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Interviews

my secret seaside garden

April 2022 - Number 22
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my secret seaside garden

Interview by Silvia M.C. Senette - Photography Cosimo Buccolieri

“My work may seem random, but there is always a circling thread that unites the things I do. I try to live the same way, a bit like a juggler at the center of orbits and worlds.” Simone Guidarelli – stylist, art director, fashion consultant, and more and more a pop icon on the social networks – introduces himself with the levity and self-deprecating humor of the true artists. And as the joyful elegance of his flowered prints populated by ostriches and gorillas “wallpapers” the globe, he reveals how every wall covering, fabric, and item of clothing in his collections grows from the same roots and the same values which now draw him to Forte dei Marmi. “I come from a land dominated by nature: Cagli, in the Marche region, a tiny town set between Gubbio and Urbino, between the sea and the mountains, in the cradle of the Renaissance,” he tells us. “So I have always been incredibly close to nature; my childhood was amazing, surrounded by marvelous oldsters who taught me to appreciate its beauty. So often, we try to imitate what others do, but in truth each individual’s strength lies in their personal history – and mine told me to look to nature.”

Sea and mountain, nature and culture: elements which the moment’s trendiest creative sees reflected in Forte dei Marmi, where he is showing his famous Secret Garden print (produced by Officinarkitettura) at the 55042 Only Forte showroom; where he has created site-specific projects for the Augustus Hotel and a runway show at Bagno Alpemare. “For a couple of years, my relationship with Forte has been intensifying. I take this as a sign,” Guidarelli admits. “Beyond any perception of luxury, I appreciate Forte’s population: people who want to live well, who leverage a Made in Italy that is somewhat revisited but always made of beauty and sharing, from the pleasures of good food to the delight of a magnificent sunset. This is what makes Forte such an extraordinary place and one of the most exclusive and elegant.”

A corner of paradise, reflected in the new wallpaper presented this year at Fuorisalone in Milan: his first on a marine theme. “I love colors that recall the sea, like turquoise; I have associated it with black, ultramarine, fuchsia, yellow ochre, and olive green. And with the red of the carp that animate this oneiric ‘king’s chamber’ in all its harmonious repetitiveness.” A perfect print for all-over home decor – walls, rugs, curtains, sofas – that can move outward from the home to ‘embrace’ aficionados with kimonos and sweats, then jump to rucksacks, smartphone covers and – why not – cars! The effect has already been tested, on a Bentley “wrapped” in the print to celebrate the marque’s centenary.

Simone Guidarelli's unmistakable original designs also come to life on sweatshirts, t-shirts, trousers and, since last spring, also on outerwear