Archives for Italy

National Gallery Shows Masterpieces by Michelangelo and Sebastiano

AN UNUSUAL relationship between the Renaissance master, Michelangelo and lesser known Venetian artist, Sebastiano del Piombo is the focus of a new exhibition at The National Gallery in London. The show, which opens this spring, endeavours to gain greater recognition for Sebastiano whose talents have been largely overshadowed by his association with Michelangelo but whose work was highly regarded by 19th century collectors.

Their creative partnership, which is evidenced through paintings, sculptures and working drawings, took place during a time of great political upheaval, heated theological debate and in powerful opposition to their artistic rival, Raphael. Central to the show are Michelangelo and Sebastiano’s remarkable collection of original letters, which disclose the intriguing details of their professional and personal life and whose writing styles reveal much about the artists’ respective personalities.

The National Gallery, Michelangelo, Sebastiano, painting, sculpture, drawing, lettersThe Visitation by Sebastiano del Piombo, 1518-19, Musée du Louvre, Département des Peintures, Paris, Courtesy of RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Hervé Lewandowski

Michelangelo’s controversial sculpture, The Risen Christ, condemned by the biographer Romain Rolland to be “the coldest and dullest thing he ever did”, although much-admired by the artist’s contemporaries, is displayed for the first time in contrast with a plaster cast from his second version. The exhibition also presents a rare opportunity to view Sebastiano’s work, the Lamentation over the Dead Christ, also known as Viterbo Pietà which marks the beginning of the artists’ collaboration.

The National Gallery, Michelangelo, Sebastiano, painting, sculpture, drawing, lettersChrist carrying the Cross by Sebastiano del Piombo, c.1513-14.
Courtesy of Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid

Sebastiano, who was ten years younger than Michelangelo, was born in Venice 1485. The artists first met in Rome while Michelangelo was just completing  work on the Sistine Chapel ceiling.  Sebastiano, a talented oil painter was an ideal partner for Michelangelo who was eager to undermine the success of his rival, Raphael.

After their initial success with Viterbo Pietà, the artists collaborated on two other major projects, the decoration of the Borgherini Chapel in S. Pietro and the Raising of Lazarus which was created in fierce opposition to Raphael’s Transformation for the Cathedral of Norbonne in France. However, their friendship ended acrimoniously when Sebastiano tried to force Michelangelo to paint the Last Judgement for the Sistine Chapel in oils rather than his preferred medium of fresco.

The National Gallery, Michelangelo, Sebastiano, painting, sculpture, drawing, lettersLamentation over the Dead Christ by Sebastiano del Piombo, c.1512-16,
Museo Civico, Viterbo. Courtesy of Comune di Viterbo

by Miranda Charalambous

The Credit Suisse exhibition, Michelangelo & Sebastiano opens from 15 March to 25 June 2017 at The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN.


Telephone: +44 (0)20 7747 2885

Front page image: The Visitation by Sebastiano del Piombo, 1518-19, Musée du Louvre, Département des Peintures, Paris, Courtesy of RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Hervé Lewandowski

DROMe Presents SS17 Campaign and Pre-Collection Lookbook

ITALIAN fashion brand Drome has released its latest advertising campaign and pre-collection lookbook, which features its designer Marianna Rosati’s thoroughly original designs as represented by American-born photographer Brianna Copozzi.

Drome SS17 © Drome

The campaign was shot around Union Square, New York City, and begins to feature across international media later this month.

Drome SS17 © Drome

The focus of Tuscan-born Rosati’s SS17 line is the experimental manipulation of leather – shaped, distorted, coloured and styled in new and highly innovative ways as a means to showcase its beauty, functionality and sheer versatility. Rosati nods to both biker gear and sportswear – which have always employed leather extensively in their designs – but explores its potential beyond traditional uses, envisioning new forms and creating new purposes for the material, manifest in pastel-hued frilled blouses, metallic frayed skirts and bell-sleeve dresses to name but a few.

Drome SS17 © Drome

Her collection is interpreted by Capozzi, whose dynamic work has appeared in publications such as Pop Magazine, Dazed & Confused, Purple Fashion Magazine and i-D, throughout which feminist themes and their place within contemporary pop culture prevail.

Drome SS17 © Drome

by Hannah Bergin

The collection is available at Drone online

Acqua di Parma Opens its First Boutique in the USA

ITALIAN fragrance and lifestyle brand Acqua di Parma, has celebrated its 100-year anniversary by opening its first  boutique in the US. The brand, known for its most refined Italian style, which was only available through select shop-in-shops, selected Miami as its first location in the USA, due to the city’s celebrated art, design and culture.

screen-shot-2017-01-14-at-18-02-33Acqua di Parma Boutique Miami

The store, situated in the new Brickell City Centre in the heart of Miami, invites customers to an ultimate Italian experience, based on tradition and heritage.

