Monthly Archives: April 2012

This was the first time I’ve been in Milan for longer than 24 hours and only my second visit.  I had a great, yet exhausting, trip.

I do realize I saw the city at its most happening.   I will write a separate post about Milan. I cannot wait to return.

The Salone (April 17-22) is one of the most important and popular design exhibitions in the world.

Over 300,000 people attend and there are events all over the city.   Fiera Milano Rho was the main exhibit hall. It’s massive.  I was shocked at how organized everything was.  It’s not easy to put on an event of this scale.

Listed below are a few of my favorite things from the Salone 2012.

The bathroom and kitchen exhibitions at RHO:

The Miele and Bosch cooking demonstrations.

The Diesel/Scavolini kitchen collaboration.

SMEG refrigerators with denim covers.

In the Center:

MERCI pop-up store – located in a courtyard off Via Tortona, the Parisian concept store was packed.

Idarica Gazzoni – This Italian textile designer is one of my favorite artists.  I love her use of color.

Paola C. – The studio spotlights young international artists working in glass, ceramics, and metals. The Foxy pitcher won the Wallpaper Design Award in 2011.

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Boffi – I had no idea their bathroom line was so extensive.  I could’ve stayed in the showroom for hours.

Dimore Studio – This interior, furniture and lighting design firm had one of the most beautiful spaces of the Salone.  No photos were allowed.  I saw some people sneaking shots anyway, which I thought was kind of rude.

Dedar – The firm where I interned used Dedar’s fabrics frequently.  Having the opportunity to visit the showroom was a highlight of my trip.  Their Hermès collaboration is everything.

Alessi – The Piana chair designed by David Chipperfield.

I just got back yesterday and I’m still processing my trip.  Now comes the downside of traveling, unpacking.

In an earlier post, I wrote about finding a tailor to make a suit for my client Coach G.

On Friday he had his first fitting with Signor Marinuzzi.

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It’s a fascinating process.  I’ve never seen a suit made before.  Back in the day, I made dresses, skirts, and one truly tragic jacket.

I appreciate the level of craftsmanship, talent, and time it takes to make a bespoke suit.  I cannot wait to see it once it’s finished.

The Bravo show recently started playing in Italy on SKY Cable, channel 124 on Thursday nights.

I read about the show before it premiered in the States. Many wondered if a show with decorating budgets in the millions would appeal to the public during a recession.

I think they picked a great “cast.”  Some of the decorators’ comments had me on the floor.

“Decorating is totally delicious.”  I agree Mr. Bullard.

“Sometimes, I think my job is more important than the President of the United States.”  “That goes without saying.”  I can’t figure out if Jeffrey Alan Marks is just playing to the camera. (A friend who’s a set designer said he is.  She adores him and said he’s very talented).

“I have clients all over the world and I don’t get out of bed for less than a million dollars.”  Do your thing Ms. Ireland.

All reality shows have a villain, but this one (so far) doesn’t seem to have one.  The designers all know each other.   Some are closer than others, but it’s nice to see a lack of back stabbing in such a competitive field.

A few of the clients don’t come across as well.  Like the one woman who said upon meeting Kathryn that she had a MBA and a law degree so how hard could interior design be?  She quickly changed her mind after spending over $500,000 shopping in Europe only to realize she had no idea where to put anything.

Bullard client Joe Francis, the CEO of that wonderful contribution to society “Girls Gone Wild”, has a 13 million dollar estate in Mexico. The way he spoke to his household staff was out of control.  Perhaps he forgot the cameras were rolling?  Did he think was okay to use that tone because they’re Mexican?  I had some L.A. flashbacks listening to him treat people like dirt.  Like the Countess from RHONYC said, “Money can’t buy you class.”

What do you think of Million Dollar Decorators?

I recently started working with a new personal shopping client, Gerard, aka Coach G.  One of his main objectives was to have a suit made.

In the past I’ve worked only with women.  Now I have learned more about mens’ suits than I thought possible.  There are so many details and decisions.  Two buttons versus three buttons.  Side vents versus center vents.  The difference between how suits are cut in Europe versus America (Europe… slim, very slim).

One great thing about living in Italy is, it’s not difficult to find a sarto (tailor) who can make a suit by hand.  The issue is, which one?  Do you go with a local sarto or a store like Kiton, Brioni, or Rubinacci?

Fabric selection at Sartoria Marinuzzi


Bespoke suits are not cheap.  They are an investment.  Before paying between 1,900-15,000 + euros for a suit, do some homework.

First, is it really bespoke or MTM (made-to-measure).  There is a huge difference.  With a bespoke suit the tailor is on sight.  You have fittings with the person who is actually making your suit.  A pattern is cut based on your measurements.  The suit is made by hand not computerized machines.  An excellent sarto will make a suit that fits your body perfectly.

Signor Marinuzzi at work

MTM uses standard patterns. Once your measurements are taken, they are sent to the factory or a tailor offsite.  MTM is good option for people who want to spend less than bepoke but want something that will fit better than RTW (ready-to-wear).

If someone tells you that your suit is bespoke and the man who is making your suit is not there to see you in person, or the suit is not made by hand, then your suit is not bepoke and you shouldn’t be paying bepoke prices.

Second, get a referral and/or pull images of suits that you like worn by people who have a similar build to your own.

One of my friends is married to a man who dresses impeccably.  I asked her where he had his suits made and that is how I found Signor Marinuzzi.

Gerard getting measured for his bespoke suit

I went to see him.  He and wife do not speak a word of English.  I told them about my client and what he was looking for.  They showed me different fabrics and a suit in progress.  I left believing Gerard would be in very good hands.

Signor Marinuzzi makes suits for men and women.  That’s it.  Only suits.

Sartoria Marinuzzi

Via Alessandro Farnese, 12/A (zona Prati)







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