If you have seen the documentary film 'Dior and I’ you will have seen inside one of the oldest haute couture ateliers in Paris and the extraordinary and exquisite skills of pattern makers, seamstresses and embroiderers, some of whom have been with the fashion house from the early days. The film traces the inaugural collection of then-new artistic director Raf Simons, but as fascinating as that journey is, it is the artistry of the seamstresses and their traditional techniques that are central to the story and steal the show.
In tune with the traditions of the fashion industry’s haute couture, there are furniture houses that also retain the tailor-made craft skills and knowledge developed over centuries. This level of craftsmanship is ever present at Italian furniture manufacturer Giorgetti where, like Dior, the skills are revered, revised and continually developed.
Founded 120 years ago this year, the Giorgetti group represents the Made in Italy philosophy and holds a pivotal place within the Italian industrial landscape. Even today, the strength of the furniture district of Brianza in Meda is underpinned by knowledge embedded in its factories during the turn of the century. Here, artisan crafts and tradition, innovation and an acute understanding of new technology and the future, make up the ingredients that go into Giorgetti's design methodology.
Italy is the second highest-ranked manufacturer in the world and maintains its roots and identity in traditional skills. For generations, Italians have learnt and tested new methods in local factories. Starting out working predominantly with timber, Giorgetti's roots remain here.
Every project begins in the timber shed where wood from around the world is stored and aged. The timber catalogue is extensive, and the selection process is determined by each design. For example, the joint between the desktop and the leg on the Erasmo desk requires a very particular characteristic and timber is chosen carefully to meet the details and finish required. A sawmill then cuts each piece to order and the whole process is managed by Giorgetti's makers.
To celebrate 120 years, Giorgetti released the book 'Object to Project – Giorgetti design from 1898' that uncovers the history and traditions of a company and a community of makers in Brianza, Meda, that remains as relevant today as they were when Giorgetti first began working with timber in 1898.
Giorgetti's focus on quality, detail, construction and comfort, with materials including natural: wood, leather and soft fabrics, has resulted in a collection of iconic designs embedded with the rigour developed over 120 years of manufacturing in the heart of Italy's historic furniture-making region.