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Cascella

settembre 27th, 2011

It was during the ‘50s that Umberto and Fiorella Cascella created the first Cascella store. In 1967, when the Aga Khan began building a luxury tourist destination on the Costa Smeralda, Umberto succeeded in obtaining permission to open a boutique in Porto Cervo, with the promise of adding a barber’s next door. It was this intuition that brought success to the Cascella family. Brigitte Bardot was one of the first clients and many important members of the national and international jet-set followed and continue to follow.

Danilo Cascella, a great expert in all things fashionable, has continued his parents’ business with passion. Today, he could well be defined as a discoverer of global brands. As he himself recounts, his goal is to innovate and he is particularly attracted by originality. Born in the Abruzzi, but now a world citizen, he manages five stores: two in Porto Cervo; one in Pescara; one in Rome, in the Cavalieri Hotel, one of the most luxurious hotels in Italy; and one in Miami. In his boutiques, Danilo offers his clients a collection of 140 companies from all over the world. In addition to the brands which he discovered and have since become famous, such as Dsquared, Neil Barret or Antonio Marras, the art director also proposes new designers, such as Tuvanam (from Turkey), 2B (from Greece) or Marcel Ostertag (from Germany). In each of his boutiques, there is a clear sense of his desire to communicate a new lifestyle mood, which is overstated, sensual and dynamic, with a strong preference for bright colours. Contrary to superstition, violet is a must for Danilo Cascella.

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Master craftsman Livio De Marchi

marzo 28th, 2011

Who is Livio De Marchi? An illusionist, an artist or the quintessential Venetian craftsman.

Once upon a time, in the middle of Venice, there stood an incredible gallery, where a joker magician worked, turning everything into wood. The soft folds of a jacket hanging on the wall, a pair of knickers drying on a clothesline or the luxurious curves and precise detail of a full size Ferrari F50 are not a wood carver’s usual subjects. However, Livio De Marchi’s work displays a singular contrast between subject and material that is a breath of fresh air. You may catch a glimpse of him on board one of his floating creations, which include origami paper hats, an enormous shoe, a Fiat Topolino and Cinderella’s pumpkin coach drawn by four horses.

The ancient tradition of Murano glass

marzo 28th, 2011

In 1291, due to a growing threat of fires the Venetian Serenissima Republic decreed that all glass factories must be transferred from Venice to the nearby island of Murano.

Since then, each period of history has seen a change in glass design and the principal works from each era are still being made today. However, the present-day artists also create innovative forms through which they express contemporary motifs. On display in the famous Signoretti shop are hand-made chandeliers, remarkably light drinking glasses, etched and ornamented mirrors, vases in various shapes and colours, modern sculptures and numerous other objects, all fruit of the imagination and creativity of the glass-master. Most Murano glass is made using the lampworking technique which is highly complex. The glass is made from silica, which becomes liquid at high temperatures and as the glass passes from a liquid to a solid state, there is an interval wherein the glass is soft before it hardens completely, which is when the glass-master can shape the material.

The sharp knives from Scarperia

marzo 28th, 2011

If Machiavelli had dreamed up a subversive plot using blades, he would have certainly got his supplies from Scarperia.

For the past 700 years, the air in this town has been thick with burnt metal. The game at Lorenzo de’ Medici’s banquets was savored thanks to the skilfully sharpened blades from this Tuscan town.

The knives from Scarperia continue to be famous thanks to the Saladini Cutlery, in Via Solferino, on the same spot as the original craftsmen’s workshops. Now, modernization has brought innovative techniques and designs. Each piece is unique, customized and can be enjoyed not only as a work of art but also as an essential element of your dining table.

Florence. Leather. Ferragamo

novembre 17th, 2010

Who knows whether Salvatore’s sisters, in the early 1900s, realised that they wore on their feet the creations of a man who would one day conquer Hollywood?

And the rest of the world.
Walking through the Florentine streets, which drip with Italian history, you may stumble across the heart of the Ferragamo empire. This style has influenced the whole world as the Ferragamo label is a byword for quality and elegance. The designs range from the strikingly bizarre objets d’art to the made-to-measure shoes, which reflect the historic tradition of Italian shoemakers.

Ferragamo, the King of shoes.