Milano, the nation’s fashion capital is by now, a European capital, where you can lose yourself in the old streets rich with historic landmarks and iconic temples of style. One of the most walkable major cities in Europe, almost every hot spot is reachable from the city’s epicentre, marked by its gothic Duomo cathedral, by foot. Walking whilst admiring architectural and artistic details and perpetually discovering something new, is one of the favourite past-times our style ambassador Helen Nonini loves most.

After leaving Rosa Fanti, not far from the picturesque setting of Milan’s Duomo Square, Helen heads towards one of the most characteristic Milanese neighbourhoods: Brera.  There she  steps into Atelier Vernisse, a new, but already cult brand, to meet Matilde Marzotto, where our second Milanese style icon awaits.

The two friends are on a mission to develop a retro, vintage Vernisse capsule collection for The Dressing Screen.

Francesca and Eugenia, the heart and soul of this new brand, have in fact brought all their creativity, and ecological sensitivity, into this unique project. Using vintage over-stock fabrics from Made in
Italy companies to create clothes that embody a vintage allure and a modern cosmopolitain vibe.

Shortly before reaching Matilde, Helen ponders what shoe is the perfect choice for these original outfits. In this regard, she has no doubt: Florentine brand Gia Couture, born from the inspiration of designer Barbara Borhini in 2016, would be the perfect match. With a touch of glam craftsmanship, Barbara has in fact been able to conquer the panorama of Italian footwear with fun and precious models, combining classic lines with extravagant leather and fabrics, appliqué and ribbons. This is demonstrated by her ultra famous Bandana model, that comes in velvet and is shaped with a tapered toe, tight at the foot with a soft ribbon … a model like this would have certainly stood out in Marie Antoinette’s wardrobe. Side note: Gia Couture has inked collaborations with names like Luisa Beccaria or Alex Eagle, just to name a few.

Matilde Marzotto and Helen Nonini for The Dressing ScreenSHOP VERNISSE DRESSES

When Helen arrives at Vernisse,  with very clear ideas, Matilde welcomes her dressed in a flowery “Oopsy Daisy” dress: an iconic model exemplary of fine craftsmanship, characterized by a sash at the waist that can be tied in a variety of ways, embellished with a fashionable flair. Intrigued by this model, Helen chooses she immediately wants to try something similar, this time one with a natural print in bright colors, also created exclusively for The Dressing Screen.

Matilde, with her innate sense of simplicity, but also a born flair for style, she is passionate about timeless fashion, a lover of Italian style in her innate simplicity, passionate about timeless fashion versus excessive eccentricity and immediately finds herself at ease as she peruses Vernisse’s garments.
“Silky vintage fabrics and buttons from the past have been infused with a new life.  It is fascinating to think how much sustainability can be achieved by a circular economy! As the mother of a little girl, I also appreciate their versatility. They are easy to wear, wearable from morning to night,” she said.

By opting for materials from historic textile producers on Lake Como and antique dealers for buttons and small applique’, Vernisse knows how to make each garment unique.  Helen and Matilde lose themselves in the selection of fabrics on display in the atelier. They also discover a colourful dressing screen, symbol of TDS, that allows them to experience first hand how Eugenia and Francesca’s researched ensembles are a perfect fit for fashion muses such as themselves.

Matilde Marzotto for The Dressing Screen

Having enjoyed combining shapes and colors with a keen eye,  chatting about the perfect outfits the coming seasons, Matilde thinks of how to best accessorize each garment. Among the brands present on TDS, in addition to Gia Couture, she chooses the timeless bags of Officina del Poggio and the Bluetiful Milan headbands that have now become a must-have thanks to the latest trends, which have rendered the headband the ultimate accessory for fall/winter.  In 2017, Marta and Martina Bluetiful founders, created a brand inspired by the ladies of the Renaissance, their aesthetics and the velvet, noble velvet “crowns.” Perfect for infusing a look with a splash of color around the forehead: Matilde thus tries one on in coral before the mirror, allowing herself to be enchanted by her own image which, with a single accessory, perfectly captures the essence of elegance throughout the centuries.