’s signature Omini logo, now adorned with headphones to mark the musical celebration. Featuring oversized t-shirts, snug tops, mesh skirts and essential party accessories like bucket hats, crossbody bags, keychain lanyards and blankets, the collection’s vibrant color provides partygoers the adequate amount of dopamine to stay exhilarated and chic at the festival; while the print of post-industrial style columns of the event venue Parco Dora or Turin’s towering cityscape reminds them of the city where this stupendous event is taken place.

 

Complementing these stylish fashion items are Briko’s sunshades. Designed in collaboration with the festival, the colorful, avant-garde eyewear with the Futur icon printed on the nosepiece is sure to push the coolness of the ravers beyond the boundaries.

The campaign for the Kappa FuturFestival capsule collection has been artfully curated and captured by photographer Nima Benati, a young and leading figure in fashion photography. Her image brings a dynamic and energetic vision to the campaign, perfectly reflecting the festival’s urban and eclectic atmosphere.

 

As the festival continues to grow in popularity and influence, the Kappa FuturFestival capsule collection stands as a testament to the fusion of fashion, music, and culture, offering fans a unique way to celebrate their love for electronic music and the vibrant community it fosters. Released on May 6, 2024, the capsule collection is now available at selected Robe di Kappa stores, multi-brand retailers, and on Kappa.com.


An Elegant Summer Evening Escape: Valentino and Mytheresa Celebrate the Valentino Escape 2024 Collection

An Elegant Summer Evening Escape

Valentino and Mytheresa Celebrate the Valentino Escape 2024 Collection

With a breathtaking perfect match of luxury and elegance, Valentino and Mytheresa hosted an exclusive dinner aboard the legendary Christina O yacht, marking the launch of the Valentino Escape 2024 Capsule Collection. The event celebrated the longstanding relationship between the two fashion giants and was a night to remember for all who attended.

 

The evening started with a historical tour of the Christina O, a yacht steeped in history and luxury, once owned by one of the world’s most powerful families, the Onassis. This glimpse into the yacht’s illustrious past set a captivating tone for the night, merging history with contemporary fashion.

As the sun dipped below the horizon, guests were treated to a cocktail reception on deck, where they could admire the stunning Mediterranean views as the yacht gracefully sailed from Monaco to Beaulieu-sur-Mer. The ambiance was serene yet sophisticated, a perfect prelude to the evening’s main happenings.

 

Upon arrival at Beaulieu-sur-Mer, an exquisite dinner awaited the guests, featuring the finest French Riviera cuisine crafted by renowned chef Daniel Arganaraz. The culinary journey was a feast for the senses, culminating in a decadent dessert enjoyed under a canopy of stars.

 

The evening’s surprise highlight was a live performance by The Phly Boyz, set against the picturesque mosaic pool, a historic dance floor that once hosted the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Greta Garbo. The timeless charm of old Hollywood was palpable as guests danced and mingled, creating new memories in a setting rich with history.

Animated by two iconic archive patterns, the Valentino Chevron 24 and Valentino Starfish motifs, the summery Valentino Escape 2024 Capsule Collection includes kaftans, chemisiers, fluid dresses, skirts, one-shoulder tops, and flared pants. Completing the ensemble are bikinis and swimsuits, ensuring a versatile selection for all summer occasions.

 

Crafted from luxurious materials such as crêpe de chine, cotton poplin, and muslin, the collection offers varied lengths from mini to ankle, catering to diverse fashion preferences. Accessories, including Valentino Garavani shoes and bags with matching prints, add a layer of sophistication to each look.

 

Available globally on Mytheresa.com from May 29th, 2024, the launch of the Valentino Escape 2024 Capsule Collection is accompanied by a dedicated editorial story directed by Mytheresa Chief Creative Officer Julian Paul and captured by photographer Jorin Koers, featuring model Sun Mizrahi. This visual narrative brings the collection to life, showcasing its vibrant energy and stylish appeal.

