New York- and Italy-based design studio LATOxLATO is, without a doubt, 100% proud of their Italian-made brand. Founded by married couple Virginia Valentini and Francesco Breganze de Capnist, LATOxLATO celebrates the art and architecture of their native country through accessories, furnishings and design objects. Their latest collection – Meridiane – is inspired by the sundials that adorn the façades of countless palaces and villas. In fact, “meridiane” means “sundials” in Italian.
Each object in the series tells of Valenini and Breganze de Capnist’s passion for Italy, traditional materials and artisanal techniques. The main characters are, unquestionably, the shadows that play across the white glazed porcelain surface of each piece when the light hits. I love the clever names, each after a time of day: 06:45 tray, 12:30 bowl, 19:00 rectangular tray and 22:15 box. Each piece is detailed in 24k gold, platinum or copper, which acts as LATOxLATO’s trademark of sorts.
The 06:45 tray features a series of arches reminiscent of the porticoes often seen surrounding Italian piazzas. A tall central element mimics the monolithic monuments of Imperial Rome.
The bowl 12:30 features a central obelisk that casts a false shadow onto its curved inner surface.
The rectangular 19:00 tray interprets a wide open space with a central vertical element, which can be read as an obelisk, a fountain or a sculpture. All of the above are frequent sights in Italian town squares.
The 22:15 box was inspired by Villa Malaparte, the iconic home on a cliff overlooking the sea of Capri, designed by architect Adalberto Libera on commission from the famous writer Curzio Malaparte. 22:15 pays homage to Rationalist architecture by recreating the famous curved “screen” that sits atop the house, and made the whole structure famous for the way it plays with projections of light and shadow.
To learn more about Meridiane and to purchase, visit latoxlato.com.