Created for Editions Milano—an Italian brand working with respected designers on collections of beautiful furniture, lighting and decor—Alessandra Facchinetti’s Circle collection stems from the concept that breakfast is a ritual, one to be recreated with precious and unusual pieces. Well known in the world of fashion, Facchinetti has collaborated with Miu Miu, Gucci and Moncler, and worked as creative director at Valentino and Tod’s. Invited and encouraged to try product design by Editions Milano’s co-founders Eleonora Negri and Alberto Pellini, Facchinetti developed this striking collection of geometric, porcelain wares.
With a matte biscuit exterior and glossy interior, the pieces—a teapot, sugar bowl, coffee cup, tea cup and mug—celebrate delicate workmanship and decisive shape, characterized by an unusual balance between perfect circles and sharp lines.
“Every now and then, we like to observe what happens outside our small design world,” Pellini tells us about the project’s origins. “Eleonora and I have been following Alessandra’s work for several years. We studied the work, watched it and wanted to understand if there was anything that could have to do with us. After that, in 2019 we asked a mutual friend to introduce us.”
Negri explains the connection between the three individuals made her optimistic about working together. “We immediately found positive energy, without even considering what to do. Alessandra understood what she could do for us on the fly, and the project became more beautiful. Our mutual desire was to create something that hadn’t existed before,” she tells us.
As for Facchinetti, she says that the concept came from the trio’s desire to create something both traditional and unconventional. “Talking with Eleonora and Alberto, we came up with the idea of starting from something extremely classic, traditional. We chose breakfast because it seemed the right ritual to resume and rework. It was also a category not yet in the Editions catalog, so of all, it seemed the most interesting to us. In addition, it could also help us explore traditional material,” she tells us.
Despite many years working with materials including marble, glass and metals, this is Editions entry into the world of porcelain. The prototyping process proved to be complex, mainly due to the need to make very thin rims for the products. “We tried ceramic, but it didn’t work,” Pellini says. “Our obsession is to produce in Italy, but almost no one produces porcelain in Italy anymore except Ginori. Finally, we found a producer in Tuscany. He had a right feeling to make a very complicated project like ours, which required a lot of passion from the craftsman himself.”
Ultimately, an eye-catching all-white color defines the objects. “There is still a sense of calm, zen harmony, which is found in absolute white,” explains Facchinetti. While the color isn’t typical of East Asia, Facchinetti found inspiration in the craft traditions from the region. The designer embarked on hours and hours of research before beginning the project. “When it comes time to start drawing, the synthesis of everything I have absorbed comes out,” she explains. “In this case, I started with pure shapes and simply assembled them. Then I looked for the right inclinations and proportions because I like things that are out of the ordinary. As soon as something becomes too obvious, I always have to find an element of disturbance and imbalance.”
Despite the seemingly precarious shapes, every piece is functional. That said, they are held somewhat unusually, given the width of the handles. “Everything had to be perfectly functional and stay standing,” Facchinetti says. “This new geometry helps change the gestures with which we pick up a commonly used object. It’s a bit like discovering something we know well for the first time. There’s a new ritual in that too.”
Images Editions Milano