Every year, anyone who’s anyone in the design and furniture world descends to Milan to launch, discover, see and wonder at the delights of the Milan Design Week. Those who ventured to the city’s outskirts for the 57th edition of the Milan furniture fair found themselves in an enormous maze of pavilions. Whether you stayed in the city or made it to the fair, there was a lot to see. Our top 5 wonders...
1. Louis Vuitton’s Objets Nomades and Les Petits Nomades: The travel-inspired objects, designed by the usual roster of creative heavyweights including Marcel Wanders, India Mahdavi and Raw Edges, are a Salone staple now. New to the line-up this year is Hong Kong-based architect and designer André Fu, his “Ribbon Dance Chair”, a sculptural seat for two spins around like a twirling ballerina in a darkened room at Palazzo Bocconi.
2. COS' 'Open Sky': Ever the crowd-pleaser, COS is master of the interactive (and Instagram-friendly) installation come Milan Design Week. Last year, Studio Swine’s bubble-blowing tree drew popped up on everyone’s feed, Sou Fujimoto’s 'forest of light' the year before that. This year, American conceptual artist Phillip K Smith III has created a faceted mirror sculpture in the courtyard which reflects the sky and splendour of the renaissance style architecture of the of 16th-century Palazzo Isimbardi in which it sits.
3. Roberto Cavalli: The Cavalli signature prints — namely zebra, snake and giraffe motifs — are as ubiquitous in the brand’s interiors as its ready-to-wear. At the Via Montenapoleone boutique, a capsule collection of 10 crystal vases — creative director Paul Surridge’s first foray into interior design — takes centre stage. Wild animal patterns are interpreted into colour crystal fragments and spheres, hand-manufactured by Tuscan artisans of Arnolfo di Cambio. At the main fairground, a vibrant citron shade is the colour of the season, flamboyantly paired with sedate tones of beige and grey.
4. La DoubleJ: Building on last year’s success with La DoubleJ Housewives, JJ Martin has scored the ultimate hat-trick, teaming up with three historic Italian brands; the porcelain and ceramic experts at Ancap, the Murano glassmakers of Salvati and furniture royalty, Kartell. The ‘Libellula’ dinner set combines the illustration of a dragonfly circa 1985 with a botanical theme. (And there is also the mix-and-match, 18K gold-rimmed dessert plates too.) In the glass department, there is a series of stemless wine glasses in riotously vibrant hues, but the real showstoppers are the limited-edition murano glass goblets which breathe whimsical new life into historic designs dating back to the 19th century. The collaboration with Kartell rounds off the collection with a series of chairs, obviously dressed to the nines in La Double J’s signature vintage prints.
5. Missoni: The American artist Rachel Hayes was responsible for the artwork that hung over the Missoni show last September, a series of billowing fabric panels created to celebrate Angela Missoni’s 20th year at the helm of the brand. Now the artist has been commissioned to create ‘Blowing in the Wind’, an installation at the Via Solferino showroom. Three column-like structures flood the space with specks of colour and diffused light, created by the fragments of transparent and translucent plastic-like acetate which cover each structure. The refractions of light are created by the gusts of wind and projections blowing and shining from within.