The event aboard the Christina O and the launch of the Valentino Escape 2024 Collection exemplify the seamless blend of history, luxury, and contemporary fashion. Maison Valentino and Mytheresa continue to set the standard for elegance and innovation in the fashion world, offering a stunning collection that captures the essence of summer and an unforgettable experience to their clients and to the friends of the house.

 

As guests departed from the Christina O, they carried with them memories of an evening where history and modernity danced together, and fashion was celebrated in its most luxurious and unique form.

Sophia Roe

Andrew Georgiades, Alexander Roth, Hugh Laughton-Scott


D. Fermentati: A Culinary Journey of Fermentation Revelations

D. Fermentati

A Culinary Journey of Fermentation Revelations

Taken place in the vibrant and viridescent setting of Casa degli Artisti in Milan, The recent “D. Fermentati” event held at the art center’s bistro Degustazione Ristoro e Dispensa on Monday, June 17th was a celebration of culinary innovation and tradition. Aiming at showcasing the art of fermentation in a way that was both educational and delightful to the senses, “D. Fermentati” left a lasting impression on all who attended.

 

Founded in 1909 by the Bogani brothers with the vision of building an artistic community, Casa degli Artisti hosted workshops and ateliers for artists from various disciplines. Reopened in 2020, Casa degli Artisti is now an international and interdisciplinary space where artists of different fields connect, converse and collaborate. The three-story building houses 11 ateliers, an open-to-public exhibition space on the ground, an outdoor space overlooking the greenery and a bistro, which is the space where “D. Fermentati” was hosted.

As guests entered the urban oasis, they were greeted by the harmonious blend of industrial architecture and lush garden, setting the stage for a gustatory discovery. The electric atmosphere, filled with the hum of excited conversations and the soothing notes of live music, provided the perfect backdrop for the evening’s festivities.

 

The star of the event was undoubtedly the array of fermented delicacies crafted by the talented team at Degustazione Ristoro e Dispensa. Tables were laden with a vibrant assortment of tempeh, bread, rich miso, kombucha and wine. Each plate reflected the careful craftsmanship and deep understanding of fermentation techniques, transforming simple and common ingredients into complex and flavorful creations.

Degustazione Ristoro e Dispensa’s dedication to simplicity, economy, and familial care guides their culinary vision. Their focus on rare varieties, seasonal fruits and vegetables, and artisanal transformation is evident in every bite. By maintaining a strong network of ethical producer, manufacturers and suppliers, Degustazione Ristoro e Dispensa ensures that every product is a true reflection of the bistro’s commitment to a new culture of food and the principle of prioritizing quality over quantity.

 

In addition to the in-house offerings, several external producers were invited to the event to showcase their own fermented products. The collaboration highlighted the diversity and versatility of fermentation, bringing together a wide range of flavors and textures that delighted the palates of attendees. Guests moved from table to table, sampling the unique contributions of each producer and gaining insights into the processes behind these culinary wonders and the delight of this nomad-like gourmet experience.

Overall, “D. Fermentati” was a testament to the vision of Lorenzo Castellini and his team. It displayed their commitment to reviving lost spaces, promoting local producers, and advancing a new culture of food that values sustainability, quality, and creativity. The event was a resounding success, leaving guests inspired and eager to see what future culinary adventures Degustazione Ristoro e Dispensa will offer.

 

For those who attended, the evening was a journey through the transformative power of fermentation — a journey that deepened their connection to the food they eat and the land it comes from. “D. Fermentati” was more than an event; it was an experience that celebrated the art of fermentation and the joy of coming together to share in the fruits of careful, passionate labor.


Visiting Degustazione Ristoro e Dispensa (@degustazioneristorodipensa) for further information and future events


Jacquard Loom: Believing That Antiquity is Modernity

Jacquard Loom

Believing That Antiquity is Modernity

Hi Jiahao, could you please tell us a bit of yourself and your background?

