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Made in Bologna. Guide to emergent design

Made in Bologna. Guide to emergent design

Автором Silvia Santachiara

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Made in Bologna. Guide to emergent design

Автором Silvia Santachiara

454 pages
2 hours
May 8, 2015


In this guide of the self-produced Made in Bologna design, 59 independent creative and innovative people tell their story to Silvia Santachiara along with the collaboration of Silvia Gaiani (researcher and eco-fashion designer). Stories that reveal ideas, techniques, visions, and momeries of their professional, artistic and artisan careers. A journey inside this new creative Bolognese stir that ranges from clothing to accessories, jewelry and furniture and an inside peek in workshops, showrooms, concept store in Bologna and its suburbs, showing us the creative process and use of materials (from creative recycling to the use of original materials). Many individual ventures rich with history and memories that bring together tradition and innovation, along with the ability to create a “network” of community and socialization and new concepts of the traditional store. This guide is divided into five sections (clothing, jewelry, furniture, accessories and eco-fashion) accompanied by in-dept columns and uncommon rarities.
May 8, 2015

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Made in Bologna. Guide to emergent design - Silvia Santachiara



Bologna la dotta (the learned), la grassa (the fat), and also Bologna degli affari (business affairs) and fast walking, for those who see their reflection while passing store windows. And in this city there are many store windows (inside the porticos but also on the peripheral streets), among antique small shops, fashion boutiques and flagship stores. Everywhere, the maze of the streets oozes with an antique aura that puts you in direct contact with the heart and soul of the Felsina capital; everywhere you can breathe in the atmosphere of the past and feel the essence of the manual work of unique pieces of artists and artisans; everywhere, there is a meeting between the new and fantasy. This is how curiosity spontaneously appears in the discovery of what these wonder ateliers are hiding.

Your heart becomes dazed at the sight of the people working: they have hands that speak and pass on traditional techniques of working, or they experiment with new materials, adopting new technologies, inventing new solutions. Creative people are joined by an intense passion and by extreme attention to detail and knowledge to reinvent everyday. Everything gives form to refined accessories, jewelry, home décor, and valuable products that speak Bolognese with a touch of internationalism. Everything is inspired by the values of calmness and balance and, especially during this period of uncertainty, become interpreters of a growing desire for true relationships. Guaranteeing an added value.

Silvia Santachiara , on her venture to create, through the pages of this captivating guide, a journey toward emotions.

Her curious spirit is incredible, just like her eyes pushed toward her research and contagious enthusiasm in transferring lived sensations.

A cultural behavior and sensitivity that brought her to observing the life and work of these designers that operate in the area, but almost- each time- to nourish with them the research and form, the inspiration and imagination, the return to the classics or jump to the future.

These particulars were the source of attraction by the author, the interviews with the protagonists of handmade knew how to wake up their appeal for things, their anecdotes, the backstage scene, quality and harmony.

The heart of the aesthetic of this valuable handbook is the narration: a collage, but also a story, in a constant flow of dialogues that highlight the love for excellent creativity, manual capacity, the attraction to nostalgia, the playful soul behind each story and, why not also include the colors of memories. Memories of travels in a world made by hand that reflects the world of daily life, but leaves room for dreams. Notes on life from places that are like museums where you can get lost for hours observing or let yourself go on personalized and refined shopping trips.

Surfacing from these pages – through well-dosed words and careful descriptions together with the beautiful images by photographer Alessandro Boselli – are vibrant and eclectic styles, hints of tradition, along with folklore, far-away references and suggestions, functionality and aesthetic sense. In addition there are contained objects that are often simple, but poetic: small sculptures to exhibit, vintage rarities, unique pieces, maybe on their second or third life after careful recovery, along with transformed objects that are flagships of design.

In the end, readers find themselves with beauty before their eyes and the desire to see all of the fiftynine realities that make up this niche of top-artisans because like the poet Bertolt Brecht said, all art forms are in the service of the greatest of all arts: the art of living.

By Isa Grassano, journalist and writer


Lamps realized with strips of cinema film recovered from waste, sofas creates from old suitcases and jewelry that, with fragments of old maps, photographs and postcards, tell stories. Even purses from fabric utilized by the Italian Army and jewlery realized with Legos or Apple computer keys. Are you curious? These are some of the best self-productions of design made in Bologna that you will find in this guide: a true and real journey to the discovery of the fifty nine realities that range from clothing to accessories, contemporary jewelry and home decor.

Innovative, independent, outside the Bolognese standard, of either origin or inheritance: here are the creative talents interviewed and presented in this book. Fifty nine chats to meet the person behind these original design pieces. Here we can get an inside look at the ideas, techniques and especially the hands capable of giving life to high profile unique pieces or limited collections, realized with artisan craft with traditional work or new technologies, by the artists themselves or specialized Italian factories. You will discover stores hidden in corners of the city, showrooms, laboratories and concept stores scattered among Bologna’s alleys and in the suburbs. But do not expect a standard guide, this is a collection of stories and objects that reveal new visions, memories to cherish, lifestyles, projections for the future, links to the past and traditions not to waste. Each designer, in their uniqueness, knew how to fascinate me and involve me in a way that went beyond understanding the correct function of the object and allowed me to see it in a different perspective. In addition, I got to see the inside world of research, professionalism, ethics, and attention to the choice of materials, the quality and the way of production that can be defined at 0 km.

Each one has a different story: there have been known realities on the Bologna scene for many years, those that left a secure job to pursue their path, but also many young people that chose to go back to knowing how to work with their hands. Connected not only through their competence but also through a strong sense of a group. This project, in fact, took form and strength day after day thanks to each designer recommending another: a designer with a studio on the parallel street, or someone met at a convention, or with whom they shared a space. A continuous cycle of suggestions that confirmed , once again, that Bologna isn’t just a city of doing but also a city of creating a network.

