How I've Crafted My Style

A friend recently came to my home for the very first time and commented how everything was so carefully chosen (like “an oasis in the big city”) and how she felt as if she was in a curio cabinet.

I often get asked about my style – my home, my personal jewelry, my website collection and curation.

I’ve always been attracted to beautiful things with history. My parents are Italian immigrants who took my sister and I back home frequently and my father often took us on work trips around the world and I found myself constantly leaning into the oldest, most tactile things and wanting to know their stories, where they came from. When I got my first job at 14, I started collecting bits and pieces for my “one day home” on those travels – little trinket dishes I picked up on vacation, plant stands I brought home from a trip to Epcot, an old inexpensive tile from a market in Sicily, my dining room light fixture from Murano that sat on my lap on the flight home.  I’ve got a plate in my sun room full of shells and rocks I’ve been collecting for decades. Ever so slowly, all the bits and pieces started to look like something I had done on purpose.  I mean, I kind of had.  There was intention behind all of it.  But, now you can definitely feel there’s emotion behind all of it.  When that morning light hits just right… a flood of that emotion wafts over me – this feels like home.

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Left: Enchanted pantry - mural by Fine & Dandy Co., vintage 1970s pierced brass globes from Damascus via @rs.culture on Instagram, an old bathroom cabinet that my kind friend went to pick up from a stranger's porch (I cleaned it up and changed out the knobs)

Right: Umbrella painting by Dorion Scott, old theatre chairs removed from Danforth Music Hall

It’s a home I can make virtually anywhere.  The collection is all memories of people and places or something it made me feel at the time… and maybe still does. And, that’s how I’ve curated my style – by choosing everything with intention, as if it would be a future heirloom for someone else to use to craft their little piece of heaven. What I wear, my home – it’s all an  expression of myself and shows my creativity and connection to the world.

This is also pretty much the way I production design the movies I work on (my alter-ego is a filmmaker).  I once asked a director when he couldn’t tell me what he wanted something to look like, could he guide me with how he wanted it to feel?  He instantly relaxed and smiled. 

Each room I design, whether in my home or on screen, is about a feeling I want to evoke.

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Left: Marble pedestal from Studio Maxxima, Savonarola chair brought home from Italy, "Kiss" photograph by Jacob Aue Sobol/Magnum Photos
Right: Private collection of Black Umbrella Jewelry 

And, in this same way, it’s how I’ve chosen the pieces in my jewelry collection and how I curate the pieces in my shop.  It’s all an extension of myself.  Art is a big part of my life and I value craftsmanship and attention to detail. I want to collect things that people will want to pass on, not throw away.

My living room walls were bare for years until I found the pieces that felt right for it.  In this same way, I’ll pass on anything I don’t feel is quite right, whether it’s a film job, a couch or a piece of jewelry.  I want everything to be intentional, to spark a memory, a person, a place… that “feeling” to spark.  I want to come down the stairs in the morning, when that sun floods in so good, look at that photograph, that rock from that hike, that ring I gifted myself to celebrate that moment and think “life is so beautiful”. 

How have you crafted your style?


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