Florentine style in London
She spent her childhood in Florence, amidst the shades of grey and sky-blues of the Italian Renaissance; as with her sense of understated balance and elegance, she retained them in her second life in New York. Even more so in her third and current life in London, which is where we meet her.
Carolina Bucci has followed in the footsteps of a family tradition dating back to 1885; like her family, she is a jewellery designer. Yet she has added the contemporary twist of a priceless style suitable for everyday wear. Customised chains, diamond bracelets with a tennis-effect elastic reminiscent of the Twenties, and golden scarves made on wooden looms just like in Renaissance times, like luminescence to be rolled up as desired, sold by Bergdorf & Goodman, (carolinabucci.com).
The London apartment looks out over the ground floor level, and combines the artwork of her gallery-owner husband with traces of the Bucci tradition, dragging the perfect blend of antique into contemporary life: “The important thing is to only choose pieces you like”. Candles are alight all around, accompanying us as we cross the large sitting room to the enormous kitchen, which is as tidy as Carolina herself. Next to the fridge we note the Rules of the Pyner Household (her husband’s surname). “This is the new edition. Every so often the four of us have a meeting to change them or add new ones”.
Splashes of bright colour against neutral backgrounds, it is a precise style that recalls the way Carolina Bucci dresses. She thinks in colour, and so that is our starting point.
The Secret of Colours.
“Even when I studied art, what I liked was colouring, not drawing”. Perhaps it was the influence of her grandmother the painter, or perhaps her use of felt-tip pens instead of a traditional blue biro, but her agenda is a colourful diary. In short, when Carolina dresses, she colours herself. Sky-blue is an obsession, in all its shades, which are gathered together in the logo of her jewellery. Then there is grey, the one that recalls the pietra serena sandstone of the sixteenth-century home she grew up in, a grey she finds is anything but sad: “Particularly when you cut it with white”. The white lace coat is one of her favourites. Otherwise there is plenty of dusky pink. The bases are very reminiscent of the Renaissance, and she brings them to life with a shade that “pops out”.
Never too many contrasts, and it is best to avoid ever putting blue with black, or pink with red: lessons learned from her childhood.
Colour is a secret to tidiness. Given that Carolina straightens everything including labels on bottles, she solves the weighty problem of the wardrobe using colour. Behind the wardrobe doors, the clothes are divided by category and lined up like felt-tips in a box.
The Secret of Style.
The source of inspiration is the ’60s. Sophia Loren on a speed boat: the neck scarf, the wood finishes and the ring. A statement made with very little, a touch of utterly natural glamour which is never overdone. Exactly the same applies to the jewellery. It is something that reflects your personality, a detail that is a hallmark, something which lasts forever without ever hogging the limelight.
Never: letter pendants
Always: lit candles. Large ones in small spaces. Different ones scattered about individually in larger areas.
The obsession: an umbrella instead of a hat, and a large one too; to make sure she got it right she designed her own one. It is on sale with her own logo.
I always embark my luggage, even if I am only away for three days. I want to have several options so that I don’t feel out of place anywhere, as it all depends on how you feel that day. Outfits and sets of accessories are created. Every theme - swimwear, underwear, socks, jewellery… has its own bag. Every dress or shirt has to be folded in three, not in two, so that it doesn’t leave a visible crease. The clothes are the perfect means of going from day to night with just a change of shoes and accessories. The bag is large in size, and there is more than one clutch bag for the evenings. There are lots of sandals, all flat, added to which I add one pair of high heels. Preferably large, often made by Tod’s.
In my bag.
An enormous purse where I keep everything, even photographs. The agenda is the only untidy thing I have, but I am still a woman who does things on paper. Felt-tips. I write in colour, two at a time, and I change them on different days. Keys Lip balm, no beauty products, not even a hairbrush. The telephone The computer It’s a Renaissance-inspired amalgamation