Dear Shaded Viewers,
Last month in Rome, we attended an AltaRoma cocktail for the brand Sandro Ferrone in the enchanting gardens of the Villa Laetitia, near the shaded Tiber banks of the Della Vittoria neighborhood. The late 19th-century villa is now a boutique hotel, owned by the Fendi Venturini family, designed by Armando Brasini according to the “highly demanding taste” of Anna Fendi Venturini. We had the pleasure of meeting the Signora Fendi, quite by accident, while we were snooping around the hotel’s voluptuous lobby and enticing bar (where I am imagining myself holding court this coming winter).
The garden event was an unveiling of the Sandro Ferrone fall/winter collection. This Roman fast-fashion brand was previously unknown to me and, curiously, their website is not shoppable. The site invites you instead to visit their numerous international stores (from Sicily to Albania to Libya), so I suppose this makes them somewhat of an Italian slow-food fast-fashion brand. Or, not-so-fast fashion.
To drive this point home, unlike their fast-fashion competitors, their clothes are not made by underpaid, exploited Third-World workers. The designs and materials are of high quality and are manufactured in Florence and Rome. But it doesn’t stop there! “Come and visit our boutique and enjoy our service with a nice cappuccino or prosecco!” Take heed, H&M, Joe Fresh, Zara, et al. Time to step up your game.
The inspiration for the new collection was perfect for a boozy, balmy garden party during Roman summer: “the world of hippies, parties and women’s independence—a magical period we can experience again in the bright colour palettes, as well as in cuts and lines.” I especially liked the faux furs and the woven black leather dress.
A view of Villa Laetitia’s Garden House.
Lovely lady alert! My friend, the London-based fashion designer Paola Balzano (in one of her own designs) and I. Photo by Ari Seth Cohen.
Thanks for reading.