yesterday i did a post on plaids and tartans, the overall color theme was red of course, after all we have officially moved into the holidays. ironically, the great alessandra branca’s mds interview is here. when i think of alesssandra of course i think of brilliant work , quality and detail, but i also think of red, her signature color and there is always a burst of tartan. i guess there is a theme and a color story this week- i love when this happens!

i got to meet alessandra a few months ago when i was in nyc. by chance we were in the city at the same time and we had breakfast- what an amazing lady! beyond being a creative force she is a very, very savvy business women and marketer. i have to say i’m quite impressed with her pinterest and instagram skills too.

right after breakfast she wisked both michael and i down to chelsea to take a preview tour of the 2013 hearst magazine designer showcase in which she had done an apartment for elle decor– all i can say is breathtaking and i’ll use the word again- brilliant! the color, the print, the details, the innovation, all the red and of course the tartan was amazing- even better, the dining room she did made the cover of the december issue of elle decor.

here is part 1 of my interview with alessandra- more brilliance tomorrow when i bring you part 2! enjoy!

MDS- How would you define your style?

AB- Classical with comfort and wit….



MDS- Where did you grow up and how do you think that influences your work?

AB- I was born and raised in Rome, Italy… The architecture and art of Rome definitely influenced me…the culture also is a strong factor in my work.. As an Italian you are more passionate about color and style.. It is in the DNA of the Italians to think of how things look and work…quality was also something that was very important.. From the food you eat to the art that surrounds you.. And the fashion…

The Pantheon in rome




MDS- If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?

AB- Teaching kindergarden….

a red schoolhouse

MDS- Who or what is inspiring you right now?

AB- The classics have always been my greatest influence and now I am looking at everything from Palladio, David Hicks , Jansen Mongiardino to 18th century and 50’s fashion… Everything can inspire… Instagram is fantastic at creating an unexpected spark..and Pinterest is also great… Of course nothing can replace all the great magazines out there!!!

David Hicks books

MDS- What is the favorite room in your home?

AB- my garden is… I live outside as much as I can….of course this is limited in Chicago .. My close second choice is our library.

Alessandra’s garden


MDS-  Is there anything you obsessively collect?

AB- Vintage books on design, lifestyle, Art and fashion.

A study in Georgetown designed by Alessandra



MDS- Fill in the blank: “I could never own too many _______.”

AB- “I could never own to many moleskine notebooks and uniball pens .”

MDS- If you could decorate anyone’s house- who’s would it be and why?

AB- Valentino… Because he is the ultimate in taste. He is the best of the best and supports tremendous quality in everything without being owned by it.

Valentino surrounded by models in red valentino dresses

MDS- What do you want to be known for?

AB- Chic but sensible taste and commitment to quality and excellence.

A Branca Collection Rouge Tartan Pillow available at Bergdorf Goodman

A branca Collection Rouge Marmo Bolster pillow available at Bergdorf Goodman

A Branca Collection Rouge Tartan throw available at Bergdorf Goodman

MDS- What do you think is chic, stylish and glamorous?

AB- anything that is honest, original and from the heart, and of course quality… The quality comes from the original thought put into something…style is distinction without attitude… Glamorous is elegance with allure.

Alessandra’s apartment for elle decor at the 2013 hearst magazine designer visions showcase- photographs by douglas friedman


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  1. With love and respect, it’s “Pantheon” in Rome. The Parthenon is in Athens…like spinach in the teeth, I would tell my friends.

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