At Wallpaper* we pride ourselves on bringing together people from disparate disciplines and diverse domains. With an editorial remit covering such a broad range of creative fields, it’s only natural to want to get the protagonists together and see what happens. It can be a gamble, a social experiment, but by and large the results are successful, provoking inspiring conversation, forging new friendships, and even laying the groundwork for future collaborations.

This was certainly the case at a small gathering we orchestrated during Men’s Fashion Week in Milan in January. To celebrate our Design Awards 2017 lifetime achievement recipient, Mario Bellini (see W*215), we persuaded him to give us a preview tour of his retrospective exhibition at La Triennale, ahead of the official opening.

Mario Bellini recently treated guests to a special preview of his show at La Triennale. Join the tour here...

Our audience was a group of fashion world VIPs, among them designers Francesco Risso, Lawrence Steele, Arthur Arbesser, Gentucca Bini and Rosita Missoni, alongside CEOs and heads of communication of top Italian brands – Armani, Caruso, Emilio Pucci, Kering Eyewear, Marni, Missoni, Prada, Roberto Cavalli, Santoni and Tod’s. They all gathered punctually (surely a first for a fashion crowd) at 7pm, to take a break from the runway treadmill and hear the story of an Italian architecture and design legend. Among the fashion elite, there is clearly a healthy appetite for design.

It’s one we foster and feed, especially with our biannual Style Specials, which explore the intersection of fashion with art, architecture and more. This sartorially sizzling issue includes a round-up of fashion and design trends, shot at Uphill House, a larch-clad residence in north London, by Robert Dye Architects. We check out the interdisciplinary forays of three footwear brands – Pierre Hardy, whose new Atelier collection references radical 1970s Italian designers Studio Alchimia; Fratelli Rossetti, which has been showcasing local artisans such as weavers Impagliando at its Milan flagship; and Santoni, which has worked the distinctive upholsteries of Venetian textile purveyor Rubelli into its sculptural shoes.

Meet some of the contributors behind our Style Special

Also see our preview of a show at the Hepworth Wakefield, which pairs modern British art with fashion and photography, curated by Jonathan Anderson. Finally, ahead of his show at London’s Victoria Miro gallery, we joined with Korean artist Do Ho Suh for a unique collaboration, bringing models into his spectral fabric sculptures for a memorable fashion shoot. Another social experiment we think paid off. Enjoy the issue.

As originally featured in the March 2017 issue of Wallpaper* (W*216)

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