The creative rebirth of the designer and face behind the eponymous luxury lifestyle brand, recognised around the world for its beautiful textiles and prints.
Words by Michela Di Carlo
“I do miss my home in Italy sometimes”, the interior and fashion designer Allegra Hicks once said. “I think everyone always does miss their homeland. I miss most of all my sense of belonging my roots and the smell. But London is a wonderful city and I don’t think I could live anywhere else now”. Never say never Allegra; blood is thicker than any other circumstances especially when one comes from such a breath-taking Country like Italy.
On the other hand, It is said part of her innate sense of colour and shape was fostered by her design-conscious parents, Carlo and Rosy Tondato. Her father, a physicist and musician, helped design the family home, her mother were passionate about modern architecture. The creator of exquisite textiles, who completed her design school in Milan, studied trompe l’oeil and fresco painting in Belgium and later attended Parsons School of Design in New York, spent many years in London but now calls Naples home. What helped Allegra to get reconnected with her roots and falling in love again with “her” Italy were two things: her new Italian partner, Roberto Mottola di Amato, and the most seductive, colorful, and notoriously ungovernable city of southern Italy, where danger and decadence have always coexisted; Naples.
Certainly, Allegra seems to have experienced some sort of creative rebirth since ending her marriage with Ashley Hicks, furniture designer son of interior designer David, and grandson of Earl Mountbatten. Her latest vibrant collection of rugs and textiles, “Elements”, which debuted at this season’s Salone del Mobile is as joyful as her name and includes chain-stitched embroideries, an ancient craft that originated in Kashmir; hand-knotted carpets manufactured in India; and flat weaves that employ vegetable-dyed wool, handmade in Anatolia. Maybe the fire of Vesuvius Volcano and the picturesque streets of Naples boosted her imagination far beyond her creative process not seen through the intellectual side, but through the six senses. Friends of her who had the chance to have a sneak-peek of her latest abode in Naples were absolutely mesmerised by her latest sparkling piece of art; it is said that she decided to decorate her bedroom with huge panels of raw silk embroidered in India with a spectacular drawing of Naples bay. We expect further fantastic eruptions in her life too.