How to style your Dezen: Angela
It’s a few minutes before half-past ten on a very sunny morning here in Trieste and I am on my way to interview a very special woman. I met Angela Baghino a few days ago, during the Nat_Design Market of which she is organizer and curator. As we shook hands amidst the market’s colorful crowd, not far from our Dezen Dezen booth, I knew I had to learn more about this impeccably dressed woman and Nat_design - her second home, as she calls it. I was in luck because a few days before, Angela had agreed to pass by our workshop together with her daughter Angelica and pick up their favorite Dezen Dezen garments to style them according to their personal taste and style.
As I open Nat’s door I get startled by the sound of the wooden bell chimes that welcome its visitors. The sound, deep and soothing, announces my entrance to Angela who is just finishing her previous meeting and invites me to sit down opposite her, offering a warm cup of coffee and biscuits. I take a moment to look around me; the long corridor that leads back to the entrance is full of exceptional pieces of furniture; bookcases, lamps, vases, tables, and even a bed. In the middle, a staircase leads to the mezzanine and the glass entrance door. Behind me, there is a fully functional kitchen and in front, a carpenter’s workshop table where Roberto, Angela’s husband is working. Everything is amply lit thanks to the ceiling’s glass windows and I am surprised to hear that this remarkable space isn’t Nat’s original home.
We opened our first shop in 2000 in Via San Michele (Trieste), Angela tells me, and then we took over 3 more spaces on the same street. Our mission was to offer an all-natural concept for the home and lifestyle, from furniture to wall-paints, from clothing and accessories to household items.
It was a very successful project, Angela continues, we were working a lot, but we were also paying heavy rents for all those spaces that we occupied. At the same time, we knew we needed a bigger space, a proper showroom, to showcase our products in the best way possible.
The solution came through an architect friend, always on the look for beautiful spaces around the city, who told Angela and Roberto about an old boat mechanic’s workshop that was up for selling as a garage, in Via Corti 2. The space had been used for various activities in the past, and when we came by it in 2004, says Angela, it was in a pitiful state, but still so beautiful. In June 2004 we decided to buy it, we restored and changed the space completely, we built the two mezzanines and in 2005 we opened to the public. At first, we were a bit ‘lonely’ here but soon Stazione Rogers and Eataly opened bringing more people to the area. Even if we transformed and moved, our mission is still the same, says Angela, to offer high-quality furniture and household objects, produced by lesser-known but excellent brands that have a natural and sustainable approach in their production.
As the years passed by, Angela realized that this space was unique in Trieste and she wanted to find ways for the public to ‘live’ the space more often. She started with one or two events per year, inviting designers, organizing exhibitions and workshops. She even hosted concerts, theatre plays, and dinners. I'm happy to see this space come to life and transform, says Angela. It's not only a shop or a designers office, but it’s also a place for feasts, events, everything that comes to mind, just like our market! Angela’s surprises do not finish here. She tells me that she is working as a cooking teacher 5 years now, and she takes the role of the chef when dinners are organized in Nat’s kitchen for parties and business events.
Our conversation shifts when I ask Angela about Trieste and what brought her here. I was born in Sardinia, she replies, and I came in Trieste for a job and, a situation that seemed temporary became my life. Trieste is very similar to Cagliari, the sea, the green, the mountains...The biggest difference is that Sardinia is an island and its inhabitants don't know what it's like to just take your car and go somewhere else.
From Trieste, I can easily visit Austria, Slovenia, and Croatia, whenever I like. Its another kind of freedom.
In the end, I'm happy to be here. There is also, a big and interesting artisan movement here in Trieste, not all of the projects are professional though, so I am always on the look for original and unique products and designers. For Nat_Design Market I want to offer a high quality, refined collection of artisan products.
If I had to recommend some places to visit in Trieste I would say that Parco di San Giovanni, is a great choice. It’s beautiful throughout the year and it's not touristic at all. I would choose Genuino as a great place to eat. It is a family company, it offers healthy food and it’s a great project overall. As a place for shopping, apart from you guys (we laugh), I would suggest Blondie. I love the selection of clothing they offer, elegant, urban and innovative brands. For art lovers, I would suggest my friend’s gallery E-Contemporary.
When I ask Angela about her experience with the styling and photoshoot Angela laughs. “My daughter, Angelica and I put up a small theatre play for the camera” she says. While choosing which garments to style I had to use my instinct, and it pushed me towards the brighter options. I need color in my life right now so I opted for the most colorful pieces I could find.
In the past, I used to dress almost exclusively in black, but now this has changed. I fell in love with the purple foulard and the cream-hued kaftan. I was also inspired by my new passion; Flamenco. I started dancing a few months ago and it has changed my life. It’s a ritual of re-appropriation of my femininity, opens a new dimension of my identity as a woman I had a lot of help from my daughter too.
Angelica was born in a creative home, she has learned to create her own style, to observe to think and to choose out of the box. We share our shoes - we wear the same size and we buy them together. I steal her socks and her foulards and I cannot steal her clothes but she often steals mine! We always shop together and we are in a constant search for new shops and choices.
It’s not easy to finish our discussion with Angela. She has so much to share, so many stories to tell and Nat_design is such a wonderful place to be. I know, that I can always pass by her studio for a cup of coffee, biscuits and a great conversation.