Hi, my name is Jiahao Chen, a fashion designer based in London. I came to London seven years ago to pursue my study in London College of Fashion, specializing in Menswear Fashion Design Technology. After my graduation, I stepped into the fashion industry by working in a fashion house in Shanghai, designing innovative Chinese-style wedding couture. Two years after working there, I decided to quit my job to establish my own brand, Jacquard Loom.

 

What makes you decide to go to London to study?

Influenced by my family’s clothing business, I’ve been wanted to study fashion design since I was a child. My parents are fashion buyers, I think they always knew I would go abroad to study fashion design. After a thorough research based on my preferred fashion style and city vibe, I decided to come to London for study.

 

That’s interesting! But what makes you decide to relocate back to London after Shanghai?

There are various reasons behind it. The main reason is the sudden lockdown in Shanghai two years ago due to the COVID-19 outbreak. In fact, I have just finished shooting the lookbook of my third collection the day before, and the lockdown arrived. During that time, neither could I receive the fabrics and samples from the factory, nor could I ship the orders to my clients. The growth of my brand was stagnant, and it really frustrated me. I always knew that I would come back to London, but I never found the right opportunity and excuse to do so. This incident somehow gave me an impetus to eventually move back to London. Interestingly, I left London for Shanghai because of the pandemic, and I left Shanghai for London also for it.

Can we say that the pandemic somehow gave you an opportunity to reconsider your career path?

Indeed. I graduated during the pandemic; finding a job that was suitable for me wasn’t easy. During that time, I could only ease my anxiety by connecting with friends through social media. It was this occasion that made me discover the potential of e-commerce entrepreneurship and fortified my decision to found Jacquard Loom.

 

Aside from the catalysis of the pandemic, are there any other reasons behind the establishment of your own brand?

Having my own brand has always been my dream since I was a kid. After studying fashion design, I started to notice that even though I love fashion so much, it was quite difficult for me to find designs on the market that I want to buy. Hence, I want to create clothes that I will like and will want to wear, entirely under my aesthetic and creative direction.

 

I am happy to know that you manage to find your way during this chaotic time. But what makes you stay in London afterwards?

The atmosphere of this city is magical. It’s full of vitality and creativity. Living here somehow gives me a feeling of living in the animated TV series “Martin Matin”, no matter how frustrated, defeated or sad you were, the next morning when you wake up, they are always something new happening, new inspiration emerging and new challenges waiting to be solved.

 

My friends are another of the major reasons for me to come back and stay in London. They have always been supportive to me and my career. They also helped me a lot when I decided to build my own brand. On top of that, I have many artist friends here in London with whom I collaborate occasionally.

As a young designer, what do you think London attracts you (and all the other aspiring international talents)? What kind of resources they have that are different compare to other cities (or to your hometown)?

London is very open-minded and free-spirited. This city is a cultural melting pot, with people from all over the world, who can bring me different insights and new ideas. The fashion industry in London is full of energy and opportunities, many designers’ works are unrestricted and uncontaminated by the market. This allows me to obtain some of the most cutting-edge information and inspiration every day. Overall, London is a city that always brings me unexpected surprises. I tend to dress like an old man and I adore vintage stuff, but with the infusion of London’s modernity and youthfulness, I’ve definitely had a breakthrough in the way of thinking and of perceiving things.

 

Just like the name of my brand, Jacquard Loom, I like the old jacquard fabric, but I always want to give it a new twist.

 

What are your sources of inspiration? Where do you usually get your inspiration from?

I really like to watch some independent film, some experimental theaters and visit some exhibitions in London. These cultural events often inspire me a lot. Sometimes, small but interesting encounters happen in my life can give me some inspiration. I also draw inspiration from my own experience and the environment in which I grew up in, as well as from my understanding of myself and my family.

How would you describe your design style?

