meadham kirchhoff

“Secrets … Are the Very Root of Cool:” Penhaligon’s Tralala

I’m often asked about the perfumes I wear, but explaining in detail what draws me towards a certain scent is hard. Choosing a perfume is a very personal, intimate and subjective act, which deals with memories, echoes and dreams. Moreover, what works for you may not work for others, because perfumes adapt to their wearers with different outcomes. It’s frustrating when you want a perfume to work for you [1], but there’s nothing you can do about it (I guess it’s a chemistry matter); on the contrary, when you realize something works wonderfully on your skin, that’s pure bliss. I don’t believe in love at first sight, but with perfumes… well, that’s a different story.

Penhaligon’s Endymion struck me like thunder, and the same happened with the latest scent of the British brand. Tralala is the result of a unique combination of creativity and artistry: created by Bertrand Duchaufour in collaboration with Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff, it will officially launch next spring [2], but I was lucky enough to get a sample from Penhaligon’s [3].

It’s taken me days to “study” it. I’m not joking: there’s so much hidden in this perfume, that whenever I wear it, I know there’s something more I can’t quite grasp. I don’t think I’m able to describe in detail, but let’s see what the official report says about the olfactory pyramid. The head notes include aldehydes, saffron, whiskey, ambrette seed butter, galbanum and violet leaf absolute; the heart notes are carnation, leather, tuberose, ylang ylang, orris and incense; the base notes include myrrh resinoid, opopanax absolute, patchouli, vetiver, cedarwood, heliotrope, musk and vanilla. It’s definitely the most complex composition I’ve ever smelt, but let me tell you I immediately connected it to two Penhaligon’s perfumes I own and love – Artemisia and Cornubia. Both perfumes have musk and vanilla as base notes, just like Tralala, but despite this similarity, the latter succeeds in standing out.

02_tralala_image-2To my nose, the perfume opens with a fresh, yet romantic, scent of violet, soon followed by a slight note of incense (which I love, and would smell it among millions of scents) and a rich tuberose. When the floral notes subside, the wooden/spicy heart of the perfume opens up with comforting and earthy notes of vanilla, patchouli and musk; on the background, a fresh hint of vetiver. Perfumes usually don’t last long on me, but this one lingers on my skin for hours – you can definitely tell it’s there for a long time. It’s a fragrance you can lose yourself in, but there’s more about it, a subtler yet deeper meaning: to me Tralala speaks of warmth and comfort, ideas I connect to Artemisia, too, but here there’s a mysterious element which I guess  is of its charm, a feature that beautifully echoes the imagery of its creators, along with the perfume bottle.



“There Is Something Beautiful In Reveling In Sadness”: Meadham Kirchhoff Fall/Winter 2013

Fashion used to be a special spot I turned to when I was sad or bored or worried, and it was like an anchor, giving me safety and plenty of stuff to dream about. Now that feeling is gone (don’t ask me why, I don’t know!), I’m clueless on what to do with this void. Oh, wait: the feeling, the magic, the excitement are gone, but sometimes, in some rare occasions, there’s still something stirring inside of me. This is what happened when I saw the fall/winter 2013 collection by Meadham Kirchhoff, which has given me a beautiful iconographic set to ponder on. What I’m looking for in fashion is a vision, an imaginary world, poetry, and I’m glad the London-based designing duo has given all this to their audience.

I selected a few outfits from the collection, dividing them into main themes – Death in Venice, kinderwhore, Little House on the Prairie and Picnic at Hanging Rock. Let me tell you I am in awe of the whole collection, but these are the strongest numbers, the ones that make you really step into the message of the designers.

6.jpg.r.nocrop.w1800.h1800Death in Venice (1971) by Luchino Visconti was intended to be an adaptation of the novella published by Thomas Mann in 1912, but it turned out to be an exercise in style and a masterpiece of the unsaid. Piero Tosi’s costumes (the refined outfits designed for Silvana Mangano and reminiscent of Carla Erba, Visconti’s mother; Von Aschenbach’s dapper suits; Tadzio and his brothers’ sailor-inspired clothes) set a new, high standard in designing costumes for the cinema and represent one of the highest points of his career. The unripe beauty of Tadzio contrast with his uniform-like clothing, which served as source of inspiration for Meadham Kirchhoff’s collection. In the outfit above, a white pleated knitted front-buttoned skirt has been paired to a cardigan-like sailor top; the contrasting hems are all made of black patent leather (a recurring theme of the collection). The tulle and lace veil is another element referring to the same style (black lace is applied horizontally on white tulle, so as to create “stripes”), but it’s also a self-homage (the designers love veiling their models).


We Only Come Out At Night

Dallo Spazio is not a personal style blog and never will, but once in a while I like letting my readers step into my closet, where anarchy rules. I don’t like following trends, I hate style handbooks and all those “experts” who tell you what to wear, as if you were a life-size doll and not a person with her own taste (good or bad) and passions. In the early 2000s I had a different attitude, especially when it came to it bags, but now I’m at a point in which I could easily bury the whole world of fashion with a huge “whatever”. Besides my everyday style, which is not as flamboyant as it used to be some years ago, there are special occasions in which I still have fun with fashion; one of these is Halloween. In Italy it’s an imported festivity, but it has always had a peculiar meaning to me. As a die-hard lover of all things creepy and as a long-time pumpkin carver, the last day of October represents a pause from the ordinary, a moment to devote to mystery and imagination.

This Halloween B and I were invited to a children’s party; as soon as I got the invitation, I started thinking about the costumes we could wear. Traditional Halloween costumes are boring and predictable, so I decided to opt for something unusual and totally spooky.

This is me in front of the mirror just before leaving to the party. I don’t have any full-figure mirror at home, so you can’t see the whole outfit, which included a short-sleeved sweater, a black slip, a long black chiffon dress with floral print worn on a pair of black leggings. As you can see from the picture, I also wore long pearl necklaces as bracelets, a paisley-printed black veil on my face and a flower crown. I’m sure you’re wondering what kind of costume is that, right?