The Milan Round-up
Salone del Mobile (Milan Design Week) is the biggest event of the year in the design industry calendar. For one week only every April, an overwhelming number of professionals from across the globe descend upon Milan to experience the latest brands, products and innovations through the eponymous trade fair and the myriad of immersive installations around the city.
Although I attended Salone last year, it was a fleeting visit, so in many ways I consider this year to be my first ‘real’ Salone experience. And what an experience it was!
Milan didn’t disappoint – I was amazed by almost every stand, installation and event that I attended, and the stunning architecture and beautiful weather didn’t go amiss!
That said, here are my top five experiences (in no particular order) that caught my eye during the week.
Hero or anti-hero? Lasvit’s compelling ‘Monster Cabaret’ exhibition cleverly blurred the lines between many concepts to transport us to a strange land caught between fiction and fantasy. 18 glass monsters, many based on mythical stories, were created in a variety of shapes to serve as decorative objects with a spooky twist. One thing’s for sure – Lasvit know how to throw a party. Their main event, a burlesque show within an alluring 19th century puppet theatre was stunning from beginning to end. We loved seeing our Tala bulbs on stage with the performers as well!
Creative Director Gabriel Hendifar presented his breathtaking new collection, ‘Act III’, which draws upon his personal cultural history of Iran. Travertine, marble and brass are cut to form intricate, geometric designs which span lighting, furniture and objects.
French luxury fashion house Hermès combined architectural design and dramatic colour and light to create seven separate scenes of wonder, fit to house the extravagant objects of their new collection. Textiles, porcelain houseware and handmade leather pieces featured against strong, varying hues of Moroccan Zellige tiles. The result was an opulent museum which displayed the exemplary craftsmanship and intricacies of the collection.
Lindsey Adelman’s ‘Drop System’ exhibition in partnership with Calico Wallpaper explored alchemy and decay with an aquatic twist. Minimal brass tubing and hand-blown glass bulbs were seamlessly combined to create a number of tactile, textured pendants that can be customised and amalgamated into several complex, ornate masterpieces.
Lee Broom’s celestial ‘Observatory’ exhibition was both elegant and dynamic in equal measure. Seven new lighting designs were unveiled within a minimalist gallery display that put the product at the centre of the installation. Salone’s satellite experiences are known for their typically conceptual disposition, so the paired-back, product-focused showcase came as a surprise to many who are familiar with the eccentricities of the brand. However, the gamble proved incredibly successful, as I was breath-taken by the effortlessness of the ethereal, captivating display.