Hermès’ annual Milan Design Week spectacle is inspired by brutalist water towers
Every year during Milan Design Week, Hermès takes over the spaces of Via Palermo’s La Pelota to stage what has become known as the best design spectacle of the week. For 2022, the colourful set is inspired by brutalist water towers, whose forms were replicated with voluminous wooden structures covered in translucent coloured paper. The four structures by Hervé Sauvage and Charlotte Macaux Perelman glow in the cavernous space, their jewel hues concealing the maison’s latest furniture and accessories.
Lightness is the theme of this year’s presentation, with special attention to home textiles in bright cashmere (one of the materials favoured by the house), whose application is explored via a series of techniques.
Plaids are made of strips of cashmere combined in a patchwork motif by American artist Carson Converse, or panels joined through a technique borrowed from couture (relinking), replicating the geometries of Gianpaolo Pagni’s work. The finest woven cashmere is also used as a canvas for fine stitching, creating more expressive geometries for new tactile pieces.
The theme continues in the furniture and accessories, such as porcelain tableware referencing the colours of the sun, or discreetly folded leather becoming a series of centrepieces, their geometric patterns elegantly applied freehand with a brush.
The sophisticated furniture offering includes the ‘Oria’ chair by Spanish architect Rafael Moneo, a balanced composition of curved oak with canework and leather details, while Álvaro Siza’s Japanese-inspired stool merges a delicate cane structure with a leather seat.
Lightness is perhaps best exemplified by Tomas Alonso’s series of lights. Parachute fabric folded and held in place by a simple bamboo structure forms the shade for these lamps, whose light source is held by a circular steel piece and reflected on the painted textile and a carefully conceived light switch, a bold piece in blue and teal that’s not to be kept hidden from view. §