It might seem like an odd time to talk about Italian craftsmanship. Between Papa Berlusconi, the economy and that cruise ship captain, the Italians haven’t done themselves any favours lately. The country is, Augusto told me a few months ago in Rome, a complete and utter mess.
The Italians are some of the world’s most talented craftsmen. Ermenegildo Zegna
Augusto runs a bed and breakfast in Rome, a stone’s throw from the Risorgimento tram station and the walls of Vatican City. Before deciding to open Quod Libet, a small, clean and cheerfully painted establishment hidden away inside a massive old, shabby stone building with a spectacular bakery in the basement, Augusto used to be a member of Alitalia’s cabin crew. ( Read more )
An ode to Italian craftsmanship
First published in December 2010, the directory ‘The Whispered Directory of Craftsmanship: A Contemporary Guide to the Italian Handmaking Ability’ is an indulgent, quirky, intimate, quintessentially Italian look at some of the finest craftsmen in Italy
Fendi has just released the second edition of The Whispered Directory of Craftsmanship: A Contemporary Guide to the Italian Handmaking Ability, which is available now through select Fendi stores. First published in December 2010, the directory is an indulgent, quirky, intimate, quintessentially Italian look at some of the finest craftsmen in Italy.
The Whispered Directory of Craftsmanship: A Contemporary Guide to the Italian HandMaking Ability Author: Vittoria Filippi Gabardi and Cesare Maria Cunaccia Publication: Mondadori Electa Pages: Two volumes of 200 pages each Languages: Italian and English Price: $60 Where to buy: Through select Fendi stores and online
Selected excerpts from the directory’s collection of 180 pen portraits of Italy’s finest.
Artigiano Scarpaio Antonio
Giampaolo exits his workroom and pulls his glasses off his nose. He wears a green T-shirt that matches the trimmings of the shop, a few square meters in the heart of Forte dei Marmi. All around are shelves packed with colored booths, shocking pink, olive, dark brown, sand, violet, black, turquoise, suede and leather, sandals, mocassins, and men’s shoes… In the Seventies he starts working at the shoe factory owned by the father of his fatherin-law Antonio, one of the best craftsman in all of Versilia, after whose name the shop is called. Giampaolo enters the premises of Via Roma only in 1998: here he takes measures, every shoe is modelled over the feet and legs of the client who chooses material, color, type, he can indulge in creating boots according to his desires. Antonio’s boots are completely handmade… (Read more)
The Zegna suit
With a starting price of Rs 1.09 lakh, a Zegna suit passes through the craftsmanship of more than 500 hands before landing at a Zegna store
In Trivero, Piedmont, Ermenegildo Zegna turns wool into cloth and at the artisanal suit factory at Stabio—on the Swiss side of the Italian border—the cloth becomes a suit that consists of 100 pieces.
With a starting price of Rs 1.09 lakh, a Zegna suit passes through the craftsmanship of more than 500 hands before landing at a Zegna store. (Read more)
The Tod’s Gommino
From finding the perfect leather to being delivered at a boutique, the Gommino goesthrough as many as 100 steps and 2,000 craftsmen
In the late 1970s, Tod’s launched a new product which, in due course of time, became the Italian luxury shoemaker’s signature shoe. From finding the perfect leather to being delivered at a boutique, the Gommino goesthrough as many as 100 steps and 2,000 craftsmen. (Read more)
This is the right time to start collecting art
With its online art auctions finding their way in a case study by Harvard Business School, Saffronart, the 10-year-old company, has undoubtedly come a long way. Nish Bhutani, COO, calls it “a platform for all kinds of arts and collectibles”
By Pradip Kumar Saha
In the “About us” note on its home page, Saffronart, the global art auction house, calls itself “committed to serving the growing community of Indian collectors, while also creating a cultural bridge to India for both the global Indian diaspora and the international community at large”.
Nish Bhutani, COO, Saffronart. Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint
With its online art auctions finding their way in a case study by Harvard Business School, the 10-year-old company has undoubtedly come a long way. Nish Bhutani, COO, calls it “a platform for all kinds of arts and collectibles”. In 2010, Saffronart did six auctions, and, in 2011, 13.
This year, Bhutani says, many more auctions are planned. With gallery spaces in Mumbai, Delhi, London and New York, the auction house is a storehouse of a range of art, information and advice. Indulge caught up with Bhutani who spoke to us, among other things, about the emerging trends in the art scene. (Read more)
Pio Boffa on family business
Pio Boffa spoke to Indulge about his brand’s legacy, his efforts to keep traditions alive at the 131-year-old winery and the launch of the brand in India
By Pradip Kumar Saha
For five generations, the Pio Cesare family has been producing traditional Piemontese wines in its ancient cellars—some of the walls of which date back to the Roman Empire period—in Alba, Italy. Owner Pio Boffa was sipping leisurely on a soda at New Delhi’s Hyatt Regency during a break from meeting a group of journalists when we caught up with him for a chat. He spoke to Indulge about his brand’s legacy, his efforts to keep traditions alive at the 131-year-old winery and the launch of the brand in India.
