By Aarushi Saxena
MILAN – Summer is upon us and wardrobes need updating. So, here’s a curated list of Baco-recommended summer brands with an artisanal touch:
PALOROSA PROJECT | The Carry-All Basket Tote
Woven tote bags often have a very craftsy and rustic attitude about them. But Cecilia Pirani, founder of the Palorosa Project re-imagines and contemporises these utilitarian classics into modern and sophisticated essentials. The project was started in 2014 as an initiative to preserve traditional craft and basket-weaving techniques of Guatemalan artisans. Each Palorosa bag is handwoven by the local craftspeople using recycled plastic threads, in eye-soothing colour combinations. Think earthy tones to bold brights, soft accents to pop additions. It is a sustainable fashion statement.
Today, the Palorosa Project has emerged as a lifestyle brand all over the world, with a series of tote bags, baskets and home products sold in multi-brand boutiques.
PRICE RANGE: 80 – 140 euros
WHERE TO BUY: These pieces can now be found in a seasonal studio (April-September 2018) in Milan or on their website here.
OPALINE | Leisure wear, Night wear and Beach wear
Talking to the modern ‘gypsy-smart’ generation, Opaline is a brand that says – be responsibly chic. With more than a passing nod at the ‘glocal’ trend, founder Ingrun Von Keudell brings the handiwork and culture of south Indian artisans to the European market. With flowing dresses and kimonos, embroidered shirts and winter coats, the brand’s aesthetic is a heady combination of classic and eccentric, boho and sartorial.
Ingrun’s designs borrow from the archives of drawings made by generations of locals from the village of Tiruvannamali. Motifs of flowers, leaves, corals, owls and even sharks are transmitted through the ancient block printing technique and brought to life through the hands of artisans like Shreya, Radha and Shruti, who also inspire the names of collections. Shuttling back and forth between Italy and India, is nothing new for Ingrun, who spent most of her childhood there, breathing in the tradition and falling in love with the colours! After obtaining a degree from Parsons School Of Design and working with big names in the fashion industry, she started her own project with a capsule collection of pajamas that unfolded into Opaline in 2015. Today, ‘Responsibly chic’ is more than just a saying for Opaline, as it devolves 5% of its proceeds to the Om Shanti NGO, that helps improve the quality of life of Indian widows through craftsmanship.
PRICE RANGE: 100-350 euros
WHERE TO BUY: The newest concept store is at the Tortona Design District, Milan or visit their website here.
MARCH11 | Revisit ‘The Unofficial Top of Summer’
Founded in 2015 by two Ukrainians, stylist Robert Mishchenko and Svitlana Golovchcenko, March11 is rooted in their traditional costumery, namely the Vyshyvanka blouse. Balancing the old world charm of heritage and craftsmanship with modern embroidery techniques, the signature Vyshyvanka blouses take upto 2000 metres of thread and 14 days to make. It was traditionally used as a talisman of sorts, with embroidery used in the ‘vulnerable’ spots such as along the neckline or cuffs, from where evil spirits could enter.
Various embroidery designs can be adapted to six styles and made in a plethora of colour combinations. An added hand-made touch is transmitted through the fine finishing and tasselled embellishment, making each piece different. Only the playful bohemian-luxe vibe remains constant! March11 has now expanded beyond its traditional origins and is producing embroidered dresses, blouses, playsuits and tunics on a pre-order basis for women all over the world. In sync with the growing trend, the brand discards the seasonal fashion calendar and releases new collections every quarter.
PRICE RANGE: 350-1200 euros
WHERE TO BUY: Visit their website here.
LANAPO | Sandals from Cinque Terre
Lanapo is an artisanal brand making sandals and wedges inspired by the landscape and culture of the Cinque Terre villages of Italy. They are handmade in Italy with high quality leather that is processed in Italy – and that’s what makes them a gem. The collection started with 5 models named after each of the Cinque Terre villages and expanded to today includes pieces named after shopping promenades and fashion districts of Milan like Brera and Montenapoleone.
Named after founder Federica Napoletano’s nickname La Napo, the brand focuses on creating and spreading beauty, through the vivid colours of Cinque Terre that can be seen on the sandals as well and at the store in Monterosso Al Mare.
PRICE RANGE: 135 – 185 euros
WHERE TO BUY: Stores in Milan and Cinque Terre or at their website here.
DA COSTANZO DI CAPRI | Made in Capri, with love
Costanzo Ruocco is a master shoemaker from Capri who to this day handcrafts the original ‘Caprese’ sandals alongside son Antonio who has inherited the family business. He works in his bottega at Piazza 00 using old weathered tools, Italian leather, Swarovski crystals, pearls and precious stones to create works of art. He has sold hundreds and thousands of shoes to a a wide international clientele that includes celebrities like Sofia Loren and Jacqueline Onassis.
Refined, elegant and unquestionably essential styles are renewed in every season’s collection and created on made-to-order basis.
PRICE RANGE: 120 – 200 euros
WHERE TO BUY: Visit his atelier in Capri or buy here.