Museum musings

Daily inspirational quotes by artists

Miro    Miro due

“The works must be conceived with fire in the soul but executed with clinical coolness.”


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Museum musings

Daily inspirational quotes by artists

Leonardo da Vinci

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

Leonardo da Vinci

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Museum musings

Daily inspirational quotes by artists


“Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist.”


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Museum musings

Daily inspirational quotes by artists



“Everything you can imagine is real.”


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Museum musings

Daily inspirational quotes by artists

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“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.”

Henri Matisse

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Rome’s new luxury department store ‘Rinascente’


Want to buy a Fendi bag, see an ancient Roman aqueduct, browse Italy’s best design brands and have a Campari all in the same building? Meet Rinascente, Rome’s new (well, newly reopened) department store.

Rome’s answer to Harvey Nicks or Selfridges, the reopening of the popular Italian department store has been a long time coming, after the closure of its Via del Corso branch 11 years ago. The 14,000-sqm store is spread out over eight floors, including a beautiful rooftop terrace and four restaurants, smoothie bar, chocolate bar, and elegant Aqua di Parma beauty counter.

Brands like Alessi, Kartell and Smeg dominate the basement with a display of all things beautiful and Italian design. Which brings me to the aqueduct, Aqua Virgo Aqueduct, one of Rome’s oldest engineering masterpieces dating to 19 BC, on display and uncovered during the building’s 11 years of construction and restoration works.

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Beautiful light display installation on the ancient brickwork of the Roman aqueduct dating back to 19BC.



Where? Via del Tritone 61
On the Via Due Macelli corner of Via del Tritone.

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Who? Just about every luxury design brand, and not just Italian brands, there’s a Stella McCartney concession, YSL shoe wall, and Christian Louboutin make up.

Louis Vuitton has a shop within a shop that takes up two storeys and is known as il Palazzetto, and is the original main structure of the building dating back to the early 1900s, essentially a palace within the palace.

Official website: Rinascente on Via del Tritone

Rome wasn’t built in a day. These are the stats:

14,000 square metres

96 windows

1800 days of renovation

800 brands



Green Fashion Week in Rome



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It’s all about fashion shows @ the ancient Roman Forums this week to raise awareness for Green Fashion Week, now in its 6th edition, following the success in LA, Dubai,  Abu-Dhabi and Milan. The Forum of Augustus and Hadrian’s Temple served as runways showing sustainable and responsible fashion collections of international designers, such as Flavia La Rocca, Kromagnon by Kristen Avery Long, Bav Tailor, Orushka, Gentile Catone and Nomadic Collector to name but a few.

A favourite is Gentile Catone’s absolutely stunning Gentile Catone line of pink satin skirts, shirts and waistcoats with flamingos and Garden of Eden style prints. The focus of Green Fashion Week is high quality and long lasting recycled or regenerated raw materials, reducing waste and inventing new ways to utilise goods at the end of their lifecycle, so is less stress on the environment.

Supported by the FSA (Fashion Service Association) and GD Major Entertainment, and The Ministry of the Environment and Protection of Land and Sea, responsible for environmental issues in Italy.

Be kind to the planet @Green Fashion Week


#organicluxury #slowfashion #greenfashionweek




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Design Boom: Bulgari interview

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Nicola Ferlei-Brown talks to Bulgari’s Creative Director Lucia Silvestri about her inspirations and creations for the ‘Festa’ collection, as well as Lucia Boscaini, the brand’s Heritage Curator, on the architecture of Rome and the DOMVS museum.

Read the interview at Design Boom:


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Photos: © Bulgari


Bio trends, eco utility and sustainability will be big for Autumn/Winter 2018-19


Bio materials made from milk and mushrooms and other natural sources are the future of fashion and will be the norm by 2019. Ferragamo recently launched a collection made from Italian patented Orange Fibre which is created using citrus waste, with prints designed by the award winning Mario Trimarchi. The brand describe the exciting development as ‘a new fabric treated like the pages of an imaginary book on the colours of shadow at midday…demonstrating the vivid effects of light and shadow and freehand drawing to suggest clouds in motion and the wind scented with orange blossoms of the Mediterranean.’ Biodegradable is definitely the new chic, looking ‘on trend’ but with less impact on the environment.


