Each year, when the design world makes its annual pilgrimage to Milan for the Salone del Mobile, the city’s fashion brands are ready and waiting to greet them with open arms. As well as the debut of annual home collections from the likes of Hermès and Fendi, Salone’s roster of fashion-themed events includes everything from immersive installations to exclusive designer collaborations that give luxury labels the chance to showcase the technical capabilities of their artisans. Last week we swept the city to seek out the fashion brands who are grabbing a generous slice of the Salone pie. Here we kicked off at Loewe's Via Montenapoleone store...
Loewe: A kaleidoscope of leather-upholstered oak furniture greeted customers at Loewe’s Milan store during Design Week. Created especially for the Salone, Loewe’s master artisans demonstrated their incredible skill by translating prints from Loewe’s silk archives into intricate leather inlay designs that adorned pieces of early 20th-century furniture selected by Loewe creative director Jonathan Anderson
Berluti x Ceccotti: A perfect pairing if ever there was, Parisian shoemaker Berluti teamed up with Pisa-based furniture maker Ceccotti Collezioni to create the ultimate gentleman’s valet by Giuseppe Casarosa with a matching chair by Roberto Lazzeroni. Displayed in Berluti’s Milan store window, the hand crafted, solid ash pieces are upholstered in Berluti’s emblematic Venezia leather. With perfectly-sized framed glass shelves, coat hooks and a round brass rimmed mirror, the design reflects the brands’ shared love of craftsmanship and exquisite detailing
COS x Sou Fujimoto: Following their collaboration three years ago in London when COS sponsored a series of events at Sou Fujimoto’s 2013 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, the Scandinavian clothing brand and the Japanese architect joined forces once more to create a light installation during Salone. Now a regular fixture on the Salone circuit, COS’ 2016 offering saw Fujimoto create a darkened room filled with spotlights, or a ‘Forest of Light’ as it was titled...
COS x Sou Fujimoto: As people moved through the space the cones of light that shone down from the ceiling, flashed on and off, responding to the movement. ‘I tried to create something in between furniture, fashion and architecture,’ says Fujimoto of his immersive installation. ‘Light is the material here - it’s pure and non physical but it’s of course an important part of architecture. There is a connection to fashion because the spotlight is used in fashion shows, and because the installation is located in an old cinema, there is also a connection to the venue’
Armani Casa: ‘Lightness’ was the theme that pervaded Armani Casa’s new home collection that was previewed at the brand’s Corso Venezia Space. Lined with lightweight bamboo prints that filtered the daylight from outside, the store’s interior was softly lit by large semitransparent gauze lanterns that displayed images of the new accessories on all four sides. Set against a backdrop of by deep black walls and a dark grey Bedonia stone floor, Armani’s new furniture and home accessories were divided up by full-height mesh panels printed with motifs borrowed from the collection
Bottega Veneta Home: Tomas Maier, Bottega Veneta creative director unveiled his latest designs for the label’s home collection at the Bottega Veneta boutique in Palazzo Gallarati Scotti – an 18th century palazzo in Via Borgospesso in the heart of Milan...
Bottega Veneta Home: Produced at the brand’s dedicated furniture atelier in Vicenza, in the Veneto region of Italy, the new launches include highly crafted pieces such as marble-topped chests of drawers upholstered top to bottom in suede or leather, sterling silver collectible boxes embellished with semi-precious stones, as well as a set of bronze tables produced in collaboration with Italian designer Osanna Visconti di Modrone
Bulgari: Inspired by the three rings of the B.zero1 Perfect Mistake ring and their three different shades of gold, Bulgari unveiled an impressive light sculpture in the gardens of its Milanese hotel. Conceived by NaNA architecture studio, the art work was made up of 18 three-metre-wide mirrored steel rings that spiraled across the lawn. By day the rings reflected their green surroundings but by night, embedded LEDS on the inside of the rings lit up, transforming the installation into a glowing light sculpture
Hermès: Never failing to wow the Salone’s jaded crowds, Hermès created another blockbuster of a set inside Milan’s Teatro Vetra. Designed by Mexican artist Mauricio Rocha, Hermès welcomed visitors into a raised pavilion lined with monumental brick pillars that atmospherically funneled light out into the darkened space...
