TURIN - In today’s retail world, it seems there’s only room for a future that embraces bricks-and-mortar blurred with e-commerce, next-gen technology, and ramped-up, rock-star special effects. Think of it as ‘flagship meets mother ship’.
Centuries away from the hype, however, is an elegant 1600s palazzo at the heart of Turin, Italy, which houses luxury fashion boutique Lagrange 12. Milan-based design practice Dimore Studio, responsible for the fit-out, is clearly not into starry-eyed futurism. Indeed, the studio’s Emiliano Salci and Britt Moran are known for their focus on an aesthetic that blends past with present, vintage with contemporary. As Lagrange 12 shows, Salci and Moran are connoisseurs of mood. Their stylistic language draws art, design, architecture and fashion into an intimate conversation that goes beyond past eras and current styles. The outcome is always atmospheric, richly textural, inclusive and lush.
With this space, which sprawls over 800 m2 and has two floors and five entrances, the main challenge was to humanize its lofty proportions. The sheer grandeur of the building is almost overwhelming, with impressively high ceilings and spacious rooms. Yet Salci and Moran achieved an exquisite balance with customized geometric ceiling lights, which frame the architecture, and the addition of a raw-yet-polished palette of green glass and steel, the latter with one of three finishes: polished, oxidized and painted black. Periods clash productively, combining rude with refined and decorative with functional.
A series of four spaces, three across the ground floor and one on the first floor, take their cues from Art Deco, mixing angular abstract shapes with 1930s furniture and custom-made pieces for an effectively blended fabric that reflects Dimore Studio’s influences. Brass hanging rails are part of arresting installations of black-painted steel. Sculptural references run deep in Dimore Studio’s display units, which were inspired by the work of American artist Oscar Tuazon and French-American creative Louise Bourgeois, whose Maman spider series remains iconic.
In vibrant contrast to these dramatic elements are the warmth and opulence of large trunk-like display cabinets, reminiscent of luxury travel in the 1920s and ’30s. Their silk-lined interiors are bisected by shelves and rails, while their exteriors are clad in bronzed mirror.
A brushed-steel staircase between the two floors links the careful orchestration of multi-era influences, the brand story and the customer journey. Corridors, too, play a pivotal bridging role, their Ming-green marble floors and ceilings drawing shoppers along a sensory path of discovery.
Photos Paola Pansini
This project was featured in Frame 113. Find your copy in the Frame Store.