THE GLASS HOUSE

MAR­CAN­TO­NIO BRAN­DOLINI IS ON AN ARTFUL MIS­SION: TO SHAT­TER CLICHED NO­TIONS OF HIS FAM­ILY’S NA­TIVE VENICE WHILE PRE­SERV­ING ITS SIN­GU­LAR TRA­DI­TIONS.

Town & Country (Philippines) - - CONTENTS / APRIL - By Martina Mon­dadori Sar­togo

Mar­can­to­nio Bran­dolini is on a mis­sion to shat­ter clichéd no­tions of his na­tive Venice while pre­serv­ing the le­gacy of his late mother’s glass­ware busi­ness.

G reat hosts and hostesses have long shared a col­or­ful, al­beit trans­par­ent, se­cret: their glass­ware. In lime green with swirls of gold, or em­bla­zoned with pineap­ples and palm trees, with del­i­cate lilac fil­i­gree, or with crim­son mille­fiori in per­fectly pro­por­tioned shapes, tum­blers and gob­lets by La­guna B are in­stantly rec­og­niz­able in a sea of imi­ta­tion Mu­rano. An­other rea­son for the line’s pop­u­lar­ity was its fa­mous founder, Marie Bran­dolini, a raven-haired de­scen­dant of the Roth­schilds who called Venice’s Palazzo Bran­dolini home. When Marie died sud­denly of cancer, in 2013, the fu­ture of her busi­ness seemed un­cer­tain. Un­til, that is, her dash­ing son Mar­can­to­nio took the helm two years later.

For Bran­dolini, now 25, keep­ing La­guna B alive is as much a way to pay tribute to his beloved mother as it is about em­brac­ing Ital­ian crafts­man­ship and sav­ing the world’s most renowned glass­mak­ing district from ex­tinc­tion. “Many work­shops here in Mu­rano are dis­ap­pear­ing, shut­ting down be­cause there isn’t enough work or be­cause the new gen­er­a­tions don’t want to con­tinue the fam­ily busi­ness,” he says.

Since mov­ing back to his child­hood home in the palazzo he has be­come some­thing of a glass sa­vant. He set up a cre­ative stu­dio in the palazzo’s rooftop bed­room, which was a fre­quent haunt of his fam­ily’s dec­o­ra­tor, Renzo Mon­gia­rdino (who dec­o­rated the home of Bran­dolini’s grand­par­ents, Brando and Cris­tiana Bran­dolini d’Adda).

Bran­dolini also es­tab­lished the brand’s most sig­nif­i­cant and wel­come push into the 21st cen­tury so far: a new shop­pable web­site. And he is tak­ing La­guna B in a per­sonal di­rec­tion, too, con­tin­u­ing all the beloved col­lec­tions his mother cre­ated (Goto mille­fiori and the striped Ber­lin­got be­ing the most fa­mous) and in­tro­duc­ing elab­o­rate one-off glass pieces.

“Venice can­not be known only as a post­card city for tourists or for con­tem­po­rary art, for the Bi­en­nale,” Bran­dolini says. “This is about his­tory and tra­di­tion.”

clear think­ing twenty-five-yearold Mar­can­to­nio Bran­dolini is con­tin­u­ing his mother Marie’s glass­mak­ing le­gacy. t&c

an­ces­tral ta­bles the gar­dens of the Palazzo bran­dolini, on Venice’s Grand canal. be­low: sam­ples of la­guna b glass­ware in the rooftop ate­lier.

de­sign lin­eage The win­dows in the palazzo’s airy liv­ing room face the grand Canal. Be­low: a vin­tage pho­to­graph.

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