MUSES SERIES: Cécile Gavazzi
Cécile Gavazzi: Everything is in the details
Can you tell us a bit about the history behind Morpho + Luna? What inspired you to start the company? How has the company evolved since it was founded?
Home has always been very important to me. I am a very aesthetic person and my surroundings are important. It’s about small details: the beauty found in a vase or a fabric, or beautiful colours and textures.
It doesn’t have to be expensive; it can be super simple and essential. No plastic, just naturally sources materials; earthy palettes, vintage and antique pieces, such as a vintage book, cloth, object.
When I’m at home I feel good and I love everything that is linked to the experience of being at home, whether that’s decorating or laying a beautiful table, buying flowers, or going to a country market.
I love being in my PJs and robes at home. About six years ago I became quite obsessed with homewear and started playing with the idea of launching a homewear brand, with beautiful fabrics and fabrication at its core. I simply couldn’t find what I was looking for. I grew up in Italy, where there’s an appreciation for craftsmanship and beauty, and those values are completely present in me. In Italy there is also a strong tradition in nightwear. There are still small family run businesses which produce beautiful hand embroidered pieces..like it was in the old time. The idea of Morpho + Luna was to get inspired by that tradition but offer it in a modern version.
I really dislike globalisation and fast fashion. In homewear you’d find a lot of cheap materials and ‘sexy’ outfits. The idea grew very organically and this is when I met Carola, who had worked in fashion while I had worked in corporate communication. This is when we decided to join forces and launch the brand together. Nothing was planned and we had no idea that the brand would grow this way. We just loved what we did and wanted to do it well and we also shared a love for ‘Made in Italy’ fabrics and beautiful cuts. We both had it in our blood. The company grew organically as it is still doing.
As for the name, I was reading a book by Hannah Rothschild, “The Baroness: The Search for Nica, the Rebellious Rothschild”, and I was fascinated by the story and by the name of the incredibly extravagant Baroness. She was named after an elusive moth called Pannonica because her father Nathaniel Charles Rothschild was a banker and entomologist, and had studied and collected butterflies and moths all his life. This was so inspiring that we started looking at more than 155,000 butterflies and moth names on the Encyclopaedia Britannica.
And there we found them: Morpho, a beautiful blue South American butterfly, and Luna, a smaller, more delicate white moth. They represented for us the masculine and feminine sides to all of us. Morpheus was also the God of dreams in Greek mythology and Luna is the name of the moon in Italian. In addition there is the whole idea of ‘morphing' into a new skin, of female empowerment and transformation, which is what we believe happens when you wear Morpho + Luna. One should feel ’transformed’ into an elegant and aesthetic creature – for your own pleasure and nobody else’s.
What are the core values of Morpho + Luna?
Authenticity, quality, chic, understated, warm and strong, with a point of view and a sense of humour.
Tell us about the Morpho + Luna aesthetic. How much is it a reflection of your own personalities/lives? How important are fine details to you?
Sometimes I am quite minimal and at other times I like to experiment with colours and textures and go richer. Morpho + Luna is definitely a reflection of this as well. My home is the same. I collect a lot too: mainly ceramics, objects, vases – small, inexpensive things that I find in small country markets or brocantes in France. At first they do not look like anything special, especially if out of context but if you look closely they carry details that make them quite unique and beautiful to me. They carry a story and a soul – and this is what counts the most for me. We do the same in our collections. The real luxury is in the details: fabrics, trims, laces, hand-embroidery, colour palettes…
What drives you in both your work and your personal life?
I am dreamer. Have always been. Funny that my Master thesis almost twenty years ago was on ‘Dreams in 19th Century Russian Literature’ and that I ended up launching a sleepwear brand! Being a dreamer doesn’t mean walking around with your head in the clouds..but actually quite the opposite. I think dreams are our realities in waiting and in dreams we plant the seeds of our future. This is what drives me. Being true to one self. Teaching my three children to find who they really are. To be curious, confident, courageous, hard working and to persevere!
Tell us about your personal style. What do you like to wear and what inspires your look? How is it influenced by your background and heritage?
I buy clothes that make me feel pretty and that flatter me, and I have never cared about having the latest thing. For me it is about tailored cuts, fabrics and colour palettes. I would say that due to my French background my style is quite French. I have a sort of signature look that is quite simple: Breton striped T-shirt, jeans, trainers or flats. And a nice tailored coat in a neutral palette. Mostly I dress for myself, to feel good and not to show off. I spent my childhood travelling from Milan to Paris with my French mum to visit family so France is very much part of my style.
My home is really my safe heaven and for me it is essential that it should be cosy and happy. So lighting and textures are my priority. My home is very colourful, full of life and details. I am a real nature lover so there is a lot of green… probably to make me feel as if I am still outdoors…which is my favourite place to be.
For Christmas we are always in Italy at my parents’ home near Como in the countryside. It’s a big family affair. My French mother taught me the art of entertaining, about the love of a beautiful table and nice food. Her tables are always very beautiful, and I am very grateful for this.
Please tell us about your latest project - why did you choose to explore the theme of muses? What makes the perfect muse for you personally, and for Morpho + Luna?
The perfect muse for me is an authentic woman with a strong personality and style, whatever that might be. It’s about being true to oneself.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Lauren Luxenberg
HAIR & MAKE-UP: Cat Parnell
CANDLES AND FLOWERS DECORATIONS: Petersham Nurseries