The flags were out at Franfurt’s Ambiente fair last week. But they weren't German; rather, they were Italian – the country's partner status facilitating a flood of green, white and red hues over designer Paola Navone’s ‘Dolce Vita’ exhibition.
With Italy becoming the fifth partner country of the German fair, Navone was chosen as national representative, collating a range of Italian flair for her installation. 'When it comes to the soul of Italy, as it is presented in my design, then we're talking about craftsmanship and craft skills,' explains Navone, who has designed for brands including Gervasoni, Poltrona Frau and Poliform.
For ‘Dolce Vita’, Navone bought her trademark charisma to a colour coded triptych, that saw Alessi kitchenware and Guzzini plates placed among many other pieces, all organised by tone. However, just like a typical busy kitchen, the sets evoked a sense of clutter. The Milanese designer describes this as ‘that special Italian notion of conviviality. It is simply about sitting round a table with friends and enjoying a good meal in a happy atmosphere.’
This representation of true Italian craft was celebrated in conjunction with the exhibition halls' ‘Milano Milano’ cafe. Also conceived by Navone, the Memphis-style printwork set-up playfully integrated her giant ‘Panda Lux’ lamp for Cappellini as a centrepiece.
Elsewhere, we time traveled to a 1920s holiday resort with designer Giulio Iacchetti's 'Café Rimini Rimini' – lending a little more Italian atmosphere to the show. Clad in candy striped flooring and replete with umbrellas and deckchairs, the installation was simultaneously whimsical and undeniably kitschy.
The UK will be the next country to partner with the show – fingers crossed we can bring the same evocative and homely pleasure to the German halls.