Scarsdale Resident Robyn Lea Publishes a Posh Page-Turner

At 18, Robyn Lea chased her dream of becoming a photographer from rural Australia to Milan—where she was met by austere gray walls and a seemingly impenetrable echelon of locally bred artisans. Starting in 1990, Lea lived and worked in and out of the city for the next two decades, slowly infiltrating the worlds within those daunting, monotone walls. “It took me many years to really get to the creative heart of the city and discover all the secrets,” she says in a statement about the release.

Now a successful international photographer and director, Lea celebrates her “hard-won discoveries” about her adopted home in a new coffee-table book, Milan: Discovering Food, Fashion and Family in a Private City. The Scarsdale resident, whose work and career, she says, has been deeply influenced by Milanese culture (“They have a deep appreciation, almost an obsession, for art in all its forms, from design to architecture to food”), shares personal experiences like “my best friend’s mother cooking biscotti in her bakery,” along with stories and images “behind the fiercely private world of Milan’s most iconic cultural figures.”

Highlights include the results of some of Lea’s long-held dreams realized: shooting Giuseppe Verdi’s suite at the Grand Hotel et de Milan (where the late composer lived for almost 30 years); photographing a model in a Gianfranco Ferré gown in Piazza del Duomo at dawn; and being granted behind-the-scenes access to the La Scala theater’s set building and costume departments (where historical costumes worn by the likes of Maria Callas are meticulously restored.)

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High-fashion collaborators include Armani, Bulgari, Missoni, and Alberta Ferretti; while some of the city’s most eminent culinary masters contributed authentic Italian recipes. Buy Milan for $79.95 or inquire about the hand-embellished, signed, and numbered limited edition at themilanbook.com.    

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