Chiara Baschieri: Between Fashion and Architecture
Via Margutta is one of the most beautiful streets in Rome
. Just around the corner from the Spanish Steps, this cobbled street was the setting for Roman Holiday, and is now filled with luxury hotels, art galleries and antique shops.
If you’re looking for clothes shops, however, you’ll only find one. Chiara Baschieri
owns a boutique on a particularly picturesque corner of Via Margutta, selling high-end womenswear. She opened her first shop here in 2014, on the corner of Vicolo Orto di Napoli. “I’ve always loved this neighbourhood,” says Baschieri, “and I’d always dreamt of having a shop here. It’s a very elegant, sophisticated street, full of art galleries. It has a very special atmosphere.”
Baschieri’s clothes look good on the catwalk, but these versatile designs could also be worn every day – in the office, at a party. Her designs are stylish and refined, using flattering, tailored shapes and a natural colour palette. Inspired by her own tastes, Baschieri tends to use neutral colours such as beige and sandy tones, occasionally brightening things up with a flash of turquoise or lime green for her summer collection.
Typical pieces include dresses with bold stripes or geometric patterns, and an unusual raffia fabric coat. The tailored style and neutral colour schemes make many of the clothes seem subtle and understated, rather than ostentatious, yet there’s something unmistakably original about Baschieri’s designs. You won’t find clothes like these in any other shop in Rome.
Baschieri is inspired by architecture – the palazzi of Rome – as well as her own passion for photography. On closer inspection, an intricate geometric pattern is revealed to be a hundred tiny windows. A striking metallic skirt looks like it could be the building material for some futuristic city.
Prices range from €220 for a shirt to €600 for a coat, reflecting the quality of design and materials. When she’s not in Via Margutta, Baschieri is busy overseeing the production of the clothes in the workshop in Rome. Every piece is handmade, using high quality Italian textiles, as for Baschieri, the material always comes first. “The material is the most important thing,” she says. “It must be ricercato” (high quality, refined).
Although many of Baschieri’s customers are Italian, she also attracts an international clientele – tourists staying or shopping in the neighbourhood surrounding the Spanish Steps, as they search for distinctive, handmade Italian clothes. “My customers want something that’s truly ‘made in Italy’,” Baschieri explains. The women who come here are also looking for original pieces, such as one-of-a-kind handbags. “I want to create something different, but also exclusive,” says Baschieri. “Customers want a piece that is essentially unique – something that can’t be found elsewhere. When they buy something here, they know they’re the only ones to have it.”
Baschieri’s international customers will be pleased to know that she has plans to expand her business, opening a shop in New York. In the meantime, however, her clothes are made in Rome, and sold in Via Margutta. If you treat yourself to a skirt or a dress, you’ll be one of the privileged few who gets to wear it.
Our personal shopping tours in Rome
include visits to shops such as Chiara Baschieri’s boutique. You’ll also have access to special discounts and promotions.
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