• Rosella Jardini at home in Milan.

lROSSELLA’S RULES

ON HOUSEHOLD MANAGEMENT

Get your refreshments organized. Jardini’s butler serves coffee in porcelain espresso cups nestled in sterling silver sleeves presented on a lace-lined silver tray.  Champagne is always served at lunch and aperitivo in vintage Baccarat coups.

Flowers should be refreshed weekly.  “I send my maid to the market in Via Marco,” says Jardini. “I like amaryllis in winter and peonies in the summer. Hydrogenous and white roses when nothing else works.”

If you’re having more than twelve guests for dinner ideally, enlist catering services. Jardini prefers Vittorio di Bergamo or the Milanese restaurant l’Arte.

Set up a house call system for as many appointments as possible.  Jardini’s veterinarian, manicurist, make-up artist and hairstylist all agree to come to her home to conduct their services.

If you’re going to have an office at home, make it sexy.  Jardini’s 1950s Gio Ponti office chair is covered in purple leather, while her desk is cherry red leather Hermès. Her top vintage furniture dealers in Milan are Luisa della Piane, Novecento, and Roberta e Basta.

Get your clothing under control.  “My maid irons my clothes and keeps my closets organized.  When I travel, I tell her what I want to pack then she folds and prepares everything inside my Rimowa white suicase.”  

Do not skimp on closet space. Jardini transformed an entire corridor into a hallway of mirrors with nine separate closet doors. When those filled, she rented a second apartment under hers to accommodate her mammoth vintage collection.  

Hangers from the dry cleaners are acceptable when it comes to silk shirts. “My design assistants used to yell at me about this but I use them because I need the space.” Silk shirts are hung and organized by color and material. Men’s style shirts are folded. “So that the fold still remains and you can see it,” Jardini adds. “It’s more true that way.”

A word on shoes: “I can’t store them in their boxes because I have too many. But for the change of season, all shoes go in the shoe bags that correspond with their brand and are placed in another closet.”

Smoking in the house is welcome, including in the closets and bathrooms.

Flowers are an acceptable but boring hostess gift.  “I try to bring something targeted to the person. I recently gave a friend a red armchair from Fedra.  She had hosted me on her yacht, so it had to be important.”

Minimize your tabloid trash to something highbrow in nature: “The Parisian magazine Point de Vue is my guilty pleasure. They only talk about princesses and royalty in Europe.”

A proper vacation can’t take place in a hotel. “I much prefer renting a home rather than staying in hotels. That way your dog can come. Anything more than a weekend you need a house.” Jardini owns a home in Celleria, in the Swiss Alps, but rents homes in St. Tropez and Sardinia.

ON FASHION

Walking the dogs is a fashion opportunity: Jardini wears velvet evening slippers by Charlotte Olympia or Alexander McQueen. “And I bring along my Saint Laurent fringe bag.”

Pay attention to your footwear: tennis shoes are permitted in the house only, never in public. “Unless it’s raining,” Jardini says.

No errand or appointment is too trival not to dress appropriately.  Rossella arrives to her dentist in Milan with perfectly pressed hair, white suede gloves, black leggings and mini booties from Gianvito Rossi.

A crisp cotton or silk-satin button-down shirt resolves almost every fashion conundrum. “I wear them with everything,” she says of her enormous collection of Aspesi and Moschino shirts.

Learn to tie a proper bow. “There’s a perfect proportion—not too tight, they need to remain soft. I use small silk-twill printed ribbons from Hermès and add this under a man’s shirt.”

Basta with black!  “How many people do you see around who are dressed well?” Jardini asks, exasperated. “I go to dinner parties, the women are all dressed in black. Why don’t they dress in color? They lack courage. When they want to be bold, they pull out their boobs or bare legs. It’s vulgar. A beautiful fabric or color is much better.”

Jewels are to be worn every day. “I can’t go without jewelry,” she says of her cough-drop-sized yellow diamond and sapphire rings on her hand and her huge collection of vintage fashion jewelry.  “Even though people tell you buy signed items, I buy a lot from Veronesi in Via Manzoni or Cusi in Via Montenapoleone.”

Gloves are to be worn every day in winter.  Jardini has over 60 pairs, both short and long, from vintage YSL to new Hermès, Jil Sander and Gianvito Rossi, which she folds up at the edge and pushes toward the wrist.

Develop a tight rapport with a good tailor.  Jardini uses Sartoria Angela, a former première main in the historic Milanese atelier of Germana Marucelli for pants, long dresses, summer jumpsuits and 1920s style tunics.

Classy doesn’t mean boring.  Jardini splashes her good taste with a hint of rock & roll:  skin-tight J Brand black velvet jeans, door-knocker-sized Lanvin necklaces, and gold metallic Saint Laurent booties.

A mini skirt is absolutely appropriate, provided you’ve still got the gams to pull it off.  “They are my strong point,” Jardini says of her pin-thin teenage legs. To keep it classy, she covers them in black opaque tights.

Never, ever wear high-heeled white pumps:  “I find it the most scandalous thing in fashion,” she warns.

Buy fewer pieces, but better ones.  “Young people today don’t know what quality is. They don’t have taste, they don’t know what a good fabric is,” sighs Jardini.  “A crepe de chine satin is fundamental. You need to know what it is. Please do not buy anything at Zara.”

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