For the fifth year running, we took Milan by storm with our ambitious celebration of craft, creativity and collaboration during the Salone del Mobile. Assembling a star cast of designers, artists, makers and manufacturers, we tasked them to create one-off pieces for our block-busting Wallpaper* Handmade exhibition in Claudio Loria’s Leclettico gallery.
In the last year, Handmade may have hit road - with our wunderkammer of designs gracing the windows of Harrods in London, before travelling to Miami, Shanghai, and New York - but Milan remains its heartland. It is here that we unveil the largest crop of new pieces for the first time every April. Now that all the treasures have been revealed in our August issue, we are taking you on a tour of the show.
This year, we joined forces with a stellar set of collaborators to reinvent the art of crafts. Bally let loose with hell-for-leather skis, Soho House put up its gloves with a boxing set, and Raw-Edges and Dedon got into a spin with a new seating collection.
Jaguar complemented our spectacle with a wondrous set of wheels in the form of its F-Type coupé, while French luggage maker Moynat and Milan-based architect Vincenzo De Cotiis joined the automaker’s stable of Handmade collaborators, creating pieces that celebrated travel and speed.
Meanwhile, artist Jeff Zimmerman teamed up with our US editor Michael Reynolds to create Handmade’s first collection of pleasure objects – blown-glass sex toys and titillating leather accessories. And Turkish design entrepreneur Gaye Cevikel returned to the Handmade fold once again, launching new lamps by architect Jürgen Mayer H under her Gaia & Gino brand, while Czech glassmaker Verreum unveiled tableware by Scholten & Baijings.
Interspersed among the exhibits was a series of sub-atomically sharp screens from Sony, on which we debuted films telling the stories behind Handmade 2014. And on the top floor of the gallery, we unveiled plans for the world’s best-designed (and tastiest) neighbourhood, La Jeune Rue in Paris. Elsewhere across town, Michael Anastassiades made a fitting return to the original home of Handmade, dressing the windows of Brioni's HQ on via Gesù for the exhibition’s first off-site installation.
The opening night party at Leclettico, meanwhile, once again proved to be the Salone del Mobile's hottest ticket, drawing a stellar crowd from the spheres of design, architecture, art and fashion. The great and the good of the design world congregated at the gallery, including the likes of Tom Dixon, Edward Barber, Jay Osgerby, Angela Missoni and Renzo Rosso, where they sipped on Perrier-Jouët bubbles and Caorunn gin and tonics.
Guests dug into generous helpings of smoky pork belly, slow-roasted over coals on a custom-built barbecue – in the apt shape of a pig – courtesy of sculptor and designer Andrea Salvetti. Atelier Ace’s Lovage juice bar, meanwhile, served up a trio of spirit-lifting elixirs, helping us raise a toast to another five years of Wallpaper* Handmade.