The female don among the many men of the international design scene, Milan-based Patricia Urquiola takes the audacious approach to life— everything from bold clothes to unscripted dinner parties gets her unscripted, high-energy treatment. This is a woman who declares that you don’t need fashion to be stylish while calling an oversized leather Céline coat the love of her life, and whose mix-and-match home is a madly mixed up retort to Milan’s sober minimalism. We adore her for her pure, unfiltered views. Here she breaks down the rules to her electric personal style and how to apply that renegade spirit to your dinners, clothes, and home.
I hate matching tables. Actually, I detest them. Please mix up your table- please!
NEVER put a wine and water glass from the same design family together. I mix vintage pieces with Kartell.
I always put down a textile but not a full tablecloth. I like it when it’s in the middle of the table.
I like having a lot of things on the table. I put a bunch of glasses on the end of the table just to make it more festive. I’ll maybe add a straw bowl, a silver fish sculpture and some fruit. Fruit always makes things better.
For flowers, you don’t have to go traditional. I put little cactuses and succulents together.
I like to always organize dinner parties at the last minute. I don’t stress myself out. I like easy, quick dinners. I have so many friends; they’ll all come. OF course they’ll come.
A wok and some tapas are the answer to almost every problem in the kitchen. Just add rice everywhere. And vegetables.
I cooked my whole life, but now my time is for work. So now I have a divine cook in the house who prepares everything.
My refrigerator is always full. I have a real fear of an empty fridge.
I won’t tell you how to decorate your house but I will tell you I don’t like it when the house doesn’t fit with your personality. This is the only drama in design. Or when it’s too curated.
Be sure your wedding registry is jumbled up with different table services and design objects. It’s more fun and much cooler. Plus, everyone gets divorced anyway so who cares.
One object can transform a space. Sometimes I roll out a carpet on my outdoor terrace and it becomes a perfect party place for the kids.
I don’t like artificial lights outdoors. I prefer to use candles on the terrace.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money on design. All of the tabletop objects I’ve designed for Kartell are very affordable.
I don’t like high heels. But I like a Prada wedge. I’d prefer to wear my shoes on my hands, like a handbag. I love my patchwork python Birkenstocks by Isabelle Marant and fringed black leather sporty shoes by Pierre Hardy.
My dream is to wear repairman jumpsuits, like garage mechanics, and to have my whole studio wearing them too. You don’t have to care if you get dirty. Then on the weekend, I’d wear normal clothes.
My uniform at work for an entire year was my black leather-front jacket from Céline.
I modify most things I buy. I cut the hems, I don’t care what they’re worth. It comes to me naturally. Marni pants always need a little chop.
Find a designer you can wear well. Dusan—I love him. I go to his atelier in Milan when I have a stressful day. We stay together in his beautiful space, laugh and I take 4 pieces away. It’s a way to relax. He’s so fun.
I don’t need fashion in my day-to-day life. However, there’s almost always something by Marni on my body.
I love short socks – crazy ones with color, pattern and lurex thread. I wear them with big clunky Marni sandals. I never take them off.
I’m loyal to a few fashion labels but sometimes I wear Zara. If I need a sweater or a very neutral pant I’ll buy it from there.
I use a handbag until it dies then I grab another one. I don’t switch them. Right now, I’m using a Bottega Veneta woven tote. It’s very simple.
I never wear skirts. Once I wore a mid-calf skirt but that was it. I live in pants and jeans.
– Laura Rysman