A new generation of consumers are more eco conscious, as well as many brands being aware about what they are doing to the planet with their designs and processes. Designer Mara Hoffman, spoke to Vogue this year about her shift to sustainability, beginning with her Spring/Summer 2017 collection, which featured better for the planet textiles such as recycled spandex, tencel, organic linen, and organic Japanese cotton jacquards.


A new brand for eco conscious basics is Iluut, the brainchild of Helinksi born Elina Cerell, Vj Taganahan and Milanese designer Silvia Stella Osella. We love their navy blue shirt dress, which is made of cotton and Tencel, regarded as one of the most sustainable fibre innovations in the fashion industry today! Aside from being a handy autumn to winter number worn with ankle boots or flats, 5 % of this products’ margin will be donated for building the Pencils of Promise school, a trust which trains teachers and funds scholarships.


Mango have launched their first Sustainable collection Mango Committed, which is a line committed to ethically sourced materials, made in Portugal, Morocco and Turkey. The 45 piece sustainable collection is made up of 25 womens and 20 mens garments, made using ethically-sourced fabrics such as organic cotton, recycled polyester and Tencel. This move is part of Mango’s larger Take Action initiative, a plan to encourage a new business model based on sustainability and more environmentally friendly processes.


Watch your step

Ethical shoes are about to put their best foot forward, which makes sense when you think that we produce about 20 billion pairs of them worldwide but only 5 percent get recycled at the end of their lives, which means about 19 billion end up in the landfill.

Micam 2017, the leading international footwear fair, was all about shoes made with non animal materials, vegan sandals and trainers. With Italian brands like SQUARe027, who have proposed a 100% vegan shoe made from vegetable synthetics and a special rubber and cork, this is a new type of Made In Italy, made from Italian nature.


Stella McCartney says Fashion is “Getting Away With Murder” and last year her shoes were launched to coincide with World Oceans Day. In her collaboration with Adidas, she revealed a new version of the Ultra Boost trainer that has features made from plastic recovered from the sea.

McCartney who is known for her ethical approach to fashion design, described sustainability as being “fundamental” to what she does. “I strongly believe in making clothing that is ethically created and built to last, and this is an ideology I channel into every single piece I design,” she said. “For me, preserving and respecting the planet is fundamental to what I do and I always try to make an effort to consider that in my designs.”

Alice: A Modular, Zero-Waste Shoe Grown From Fungus

Belgian designer Kristel Peters began exploring new, low-impact ways of making shoes based using fungus.

Talking to eco friendly website Ecouterre, Peters, a 15-year industry veteran who has worked with the likes of Dries Van Noten and Bottega Veneta said “Most fashion houses tend to focus on formal developments, rather than on process and material innovation, giving sustainable solutions the cold shoulder.”

So, she has created a modular shoe based on sustainable design elements like recyclability and repairability, the use of waste materials like sawdust, and local production. She calls it “Alice.” Peters is also a fan of technologies such as three-dimensional printing, which can eliminate the use of non-recyclable materials such as glues while ensuring a bespoke fit.

The 21st century material balances beauty, utility and sustainability. Expect to see Sughero, a vegetable material, which is easy to clean, waterproof and works well for every season.

Traditional Fusion and eco utility

There will be a focus on hand made and crafts, and anything goes mix and match, as well as traditional materials with modern techniques. A mix of culture and traditions without divisions.

Just like Japanese art of Kintsugi, which takes broken property and creates new designs with the old, thus trends will be following suit for AW 2018-19. Merging traditional, ethnic patterns in a contemporary thread seamlessly tying together cultures and their textiles.

Published @ 5Fashion Forecast May 2017

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Colour trends for Pre-Fall 2017


Here’s a look at the best colour trends for Pre-Fall, the smaller capsule collection in between September and February fashion weeks.

Let’s begin with Red

It’s not just about red. It’s red top to toe.

Chanel, Givenchy, Giambattista Valli


Chanel start as they mean to go on by doing a red jacket, bag and knee high red boots. Three different reds, one look.

