In July, I dined with Collette Dinnigan and photographer Felix Forest at the beautiful Masseria Trapanà in Puglia. They had just finished shooting at the beginning of an exciting but ambitious project to create this special issue of Vogue Living. I had invited Collette to guest-edit the magazine and capture the Italy she had experienced while living in Rome the year before, through the beautiful interiors of the homes of her friends, and her and husband Bradley Cocks’s in-depth, in-the-know knowledge of travel. They had just purchased a property to renovate and restore in Puglia, which was to combine their two passions: Italy and interiors. There are guest editors — and then there is Collette Dinnigan. With no former magazine publishing experience, she oversaw every detail of this issue. She did the jobs of many editors, obtaining exclusive access to properties such as the Roman palazzo of Princess and Prince Orsini ( page 106) and Fendi CEO Pietro Beccari’s home ( page 144), and styling the Inspire pages ( page 37) in antiques dealer Lydie du Bray’s store in the NSW Southern Highlands, where Collette has a home. She also pored over every page until it went to print. She would arrive in the office for work before nine and stayed one Friday night a lot later than me. Collette was absolutely committed to the project and brought her exceptional taste, eye for detail and hard-work ethic to it. I am writing this from the Fendi ready-to-wear show in Milan. Last year, when Collette was living in Rome, I attended the Haute Fourrure collection shown on the Trevi Fountain, which Fendi had recently cleaned and restored to its gleaming white glory. Coincidentally, that night at the celebratory dinner I sat next to Britt Moran of Dimore Studio. I had no idea that, a little over a year later, I would be writing this letter, nor be caretaker editor of this magazine — but I knew how influential and highly regarded he and partner Emiliano Salci are in the design world. We feature the wonderful work they have done for Fendi ( page 60), alongside interior spaces they created especially for Vogue Living ( page 83). We thank them and all the incredible individuals who have opened their homes and shared their visions and talents with us in this special issue. Most of all, we thank Felix for taking almost every picture (no small feat!), Bradley for guiding us through the travel pages, and London editor Fiona McCarthy for interviewing so many of the subjects. And, of course, Collette, for her passion, insatiable creativity, generosity, perfectionism and energy. I know you will love and treasure this issue as much as we do.
above: inside the Venetian home of Murano glassmaker Marcantonio Brandolini, one of the Italian artisans profiled on page 136.