The month of October has been filled with events related to the Italian heritage that’s both pretty spectacular and unusual in Miami.
Reminder that Italian style has that one elusive component that I have tried to nail down as “the intangible quality of chic” that may slip to the eye of the beholder. We are lucky, and often we forget how much beauty we are surrounded by, art, sceneries, architecture. In that boot of ours we hold 30% of the worldwide art patrimony, we grow up in a hedonistic reality. Ever wonder why we keep saying: “bello” and “bella”? Because the surroundings of our eye’s spheres are delightful, pleasant, harmonic like the foreground of the Mona Lisa. It’s like living in a movie scene where you don’t have to think if the panorama is beautiful, but you get sore eyes when it isn’t.
Roberto Cacciapaglia is an Italian maestro, a musician, a professor, a composer and a researcher.
I have had the honor of attending the premiere of his first American tour, performed at the Bandshell, in North Miami Beach with the collaboration of The Rhythm Foundation.
Under the theme of Italianness, the performance of the Tree of Life, the soundtrack Cacciapaglia composed for the 2015 Milan Expo 2015, was an encounter of classical traditions and electronic music. His researches, collaborations and studies have contributed to expanding the reach of music out of the limits of performance that connects on an emotional level. Cacciapaglia’s compositions exude the traditional music reach, expand the sound of the notes and the speed of the music according to Pythagoras’s theory of music. The performance, that captured the attention of adults and children, was the first of his American tour that continued to nothing less than Carnegie Hall, San Fran and LA.
Mid October was the week dedicated to the celebration of the Italian language and under the patronage of Miami’s Italian Consulate and the President of the Italian Republic, Istituto Marangoni held the workshop Bodoni Fashion Evolution: from Giorgio Armani to Vogue, The Growth and Inspiration of a Font over the Years and Through the Media.
Istituto Marangoni wasn’t a casual choice, it’s first US campus in Miami occupies a historical building redesigned in all its interiors by Cappelletti in the refined, luxury-laden neighborhood of Design District. See what I mean when I say that our peripheric sight is spoiled by perpetual harmonic and beautiful surroundings?
Bodoni is a Serif’s family font, created in 1767 by our own Giambattista Bodoni who went down in history as the King of Printers. Surviving the signs of time for its aesthetics and unadorned simple elegance, the font has been associated with style and affluence and fast become popular in fashion and adopted by magazines of the likes of Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and Elle and brands like Armani Exchange and Elizabeth Arden.
To file under “luxury is a state of mind”.
“The letters don’t get their true delight when done in haste & discomfort, nor merely done with diligence & pain, but first when they are created with love and passion.” – Giambattista Bodoni
When you think of a font in the contest of the evolution of a language in the era of social media, there’s a new paradigm that emerges with Italianness.
Conversations are now pictures accompanied by captions, usually sealed with a hashtag. Question is, how do you interpret and confine “la dolce vita”, slow living, the unmistakable Italian sarcasm, understated elegance, the Italian obsession with real food into a picture and a few characters?
The Italian language went through a process that could be equally defined adaptation and involution. The Enciclopedia Treccani (what we ALL had displayed in one full bookshelf back at home) recognized “instagrammabile” as a real word, a letter by letter from the English’s word Instagrammable in a continuous attempt at “Italianaiz de neim”. Do yourself the favor of reading letter by letter in Italian and realize that this is something that is hard for me too as a representative of Gen X and a Millennial wannabe.
Other examples are #fashionpolizia that stands for #fashionpolice, and #tilovvo for #Iloveyou and the twist of #streetliveetacco for #fashiongoals (in soccer language you make goal with the heel, tacco in Italian).
A hybrid language was born that is mostly unspoken, in the sense that it pervades the big chunk of conversation that Millennials and not conduct over their smartphones.
As per the images inspired by this crystalized idea in the collective imaginary that Italian style is Sophia Loren in the Italian Riviera in the ‘50s eating spaghetti, please refer to my book and to the entire curriculum of Istituto Marangoni to get acquainted.
Meanwhile, I hope I have sparked a bit of what’s the all-pervasive Italian style and indulge in the intangible quality of chic.