I vividly recall my first trip to Venice. The pink lamps of the Canale di San Marco, against foggy green waters and mirrored gilded buildings, are a colourists delight, and water water everywhere. As well as crispy fritto misto. Delicious. It was the start of rainy season, and I was wearing a completely unsuitable, long bias-cut floral chiffon dress, that was immediately drenched through, and stuck to my skin.
I wandered around passionate art patron Peggy Guggenheim’s house, (now a museum,) wishing I could commission art from great contemporaries (Peggy’s headboard was commissioned from Alexander Calder,) and throw elaborate dinner parties with conversation and company as sparkling as champagne, casually surrounded by exquisite vast canvasses and modern bronzes.
She also had extraordinary taste in the naming of her dogs (she had 14 Lhasa Apsos in her life – all of which are buried on the grounds of the now museum,) ranging from Madame Butterfly, to Hong Kong to Cappucino.
And of course I fell in love with Murano – the molten shapes of jewel coloured glass that reflected in every raindrop – I still adore swirling ciocca chandelier’s, blossoming with milky glass flowers, tipped in twinkling electric turquoise and religious blood red, and those fun 1970s smoked glass and chrome pieces that wouldn’t look out of place in James Bond’s pad. All I could afford at the time, was a tiny millefiori paperweight – the sort with the millions of tiny little blossoms inside, and the kindest hint of a grandmother. I still have and cherish it, it feels so lovely and smooth to the touch, and the little world of tiny flowers within, reminds me of sodden silk, and my early ideas of the exotic.
Now, I am fortunate enough to find beautiful objects for my lovely clients – brands and private individuals alike. Be it searching for sumptuous, one off pieces, or inspiring and overseeing collections, I still don’t like buying into a trend or a look – it’s more compelling to guide style and taste, than be a slave to temporality. That can mean sourcing objects old and new, as well as working with any existing ideas, with studios and artisans, and putting them together in interesting ways. And I still love a good deep fried calamari, and a James Bond lair.
ps. If anyone out there would like to help fulfill my art foundation dreams, please do let me know. A dinner invitation most certainly awaits.