APPETITE FOR DESIGN
Style icon Rossana Orlandi’s taste for quality is ref lected in her new Milan restaurant, bistRo Aimo e Nadia
‹‹ designer McCollin Bryan and Spanish designer Nacho Carbonell’s Hot Kettle Transformation jug, mixed in with vintage pieces and humble ones, such as Seletti’s Charley toilet brush.
By design, bist Ro is in a state of perpetual evolution — a living place that must be inhabited to be fully appreciated. “Everything must be useable, otherwise it just doesn’t make sense,” says Orlandi. Her pragmatic approach is evident everywhere, from the heavy industrial lighting — a throwback to the building’s original existence as a factory — to a choice of wallpaper that had to withstand washing without being damaged. It was a chance meeting in London during the PAD London art fair that inspired her collaboration with Etro Home, an offshoot of the leading Italian fashion house. “I was being hosted at Loulou’s club in Mayfair and loved the way that [Turkishborn British fashion designer] Rifat Özbek did its interior,” says Orlandi. “I felt so welcomed there and knew my new place should be done that way. At almost the same time, I ran into [Etro accessories, home fabrics and textiles creative director] Jacopo Etro and suggested we do this. All of the wallcoverings are theirs. I am very happy with the results.”
“The guests take over, almost as if it was their own home”
Orlandi and the chefs, Pisani and Negrini, are also taking bistRo to the gallery. Design-obsessed diners can book a private dinner, cooked by the chefs and served in one of the space’s vast rooms. “The idea is that when you arrange the dinner, you also take possession of the gallery,” says Orlandi. “I come in, give a welcome, have an aperitivo and then leave the gallery to them. The guests take over, almost as if it was their own home.”
Any time spent with Orlandi, however brief, provides a new perspective on this design doyenne. It soon becomes clear what is most important to her — the hospitality Italy is renowned for and her attention to detail in every aspect of it. Her new business is not just an eatery; it is a big part of who Orlandi truly is — elegant, sophisticated, welcoming and, yes, even a little ironic.
this page, clockwise from right: Rossana Orlandi, in an Etro dress. In the bar, on the table, is Nacho Carbonell’s Hot Kettle Transformation — On the Move jug; in the corner is Jaime Hayon’s Hope Bird sculpture for Bosa. Another dining setting, with a vintage marble table, vintage chairs, Agnès Sandahl tableware, Andreu Carulla’s Wild Ware brass cutlery, Flos Bon Jour table lamps and Etro Home wallpaper.