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Pirates and queens

Jan 2008
Francesca Molteni
Pirates and queens

Fashion and design.
Is creativity a story of the past? Not when interpreted by Vivienne Westwood and Molteni&C. Classics, with a touch of British irony. Exclusive but not elitist. Cosmopolitan and avant-garde. Shared passion and projects: art, culture, curiosity and memory. A language and a style. Molteni&C, an interpreter of contemporary design, for the first time works alongside a fashion icon.

Paying homage to the career of Vivienne Westwood in a retrospective that, following its huge success at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, came to Palazzo Reale in Milan.
Molteni&C participated in the event by displaying hints of design along the exhibition path - with Freestyle and Zim, the seating system designed by Ferruccio Laviani and the chair by Luca Meda.

Versatile and open to change, that is Freestyle and Zim: non-conformist without transgressing. For the occasion, they were dressed in Vivienne Westwood creations: a special edition of her Rubbish fabric for Zim, and black Squiggle against an anthracite ground for Freestyle. Patricia Uquiola’s Glove chair was also dressed in Westwood's elegant rubbish. Furnishings like clothes. To be seen and experienced.

Tell us about your collaboration with Molteni&C.


If you are asking me about the Molteni&C. chairs, I would like to know if I can buy them, because they really are beautiful! For them, I just created the fabric print; then, we chose that particular shape because it works well with this print.
When I create a print, it can be used for a tie, a chair or maybe a towel.
Today, I am really pleased to see my fabric on the Zim chairs. They are a fine piece of rubbish, indeed, in the sense that they are an artwork on the subject of rubbish.

Are you interested in design, outside of fashion?


I don’t know if I am interested in design as such, but I would like someone to design some truly innovative lights, because I believe that designing beautiful, functional and, above all, new lighting is the hardest thing to do.
Nevertheless, for my own house I prefer antiques. Just a few, because I am not very acquisitive. But I do like wonderful sheets on the bed, that is very important to me.
I also have a pair of Chinese vases that I adore, because they remind me of gardens.
Yes, it is important to live among beautiful things, comfort is fundamental. That is why lights and carpets are so important.

Where did the idea for the Rubbish fabric come from?


I work in fashion, a field in which we work alongside some of the most beautiful women in the world. We thought it would be a fantastic idea to dress these women in a fantasy resembling rubbish, as if they had just come out of a bin.
So, one day I put on the floor some cuttings bearing the standard instructions found on packaging, e.g. “fragile”, “up”, “do not bend”, strings and packing paper; and I got my son to climb a ladder and to photograph them from the top.
This photo led to the print. It's very seductive because it is very tactile, like the materials we photographed.
The colour is also beautiful, because it's not “in your face”, rather it's relaxing. These chairs are objects in which it's wonderful to let yourself go.
It is great to sit in a shell of rubbish. And I really think the furniture Molteni&C. designed is beautiful.

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