l Tamu

Street Style photographer and Milan-based blogger Tamu McPherson is one of the most stylish girls in town. Guess where she gets her insider tips to true Italian style? From her supremely chic, fiercely smart suocera, Francesa Taddei who is an encyclopedia of good taste. Here Tamu shares what she’s learned about Italian manners, how to set a mean table-top, and to dress like the chicest, coolest sciura in town.

The Table Deserves a Dissertation: “Francesca is very formal. The joke is, she does full-service all the time, adding every plate and glass you can imagine.   You might have five glasses at a dinner. I just stand there and study the table. After eating with her a 100 times I still just look at her and ask, ‘what are we doing?

Cut the Pomp & Ceremony with Mischief: “She decorates her super formal table with pranks. There are 96 plates with vintage table cloths and then a little plastic dish with a toad. Or a trick under the napkin like spiders and poop for the kids.”

Closets Should Look Like a High-end Boutique: She is extremely organized. All of the hangers are white, from Ikea. Everything is color coded, folded, and handled immediately with the housekeeper or dry cleaner.

Upgrade your Gifting Game: She’s always bringing friends vintage objects, design objects or jewelry from Oro & Incenso. Everything is extraordinary, like antique coral or glass. It’s extremely personal and speaks to the person.

Hermes is Always Right: There are a lot of things I copy fashion wise from Francesca, like 1970s-esque double-breasted blazer suits with wide leg pants. She wore those for 5 years straight; they were a copy of an Hermés model, hand made by her tailor who makes house calls.

Don’t Skimp on Outerwear: She taught me to always have proper coats. In NY you just have a parka, but here I fell in love with beautiful coats. You have to have all of them–camel, black, blue coat– it’s very specific.

Miu Miu Runway Rules: Francesca is very Milanese in her look, but not classic. She’ll wear the quirkier pieces from Prada. Remember the 1940s embroidered collection at Miu Miu? She was having a dinner at her house, I walk in, and she goes “I’ve been trying to get that same dress! They’ve been calling Japan for it!”

Wear Sandals in the Snow: Francesca never wears socks, even in Saint Moritz in the winter with 0 degrees outside. She wears sandals in the snow. It’s amazing.

Do not slouch on the post work-out outfit: She found a white terry cloth robe from Prada, double-breasted with a blue lapel and 4 buttons. This is what she wears after she swims!

Recycle the Bathroom Linens: She’ll take a Turkish bath towel with tassels and use it as a skirt, which looks just like Altuzzara’s show from a few seasons back! She wears it with a white button down shirt.

Denim is for When You Might Get Dirty: She discovered denim when she went to NY and this is what she wears as play clothes with her grandchildren.

How to Wear Vintage: The best thing she does is wear a dress or jacket that she got the year her children were born. For my husband’s 39th birthday, she showed up in a Chanel jacket bought the year he was born. It’s so endearing.

Jeans have only one Purpose: Housework! Francesca will only wear jeans to clean and tidy up, with a white shirt on.

PLUS: Get Francesca’s Scoop on Milan’s best-kept secrets. Read her Insider Guide HERE !!

-JJ Martin

Story Credits
  • Creative Director- J.J. Martin
  • Portrait Photography- Alberto Zanetti
  • Fashion Director- Viviana Volpicella
  • Location Photography- Mattia Iotti