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my fashion life ATTICO

Meet the much-lensed stylist, influencer and designer duo behind Milan’s label to know, Attico.

Words by Jane McFarland. Photographs by Emman Montalvan.

Last year, in a private Milanese apartment replete with sumptuous furnishings, two street-style aficionados unveiled Attico during cocktail hour. In Milan, where young blood is rare in design, Attico’s vintage-hued, opulent world and peignoir-inspired line of embroidered silk dresses quickly became the talking point of fashion week (and Instagram feeds) and two seasons later, the consultants-cum-designers are successfully harnessing their social-media following into a bonafide consumer base.

The appeal of Attico, which is Italian for penthouse, is two-fold. First: inspired by 1920s chinoiserie, antique kimonos and 1940s silhouettes, it offers exactly the type of individual pieces you might spend hours trawling for at a thrift store. Second: in a sartorial climate where personal style is fêted, Attico’s success is largely due to its oft-emulated founders Giorgia Tordini and Gilda Ambrosio, who, wise to the power of street style and both constantly trailed by photographers during fashion week, debuted the collection while out and about at shows. Meeting at fashion school in Milan, both hail from Italy and have poker-straight espresso-coloured manes, but that’s where the similarities end: the consistently immaculate Tordini, the older of the two, prefers tailored, minimal pieces, while Ambrosio’s experimental style is most neatly described as unpredictable. Despite two distinctive aesthetics, they were united in their vision for Attico (dreamt up in the backseat of a New York taxi): subverting traditional dress codes for the modern millennial. ‘We are trying to suggest a new category of evening wear, a new code to wear things in an easier way. With Attico, we encourage our clients to take the pieces out of context and not just look at them as something to wear for a special occasion,’ Tordini explains. ‘Attico is for everyday. Wear it on top of your jeans, with a t-shirt and flats and you are ready to go. We believe in versatility and this was the idea around Attico from day one.’

Their plan is to expand into an all-encompassing lifestyle brand: for SS17 they already offer denim and accessories, from crystal-embellished mules to silk drawstring pouches. Eclectic summer dresses are richly embroidered with multi-coloured parrots, lobsters, seashells and fish, while tropical tones of red, turquoise, purple and green are mixed with Chinese and Japanese motifs inspired by vintage Asian furniture. ‘Our inspiration comes from the past, from classic wardrobe pieces and lavish materials, but Attico is for a girl of today who knows how to mix a robe with jeans and carry it with an attitude.’ The Style Report meets the women who can show you how.

We met a few years ago in Milan, through mutual friends and we bonded from the very beginning. We spoke about working together many times, but we never had the occasion to make it happen… until last September, when brainstorming in an NYC yellow cab, we had the idea! Both of us have been consulting for different brands in the past few years, experiencing different aspects of design, styling and communication. At the moment we are focused on building Attico as a brand and a collection, but we are still involved in other projects, as creative consultants and designers. We love fashion, and we love working in every part of it. Attico just allows us to be the boss.’

Attico started around a specific item – the robe. Now we are showing the world around and inspired by it. We are narrating an aesthetic – Attico is more than just clothes, it’s a lifestyle. We are inspired by so many things. We love vintage design and antique furniture. We love certain movies from the 1960s and 1970s. Muses from different cities around the world. Muses from the past and women of the future. We are always inspired by these incredible women with great personality and style like Cher, Charlotte Rampling, Jerry Hall, Bianca Jagger or the actresses of the Hollywood golden era like Marlene Dietrich, Ginger Rogers and Lauren Bacall. It’s not something we can pinpoint. For us, inspiration comes always, from everywhere.’

We’re both involved in every aspect of the brand. Despite our differences, we respect and trust each other’s ideas and we are very flexible on the other person’s thoughts. There are no decisions taken if not approved by both. We meet everywhere possible – New York, Milan, Los Angeles – we have endless Skype calls, long conversations on WhatsApp, emails, shared folders on Pinterest. Our office is in the clouds. We definitely travel too much! Our favourite cities are Los Angeles and Tokyo. They are the best destinations for research, vintage markets and stores. They are where we find our treasures for inspiration.’

Our favourite vintage shops are The Rose Bowl market in Pasadena, California, the Shimokitazawa area in Tokyo, Porte de Clignancourt in Paris, and east London. La Brea in Los Angeles has the best vintage stores.’

With the shoes we wanted to create very special pieces, with a unique feeling – almost like little treasures. We didn’t go basic! We embellished the shoes with ribbons, stones, lavish velvet and satin anklets. The shoe collection is another step for us to complete the Attico wardrobe and tell the story of our women.’

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FASHION BY LEAH HENKIN. HAIR TERRI WALKER AT JEDROOT. MAKE-UP ELIE MAALOUF AT JEDROOT.

The Style Report
The Style Report
THE STYLE REPORT