Every April, folks from the design scene flock to Milan for Salone del Mobile — Milan Design Week — arguably the largest single showcase of furniture and design trends globally, with an estimated 500,000-strong audience attending.
While the event is obviously dominated by the interior design industry, fashion labels are a small but growing group of participants. Here, we round up some of the most eye-catching fashion exhibits at Milan Design Week 2019:
Designer Linda Tegg has designed a mini-living exhibition at Jil Sander’s headquarters that might possibly be a nod to the brand’s upcoming release — Jil Sander+, a new sub-range that’s geared towards outdoor living.
Marni has long been a regular at the fair but this year sees them doing things a tad differently — positioning their typically quirky chairs against a futuristic backdrop. Artisanal techniques meet futurism, we like.
Italian jeweller Bvlgari has two installations for its sophomore year at Salone del Mobile and the one pictured here, located in the gardens surrounding the Ulrico Hoepli Municipal Planetarium, is dedicated to the brand’s best-selling B.Zero1 ring, which turns 20 this year. What we dig: the concentric design of the exhibition sort of reminds us of the architectural design of the B.Zero1 Ring, which was inspired by the Colosseum.
You know a Gucci design when you see one and Alessandro Michele’s mad-cap effervescent aesthetic spills over to the Gucci Decor line, in which visitors can visit a pop-up store in Milan where the entire range is available. FYI, if you can’t get enough of the Gucci Decor line, it’s available in Singapore — as well as at the upcoming Gucci pop-up restaurant next month.
Further expanding their considerable presence at Milan Design Week — this is Louis Vuitton’s eighth year participating — 2019 sees the house growing its Louis Vuitton Objets Nomades collection to 45 designs in total. The house typically taps on top international names to contribute to its stable of intriguingly fun designs, such as this Bulbo chair designed by the Campana Brothers, which is meant to invoke the effect of enveloping the user in a soft, tropical flower.
The theme for Loewe this year: basketry and their exhibition taps on a total of 11 international artisans who’ve been tasked to use the brand’s signature leather (instead of their usual materials such as bamboo) to create exquisite objet d’arts. If this is something up your alley, there is also a related range of bags and accessories featuring the same techniques that will hit Loewe stores sometime in July.
Missoni’s entry surely takes the cake for most whimsical. The Italian label has collaborated with artist Alessandra Roveda to kit out an entire home setting in their signature multi-coloured knits that coccoon everything from bicycles to lampshades to clocks. It’s a trip.
Miu Miu might be an unexpected name at Milan Design Week but their entry is definitely worth paying attention to. They’ve collaborated with design powerhouse M/M Paris on a limited-edition linden wood stool that comes perforated so you can slot in different coloured “match-sticks” in various formations. The stools are sold at Miu Miu’s Milan flagship store but be quick about it — only 300 are available.
Homeware is not yet synonymous with Dior but the brand will soon change that perception with an exclusive collaboration with in-demand design house, Dimore Studio. Available only via special order, it’s a series of 14 small objet d’arts — vases, lighters, ash trays, frames, umbrella stands and more — fashioned out of precious metals such as gold and silver.
COS has developed a reputation for some of the most interesting installations every year at Milan Design Week, and this year, they’ve partnered with French architect Arthur Mamou-Mani to create a structure (dubbed “Conifera”) made with 700 3D-printed “bricks” in the courtyard of a 16th-century palazzo.
What’s more, these “bricks” are made of wood and polylactic acid, a bio-plastic that is reportedly full compostable. Too often being environmentally-conscious is thought of as being all Earth mother-y and tree-hugging, but as more creatives put their weight behind the urgent issue of climate change, we’re seeing how technology can aid and improve how we approach the problem.
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