Art of Style

Art and Fashion Meld in This Fort Myers Fashion Shoot

Fort Myers artist Mariapia Malerba’s calligraphy-inspired paintings provide the perfect backdrop for the season’s favorite palette: black-and-white.

BY February 1, 2024
Silvia Tcherassi dress and Patricia Robalino Designs diamond earrings. Model pictured with Mariapia Malerba’s Giraffe (2020). Photo by Omar Cruz

When she’s not creating custom prints for White House Black Market, Fort Myers textile designer and artist Mariapia Malerba explores the beauty of movement through her interpretation of shodo, the art of Chinese calligraphy. In her 2020 series Shodopia, she applies large swaths of black acrylic, with a broom, on cream-colored, recycled paper to emphasize the power of simplicity. The ethos runs through the black-and-white trend that dominated the 2024 high fashion collections.


Featured Styles (pictured below, in the order they are described).

Wade Allyn dress, Wolford hosiery, Christian Louboutin shoes and Lisa Nik earrings and rings. Art pictured: Mariapia Malerba’s Gorilla (2020)


Oversized sequins create a kaleidoscopic effect on Akris’ punto tunic dress and play off the larger-than-life size of Mariapia’s Gorilla and Taurus paintings. A dramatic Lena Erziak cape ensures this all-black look is anything but boring. Flor de Maria shoes. Lisa Nik earrings and rings. Art pictured: Mariapia Malerba’s Gorilla (2020) and Taurus (2020)


Cornelia James gloves ensure this Silvia Tcherassi dress and Jean-Louis Sabaji cape are fit for a royal affair—the England-based brand fashioned many gloves for Queen Elizabeth II. Christian Louboutin shoes. Earrings by Patricia Robalino Designs. Bracelet by Lisa Nik. Ring by Alexandra Martinez. Art pictured: Mariapia Malerba’s Giraffe (2020)


Gulfshore Life creative director, Scott Glick, and Mariapia collaborated on the concept for the abstract piece Flow (seen here and on the cover), which she painted spontaneously on set. “The broom is always ready to dance,” she says—just like this fairytale ombre gown by Jimmy Choo’s The Atelier Couture. Jewelry by Lisa Nik. Art pictured: Mariapia Malerba’s Flow (2023)


Click on an image to enlarge:

Model: Laken Romine

Hair and Makeup: Dani Taverna, Duality Artistry

Styling: Veronica Porras

Location: Moi, Mariapia Malerba’s studio in Fort Myers

Photography: Omar Cruz










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