Having always been there for me during several, symbolic moments in my life, I consider Venice the city of fascination.
It was a rainy November day. I remember wandering around Venice’s narrow calli with my then boyfriend. Both of us well-dressed, I could see myself from the outside. I could see magic. And that was when I started believing that Venice was the city where magical things happened to me.
I longed for my first son, who shared my father’s name Marco, to be christened at the San Marco Cathedral. Though I thought it would never happen, it did. Magically.
My one and only home is in Venice. Never would I have thought I’d set my roots in the world’s floating city. Though I’m barely even there, I know that house still is, like a magical reality.
Venice is also the city of my spur-of-the-moment getaways, whenever I feel like reconnecting to life. I once told a hotel’s concierge I was a writer who needed a place to stay for at least a week to focus on my new novel – just to add an air of mystery. Truthfully, all I wanted was to get back in touch with myself and dilate my time. For in Venice, time takes up the shape you wish to give it. And this is also magical.
Then there was that time with Gloria. During one of our Moda Liberata runway shows (which literally means Liberated Fashion), we stopped over at Hotel Metropole, and as soon as we walked in, something magical happened. Suddenly it all clicked. Everything was perfect, everything was where it was supposed to be. Gloria and I liked each other from the very first instant. We’re quite alike: same red hair, same body attitude, same Oriental-meets-Western style, a common taste for a certain type of hotels and aesthetics.
Then I fell in love with the Metropole’s every detail. And how can I forget the time I met Marza Marzotto, who’d made Metropole her second home? I came to know here in her suite, the famous “room of angels”. She was lying on her canopy bed, nibbling grapes from a tray overflowing with fruit. The most laid-back, confident woman I’d ever met. And an encounter I’ll never fail to remember.
Over time, our relationship got deeper and deeper, to the point that she offered to redesign the restaurant, but more importantly, the space that is today known as the famous Rose Room of Raptus&Rose. A rather challenging – and therefore wonderful – project, the kind of challenge I enjoy. And she gave me carte blanche. And so were born the 20-colour velvet chairs, the sofas covered in the most precious Indian brocade – exclusively pink – the walls an artist re-painted with reproductions of old, chipped tapestry. And the breath-taking, restored Murano glass chandelier. The Rose Room became a living, beating heart half-way between India and Morocco.
Venice is one of those places you know deeply even without knowing them. I experience Venice through its details. If one day I just want to walk around and eat the best meatballs, that’s all I do. Meatball day. Perhaps a water day: I’ll get on a boat and sail through the canals. Which doesn’t mean not knowing or loving the Guggenheim or the Fortuny Foundation. It’s just that Venice is a city filled with precious and magical details, and not just a city for tourists.
After finishing her studies at the Liceo Artistico e Istituto Marangoni of Milan, she met Romeo Gigli at his peak and became his right-hand woman for about 10 years.
After she started drawing theatre costumes, in 1991 she opened a stylistic consultancy business, and worked for 13 years as a Creative Director for Maliparni since 1999.
In 2013, she founded Raptus & Rose – not just a small fashion house with Limited Editions, tailor-made clothing and unique, mostly hand-sewn pieces of the highest sartorial craftsmanship – but a real project named Moda Liberata.
Moda Liberata means researching fabrics across the world, dressing all the women – whatever the size or age – as well as celebrating diversity as an absolute value. Events and runway shows aren’t made in the Fashion System’s conventional spaces, but rather on streets, public squares, theatres and wherever beauty can be found. Normal, uniquely different women are the models. Runway shows in cooperation with San Bassiano Oncological Association are a manifest of this powerful concept.