I have artistic training and have always been passionate about graphics and design. Interests that I have always worked on parallel to my professional path. Through experience and research over these last years I’ve come to realize that Bologna is a true concentration of creativity, that many Bolognese still need to discover. It was from this that my idea came forth to collect in one organic and coherent project, some of the best local realities that give handmade its strength

For easy consultation I decided to ideally divide the guide into five sections (accessories, home decor, jewelry, clothing and eco-fashion), even though creativity is difficult to confine to one category. Therefore, you will find realities that range in other categories. In every section there are interviews accompanied by photos of the author, some of the products and spaces, in addition to indications of where you can find their creations in Bologna, but not only, also in Italy, in the world, and on the web. There are also columns with curiosities as well as in-depth focus on spaces that go beyond the concept of the traditional store and act as a sharing space for socialization that ranges from self-production, design, graphics and art and food shows.

A project that I realized in a few months together with Silvia Gaiani, researcher and fashion eco-maker, who wrote the eco-fashion section, and Alessandro Boselli, photographer and web designer, who followed the photographic project. Two professionals that made themselves available not only for their competence, but also with their contribution of new ideas and interesting content.

You might be asking yourself why there are fifty nine designers interviewed ...the answer is that this way we can leave, in a symbolic way, an open door to the other creative people (and in Bologna there are many) that are not a part of this first edition.

Gaia Borzicchi


GIRA E RIGIRA LA MODA - Germana Bargoni

LE GIRAFFE - Valeria Sacenti

LES LIBELLULES - Alice Cappelli, Isabelle Guignand e Paola Parenti

MANI 100% HAND MADE - Michela Di Crescenzo

MATTA E GOLDONI - Elisabetta Matta e Maria Luisa Goldoni

NEI RAMI - Laura Nardi


SARTORIA MAMMUT - Daniela Emiliani



Alessandro Boselli

The return of artisan and so-called slow textile traditions, like embroidery, printing and stencil, natural dyes and patchwork. Emanuela Paradiso’s work is a trip back in time, with images from long ago recalling women working around the table while they sewed and embroidered by hand. You just need to look inside her shop to experience traditions that have now almost disappeared. Embroidery inspired by the world of illustration, designs on fabric from childhood memories, but also large and soft clothes that naturally fell around the body of women who wore them. Fabrication far from the industrial dynamics of today that Emanuela still keeps alive.

Emanuela, you realize true hand-tailored products, how do you make them?

Exclusively with high quality fabrics like linen, hemp, silk and cotton. They are all unique pieces or series in limited editions that I sew by hand, one by one. I pay special attention to the sewing, details and finishings so they are realized like they used to be.

Gaia Borzicchi

What inspires you?

Inspiration comes from my childhood memories, when I was a child I learned how to make my first designs from a book called Le Roselline. I took little frames and squares of the book and put them on my line of textiles for the home, sewing them by hand. I began like this, manual putting prints and embroidery on linens for the home, then realizing accessories, jewelry, hats and clothes. Because when you are interested in creating, it doesn’t matter any more what you create.

Are the strong connection with fond memories reflected in your clothing line?

Yes, my last line was inspired by the sea, my brother works on the merchant ships, so I used lines, subtle colors, and also the anchors embroidered on fabric purses. The lines are clean, the forms essential. The neutral tones of the linen or cotton. And then I thought especially about comfort, that freedom of movement that brings us, like once upon a time, to our childhood. And I find it extremely elegant.

White tunic with square base, black jacket with frill, Uroboro

Gaia Borzicchi


Trapeze dress in cotton and linen with embroidery application by hand

Gaia Borzicchi

Tunic with patchwork and curled skirt

Gaia Borzicchi

While others run and produce more and more in a hurry, you go in the exact opposite direction...

Manual work allows a lot of time to think about what you’re doing, it accesses knowledge that goes beyond the mere act of producing. Since I was a child I was fascinated with this, sewing leaves together in the preschool courtyard. My grandmother was a seamstress but did it for work and did not feel the passion. I therefore followed this path in an autonomous way. After following the Dams Art program with a masters in Graphic and Interior Design, I went to an atelier to learn the trade, beginning with embroidery.



facebook fanpage: confezioni paradiso



Gaia Borzicchi

Do you remember the game where you spun a wheel to create a series of matching clothes that lead to the ideal outfit? Those of you who were children in the 1980’s have already guessed: it’s Gira e rigira la moda (Fashion Spin), the project Germana Borgoni started in 2012. In fact, for her fashion is just like this: a continuous return to the trends of the past. In her collection, vintage and modern unite together into one outfit. And they are all unique pieces, personalized, and available on-line. On the site you can choose the material, clearly vintage, starting with a specific model you can choose long or short, a different collar, another color. All you have to do is spin the wheel and the game is done.

Germana, why did you call your project Gira e rigira la moda (Fashion Spin)?

Fashion is continuously making comebacks on the level of form and style there isn’t much left to invent and the game becomes a mix of styles and eras. Therefore, the future is personalization and uniqueness. My models are simple, recalling the look of the 1970’s with focus on colors that I experiment with in unusual combinations. There is a lot of red in my collections, the color of excellence, which for others may be black. I combine fabric with polka dots, stripes or retro prints, reinterpreting them while giving them harmony. And they are all vintage printed fabrics.

Silk skirt, blouse with kimono sleeves and collar in vintage lace

Gaia Borzicchi

Where does your passion for vintage come from?

From my family. Since I was a child my parents always brought me to antique markets and shops. In our house we

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