I love paper. I always have. I studied literature and art at university, violin since I was 9 years old and I’m a sommelier. My multifaceted education reflects itself in Orlando. I wasn’t able to choose and follow only one of my passions and create a career from it. I wanted to find something that could have united all of them in one container.
I spent a year in Milan, working in a Japanese concept store and there I curated the wine list first and then the books and magazine selection. I have always been an avid reader, but I wasn’t aware of the marvellous world of indie magazines. I spent hours to read them in this beautiful Reading Room we had in Milan. After all these studies and reading I started to plan my own magazine: I have tons of notes regarding the topics, the aesthetic, the structure.
Oh yeah, the structure of Orlando is unique. How did this come about?
Right from the start I knew that I wanted to characterise the magazine with a unique structure. And so, after infinite brainstorming with family and friends, and after a particularly brilliant conversation with my husband Alex, I came up with the imaginary Hotel Structure.
I wanted the reader to feel warmly welcomed, going up and down the stairs of this imaginary Hotel, being entertained by its fascinating guests: artists, creatives, visionaries. The Orlando imaginary hotel is a place to lose yourself into… it’s a cultural journey that wants to inspire and stimulate its readers. The imaginary hotel it’s a frame story: as Boccaccio did with the Decameron: it’s a tale itself.
We love the imaginary hotel and all its little details - like the lift attendant to take you between floors. Now that’s the structure, but each issue also has a theme…
My creative process begins from literature. Each issue of Orlando is guided by a literary theme, a novel, which is translated into images by my art direction and in the editorial; we create also unique Short Art Movies (Our Tales) inspired by these novels. We have reinterpreted Orlando Furioso and Woolf’s, Dorian Gray, Alice in Wonderland, the myth of Pandora and the One Thousand and One Nights.
I chose the name Orlando for my beloved literature: for the XVIth century’s Orlando Furioso of Ludovico Ariosto and for Virginia Woolf’s Orlando.
Orlando plays around a lot with text, design and even paper and texture. Can you tell us about your design process?
I have to communicate through literature the themes that inspire me. Each novel carries different themes, like One Thousand and one Nights themes that I wanted to enlighten were: Sherazade heroine against the tyrant thanks to the power of narration, the frame-story structure… In Dorian Graythe eternal power of Art, beauty and death…
Having chosen the novel makes me enter in a specific aesthetic. I research old movies, covers of manuscripts, fashion editorials… I take myself fully inside the mood and I try to communicate it to my readers with the choice of the cover, the special paper and effects we use, the texture as you said… has to be a complete sensorial experience every time. It has to enclose each and all of your senses.
You feature lots of different artists, restauranteurs and other interesting people. What makes a person/place worthy of anOrlando story?
When I choose the people/artists to interview I search for a pure celebration of beauty, craftmanship, sophistication, authenticity and passion. I have a strong instinct and I know immediately when I find any artists, or places that I feel fit into the Orlando style.
Can you tell us a bit about ‘Musword’ and the playlists you create for each issue? How do you suggest readers listen to the playlists?
Musword is an immersive cultural experience. You will have to let yourself go and be transported by the power of music, words and images. Musword means password but it is also the union of Music+Word. The images will inspire the words you will have the chance to read and the music. A unique and mutual inspiration will guide this particular cultural experiment.
For each issue I create a special playlist which matches each single article of the magazine. I recommend to listen to each track with the matching article. The music amplifies the intensity of the words. I was raised by a sweet melomaniac father who lullabied me with Tosca, Turandot e Bohéme…music is so important for me and every important moment of my life has a soundtrack - the memory is much stronger thanks to music. The Orlando playlist is another magazine written by music.
How would you describeOrlando and who do you think would enjoy reading it?
Orlando is a container of beauty and inspirations. I think the ideal reader for Orlando is a person who is truly curious and fascinated by arts and culture.
What other mags do you enjoy reading? Are there any that have particularly inspiredOrlando?
I love magazines of course… I love Sindroms, Blumenhouse, Luncheon, Cabana… Sindroms for its mono colour theme, Blumenhouse for its elegant and refined aesthetics, Luncheon for the peculiar structure, Cabana for its wonderful interiors.
And finally, we ask all mag makers this question- in our digital age, why make print magazines?
Because “Scripta manent!” (“The Written Word Remains”). It’s our little mark in this life. I wanted Orlando to be my first business card, to present how I approach culture. I want people to know me as Orlando’s ideator. Print is alive!!
Grazie Antonella! You can browse the whole collection of Orlando (issues 1-6) here, or click on any of the covers below...
From the publisher:
Issue 1: Let yourself be charmed by Miriam Escofet’s unique canvas, discover Anna Glover’s luxury wallpapers and hidden spots in Scotland.
Issue 2: Read through Virginia Wolf’s sincere words and characters and find out Dalì’s infatuation for the world of tarots.
Issue 3: How much do you know about Oscar Wilde’s masterpiece? Let yourself be amazed by Margherita Maccapani Missoni’s and Petunia Ollister’s The Picture of Dorian Gray
Issue 4: Inspired by Alice in Wonderland. Read the unconventional interviews with Maurizio Cattelan and Annie Atkin and so much more…
Issue 5: The theme of this Issue is Discovery: astronomical, geographical, inner, artistic. The editorial has been inspired by the myth of Pandora. Ready to open the box?
Issue 6: This Issue is inspired by the One Thousand and One Nights and celebrates Sherazade as the heroin who saved the women of her generation thanks to the power of storytelling