Masters & Muses
Interview by Camilla Frances
Images from the Cabana Archive and Arjumand's World
Idarica Gazzoni founded the Milan-based fabric house, Arjumand's World, in 2009 after 20 years mastering the art of mural painting and trompe l’oeil. Arjumand's World, named after the Mughal princess for whom the Taj Mahal was built, produces digitally printed fine fabrics, such as linens, silk tussahs and cotton velvets, inspired by travel and ancient myths. Idarica shares with Cabana her obsessions, influences and greatest challenges.
The most memorable trip I’ve taken:
Turkey, where I have been many times: as a child on the Mediterranean coast; as a teenager, renting a car traversing Cappadocia and visiting Nemrut Dag (an archaeological site overlooking Tigris and the Euphrates River); with my son, Carlo, and again with my family. I'll never grow bored of the Bosphorus natural strait, the markets, Topkapi Palace, the Galata Bridge or the Cistern of Aspar, all in Istanbul. The scents, the light, the air - it’s all so memorable - as is the feeling of being at the beginning of Asia, crossing Europe, where it all began.
The best party I’ve ever been to:
There are three: one at the Hotel du Cap in France; one in Castelluccio in Sicily and one in Istanbul. They were all very refined with a Mediterranean feel. I also loved the party I threw for my son, Carlo, when he turned two. The house was in restoration so, with the builder's help, we put sand in the sitting room, painted palm trees and gave each child a bucket and spade. It was the best silent party ever, all of them busy building and creating.
The moment that defined my career:
Aged 20, I went with my friend, Marina, to Van Der Kelen painting school were I learned to paint Faux Marbles and Bois. I started painting on walls and experimenting with all kinds of design, which later became the Arjumand collection of printed fabrics and wallpapers. Also, early on in my career when I went to participate in Maison et Objet in Paris knowing nothing whatsoever about the textile business!
The greatest challenge I’ve overcome:
I think it was planning - with my friend, Maria Ousseimi - the design of a huge luxurious restaurant, Liza, in Beirut. We had to fit custom-made wallpaper panels, which were all from Italy and had to be glued in place.
The best gift I’ve received or given:
They’re both stones! A Modigliani-esque face stone I found in Patmos and gave to a great friend. And also from Patmos, a big heart-shaped stone that my son Carlo gave me when he was a child.
My next weekend-away destination:
Probably the center of Italy facing the Adriatic sea.
I would describe my childhood as:
Very happy; I was raised in a sophisticated bourgeois milieu, in an antique home with frescoed ceilings, a garden and two dogs. My mother studied history and my father was an industrialist.