The 1,000 square feet boutique is designed to evoke a sense of an elegant Italian home while paying the utmost attention to detail. The Miami store has been outfitted with the brand’s signature design characterised by Calacatta marble and dark Wenge wood harmonising with the classic yellow Acqua di Parma-coloured walls. Visitors to the store can walk through the Acqua di Parma universe from the men’s fragrance area through to the lifestyle area.

screen-shot-2017-01-14-at-18-02-41Inside Acqua di Parma Miami


The boutique also features a luxurious barbershop where customers can enjoy the ritual of shaping reminiscent of a classic Italian barbershop. Shaving and skincare products from the Collezione Barber have been crease to accompany the work of a skilled, expert barber.


screen-shot-2017-01-14-at-18-02-18Inside the Acqua di Parma boutique Miami

To celebrate the brand’s 100th anniversary, Acqua di Parma has created a sophisticated selection of fragrances inspired by three operas – La Traviata, Turandot and Alda.

by Alice Fiancet

Acqua di Parma  701 S Miami Ave, Miami, FL 33130, United States

Husband and Wife Design-Duo Longshaw Ward Found Brand

LONGSHAW Ward is the eclectic, vibrant and thoroughly modern new womenswear and accessories label founded by husband-and-wife duo Kirsty Ward and David Longshaw. Central Saint Martins alumni who first met in Italy while working for Alberta Ferretti’s design studio, both Kirsty and David are celebrated designers in their own right who have, up until now, received international acclaim from their individual eponymous labels – pieces of which have featured in  Vogue, Elle, Grazia and Nylon to name but a few.

lw-6Longshaw Ward SS17 © Longshaw Ward

Prospects for the pair’s collaborative enterprise – which benefits from their combined expertise and design experience, and which reflects their idiosyncrasies, individual characters and sartorial specialties – certainly look promising therefore.

The brand’s aesthetic is contemporary, the basis for which is the juxtaposition between a masculine silhouette and the more feminine draping of fabric, throughout which David’s distinctly illustrative style, with hand-drawn-like lines and shapes features heavily – the fluidity and spontaneity of which contrasts with the structured, somewhat industrial statement jewellery that has always been at the forefront of Kirsty’s brand.

Longshaw Ward SS17 © Longshaw Ward

For their debut SS17 collection, the couple returned to Central Saint Martins where they rifled through library materials in search of inspiration for the season. Vogue archives from the 30s and 40s – in which peplum and nipped-in waists featured heavily – in addition to the artworks of Salvador Dali and Thomas Vach, as well as Vicent Darre’s Alice-in-Wonderland-like interiors determined the starting point for their design process.

The distortion of shapes, lines and the creation of unusual silhouettes thus became the defining element of the collection. The asymmetric profile, created from the layering of voluminous fabrics, is exaggerated by the overlaying of materials – crepe, neoprene and denim – cut into irregular shapes, which protrude from the garments and create futuristic forms.

The result is almost surrealist, enhanced by the clashing of colours and contrasting of textures. Beads and sequins feature alongside denim items overlayed with netting and gold stitch detailing. Print adorned with flora and fauna contrast with block reds and oranges as well as grey, blacks and whites. The mood is youthful, playful and animated.

Jewellery is likewise striking –aluminum wire and gold paracord buckles contrast with silk ties and floral detail crafted from Swarovski crystals, which add a touch of delicacy and slight daintiness to the pieces, without reducing their impact.


Longshaw Ward SS17 © Longshaw Ward

Every item from Longshaw and Ward’s collection is hand-crafted in the couple’s London studio, allowing the designers to exhibit their craftsmanship, fully explore their art and further develop their vision for the brand.

The Purpose of It recently interviewed David, and received an exclusive insight into the pair’s musings and creative process.

What defines the Longshaw Ward brand? What makes the label’s aesthetic unique in today’s global fashion market?
The global market is over crowded with generic over produced product that has been churned out by big labels in a desperate attempt to stop ailing sales, made in cheap factories pretending to be high end. Longshaw Ward is made and designed in England with fun and passion. We pattern cut and sample everything in our London studio keep the process creative. The prints are all hand illustrated by us and digitally printed in England.

Do you have any particular muses? Do you design with a particular woman in mind?
We don’t design with one person in mind – she’s not an age, a face, a body, she’s more of an idea. She likes to have fun with fashion, doesn’t take herself too seriously, she’s interested in what’s going on in the world and appreciates fine design and luxury details. She wants to wear something unique and appreciates that all our pieces are designed and made in the UK.


