In a world that is all too often focussed on expedience and mass market appeal, it is refreshing to read a piece celebrating excellence in artistry, originality and design. This month’s Veranda does just that with it’s first annual Magic Makers awards, recognizing “people and firms whose masterful approaches to craft and deep devotion to beauty cast an indelible spell.”
photo: Emmet Bright and Alessandro de Criginis
I was pleased to see Milanese architects Laura Sartori Rimini and Roberto Peregalli of Studio Peregalli included. Both protégés of the brilliant Renzo Mongiardino, their work is peerless in its ability to recreate history for living today.
To them, “craft is king.” And it shows – as Rimini is quoted in the piece, “You can immediately feel the difference between something that’s industrial and something that’s handmade. We want our spaces to have a soul.” And they do.
As I wrote in my review of their book “The Invention of the Past” last year, “Whether building from scratch or executing sensitive renovations, they are reinventing the past to look as if it was always there, imbuing the architecture and decoration with a living sense of unity, but one that is not an imitation of the past but rather a reinvention. They describe it as “buttato li” – something that looks totally casual but was actually very carefully planned. Bowles calls them alchemists and the jacket blurb refers to them as “masters of illusion” – I like to think of them as artists of a new reality – one in which life is inseparable from its surroundings.” They are indeed Magic Makers.
photo by Jemal Countess/WireImage
Cartier is a long standing luxury brand that has “perfected the art of doing things well.” From the niece of Napoleon to Wallis Simpson to Rachel Weisz, who led the spectacular Red Bow unveiling to kick off the holiday season at the New York store above, Cartier’s appeal has stood the test of time with those in the know.
And while the focus is clearly on the production of spectacular pieces such as the convertible sapphire butterfly bracelet above, the firm has also managed to marry “serious craftsmanship with style-setting experimentation.” If you have any doubt, just take a look at the incredible l’Odyssé de Cartier video they created last year. Serious magic I would say!
And how appropriate that Veranda chose man of the moment, Miles Redd. With his fabulous first book about to hit the shelves (which we will look at later this week) and projects endlessly exuding his signature cozy glamour, he is a designer with serious wow power.
photo: Paul Costello
In his own, now famous, mirrored bathroom, taken from David Adler’s Armour Estate, Redd’s whimsical side shines through. Miles says “I’m not an academic … I’ve been exposed to everything and that educates you, but in the end it’s instinctual to me. I only care about how it looks.” He may say that, but he has an arsenal of intellectual and visual inspiration that he references in his work. It may feel just instinctual to him but wait until we take a look at his book and you’ll see what I mean.
photo: Paul Costello
In the meantime, you can enjoy the magic he made in his sitting room above where he’s created his signature theatrical tension – “something slick next to something crumbling, something organic next to something geometric, something Baroque next to something modern.”
And be sure to take a look at the other three Magic Makers profiled in the upcoming November/December Veranda, along with beautiful inspiration for the holidays.