How to style your Dezen: Madam Claudia
After a long day in the workshop, we are always up for a drink to unwind, relax and meet some friends. One of our favorite places to do this is BarBacan, a little bar in the picturesque Piazza Barbacan. Right at the heart of Trieste's historical center, this hidden little square is home to nice bars and creative realities like Boogaloo and Combiné, who are behind one of the best outdoor design market in town, Barbacan Produce. However, what really attracts us to BarBacan isn't just the hip crowd, the nice atmosphere or the fine drinks, but its very soul, madam/lady Claudia Baselli.
We love her distinguished taste and the elegance she always carries herself with. Every day she graces her look with a pair of quirky earrings and then she dyes her hair with streaks of the hues present in her look thanks to a super-secret technique.
Over drinks, we had asked Claudia numerous times to be the face of our brand and she had always been enthusiastic about the idea. However, we always forgot about our glorious plans the day after, as we had drunk a bit too much the night before (she makes great drinks!). This went on for a while, but a few days ago we officially invited her to our workshop to pick her favorite pieces and combine them in 3 different looks according to her personal taste and style. The photoshoot was an explosive experience and a couple of days after, Nina went to find her at her bar in the morning to talk about BarBacan, her photoshoot experience and much more.
BarBacan has a long history behind it, Claudia says, it was first an osteria in the beginnings of 1900, then a winery and after a while, it was turned into a bar. In 2004, it underwent restructuring once more and Claudia took over the business in 2010. She gave her personal touch to the space and it quickly became one of the most photographed bars in Trieste. ‘ Many people ask permission to take a photo,’ she says, ‘but others sneakily try to take a quick snap. Recently I realized that many people were taking pictures of me as well! I guess they found me interesting as a figure and I ended up in many of their photos.’ In fact, Claudia was surprised to see her portrait on Monocle’s The Escapist accompanying an article on Trieste. ‘At first, I thought they wanted to take photos of my bar, but when they asked me to step outside because the light was not good enough, I realized they were trying to shoot my portrait!’
Piazza Barbacan has changed a lot recently and as I sip my coffee, Claudia takes me back in 2010, when BarBacan was the only bar in the square. ‘Right when we opened we put tables outside for the people to sit and enjoy their coffee, but it was not until a year after that the square became officially pedestrian.’ She smiles while she remembers the epic pic-nic they organized the day Piazza Barbacan became pedestrian. ‘This has changed the whole atmosphere in the square and even if an occasional driver tries to trespass, we are proud to be a car-free zone, it makes a world of difference!’ says Claudia.
In 2014, BarBacan ceased to be the only bar in the square when it was joined by VIVA and just a year ago by ZUF. This year two new bars have opened in the square, but Claudia wishes that more places were taken up by creatives. ‘Creative realities like Combiné and Boogaloo and M.OO.N have really changed the square with events that bring life to the place and have helped tourists and locals discover our beautiful square!’ says Claudia.
As more bars open, the fauna of habitués has changed too. ‘My bar up to now has been frequented by a more mature public, people between their 30s and 50s, but the new bars attract younger people too and there is always an exchange of clients, chairs, and even glasses between the bars, it can get quite confusing on a Saturday night!’ she laughs.
After waiting for her to serve a couple of new customers, I ask Claudia how was her collaboration with Marco and Michele. ‘It was fantastic!’ she exclaims ‘ I had so much fun visiting their workshop and choosing the different garments for my photoshoot.
I chose four in total: two dresses, one T-shirt and a sweatshirt, but during the shoot, Marco came with a sea of scarves and mantels and things went out of control!.’ She told me of how they spent hours playing with different colors and combinations and she remembered that it was almost a year ago when Marco asked her to be one of the brand’s testimonials. ‘I told him it was a great idea, as I would love to see their garments worn by “normal, everyday” people. Then, of course, he reminded me that in his view I don’t fit in any of these categories!’ Claudia laughs. ‘Anyhow, I love seeing clothes being worn by different body types and age groups, I think style and elegance have no age or body limits.
When I ask her about her personal style she tells me it’s all about colors and combining them in a harmonious way. Her style varies from urban and sporty to sophisticated and elegant, even when working at the bar. ‘With Dezen Dezen garments I tried to show how they are both urban and elegant and that they can be worn in various ways. I like exploring how an accessory, like a particular earring or different shoe, can transform a look from sporty to sophisticated in a second!’. As a new wave of customers enters, I thank Claudia for her time and I step outside in the cold Trieste morning warmed up by our conversation and her delicious coffee.