Longshaw Ward SS17 © Longshaw Ward

Do you have any brands or designers that you particularly admire or that have inspired your own work in any way?
There are lots of brands and designers we admire. We try not to be too influenced by any particular brand – we want to forge our own path and create our own unique style – but we do love the work of Miuccia Prada, Nicolas Ghesquiere and are excited to see what Raf does at Calvin Klein.

Your studio is based in London – does working in the British capital have an impact upon your work? Do you derive inspiration from London life, culture and style?
Though we weren’t born in London it feels like home – particularly creatively. We both studied fashion design in London, Kirsty went to Central Saint Martins for her MA whereas I got my BA there, going on to the  Royal College of Art for my MA. We met designing for Alberta Ferretti in Italy –  then returned to England to start our own labels – now based in London. From the people, to the galleries and theatre, to the amazing architecture London is constantly inspiring.

Longshaw Ward SS17 © Longshaw Ward

This is you and Kirsty’s first collaborative collection – in what ways has the transition from a solo to a joint enterprise been a challenge for you? And in what ways has it been rewarding?
At first Kirsty was a little bossy but she’s chilled out now and it is brilliant to work together. So much more fun than when we worked separately and quicker – the collection was ready and photographer a month and a half early. And we feel that Longshaw Ward is stronger creatively and commercially and with more potential than either of our past labels.

This may be a little personal but, how do you and Kirsty make the professional partnership work? How do you discuss ideas, deliberate and come to make decisions for the brand as a pair?
We work on everything together   from designing the concept, to selecting the fabrics, to the designing the jewellery and designing the prints.


Longshaw Ward SS17 © Longshaw Ward

Are you able to give us an insight into what the future holds for the brand? Where do you hope to be in five years or so?
The future is exciting – the industry is changing rapidly, but we want to continue to grow and continue to have fun with what we are doing. There are a lot of very stressed, and confused people in the fashion industry, scared of the future, fashion is supposed to be enjoyable and creative, other wise it’s just about creating generic uniforms for the masses and becomes a pointless task.

by Hannah Bergin

For more information, contact or

Twitter: @longshawward

Luxury Knitwear Brand Delam Introduces First Collection

RECENT addition to the world of luxury knitwear, Delam stands out of the crowd due to its uniqueness. Founded by Lili Di Michele, the brand focuses on two qualities striving to make them its signature – high quality and timeless design.

Delam Yasi maxi sweaterA Delam Yasi long-sleeved shawl

The brand is ultimately a product of two countries – Italy and ancient Persia – as it combines the finest quality materials sourced from the former with the traditional manufacturing methods of the latter to arrive at its final striking results.

Delam Parvin sweaterA Delam Parvin sweater

Owner and designer of the brand, Di Michele has drawn her inspiration from the conventional Persian textiles – especially tribal rugs called Gabbeh. Their rich texture and vibrant colours have inspired her to explore the ancient hand – dying art of the Persian nomadic women. Her travels to the modern-day Iran have deepened her passion for the unique woven techniques and organic, local production and the idea of Delam, meaning “my heart” in old Persian, was born.

Delam Mitra sweaterDelam Mitra sweater

The brand uses the finest Italian cashmere yarns, which in its basic untreated form travel to Southern Iran to be then hand-dyed by specialist craftsmen. The dyes used to treat yarns are derived form local plants and roots, such as pomegranate skin and walnut husks, and made according to ancient recipes that have been developed and improved over the centuries. This organic process ensures that the resulting colours are entirely natural as well intricately inconsistent lending the materials their signature individuality. In the words of the designers, “Each piece is as unique as the person wearing it.”

Delam Tala sweaterDelam Tala sweater

The pieces take their final shape back in Italy where they are knitted into their elegant and timeless designs. Due to their highest quality and classic patterns Delam knitwear fits perfectly with the recent worldwide trend taking the dressing habits of sophisticated men and women by storm – wardrobing – pieces that withstand constant wear and last for generations.

Delam Roya SweaterDelam Roya sweater

Delam knitwear is available online via their website website as well as in flagship store in west London.

by Magda Pirowska

Luxury for a Cause: Maserati and the Cash & Rocket Tour

Maserati SS3The Maserati Ghibli at Dorchester Hotel

THIS week five red Maserati saloon cars will participate in the Cash & Rocket Tour, traveling from the Dorchester Hotel in London to destinations across the UK, France and Italy, all to raise support for three African-focused non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Taking turns at the wheels of these iconic luxury Maseratis will be an alternating crew of over 70 successful women, all leading figures in the worlds of film, television, fashion, business, the arts and music.

