Wednesday, May 18, 2011



Our whole group took Giuliano Fiorenzoli to lunch. On the way, I began to talk with Edwina, a very pretty blond Parsons' student from Denver. I spoke of my Missoni experience. We shared discoveries about how clothes can transform one's feeling about oneself. Then she said, "l'd love to dress you." I was surprised and didn't quite understand what she was saying. "I was thinking about it in Firenze," she continued, "and worked out an outfit for you.” I was really surprised and delighted, and I explained to her that I'd never been interested in clothes before" I asked her how she'd dress me. “In white linen pleated pants, an apricot/peach solid-color shirt and a jacket of soft weave in muted colors, mostly whites.” WOW!

Lunch was super. We had lots of vino and generally had a wonderful time: toasts and lots of laughing, singing and thanking of Giuliano. After finishing his first course, someone asked him what he was going to eat for his second plate. He said, "I don't know. Whatever happens, happens."

I said, "He eats like he designs his house", which broke everyone up. Giuliano was really delightful and spontaneous. I found it intriguing because I feel I have to be so organized. (I later thought about that a long time and decided I didn't have to be so organized. I decided I should allow myself to be more spontaneous.) After lunch, Fernanda, Gary and I went shopping. Somehow, I ended up with ‘Hat Pat's’ turkey feather fan. We were all a little tipsy and had great fun brandishing the large fan. It was hilarious!
Pendergast 1884
We walked and walked and walked and finally, had to run to get to the afternoon lecture on time. The lecturer was only fair—supposedly on Milianese design in general; but he explained only his own, only fair, work.

Home to soak in the tub and change into my see-through rainbow Missoni shirt for the farewell party at their hotel. Everyone was dressed up. Pat, under an extra-large hat, came up to me and gave me a pretty Chinese split-bamboo fan in green and golds in exchange for her turkey feather one. Ninety percent of the group went off to dinner together! If you remember, Massimo had invited me for dinner that last night, but with so many people going it turned me off to the idea, besides I was trying not to eat too much!

Marie, Wendy and I started to take a boat to the Lido, but at the last minute I decided not to go and just walked around for awhile. Then I went to bed. I was getting depressed about the ending of the course and the thought of the group not being together anymore.

I got up early, did some errands and stopped off at Missoni. 
It was such a pleasant experience just being in the Missoni store among all the delightful designs. I had noticed a beautiful multi-colored wool tie in the window and decided to buy it for Ed. The saleslady brought me a tie, but I thought the tie in the window was slightly different and more colorful than the tie she handed me. I went outside to compare the two. A lady strolling by, pointed to the tie in the window and said, "Molto bello." That did it. I knew I had to have that very one. The saleslady in the store said, again, that it was the same tie. I had her crawl into the window to get it and sure enough, it was the same. I helped her move the furniture back, a little embarrassed; the saleslady was very gracious about it.

Since Marie had felt so bad about disparaging my foreign language skills back in Firenze, she now insisted on taking me to lunch. She and a girl friend, who had also stayed in Venezia after the group left, decided to take me to Burano, the lace-making island. 
After a delightful hour-long boat ride, we docked at a very colorful group of buildings. It seems the local people traditionally paint each of their houses a different, very vivid color. More postcards! We had lunch at a place called the Gatto Nero (black cat), mainly because I liked the name. 
It had an outdoor eating area and very good, fresh fish. Not much people-watching possible, as Burano is a very under-populated island. I tried to pay for my lunch, but Marie absolutely insisted. What a very pleasant afternoon.

At dawn the next day, I decided to go back to my beloved Firenze. Before I left for the train station, I went into the courtyard for my breakfast, and who should I see but Edwina. She had transferred to the Flora yesterday because of my recommendation. 

We had a nice visit. She read my journal from the day before and remarked that it inspired her to write. She got a kick about the part of her 'dressing me'. Off to the train via the slow vaporetto that makes all the stops along the way—a last view of Venezia. Then onto the rapido train, Marco Polo, bound for Firenze.


Caliban said...

What a treat that Edwina was intrigued with dressing you. She must have found you captivating! And, it was so sad to see it all come to end. Thank goodness the lady in MIssoni was so gracious. I'm sure what happened to you happens all the time. But, it was good of you to help put things back.

Don Voth said...

SAD indeed! But what wonderful memories.

Fadela said...

Hi, Don ! Delicious pictures ! I like so much and I hope to visit Italia in the future. I come from Turkya where I stay just a week... but I want to see italian country. Nice day and kiss Memphis for me !

Don Voth said...

Fadela, I'm so glad you like my Italian story so much. It was a magical time in my life! I've had a lot of fun finding the extra pictures on the Internet.