Hermès: United under the theme of ‘balance’, the pavilion showcased the new additions to the maison’s home collection, including furniture, tabletop and office accessories, wallpaper, upholstery fabric and a re-edition of a cane chair by Rafael Moneo from the 1960s
La Perla: Tasked with creating a piece of furniture that embodied lingerie label La Perla’s sense of sensuality and delicateness, Italian designer Walter Terruso has crafted an elegant custom vanity table (pictured). Called Mia, the vanity’s oversized mirror covered in plissé silk sits atop a glass and brass table structure with pink-hued maple wood drawers. Showcased in the brand’s Milan store during Design Week, the vanity was displayed alongside a matching plissé silk modesty screen and stool that were introduced during the last year’s Salone
Fendi Casa: The luxury Italian label occupied great swathes of stand space across two halls at the Rho fairground with its Fendi Casa and Fendi Casa Contemporary collections. At the latter, designer Toan Nguyen presented a modernist collection of pure volumes and essential lines. ‘My challenge has been to convey the highest craftsmanship and quality in a simple yet extremely refined language,’ said the designer of his new pieces...
Fendi Casa: Meanwhile at Fendi Casa, architect, designer and decorator Thierry Lemaire used materials such as brass, fine woods, lacquer and leather to create a collection that blended Italian sophistication with French decorative arts
Christian Lacroix x Moooi: Following a successful collaboration with Moooi last year, Christian Lacroix debuted its second carpet design for the Dutch brand at Moooi’s vast Tortona show space. Lacroix, who have been slowly building a complete lifestyle collection over the past five years, were given complete creative freedom by Moooi creative director Marcel Wanders who simply asked designer Sacha Walckhoff to ‘create something crazy’. Designed in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris last year, the carpet’s colourful collage is inspired by the eccentricity of Incroyables and the Merveilleuses who flourished in post-revolution Paris. Walckhoff told us, ‘After such a terrible time I wanted to find energy and the carpet is designed to be hopeful and uplifting’
Marni: Continuing its love affair with all things Colombian, Marni’s Salone festivities centered around Cumbia, an ancient Colombian dance for couples. Transforming its Via Umbria showspace into an atmospheric ballroom, Marni called upon choreographer Susanna Beltrami to direct a live dance performance to a soundtrack of voice and percussion...
Marni: The Cumbia dancers, decked out in traditional full circular skirts (pictured) and knotted scarves made from retro Marni fabrics, twisted and twirled their way around Marni’s new furniture and lighting collections, which are all handwoven from PVC yarn in Colombia
Missoni: Set up within its via Solferino space, Missoni created an immersive architectural installation by artist Aldo Lanzini that was made entirely from its extensive archive of textiles. Bursting with the brand’s trademark waves, zig-zags and stripes, the glowing landscape, called Knitown, was lit by disorientating flashing lights that revealed hidden doorways, windows and interior spaces for visitors to explore
Santoni x Budri: During Design Week, Santoni’s Patricia Urquiola-designed shoe boutique on via Montenapoleone paid homage to the Spanish designer with a window display of her stone surfaces for Italian marble inlay brand Budri. Called Papyrus, the 0.8 millimetere-thick surfaces are set with wafer thin slices of marble arranged into dazzling graphic patterns
Tod's: Five pairs of limited edition shoes conceived by five young Italian design studios were displayed across the window of Tod's Via della Spiga store for the duration of Salone. The designers, selected by Giulio Cappellini, were assigned a material with which to customise Tod's classic Gommino driving shoes. Working with ceramic, marble, leather, metal and wood, the surprising results include a wooden buckle on deign studio Zaven’s shoe and seams held together with pins on Leonardo Talarico’s metal version
Ermenegildo Zegna: Set up in 2012, 'Barrique. The third life of wood' is an ongoing collaboration between Fondazione Zegna and Italian rehabilitation clinic, San Patrignano. Each year world famous creatives are invited to design a piece of furniture from reclaimed timber barrels that will be made by members of the San Patrignano community. This year, Peter Marino took the reigns with the introduction of the Adam & Eve cabinet. Unveiled during Design Week at Zegna’s Via Montenapoleone store, Marino’s cabinet is topped with a sheet of black bronze and incorporates two contrasting sets of doors made from the oak barrels’ curved staves. While one set is convex and showcases the naturally aged wood, the other is concave and stained a deep aubergine colour by the wine that was once stored inside
Versace Home: Fearlessly flashy, Versace Home’s 2016 showcase at the Rho fairground was not for the faint hearted. This year’s introductions, which included four brand new lines, were completed by the launch of the brand’s first outdoor furniture piece – the Mesedia chair (pictured), which sees the the house of Versace’s unmistakable Medusa logo wrought in 5 shades of climate proof aluminium. Elsewhere, prominent themes included ocean-inspired motifs that were splashed across opulent living, dining and bedroom products in sweet pastel hues, as well as an exotic array of leopard and zebra prints that were combined with lacquered woods, silk jacquards and gold trimmings