Christina Celestino: “happy room” for Fendi

On November 30, 2016, the Design Miami exhibition opens in the USA – the most important event in the world of gallery and author design. Fendi is showing The Happy Room project this year. This is an exclusive collection of furniture and accessories, specially created by the Italian Christina Celestino.

The Happy Room includes 12 items: a sofa and an armchair upholstered in Rubelli velvet, three coffee tables with tops inlaid with onyx, marble, and travertine, a dressing table and a stool in walnut, brass and marble, a five-panel screen, a floor mirror, a jewelry box , floor lamp and pendant lamp with perforated calfskin lampshades. The collection is called “the first mobile VIP-room from Fendi” – in fact, this is really the very set of items that is all you need to organize an interior in the “Fendi style” in any space without unnecessary thought and time.

Fendi has been collaborating with Design Miami/Basel since 2008, sponsoring the forum and organizing various special projects with the participation of both young and promising designers and well-known designers. In 2008, with the support of the brand, discussions were organized at the fair with famous designers Fernando and Humberto Campana, Aric Levy, Tom Dixon, Julia Loman, Ross Lovegrove, and others.

Among those whose installations and performances Fendi showed at the fair during these years are the New York art studio Aranda/Lasch, the design duos Formafantasma and Dimorestudio, and French design legend Maria Pergay. Last year, an installation presented by Fendi was dedicated to the brand’s new headquarters, which opened in a newly restored building from 1943, the so-called Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana in Rome’s EUR district. Fendi showed a collection of furniture recreated from the sketches of the Italian designer of the 1930s Giulelmo Ulrich and never before released.

In 2016, 36-year-old rising Italian design star Cristina Celestino became the brand’s partner. She graduated as an architect in Venice, and in 2009 she moved to Milan, where she opened her own studio, Attico. Kristina produces her own items under this brand, and also cooperates with Italian galleries and design factories working in the limited edition segment. Her handmade stained glass Atomizers dispensers designed for Seletti, are part of the collection of the Milan Triennale Design Museum. In 2012, her studio was invited to participate in the Salone Satellite as part of the Milan Design Week. At the 2016 Milan Furniture Fair, many noticed her Plumage collection of ceramic tiles and mosaics, which play on the shape of bird feathers. Christina created it for the Bottega Nove factory, of which she recently became the art director. Other brands Christina works for include Atipico, BBB emmebonacina, Durame, Flexform, Antonio Frattini, Ichendorf, Mogg, Tonelli, and Torremato.

Christina created a very feminine collection for Fendi, but without too much sentimentality. It captivates with grace and elegance of forms, the subtlety of handwork, nobility and exquisite workmanship of materials, and cozy warmth of colors. Here you can feel both a light breath of art deco and a nod to the Italian design of the 1950s. In her interviews, Christina does not hide her admiration for the work of Gio Ponti, Ettore Sottsass, and Paolo Buffa, and their ability to work with form and materials. Her own home collection of “design icons” includes a Gio Ponti coffee table and Mario Bellini’s Chiara lamp.

But, of course, The Happy Room collection is full of allusions to the products of the most fashionable Fendi house and reminiscences from its history. Pietro Beccari, CEO of Fendi, emphasizes that Cristina has sensitively captured the important “cultural codes” of the fashion house. For example, she used natural fur, the material that made Fendi famous, for the bases of the sofa and armchairs included in the collection.

Lepanto rosso marble and travertine, which are inlaid with the tops of coffee tables, are the hallmark of the interiors of many boutiques of the fashion house, including its flagship in Rome’s Palazzo Fendi. The technique of inlay itself – only not with marble on marble or wood on wood, as in The Happy Room collection, but with fur on fur – is also a signature style of the designers of the fashion house. Another “typical” motif is the arch, referring to the arcades of the Palazzo Della Civiltà Italiana, where Fendi is now headquartered.

Arched patterns adorn the top of one of the coffee tables, while the floor mirror and screen panels are arched. Especially for the collection, Christina came up with a technique for “perpetuating” fur – it was called Etere. The fur is treated with transparent resin and hardens in it, like an insect in amber, becoming hard and as if covered with light frost. The side panels of the five-panel screen are made using this technique, and their pattern repeats the layout of the fur in the iconic Astuccio coat in fashion history, created by Karl Lagerfeld in 1971. And such a popular item in the history of jewelry as stud earrings, in the form of which the brass bases of tables and clasps on the backs of an armchair and sofa are made, simply unobtrusively introducing us into the context of the fashion world.

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