Maserati SS2Cash & Rocket tour 2015

Now in its fourth year, the Cash & Rocket Tour convoy was created to raise money, support and awareness for three specific NGOs – Shine on Sierra Leone, OrphanAfrica and Sumbandila, which respectively are involved in the promotion of community projects designed to improve the prospects of thousands of young people living in Central and South Africa.

The event kicked off on 14 May with a gala dinner and charity auction at the Dorchester Hotel. This kickoff evening raised over £550,000 and included such high-end items as a couture Valentino gown, return flights to Cannes in a private jet and a Chopard watch. Celebrities and VIPs attending the event included: models Selita Ebanks, Arizona Muse, Jade Parfitt and Ashley Graham, Topshop tycoon Sir Philip Green, with daughter Chloe and wife Lady Tina, socialite Yasmin Mills and singer Natalie Imbruglia.

Maserati SS4Selita Ebanks and Miriam Aldainy with Maserati Ghibli

The Cash & Rocket Tour itself brings together over 70 successful women from a variety of industries who will alternate driving the five Maseratis across the UK, France and Italy. The Maseratis will join a fleet of 35 vehicles, all bright red, which is the official Tour colour.

Maserati SS5Maserati Ghibli at Dorchester Hotel

The first leg of the tour began at Audley Square, Mayfair with the Maserati Quattroporte and Ghibli models, which will be driven by the first shift of the all-female crews. Taking the wheel of the Maserati Ghibli will be Selita Ebanks, a former Victoria’s Secret angel, and the stunning Spanish model Nieves Álvarez; while, the Maserati Quattroporte will be driven by editors and influencers from Eastern European media platform Buro 24/7.

Maserati SS1Maserati display at the London Eye

Next, the red cars will head to Paris towards the headquarters of Valentino on Place Vendôme, where an evening charity programme will be held. After passing through Lyon and Milan, the convoy will conclude on Tuesday 19 May in Cannes, ending in truly grand style with a cocktail dinner hosted by Chopard, the Swiss-based luxury watch brand.

by Jessica Quillin

A Noble Rose: Acqua di Parma Launch Rosa Nobile

  • Acqua di Parma have just added a new perfume to their line – Rosa Nobile

FOR NEARLY a century, luxury perfumier Acqua di Parma has been known for its recognisable scent and signature bottles, particularly its classic men’s colonia or eau de cologne. The brand continues its foray into iconic fragrances with a new addition to its Nobili line of perfumes for women, the Rosa Nobile.

Founded in 1916, Acqua di Parma has undergone significant changes throughout its history. Master perfumers designed the brand’s first fragrance in a small laboratory in the city centre of Parma, Italy. This new cologne, which utilized natural ingredients from the surrounding countryside, had a softer, more subtle scent in contrast to the popular German perfumes of the time. By the 1930s, Acqua di Parma, with its identifiable Art Deco bottle, became popular with Hollywood celebrities and the average Italian to boot, making it one of the most iconic colognes of the 20th century.

In 2001, Acqua di Parma became part of the LVMH conglomerate, which enabled the brand to expand greatly, introducing new products and new experiences. For instance, the brand introduced a new collection for women, Le Nobili, which included several different varieties of scent. Later, in 2008, Acqua di Parma expanded into the arena of luxury spas, elevating the company to the status of lifestyle brand.


The newest addition to the Nobili line is the Rosa Nobile, which takes its inspiration from the roses of sonnets and Italian castle gardens. Not surprisingly, the rose is a traditional favourite among perfume makers for its delicate scent and timeless beauty. The Acqua di Parma Rosa Nobile comes from a variety of centifolia roses only found in a select group of plantations in Italy. According to Acqua di Parma, these centifolia roses have a unique harvesting process:

“The buds are hand-picked, still wet from dew, as the sun rises. Picking takes place during 40 days between May and June, when the scent reaches its peak. A painstaking process that sees the extraction of one kilo of absolute from 600 kilos of flowers.”


The composition of the Rosa Nobile fragrance includes rose absolute, enhanced by accents of violet, peony, and lily-of-the-valley, with accents of Virginia cedar, honey, grey amber, and musk accor.

True to the Acqua di Parma heritage, the bottle of the Rosa Nobile comes with a clear glass bottle and gilt cap with a label with refined pink script. In addition to the eau de parfum, this new addition to the Nobili line also includes a Velvety Body Cream, made from rice proteins, bees-wax, and vitamin E combined with rose extract and, of course, notes of the Rosa Nobile fragrance.

by Jessica Quillin