Givenchy are seeing red, matching red sunglasses with a red suit. This would not be too much with red lips, is the basic message.

Reds are textured and ruffled by Rachel Zoe, tassled by Stella McCartney and rouched by Monse.

Rachel Zoe, Monse, Stella McCartney


Want to go deeper? Merlot reds and plums are an in between seasons nod towards winter. Versace’s military trench with matching leather bag and boots does the trick, as does this exquisite wine coloured leather dress by Carolina Herrera.

Carolina Herrera, Just Cavalli, Versace


As you can see here, the Philosophy line by Lorenzo Serafini mixes red ribboned shoes with darker red wine pieces and black tights for the vamper autumn evening wear must buys.

Philosophy by Lorenzo Serafini, Ulla Johnson, Dion Lee


Fur, whether it be collars, cuffs or accessories, is also making itself known in almost every colour of the rainbow.


So a good idea for a Pre-Fall outfit, as it looks good against an almost faded tan and warms us up for autumn colours and wilted leaves.

Missoni, Rochas, Issey Miyake


Missoni’s burnt orange jodpers with a black drawstring is a brilliant way to do toned down elegant orange. And, Issey Miyake’s woolen orangey red coat brightens up a tired autumn outfit, ditto Rochas’s beautiful military orange blazer.

Markus Lupfer, Fendi, Preen Line, Creatures of the Wind


Markus Lupfer’s almost luminous bright orange chunky knit jumper screams ‘Aperol Spritz in Sorrento’… in October.

Candy pink 

Romantic lady like dresses are worn with furs, seen by Rochas. Their sophisticated floral fabrics look like dressed down Versailles, worn with grey school girl socks and retro red shoes.

Rochas, Gucci, Ulla Johnson


Sheer and chic soft pink is looking so fine, by Red Valentino and over sized floaty pastels by Isola Marras and Alexis Mabille are luxurious.

Red Valentino, I’M Isola Marras, Givenchy


Gucci, Cavalli and Givenchy all team candy pink and bold red together. Cavalli’s pink blazer worn over a sheer black evening dress matched with red boots is the way to do it.

Pucci takes it one step further, working the red shoes and pink dress combo, but adding bright yellow tights to the mix. Making this a Capri sorbet of sorts.

Just Cavalli, Emilio Pucci, Gucci



Pucci’s geometric dress and tawny pink tights will definitely be turning heads and Gucci, not one to shy away from mix and match, is all about a tricolor of pink orange and purple.

Thornton Bregazzi’s long fushcia pink flamboyant dress is made all the more foxy with grungy slashes at the bottom of the dress and black fishnet socks.

Emilio  Pucci, Gucci, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi




White makes it all alright. Add a romantic cotton ruffle dress to your autumn repertoire, pair it with a black boot, and you are all set.

Co, Marissa Webb, Just Cavalli




Go mellow in yellow. It’s looking good from where we are standing, set against greys and blacks by Fendi.

Fendi, Bottega Veneta, Ulla Johnson



Nudes are happening, as always. Silk nude jumpsuits, lace dresses and over sized nudes are are a hot look for 2017.

Marissa Webb, Stella McCartney, Fendi



Electric blue

Electric blue is in it’s element at the moment. Is there anything better than an understated blue dress with a black belt and bag. Thomas Maier does it to a T with this ensemble.

Tomas Maier, Tome, Emilio Pucci



Olive Green

Have you got the bottle to be bold with green? Pantone have named Greenery Green their colour of the year for 2017. They describe it as a “tangy yellow-green that speaks to our need to explore, experiment and reinvent.”

Amanda Wakeley, Issey Miyake, TSE


Amanda Wakeley dresses it down with casual black trousers, an oversized shirt and baggy green woolen jumper. And, we especially love Issey Miyake’s double green outfit of mix and match olive green with tangy green.

Can’t decide which is your favourite of these ten colours? Doesn’t matter. It’s all about mixing and matching them with an eccentric twist, a bold thread tying the theme together.

Words by Nicola Ferlei-Brown

Published @ 5Fashion Forecast January 2017

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