Last week, two of our favourite Milanese design galleries decided to play a prank by switching their homes for a brief summer interlude. Luisa delle Piane, one of the city's most established gallerists, and Britt Moran and Emiliano Salci, the young bucks behind the buzzy Dimore Gallery, each cleared out their locations to make room for the other's trove of design booty.
'Luisa is someone we've known for 12 years and I love her to death,' explains Moran. 'Before we opened our own space, we'd always go to hers to source things for clients. Recently we were having conversations with her saying it would be nice if there were more collaborations between galleries in Milan. So finally we said, "let’s try it".'
Entitled 'Occupazione', the three-week long settlement kicked off with an all-night party at both galleries, during which a bus shuttled guests back and forth from Dimore's Brera space to that of delle Piane in Chinatown, to enjoy the festivities at both locations.
Dimore brought a wealth of their designs to delle Piane's space, filling her neutral, raw-walled gallery with their own products; the work ranged from valuable mid-century gems like Giò Ponti sofas and arm chair sets from the Parco de Principi hotel, to Albini bookcases and new Dimore Studio designs such as screens made from metal and mirror, or their own custom-made fabrics.
'Her style is completely different from ours, but she has the most amazing eye,' Moran explains. 'She's much more artsy than we are. We're more decorative. It was nice to see our pieces somewhere else.'
Meanwhile, Dimore's cozy apartment-esque gallery was transformed into a home for delle Piane’s more conceptual design. Of the many rooms, one was dedicated to the work of Ettore Sottsass, while another featured a quirky seating installation by Italian artist Mario Ceroli.
A different DJ was stationed at each location: Nicola Guiducci at Luisa delle Piane’s gallery and Alex Carrara at Dimore’s both drew cool, arty crowds drinking icy beer and rocking out for hours.
'It was more a party than anything else,' Moran observes, with a chuckle. 'I hope it turns into a lucrative event, but if not that's ok too. It's always fun to think about these things and to experiment. I'd like to make it happen more often.'