Ever restless, Wallpaper* Handmade upped its perfectly proportioned sticks again this year, installing itself (well, we helped) in a semi-retired stretch of Milanese store fronts to create the Wallpaper* Arcade. We were determined that this year's Handmade event be the biggest, best and most bountiful yet. And so it was; not least our opening bash, now well established as Salone's swingingest party.
This year we were joined by Tom Dixon, Patricia Urquiola, Konstantin Grcic, Philippe Malouin, Maurizio Cattelan and many other luminaries who enjoyed the more interactive elements of this year's exhibition: including the Wallpaper* nail bar; live hair styling by the legendary Jimo Salako; and the remarkable 'Rotunda Seronita' snack bar, dispensing not only savoury treats but their own handmade cherry wood trays.
Of course, such scale and ambition does not come easy and we again have to thank the many friends, old and new, who provided invaluable assistance and supplies. The champagne flowed freely thanks to Veuve Clicquot, whose Re-creation Awards installation of re-imagined mail boxes proved a particular favourite, while Royal Salute served wonderful whisky at their remarkable 'Neolithic' bar, designed by Studio Mackereth and crafted by Jack Badger. The highest-grade grappa came courtesy of Nonino (try saying that after a few glasses) whilst beer was supplied by San Miguel (summer in a bottle as far we're concerned).
Given this year's culinary theme, the catering had to impress and we served up a monumental stretch of Italian favourites, including generous dollops of organic panettone gelato from local favourites, Grom. We also flew in St John sous chef Arnold Hoeksma who cooked up bone marrow pizza at the Emeco space while the young craftsmen Josh Fisher bent, beat and shaped metal into unique editions of Jasper Morrison's 'Alfi' chair.
The Wallpaper* Arcade – a collaborative effort in the best tradition of Handmade – was brightened by Kvadrat's spectacular multi-colour colonnade as well as the multidisciplinary delights of d3 Dubai Design District; the contemporary crafted carpets of AfghanMade; and Gufram's prickly pop-up lounge.
Finally, a huge thank you to the event sponsors, Veuve Clicquot, Hästens and Monoqi Business, and, of course, Leclettico's Claudio Loria, whose ambition and drive matches our own.