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Date & time Oct 14
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the stuff of dreams comes to London

The Frette Sheet Complex is a first world psychological disorder that afflicts the well travelled. It strikes as soon as you've slept in Frette bedlinen, or sashayed around in Frette nightwear, and there's simply no going back. Everything else is too scratchy, too brittle, too flimsy, too hot. Without thread counts in the thousands, even the least discerning among us turns into the fabled Princess and the Pea protagonist, enduring sleepless nights, tossing and turning on inferior sheets.

Since 2014, the Italian linen maker has been on a sleep keeping mission, pitching up with a stand at the Monaco Yacht Show, the Geneva Air Show and Elite Days in Portofino, to raise its profile, and appearing at all the best hotels in the world. Hotels, of course, are where Frette started, when in 1899, it furnished the Danieli in Venice with its fine damask bedding. Commissions from aristocrats and European royals followed and today almost every luxury hotel group from the Ritz Carlton to the Shangri La is fitted out with Frette.

This month, the 156 year old company opened a flagship store in Mayfair. It's been 15 years since it last had an independent store in London, and the corner plot where South Audley Street meets Adam's Row places it rightin the heart of Mayfair's shopping district (Erdem and Balmain are neighbours). Another will follow in Shanghai and the first store, which opened in Milan's via Manzoni in 1878, is also undergoing a major revamp. "It was clear that the Frette strategy had become unfocused,"says CEO Herv Martin. "It was trying to be a bigger lifestyle brand, and had moved away from what it does best, which is linens. That's our DNA and must come first."

When private equity firm Change Capital Partners (which owns Jil Sander, Paule Ka and a host of other brands) acquired Frette in 2014, it found the old Italian label in the doldrums. Martin, whose career spans Baccarat, Cartier and Salvatore Ferragamo, realised it was time to move away from ill conceived bedroom accessories and return to the source: linen made by Italy's finest craftsmen.

Next time you're padding around a hotel room in your Frette bathrobe or reclining on Frette sheets, consider this. These textiles have made an Italian odyssey from the mills of Lake Como and Monza to the embroiderers of Puglia, via specialist looms that exist only in Italy, such as the one that weaves Frette's cashmere. At Clerici Tessuto, a mill that Frette works with in the picturesque village of Grandate, south of Lake Como, silk bedspreads with a gold and blue geometric print are inching their way off giant jacquard looms. They are part of the Frette AW16 collection the design team comes to Clerici regularly to check production and sift through its vast archive for inspiration.

Stretching back to 1923, the archive documents every fabric, every appliqu, every embellishment that Frette has ever made, in large leather bound albums. Swatches in cotton, nylon, Lurex and lam are labelled alphabetically from Acne to Zegna and tell you everything about who the brand's clients are. Frette has a substantial presence, having worked with the mill for 16 years, and collections for several seasons into the future are already on the drawing board.

Located around 40km away, near to Milan's Malpensa airport, is Ricamificio Paolo a mill specialising in embroidery works with a similarly impressive roster of clients. Intricate, colourful designs for Chlo and Trussardi take shape on giant looms (they are intended for 2017 collections, so no photography is permitted). Frette's intricate black and pink lace flower designs are here too, ready to be fake cartier men's love bracelet stitched on to bedsheets as part of the SS17 couture collection. In a hi tech process, the design is mapped out on a computer, then embroidered by machine on to a polyester background, which is burnt off with a laser.

It takes 18 hours to make just 90cm of this lace design. Ricamificio Paolo has worked with Frette since 2002 and this summer, one of its mill's laser cut dresses, created for Louis Vuitton, appeared in the exhibition Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology at The Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute in New York. With such expert craftsmanship at its fingertips, Frette can make anything. Beyond bestsellers such as the Doppio Ajour bed set in white (every Frette store has a "white only"section, which accounts for the majority of sales), bespoke options are limitless. Fancy a set of monogrammed sheets and matching towels for every bedroom in the house? It takes around five weeks. How about a bespoke crown on your PJs and bathrobes, or his and hers initials on honeymoon pillowcases? Frettehas catalogue upon catalogue of fonts, emblems and "heraldic situations"in every colour to choose from. And should you want a totally original design, an embroidered silhouette of your yacht, say, HQ in Monza will sort it out.

The London flagship is the first to display the bespoke service in a comprehensive way. Slide out cupboards are filled with myriad swatches, finishes and embroideries and you can pin your ideas on to large magnetic boards as you decide. The space has been designed by Milanese duo Dimore Studio, aka Britt Moran and Emiliano Salci, whose Midas touch fuses art deco and midcentury, vintage and contemporary, muted colours and bright prints. Every place that they design, from the Htel Saint Marc in Paris, to restaurant Ceresio 7 in Milan, becomes a destination to linger and enjoy. With its blues love bracelet cartier men replica and greens, black marble walls and resin floor, Frette is no exception.

The 400sqm space, which debuts Frette's AW16 couture collection copy cartier love bracelet men price alongside seasonal and classic collections, has a semi domestic feel. "We looked at all the wonderful old Frette store faades and art deco became a starting point,"says Moran. He pulls out moodboards featuring stonework by Italian maestro Carlo Scarpa, wooden flooring by French architect Robert Mallet Stevens and furniture by Charlotte Perriand. "It's a decorative period that's also quite neutral, not too ornate or too lavish, so it fitted with Frette's collection."In the middle of the store is an ultrasuede upholstered bed with a luminous headboard,also designed by Dimore Studio, which might go into production.

Frette is also in talks with Italian furniture manufacturer Poltrona Frau, and although nothing has yet been agreed, a collaboration between the three would surely spell stylish beds and blissful sleep at hotel levels of comfort. In the 1980s, Frette launched its "hotel collection",now a perennial bestseller. Since then, groups such as W Hotels Resorts, The Standard and Four Seasons, have followed suit fake men cartier love bracelet and started selling their own bedding and linen online. "Lots of hotels outsource their linens rather than owning their own but it's going back the other way now,"says Martin. Next year, you might be able to sleep at The Gritti Palace in Venice in bespoke Gritti sheets, designed by Frette. Whether they will be made from Giza 45, a rare cotton grown in tiny quantities in the Nile Delta, remains to be seen. But the good news is that as hotel linens become available to take home, it might be time to put that Frette Sheet Complex to bed.
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