Incomplete Encyclopaedia of a True Story

Photographs by Keisuke Otobe
Fashion by Tanya Jones
Fashion Assistant Benedetta Bernardi
Words by Cartography

“I’m too fascinated to be afraid.” Anni Albers

What we know about Nancy is that she was born in America at the start of the 1930s, in a genteel and metropolitan town on the banks of a river that flows into the northern Atlantic Ocean. She graduated in Fine Arts, then in painting under the direction of Joseph Albers, who had emigrated to the United States with his wife Anni after the Bauhaus was forced to close. Nancy continued her studies in Greece where she met a gallery owner who brought her to Italy where she lived and taught art. Nancy mainly designed fabrics. She loved to travel and above all loved the East.
She searched out fabrics. In every place where she stopped off, she learnt to express herself in the language of its people. Nancy lives in Parma, Italy with the objects and books that she has collected in a lifetime of travels. This is the incomplete encyclopaedia of a true story.

Pieces of Chinese pottery.

A collage by Nancy, Indonesian handmade ring, The Beatles special edition fountain pen by MONTBLANC, ex-voto.

Autograph of a circus artist, a postcard, cotton dress with pleated skirt and front embroidery by JIL SANDER, Hand-painted white canvas dress with floral pattern by MIU MIU.

Nancy’s photos of her dog, a miniature dog on a chain and a bow pin from her private collection, a drawing of Nancy’s dog, “Inch”, Nancy’s cooking recipe.

Hand embroiderers at work in India, Leaflet of a Tibetan medicine, Yellow chiffon dress by ACNE STUDIOS.

Zebu horn hair comb, glass travel toothbrush holder, toothbrush, silver and bamboo key chain, oval wooden handbag mirror and nail clippers in brown leather pouch by LORENZI MILANO.

Books from Nancy’s studio, Cards for learning Japanese, Woven leather lace-up shoes by GIORGIO ARMANI, Cotton shirt by STELLA McCARTNEY, Small ceramic animals, Monogram bracelet bag by LOUIS VUITTON, Nancy’s favourite necklace, Grained cow leather bag by LEMAIRE, From Nancy’s scarp book collection.

Chinese theatre mask, Noh theatre mask.

Knitting book from 1952, Japanese shoes book, Knitting book from 1949.

Nancy’s research on fabrics and patterns, Limoges porcelain vases and trays by HERMÈS, Tie and dye hanky from Indonesia.

Study of colour and patterns, Multicolour graphic cotton jacket by MARNI, Postcards and photographs from Indonesia, Patched denim sweater jacket by BLESS+CRISTASEYA.

Black polycarbonate suitcase by RIMOWA, Doodle paper from Nancy’s desk, Hotel receipt from Bhutan, Packing list.

Embroidered orange knitted stitch coat by PRADA, Indonesian necklace, From Nancy’s travel files, Her favourite perfume.

Fabric and thread colour charts.

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