Above: In the living room, Francesca wears an Opening Ceremony jacket, a Ralph Lauren belt, bronze leather shorts from the Salvation Army, and Chloé shoes. Above the mantel is a piece by artist Uri Aran. Enlarge Image
Last November, we happened to be running around Miami's Design District when we bumped into artist Francesca DiMattio who was setting up for her show at Locust Projects. And while her soaring abstracts practically took our breath away, we were equally taken by the painter's iconoclastic style. Clad in a black jumpsuit, Acne-style wedges, and her signature braided up-do (think a modern Frida Kahlo), we knew there was plenty more good fashion sense where that came from. Lucky us, the lovely Francesca--who has shows in Milan, Chicago, and Boston already slated for 2010--lives and works right here in NYC. And her home reveals an equally cool clash of hand-painted objects, flea-market finds, and lots of art given to her and her artist husband, Garth Weiser, by friends. Double bonus: She even lets us in on how to get that atypical braided look (we might even practice it for Fashion Week).
Above: Outside her Chelsea home. Enlarge Image
How would you describe your personal style?
"My mom raised me exclusively on thrift stores as a little girl and taught me to look for new shapes and feel for quality fabrics. It's exciting for the eye to see something different, so I look for shapes that are not common. As a result I often find myself holding maternity wear, and clothes in my closet range from size 0-16. An outfit looks great when it's a little unfamiliar."
Above, left: Francesca sits on her windowsill wearing a Victor Costa jacket, Theory pants, and leather belt—all from Salvation Army. To her right, a Sansui sound system from the '70s that her husband, Garth, built a beautiful box for. Above, right: A paper mâche vase that Francesca made sits atop a speaker. View image
What are five key wardrobe pieces you find yourself wearing constantly?
1. "A little boy's Dior jacket that's now tattered from wear."
2. "Jumpsuits of all kinds. I have a big collection...all shapes and sizes."
3. " A collection of thick leather belts."
4. "I have an autumn color plaid wool pant-suit with elbow patches that I have worn once a year for the last 10 years."
5. "Chloé platform lace-up heels that I've had for six years."
Above: In the bedroom, a pile of jewelry, mostly made by Francesca, sits in front of hand-painted shoe boxes. Enlarge Image
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