MOPRHO+LUNA MUSES: Carola Voli
Carola Voli: At the crossroads of fashion and art
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?
I have to go back to my childhood memories: my mother on a Sunday morning hanging around in a beautiful long navy blue silk velvet robe – she was so elegant that you would think she was still wearing her outfit from the night before!
This was my first experience of this ‘homewear’ aesthetic. I have always loved wearing a robe or PJs when at home but had difficulty finding ‘that’ one, so when Cecile came to me for some advice as she wanted to create a small robe collection I immediately loved the idea and saw the opportunity to re-create my mother’s robe!
I had been working in fashion as a product manager all my life, which meant I had built up a very powerful network of suppliers and production laboratories in Italy, which was very useful when we decided to launch Morpho + Luna.
My family owns Reda1865, a high-end Italy textile business, set up almost 150 years ago, which explains my passion for beautiful fabrics, craftsmanship and attention to detail. These are all values that are at the core of Morpho + Luna and that we both shared from the beginning.
We also both love butterflies and for the name we wanted to use two words, to represent the two of us, as well as the idea of something being both masculine and feminine at the same time. I chose Morpho, a beautiful male blue South American butterfly and Cecile chose Luna, a white female moth. We thought the names sounded really good together. In our collections we always put a hidden butterfly in our prints!
Another key inspiration for our name comes from mythology: Morpheus is also the Greek god of dreams and Luna is the Italian name for moon. And there’s also the idea of metamorphosis – creating pieces that allow women to feel beautiful and powerful both inside and out; to feel elegant and to feel good about themselves.
What are the core values of Morpho + Luna?
Authenticity, elegance, understated, high-quality, luxury, timeless, confident, 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?
Morpho + Luna perfectly represents me and my own aesthetic, which is really a mix of feminine and masculine, with a special attention to detail. In my wardrobe you can find a men’s tailored blazer lined up next to a flowery print silk shirt or skirt. Or military boots next to high-heeled shoes. At home it’s the same: we collect art, and while my husband Emilio loves Old Masters, I’m more into contemporary art. I’m totally in love with the Italian artist Fausto Melotti. His thin brass sculptures are elegant, poetic, delicate and strong at the same time. A perfect example of the Morpho + Luna (and my) aesthetic.
What drives you in both your work and your personal life?
Entrepreneurial spirit and a natural aptitude for work that I have inherited from my father. And also the idea of being a good role model for my daughter Alix.
Tell us about your personal style. What do you like to wear and what inspires your look? How is it influenced by your background/your heritage?
Having worked so many years in fashion I know exactly what suits me and what doesn’t! I’m a conscious and impulsive buyer at the same time. My daytime uniform is jeans paired with an impeccable tailored-cut wool blazer and a bespoke shirt from Charvet in Paris. (always on my Christmas list! ) Beautiful fabrics and perfect cuts are part of the heritage of my textile family! I also love long printed silk dresses and wear them during the day with flat ankle boots or masculine shoes. At night I love wearing one of our silk printed pyjama sets with high heels and vintage necklaces.
Can you describe the importance of home? How is your home styled?
My home is my safe and happy place! When I renovated it I didn’t want to use an interior designer, so there are probably a few mistakes! But it’s a reflection of my personality.
I wanted a beautiful ancient oak floor everywhere, even in the bathrooms, with no rugs. An off-white, grey, neutral colour palette with a touch of red here and there (which is my passion). We have paintings, artworks, books and framed photographs everywhere.
I’m lucky enough to have many windows, and I chose the traditional Japanese blinds, sudare, which are made from bamboo and allow light to pass through without losing the view of the Thames. Looking at the river flowing helps me reconnect with nature, which is so important to my life.
How do you celebrate Christmas in your home?
I always spend Christmas in Italy with my very big family. There are a few Christmas celebrations between Biella, my hometown, and Turin and they all have in common lots of delicious food, never-ending drinks, lots of Italian debates and laughs, and elegant table settings!
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?
It was only natural for me to think about the Muse Project as our brand is for women and made by two women.
Being an art lover, women who have inspired me are: Alda Merini, one of the most modern Italian poets, the French-American artist Louise Bourgeois, and Artemisia Gentileschi, one of the most accomplished painters in an era when female painters were not accepted by the artistic community.
All these women are for me my perfect muse because of their authenticity, strength, freedom, elegance, aesthetic and sense of humour!
HAIR & MAKE-UP: Cat Parnell
CANDLES AND FLOWERS DECORATIONS: Petersham Nurseries