I am interested in some antique elements and vintage style, just like jacquard fabric. I want to redefine them through different cutting and deconstruction methods, and express them in a more unique way.

 

Basically, I don’t buy fast fashion. Instead, I prefer to buy from charity shop, vintage shop or antique shop, whether it is to save money, be environmentally friendly or draw inspiration. I want to combine these old things with my new design concepts and make them more avant-garde, modern and more acceptable to the public.

 

Wearability is another point that I value. There are many designers who have strong concepts, creating beautiful and one-of-a-kind designs. However, their clothes tend to be less wearable and less practical. I believe that considering wearability is the key in fashion design.

So far, you’ve done 2 collections and 1 mini collection, would you like to go through them to us quickly so we can have a clearer vision on how they look like?

The first collection was my graduation project. Due to the pandemic, I could not present it in the graduation show. It was a huge regret for me, because I overcame a lot of difficulties to create this collection. The inspiration for this collection came from a movie I watched “The Garden” (1990). The title of my first collection is “Lavender Marriage”. I wanted to express the vision of breaking through the stereotypes of the original family and finally holding a same-sex wedding for myself.

 

After graduation, I started working on my second collection and my mini collection – the t-shirt. The reason why I decide to make the t-shirt is, as a queer person in China, I’ve experienced a lot of oppression because of my sexual preference. To recognize and to accept my body and my identity, I printed a lot of my names on the armpits of the t-shirt’s, expressing my concept in a sarcastic and humorous way. The particular fabric I used also represent the fibrous texture of the skin itself.

 

In my third collection, my design became more contained and inclusive. I began to consider the wearability and functionality of the clothing, for both menswear and womenswear. Starting with my favorite jacquard fabrics, I adopted a method combining rigidity and softness to revitalize these vintage elements.

We’ve noticed some gender fluid elements in your design, is this a topic that you are interested in discussing through your design?

When I was very young, I loved to wear my mother’s clothes stealthily and styled myself in some feminine looks at home. As a part of LQBTQIA+, my design is a testament of my gender identity. I really like the work of artist Jared French. His use of colors in his artistic expression on body structures of different genders have always influenced me. However, in the context of fashion design, I have always felt that gender a secondary topic to me.

 

Instead of calling my designs gender fluid, I like to consider them not limited by the gender boundaries. They are genderless, they suit the traits and characteristics of the person wearing them, rather than their gender. However, I do have to stress the fact that the sophisticated techniques I’ve learned from my menswear design formation is quite helpful, and they influenced my design immensely.

 

Interesting! If you consider gender a secondary topic to you, what are the more important messages you want convey through your design?

I would like to create a freer, bolder and more special context without gender constraints to showcase the beauty, craftsmanship and original expression of some antique and vintage items. Combining my love and understanding to contemporary art, I would love to reinterpret these forgotten elements, such as the jacquard fabrics, in a new and poetic way in my collection.

Are there any other topics you would like to tackle or to incorporate to your future design?

I would like to propose some ideas about sustainability and upcycling, like to collect some older but interesting items, and repurpose them into my design. This is something I really care and I believe that this is one of the topics we should be focus on when talking about future of fashion.

 

What are the future plans for Jacquard Loom, both design-wise and business-wise?

Design-wise, I would like to create something in knitting, just to make the collection more interesting. Of course, my principle of combining the so-called “classic” and “traditional” elements and transforming them into something contemporary and cutting-edge will still be the base of the knitwear designs. In addition, I would also like to discover more possibilities in fabrics, such as experimenting with the modification of textile.

 

If finances permit, I would like to add accessories, shoes and bag designs to my next collection to create a more complete look for Jacquard Loom.

 

Business-wise, I would like to build a personal website to launch the brand’s e-commerce business; and to collaborate with some multi-brand store to sell my designs. Also, I would love to seek for opportunities to work with some fashion platforms that provide runway shows and exposure for young designers; hoping to raise the brand awareness, popularity and visibility of Jacquard Loom.