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Design Espresso

June 26, 2015

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D E S I G N   E S P R E S S O

The Best of Salone del Mobile 2015

Text by Isabelle Kellogg | Layout by Bill Indursky | Photos as noted

 

It’s both gratifying and remarkable that Salone del Mobile brings together a world of furniture and related design manufacturers to tell stories about human creativity and what’s new in our burgeoning age of techno-mania. Italy, where craftsmanship has been an essential fabric of the economy and landscape for centuries, is the best place for this type of trade fair.

Unless you have a magic carpet and unlimited energy (plus an iron stomach to handle gallons of espresso and prosecco), it’s impossible to see the whole fair and attend the 400+ events at showrooms, boutiques and galleries throughout Milan. However, we selected a few highlights of the parties and installations. You can also experience Salone via a new app “In Italy” with interactive videos that tell the story behind manufacturers from Artemide to Valcucine. It’s a great introduction to the country’s oldest and newest manufacturers.

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Moooi kicked off the week on Monday afternoon with a preview of “The Unexpected Welcome” at its spacious via Savona showroom which showcased different living spaces furnished with light fixtures and furniture designed by Casper Vissers, Jurgen Bey, Jonaa Forsman, Marcel Wanders and a new customized carpet collection (prices starting at 1,600 Euros), all enveloped by gigantic mesmerizing photos of Rahi Rezvani. Stateside, we can all rejoice that Moooi is opening later this spring in Manhattan.

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That evening, at the breathtaking headquarters of Poltrona Frau, guests were seduced by the stunning interior of the villa-some of the interior walls are frescoed—decorated with examples of Poltrona Frau’s top of the line furniture and decorative items. Founded in 1912, the company is known for its leather and high design. One of the pieces we couldn’t stop admiring was a standing traveling trunk outfitted with drawers, hooks for ties and belts and lined in a luscious cream leather. Then we caught sight of the Hudson side table, an elegant interplay of Chinese boxes inspired by the Freedom Tower in New York.

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Driade, founded in 1968, is a relatively new to the design universe. Driade manages to achieve a seamless transition between between all of the designers it represents whether its the larger-than-life Nemo chair by Fabio Novembre, a molded face turned into a chair, or the Miss Lacy chair by Philippe Starck. We stopped in to chat with Driade’s the head of Home Design Division, Gian Luca Columbo and John Jenkin, Home Design Division USA CEO (formerly at Kartell) summed up the business outlook: it’s good.

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Back at the fairgrounds on opening day, Tuesday, we took a break from the barrage of booths to embark on a treasure hunt to locate all of the products designed by Marcel Wanders. Alessi, Cappelini, Magis, Moooi, Olivari, Poliform, and Very Wood took us on an exciting discovery of iconic Wanders pieces from the giant rocking horse to lace patterned tableware and wooden trays. The scope of materials used by Wanders never ceases to amaze even hard-core design fanatics like us.

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Just like the Biennale in Venice for art, there is a biennale devoted to lighting called Euroluce, which is installed on throughout Salone. Michael Anastassiades, Karl Kahn, Bec Britten and Ladies & Gentlemen Studio are among the artists whose lights are on display at Salone and throughout the city.

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Fashion icons like Roberto Cavalli (he made animal print dresses famous), as well as Fendi Casa and Trussardi (part of the Luxury Living Group) also have a presence at Salone and bring an unexpected “elan” to the show. Who doesn’t like the feel like a tiger (Cavalli) in bed, or lounge on taupe colored leather sofas (Fendi Casa) and pretend to be in charge of global fashion brand? Other fashion brands like Hermes and Etro showed their new home collections in town at their boutiques.

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Eager to find something more classical and artistic at the fair, we found Porte Italia, a company north of Venice that specializes in painted interior arts. Remember sponge painting for interior walls? Well Porte Italia takes painting to a new level. This isn’t paint by numbers either. A team of craftsmen painstakingly reproduces 18th century patterns onto interiors, furniture, doors, panels, frescos and chandeliers.

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Before departing Milan, we snuck in a visit to Dimore Studio at Via solferino 11 at the suggestion of the CEO of menswear company Boglioli. It is singularly worth a visit to experience the combination of old and new, the patina of Italian excellence in craftsmanship applied to new shapes and designs.

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Salone del Mobile 2015 - Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile 2015 – Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile 2015 - Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile 2015 – Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile 2015 - Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile 2015 – Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile 2015 - Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile 2015 – Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile 2015 - Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile 2015 – Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile 2015 - Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile 2015 – Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile 2015 - Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile 2015 – Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile 2015 - Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile 2015 – Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile 2015 - Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile 2015 – Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile 2015 - Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile 2015 – Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile 2015 - Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile 2015 – Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile 2015 - Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile 2015 – Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile 2015 - Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile 2015 – Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile 2015 - Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile 2015 – Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile 2015 - Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile 2015 – Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile 2015 - Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile 2015 – Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile 2015 - Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile 2015 – Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile 2015 - Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile 2015 – Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile 2015 - Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile 2015 – Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile 2015 - Milan, Italy

Salone del Mobile 2015 – Milan, Italy


About the author: Bill Indursky
Bill Indursky is an architect, trend expert, and digital entrepreneur. He is the former founder of V&M (Vintage & Modern (2006-2013)) and the current founder of Design Life Network (DLN). DLN is a MAGAZINE + DESIGN AGENCY + MARKETPLACE + TV CHANNEL promoting inspiring design of all eras online and on TV.


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