Biannual magazine Paterre de Rois seamlessly weaves contemporary culture with relevant masterpieces from the past. The latest instalment, titled Rebellion, is a hot mix of punchy, full-bleed images, engaging copy and an assortment of paper textures. Editors Molly Molloy (fashion designer for Marni womenswear) and Gianni Tozzi (creative director for FutureBrand Milan) are passionate about print, and here Molly selects five books that proudly sit on their bookshelf. Informing their work past and present, these publications have provided guidance, inspiration and visual delight in one form or another for the pair.
Yohji Yamamoto: Talking to Myself
We bought this limited edition book by Yohji Yamamoto years ago in his beautiful shop in Paris, we have copy number 1288! It comes in two parts and is visually rich both in the photographs and the graphics. The binding and the way the book is wrapped in transparent, hand-numbered paper make it a complete treasure. It inspired us to make Parterre de Rois limited edition, we wanted to create something collectable, a jewel for the future.
Ettore Sottsass: Scritto Di Notte (Written by Night)
This is the autobiography of Ettore Sottsass one of the great Italian designers of the past. We live and work between Milan and London, so we are immersed in Italian design and its history. Someone like Ettore Sottsass is an unavoidable hero whom Gianni takes for granted but I discovered in my first years living here. This book is probably only published in Italian, but we hope it will be translated soon! The book narrates his life through and after the war. For such a great man, he writes so humbly and teaches us a lesson about insecurity and how it can be as motivating as confidence.
Kevin Cummins: Joy Division
As Gianni is an avid music and black and white photography fan this book had to be on the list. Not only a great photography book but as they form the soundtrack to our misspent youth, it still strikes us how such a short life could have had such an impact on many different generations. Ian Curtis is probably one of the contemporary interpretations of a myth. In beautiful raw photos, Kevin encapsulates all the power of an icon. It is a book we come back to often.
Robert Lindner: Must You Conform?
We discovered this book while researching for the third issue of Parterre de Rois: Rebellion. The author Robert Lindner is best known for writing Rebel Without a Cause, which was one of our original lines of research. The book became a major inspiration and we ended up making a short film using extracts from it to accompany the launch here in Milan. Must You Conform? was written in the 1950s, yet it is still a great, informative read on human behaviour and conformity. There is a beautiful line in the book that explains how rebellion is hardwired in human beings and will only cease to exist with the last man on earth.
Tomato: Mmm Skyscraper I Love You
Gianni arrived in London at the end of the 90s and discovered the Tomato project through a friend, it’s been on our bookshelf since we met 14 years ago and has been well leafed through over the years. It is a typographic journal of New York city and became an influence for us at the end of the 90s where imagery, typography and music started coming together to create something new at the time. It’s a great example of how to use a book as an emotional medium without a narrative form, and it’s reminiscent of the experiments carried out by the Futurists in the 30s but this time with a contemporary soundtrack that was playing in our mind at the time, Underworld.
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