Last week has been spent away from London, in my native Lisbon.
After three years in the Big Smoke, I have to say the river-facing cobbled streets I used to ramble  through look somewhat foreign now – undisclosed and undercover – as I guess does everything with the ever ticking passage of time. The city is indeed changing – perhaps ever so slightly, day by day – and it has given me a newfound urge to rediscover and embrace it.
During one of such walks, under a 36 degrees sunshine and with just a few hours to spare between family and friends, I headed to one of Lisbon’s best design shops, Arte Assinada, where I was warmly greeted by Vasco Águas de Oliveira, the manager and Creative Director.

This space, located straight-off Bairro Alto, has a healthy mix of products from overseas and local designers, including some lovely Portuguese brands which have sprung in the past 2 or 3 years.
Since I can remember, I’ve discussed with friends the way Portugal remained caught up in being a mere provider of good quality ceramics for established brands (such as Anthropologie and The Conran Shop), importing the creativity and exporting the craftsmanship, which, I found, wasn’t a fair reflection on Portuguese designers. But indeed this is a new dawn, as this recent brew of creators – with a passion for the country’s long-standing arts and crafts heritage – has given the local creative output its well-deserved relevance.

And so, amongst everyone’s favourite Diptyque fragrances, there’s (the also Parisian) Miller et Bertaux, ceramic black crows – the city’s mascot – by Laboratório d’Estórias (hailing from Caldas da Rainha, Portugal’s ceramic hub), and some rather cool bags by Porto’s Ideal & Co., including the one produced exclusively for O Editorial.

thelondonesque.com - arte assinada - 4

thelondonesque.com - laboratorio de estorias, arte assinada

( Featured in Lisbon’s coat of arms, the protective black crows go hand-in-hand with the city’s beautiful melancholia )

thelondonesque.com - diptyque, arte assinada

thelondonesque.com - miller et bertaux, arte assinada - 1

thelondonesque.com - o editorial, arte assinada - 8

thelondonesque.com - ideal and co., arte assinada - 1

Arte Assinada
Largo Trindade Coelho, 13
1200-470 Lisboa

thelondonesque.com---beetle

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