You know when you discover something and think: how is it possible to understand it only now? This is what you feel when you meet Simona Tagliaferri.
Hair like Annie Lennox, small and silent, Tagliaferri is one of those people who has always worked in the world of creativity almost in disguise, the research soul behind the scenes of major brands. When I meet her, in the showroom she signed for Rossana in Milan, she tells her story and, as she speaks, it's hard not to wonder how it was possible not to see that there is a common thread that unites the iconic projects she mentions: from Gucci to Fendi, from Tiffany to Jumeirah, from Breil to Fiat, passing through a language of material research where the metal, stone, leather and fabric elements take shape and tell a true evolution. A know-how that Tagliaferri has applied to interior design through her collaboration with Rossana.
From materials to fashion, from fashion to design. Why?
I approached this world in a particular moment of my creativity and personal growth and I looked for a new challenging project for my style and research contents. The meeting with Emanuel Colombini, president of Colombini Spa, was the beginning of this new phase of my life. I accepted the challenge of bringing my know-how into the Group's brands by coordinating the R&D of Colombini and Febal and the artistic direction of Rossana as a consultant.
What does it mean for someone who has always been in the fashion world to design interiors?
The home is a point of energy that furniture should nourish. We choose something because we grasp its energy, which is given both by the materials and by the shapes. If we have culture, we read between the lines a history of manufacturing, of design. If we know the life of Michelangelo, when we look at one of his sculptures we also feel the fatigue, the determination and that pinch of madness that he must have had in the months in which he perched on the marble blocks to grasp their meaning and strength. If, on the other hand, we do not have this culture, we can still feel something that we may leave without a name but that attracts us. This interplay of relationships between matter, object, spaces and people is what fascinates me in the world of furniture.
If everyone understood the history of materials, would there be more respect for things?
Absolutely yes. I grew up on a farm in Molise, a place surrounded by true nature – the one not only contemplative but one in which it is difficult – but also in culture: an organic farm already in the 70s. A futuristic vision from my parents, especially my mother who taught me a lot, especially respect for everything around us and for beauty. Here I fell in love with the materials and what they were able to tell me. And here I understood that a truly beautiful thing has no time but automatically becomes eternal like mother nature.
Everybody talks about materials a little today, why?
There is a lot of talk about matter because it helps when ideas are lacking. If I think of the past, in the heart of creativity there were great ideas with great materials. Today we are helped by nature. But to make materials speak, you need to have passion and the skills to manage them and make them live outside their environment while keeping their sense of strength and belonging intact.
What do you mean by “sense of strength and belonging”?
The crucial aspect of the relationship between matter and form is given by the aesthetic energy it contains. When the original meanings of the materials remain intact it means that the project has become a timeless container. The great challenge in the coming years will be to give Rossana a vision of the world in this direction.