Marilyn Monroe might famously have slept in nothing but a dab of Chanel No. 5, but there are those of us who prefer to retire to bed in more significant attire. Take Cécile Gavazzi Daccò and Carola Botto Voli who, upon noticing that England suffered from a dearth of the kind of classic and beautifully designed nightwear that they were accustomed to finding in their native Italy decided to redress the balance. Morpho + Luna launched in London in 2014, with cornerstones of “natural fabrics, comfort and elegance,” positioned as “a brand for people who like beautiful sleepwear, something that fits into both a modern and traditional environment, that looks elegant both in a New York loft and an English country house”.
The interior context is key to an appreciation of the Morpho + Luna aesthetic. Cécile and Carola compare the home to ‘a cocoon’, in which “our colours and designs give you a continuity between outside and inside, bringing the outside, and the serenity of nature, in.” Hence, as one might expect from a brand whose name is taken from a neotropical butterfly, nature is at the beginning of every collection. The brand’s Autumn-Winter collection was born out of the idea of a forest, and the protection that it offers from the elements. The starting point for the colours was a piece of devoré silk, with its cord and blue tones echoed throughout, complemented by earthy bricks and browns. The duo works only with the highest quality cotton, linen, silk, cashmere, and wool. It’s a matter of instinct: Cécile’s heritage is linked to one of Italy’s leading silk manufacturers, while Carola’s family owns a 150-year-old wool business.
Expert cultivators of comfort and elegance, the designer duo’s attention to tailoring ensures a chic cut as well as ease of wear. Note the skirting on the women’s gowns, and the fit across the shoulders of the men’s: “They’re cut like jackets, and they’re slimming too. The idea is that they should fit like a good suit,” they explain. The fabrics sourced are predominantly Italian – Swiss linen being the only exception – while the collections are designed in an atelier in London and produced in a site near Turin. Patterns and samples – and in turn Cécile and Carola – go back and forth between the two countries.
“They’re cut like jackets, and they’re slimming too. The idea is that they should fit like a good suit”
— Cécile Gavazzi Daccò and Carola Botto Voli
Certain designs, such as the kimono-style reversible Eva Robe in 100% silk, cross the daywear-nightwear divide, and would look equally good shopping for groceries, at the opera, or curled up in front of the fire. “When you come to us you find a whole range of moods: linen pyjamas, a beautiful silk nightdress, or a silk top you could wear out,” says Carola. The house’s hand-embroidered pashmina cashmere Jade Robe, made in Kashmir, “to our specifications, and in our colours”, makes for a particularly luxurious cocooning accessory.
The label’s aesthetics are reflected in the designers’ respective homes, where their approach encompasses an insistence on natural materials and textiles; both houses have oak floors throughout, and “It makes such a difference, if you use linen bed covers, linen curtains,” says Cécile. Natural light is maximised, both espouse the use of Japanese Sudaré blinds: “One thing everybody can do is re-think their window treatments, bamboo lets in light while offering shade and privacy,” continues Cécile. And both like to scent their houses: Cécile with natural oils, Carola with potpourri from the iconic Florentine pharmacy Santa Maria Novella. As with their brand, everything is well thought through. And it is this attention to detail, be it piping, or the finest wool, or the fit of a pair of pyjamas, that ensures the success of the Morpho + Luna’s design ideals. Even those of the Chanel No. 5 school might find it hard to resist — especially as winter draws in.
“When you come to us you find a whole range of moods: linen pyjamas, a beautiful silk nightdress, or a silk top you could wear out”
— Carola Botto Voli