The Velvet Lady is costume designer Dada Saligeri who was my elementary schoolmate, we lost touch but after (quite a few…) decades we met again and spent a few days together, as it happens in life: we lose friendships, we make new ones, we cross paths, we reconnect again…
In my last trip to Milan I went to visit her to admire her latest collection of velvet, stunning textiles woven with metallic threads, which give an extra layer of texture and shine.
Turandot by Giacomo Puccini at The Met
Aida by Giuseppe Verdi at The Met
She was involved for years in designing costumes for major productions, including operas, many represented at The Metropolitan in New York, Rigoletto, Aida, Turandot, La Traviata, just to name a few.
She was at times working for these productions with her husband, Gianni Quaranta, director, production designer and set designer for theatre and cinema who, amongst many prizes, won an Oscar for the charming movie “A room with a view”.
To say that her apartment was a joy to visit is an understatement, starting with the beautiful Liberty street facade.
Then entering through the main carved wooden door I found myself in the elegant courtyard.
Many Milanese buildings from past centuries have gorgeous courtyards and even luxurious gardens, hidden from the view of people passing by on the street…
Another elaborate entrance inside the courtyard leads to the marble stairs, with gracious wrought iron and decorated glass windows.
Now entering the apartment I am greeted by this mirror frame, where Dada has decided to put ribbons of silk, how beautiful and creative.
An antique cane bench against a faux marble wall is adorned by a heart pillow in her velvet creation. This home has a heart!
I could not refrain myself from taking pictures also of interior decoration, objects, antiques, collections…I was fascinated about the stories behind every piece, like the magnificent 1930’s crystal vase above with metal decorations, belonging to her mother.
The walls were full of oil paintings, sketches, drawings, like the clown drew by Franco Zeffirelli, with the dedication “To dearest Dada, a true friend”.
Being in love with Sicily I noticed the two small ceramic heads, a classic and popular subject, related to a centuries old story of a tragic love.
Now a few examples of exquisite and original velvet, different colors, textures but all extremely elegant and timeless.
How not to mention that also the elevator has red velvet seats and transports you not just from floor to floor but also to a past era of theatrical luxury.If interested in any pieces of those fabulous textiles please contact me and I will put you in touch directly with the designer.
©2016 Brillante Interiors writes about new trends, timeless decor, iconic pieces, design ideas, or at times just musing about "a certain Italian way of doing things".
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