AELEONORE: DISCOVERING THE HEART OF TUSCANY THROUGH THE FIVE SENSES

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A boutique, a concept store, a parlour. But also a conglomeration of women and ideas, a locus amoenus that blooms right in the centre of Florence. This is Aeleonore, born from the creativity of designer and architect Eleonora Sassoli. And is Eleonora herself, together with her “pink” team, who uses this place to turn a dream into reality: recounting the Made in Italy as a journey into the Tuscan land, through vivid emotions and beyond the boundaries of fashion.

The entrance to Aeleonore in via Monalda

The entrance to Aeleonore in via Monalda

It’s from this dream that the Sense collection was born: five senses, five headscarves, five Tuscan cities. We start our chat/journey with Eleonora Sassoli from here, aiming to discover the world of Aeleonore in her headquarters. We’re in via Monalda’s boutique, and this is the street that Sassoli would want to become part of Florence fashion streets, together with the worldwide renown – but maybe less intriguing – via Tornabuoni.

Here everything, included the furnishing, has been designed by Eleonora. There’s an almost exoteric geometry that intermingles the whole space, from the bags to the sofas, from the pottery to the floor, yet without stiffness, as if all the shapes were flowing together without edges. There;s something liquid here, conveyed by the soft light that soothes the dark tones. Eleonora herself will reveal her secret. But let’s not rush things. As in every considerable journey, we know where the start is, but the destination is all to be discovered.

Where does the idea of the Sense collection come from? What drives a designer to talk about her land through her creations?

As an architect, 4 years ago, I went on a journey to study floors and facades all over Tuscany, following unconventional paths, even inside small villages. And I stand and admired some details that no one notices. For example, Piazza della Repubblica here in Florence: how many times do we step on the pavement beyond the gallery and we don’t stop to admire it, with its unique beauty? And to think that that floor comes from a very peculiar age, different from everything that surrounds it. And that’s where I took inspiration for many of our geometries.

A panel from the Sense collection

A panel from the Sense collection

So, during my journeys through Tuscany, there was this meticulous study and a gathering of millions of pictures, that later I assembled in some graphics that, for me, represent true road trips. You can trace some details from Siena’s Cathedral, from Giotto’s bell tower, and even from more modern elements, such as Leghorn’s Liberty boardwalk, with the Mascagni Terrace… Everything speaks about the truth of Made in Tuscany and Made in Italy.

The result of this study and research are some panel that, alone, would make for perfect paintings to hang on a wall. The five senses are depicted through images and colours, the Tuscan cities show their peculiar geometries and their most intimate shapes. All is transposed on grand headscarves (1,50m x 1,50m), so impalpable yet so full of meanings.

If someone asks me to “tell them Tuscany”, that’s how I narrate it. Through words, photos, but also textures and food. It’s a vision that speaks about the past, about history, but it also has something optical to it, something modern, reminiscent of 1900’s Deconstructivism.

These headscarves are like huge canvas that tell about the territory, with images that speak louder than words. They’re the tale of the cities, of the things that are important to me, from food to architecture. For each city there’s a collection of photographs, from the leather’s colours to marbles, from the hills to kale and figs.

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