Pio Boffa. Priyanka Parashar/Mint
Pio Cesare, my maternal greatgrandfather, was an entrepreneur with interests in different fields. His first name was Cesare and his last name Pio. In old days in Italy, they used to put the last name first. He started making wine as a hobby in 1881, and the wines he made were given mainly as gifts to friends and customers of his other businesses. (Read more)
The only way to mask the substandard nature of the drinks was through making cocktails and thus the art of ‘‘mixology” was born
By Joel Harrison
When mass production of liquor was first being developed back in the 19th century, it took a while for the manufacturers to really nail their art. Sometimes the spirits being produced were, let me put it this way, quite awful.
The only way to mask the substandard nature of the drinks was through making cocktails and thus the art of mixing drinks was born. It was around this time that several eminent bartenders, such as ‘‘Professor” Jerry Thomas of New York and, later, Harry Craddock of London’s Savoy Hotel, found themselves at the forefront of cocktail-development, influencing the early landscape of an art which today is known as ‘‘mixology”. (Read more)
When you look at a cut of meat, you’re really looking at a specific combination of water, protein and fat
By Madhu Menon
Everyone likes meat dishes that come out juicy and tender, but so often we’re disappointed by both home food as well as restaurant dishes that don’t achieve this, and yet, few cookbooks address the how, and, even rarer, the why. Instead, you read instructions like ‘‘cook till tender”. What does that even mean? Cooking chicken breast till tender is very different from cooking chicken leg, and that’s different from cooking leg of lamb. Not understanding the cooking process leads to making dishes where some of the meat is cooked but dry and fibrous, while other pieces are just fine.
Overcooking can dry meat out and make them tough, stringy, and unappetizing. iStockphoto
It’s difficult to lump all ‘‘meat” into one category because they’re different beasts (pun unintended), and obviously a chicken is not a goat which is not a pig, and so on. So let me tell you a bit about what meat is, and what kind of cooking methods work for different cuts. (Read more)
Milvin George | India is the market where we sell the most expensive watches
Milvin George spoke about the brand’s association with the India Art Fair and plans for India
By Pradip Kumar Saha
On the sidelines of the India Art Fair, Indulge caught up with Milvin George, managing director, Middle East, Turkey and India, Officine Panerai—the Italian luxury watchmaker. George spoke about the brand’s association with the India Art Fair and plans for India. Edited excerpts:
A photo from the 1940s of an Italian navy commando wearing a Panera.
Tell us something about the brand’s legacy.
We are an Italian brand, and Swiss-made. We were founded in 1860 by the Panerai family in Florence and so we have the Florentine heritage and culture. Our founder, Giovanni Panerai, owned a workshop in Florence where we did a lot of repair for watches. We also had a collaboration with the Italian navy and made professional instruments for them like torpedo timers and several other underwater naval instruments and gadgets such as torches and wrist compasses. (Read more)
Timing it right
Panerai launched four watches in India during the India Art Fair 2012 in New Delhi. The company ells through select channels in Delhi and Mumbai
RADIOMIR 3 DAYS ORO BIANCO
MOVEMENT: Hand-wound mechanical, Panerai P.3000 calibre,
executed entirely by Panerai, 16 lignes, 5.3mm thick, 21 jewels, Glucydur® balance, 21,600 alternations/hour. Incabloc® antishock device. Power reserve three days, two barrels. 160 components.
CASE: 47mm, 18K polished white gold with removable wire loop strap attachments (patented). Winding crown personalized OP
BEZEL: 18K white gold
BACK: See-through sapphire crystal
DIAL: Brown, with luminous Arabic and Roman numerals and hour markers
CRYSTAL: Plexiglas®, 2.8 mm thick
WATER RESISTANCE: 100m
STRAP: Panerai personalized alligator strap and large-size 18K white gold buckle
PRICE: €19,900 (Read more)
The Quattroporte Sport GT S, the fifth generation of the Quattroporte—or ‘‘four doors”—series by Italian sports-luxury car maker Maserati, was launched in 2009
The Quattroporte Sport GT S, the fifth generation of the Quattroporte—or ‘‘four doors”—series by Italian sports-luxury car maker Maserati, was launched in 2009. It sped its way to India last year, when Maserati decided to retail the power-packed luxury sedans in India in collaboration with Shreyans Group.
Photographs: Ramesh Pathania/Mint
The Modena, Italy-based car maker has one plant where it manufactures all its cars and then ships them across the world. Apart from the exclusivity, the car maker also provides various levels of customization, majorly divided into four categories—colour choices, onboard electronics, interiors and travel and driving dynamics. (Read more)
Facets of time
The Formula 1 Lady Yin Yang is perhaps the most opulent watch Tag Heuer has ever made
By Sidin Vadukut
The Formula 1 Lady Yin Yang is perhaps the most opulent watch Tag Heuer has ever made. Recently, the brand has launched a number of highly complicated timepieces targeted largely at the male audience. Last year’s Mikrotimer and Mirkograph were both ingenious pieces that pushed the limits of precise mechanical measurement of time.
But the Yin Yang is a feminine piece with which the brand leaps from haute horlogerie to haute joaillerie. Announced in Geneva in January, the watch is available only by request. TAG Heuer informs us that they are now taking orders. (Read more)
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