Rome. Everyone is talking about Rome. Rome is fashionable. But wasn’t it Lisbon? Yes it was! But if you really want to be a chic nomad you must buy a ticket to the city of La Dolce Vita. It may sound absurd to ask why, when tourists—millions—already come to Rome to immerse themselves in 2,000 years of civilization. Aren’t the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo’s frescoes or the Colosseum enough? Yes and no.
For years the Eternal City lived submerged in a deep sleep, in which the Romans, oblivious to the tourist invasion, seemed to have nothing new to show.
But something is happening. Several large Italian fashion houses have begun to take a stake in the city, investing millions in the preservation of the most emblematic buildings. While Diego Della Valle, the founder of Tod’s, has funded the restoration of the Coliseum, Fendi has decided to take care of the cleaning of the Fontana di Trevi and support a prestigious research institute dedicated to Caravaggio. Bulgari recently contributed very generously to save the Piazza di Spagna, which had begun to disintegrate. And even the Spanish group Inditex had the remodelling done of the facade of the Palazzo di Spagna, the seat of the Spanish embassy to the Vatican.
And if the great fashion houses have added a new gleam to the city, there is also a palpable buzz from a young group of designers, gallerists and hoteliers who have fallen in love or have returned partly for Rome’s serenity, but also for a disinhibited sense of old world glamour and love of tradition past and present. One example is Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele, a native of Rome, who recently moved into the Palazzo Alberini-Cicciaporci, a jewel of Renaissance architecture.
vivirdemais discovers Chez Dédé, an atelier–gallery–shop with unmistakable French chic located within the historic Palazzo Capponi Antonelli on the Via di Monserrato, surrounded by magnificent Renaissance façades and very close to the Palazzo Farnese. Here come elegant travellers in search of new treasures, from the world over, in their commitment to craftsmanship and to those who do magic with their work.
Founders Daria Reina and Andrea Ferolla create collections of household linen, handbags and other limited edition accessories, handmade in Italy from natural materials. The famous Chez Dédé Grand Sac, a canvas tote bag with leather handles inspired by fabled vacation spots St. Tropez, Porquerolles, Biarritz, Taormina is an essential accessory Italian fashionistas ferry from the beaches of Punta del Este [in Uruguay] to the Met Breuer Museum in New York. “Sublime for the beach”, “Light for the plane”, “Perfect for the city” are messages that immediately provide thousands of followers a lead on Instagram. Chez Dédé is also a curio cabinet of unique brands and select deluxe pieces such as those by Linda Rodin, the glamorous illustrations by Ferolla, vintage dresses by La DoubleJ, coats by the tiny Neapolitan marque Giuliva Heritage Collection, ultra-desirable Capri espadrilles by Zabattigli, Assouline art books, Trudon candles or Astier de Villatte pottery.
When the time comes to withdraw, go straight to the De’ Ricci Hotel, take a seat in one of the velvet armchairs in the Charade Bar and contemplate La Grande Bellezza. You will realize Rome has always been in fashion.
1. Model at the fashion show of Fendi Rome 90 Years Anniversary at the Fontana di Trevi. (Photo by Venturelli / WIREIMAGE)
2. Inside the store Chez Dede, Rome. Image taken from the store’s website.