Set wide the window. Let me drink the day. ~ Edith Wharton
Presentation is important in Italian culture. From the table to the tips of the perfectly pointed shoes, how one chooses to represent oneself, matters. In fashionable destinations the art of window shopping is the perfect illustration of this cultural value. It is one-upmanship at its best and it benefits all passers-by with creative canvases that change almost weekly.
Forte dei Marmi is a beach town but there is a year-round weekend culture that come to see and be seen. The sidewalks are paved in marble so no sensible shoes are required. There are many high-end boutiques and local artisans all working side by side to lure people through the door. Curb appeal comes without much effort in Italy as timeless storefronts with pockmarked age old stone is the standard.
Because curb appeal alone does not differentiate, shop owners go up, out, over, above and beyond. It is truly a feast for the eyes. Some stores paint their entire facade to change with the seasons (like the one pictured). They paper the windows to hide the changes before the weekend reveal and the anticipation builds. The best part of this art is the people watching such windows attract. Even the carabinieri (law enforcement) are wearing uniforms that Valentino and Armani had a hand in designing. The whole show is free, unless of course you are lured in for the $3,000 loafers. Don’t say you weren’t warned. The price was right there in the window!
The ability to re-invent one’s image, aspirational or otherwise, with new and exciting accessories, keeps creativity fluid in the salty air.
Today, you can be deliberate in your appreciation of presentation …