The best of Salone del Mobile 20197 min read . Updated: 10 May 2019, 03:08 PM IST
- Lounge picks the trends that dominated the Milanese fair that was held from 9-14 April
- There are few trade shows as trend-setting as Salone del Mobile, the star attraction of the Milan Design Week where the world’s top brands and designers unveil new creations and design concepts
Throughout the fair, you could see mosaic tiles with floral motifs, reinterpreted in a contemporary way by Carlo Dal Bianco for Bisazza. In a limited-edition collaboration for the Tuscany brand Bitossi Home and the Milanese shop Funky Table, Italian-Brazilian fashion accessory designer Paula Cademartori presented a Bloom Collection of vases, containers and cup covers inspired by South American tropical motifs.
From wall to lighting, the Night Bloom collection by Marcel Wanders for the Spanish porcelain brand Lladró included a range of ceiling pendant lamps, floor lamps, desk lamps and wall lamps, featuring soft gold contoured lines that recall the ancient Kintsugi Japanese technique.
Sustainability in style
The Dutch Marjan van Aubel presented Cyanometer, a light installation for Swarovski that is powered by solar energy. For their first project with Emeco, Barber & Osgerby created On & On, a series that includes a café chair, bar stool and counter-height stool made from 70% recyclable PET (a petroleum-based product).
With sustainability in mind, Foster + Partners and Molteni created Ava, a timber dining table. Gallerist Rossana Orlandi, Milan’s queen of design, challenged designers to develop new ways of recycling and reusing plastic in her Ro Plastic Prize competition. One winner was German designer Alexander Schul, whose furniture collection uses recycled high-impact polystyrene sheets.
With the outdoors now an extension of the indoors, the patio and terrace are also getting design consideration. Italian brand Giorgietti presented the Loop armchair and the Break table designed by Ludovica and Roberto Palomba: They will look as stylish in your living room as in your balcony. Similarly, the Amidaba portable light by Diego Sferrazza for Luceplan, with its linear 1960s shape, is perfect for both the garden and bedroom. For Marset, Christophe Mathieu has created LaFlaca, a screen-like lamp that can act as a room divider, defining outdoor spaces or providing structure and form to an interior. The outdoors mood is stylish if you consider the grey shades and the cloister leather of the Elephant armchair by Paola Navone for Baxter. The new Minotti outdoor collection, with a range of armchairs, sofas and chaise lounges from Japanese studio Nendo, would look equally at home indoors. Porch or patio, the graceful lines of the Thomas armchair by Antonio Citterio for Flexform, or the superb Freddie table by Alessandro La Spada for Visionnaire, are signs that the outdoor season is in.
Focusing on Indian architectural icons, Cassina’s R&D centre presented Hommage à Pierre Jeanneret, celebrating the (supposed) author of most of the furnishings in Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh designs. With the Fondation Le Corbusier’s support, the Italian brand presented a chair, a chair with armrests, an armchair and a table. Mumbai-based Ilo Rugs, by Sharan Parekh and Thierry Betancourt, presented (among four projects) two rugs for Dharma, a collection of limited-edition sculptural furniture inspired by Le Corbusier and Chandigarh, as part of a collaboration between the Milanese Studio Pepe and the Indian Almst Blck.
At the invitation of Jaipur Rugs, Italian designer Matteo Cibic designed 24 handmade rugs inspired by the Pink City. Hong Kong-based interior designer André Fu presented his first stand-alone collection (furniture, lighting, tableware, textiles and table stationery), with an installation inspired by the geometric forms of the Jantar Mantar in Jaipur.
A loud statement
In the 30th edition of Euroluce, the lighting show at the fair, the focus was clear: sound absorption. Artemide unveiled Ripple, a suspended light fixture of circular modules with sound-absorbing fabric that gives it acoustic properties. Martinelli Luce presented Hush, a light and sound system for offices and shared spaces.
It aims to reduce the noise of loud chatting with a suspended modular system, with LED light sources integrated with sound-absorbing panels composed of variable-density material for different frequencies.
The foam body in the BuzziDee poufs from BuzziSpace has sound-absorption technology. The Lounge System is a collection of sofas and armchairs, designed by Rodolfo Dordoni and produced by Molteni&C for UniFor, which are perfect for lobbies and open spaces, with the armrest turning into a partition.
Raising the bar
The PalermoUno gallery presented the charm of an old travelling wood trunk with shelves made of brass and iron, designed by Glab. The bar unit Mary, by Emmanuel Gallina for Porada, has two compartments with curved doors in canaletta walnut; the upper compartment has a USB rechargeable LED light. Kolkata-based Scarlet Splendour presented a range of concepts, including the luxurious Lulu cabinet by Matteo Cibic. Richard Hutten’s deep-green Oasis cabinet for the brand is covered in gleaming brass spheres reminiscent of thorns on a cactus. Mauro Lipparini’s King’s Cross bar unit for Visionnaire is inspired “from the meeting of East and West", with references ranging from Roman architecture to Ming dynasty art.
The XS sofa
It may be a sign of our times—the smaller the house, the tinier the sofa—or the impact of hotels and restaurants on the furniture industry, but the sofa is becoming smaller.
Take the KN05: a two-seater with linear forms and a metal structure, designed by Piero Lissoni for Knoll. The Sophie Sofa by Federica Biasi for Gallotti & Radice can seat two within its 67 inches of comfort. The flowing lines of Cappellini’s two-seater couch called Orla, signed by Jasper Morrison, promotes proximity. Molteni&C named its two- or three-seater sofa, designed by Rodolfo Dordoni, South Kensington after London’s trendy district. Yes, small is trendy, and versatile. The compact sofa is suitable for both homes and hotel lobbies. And Frag, along with Leonardo Dainelli from DainelliStudio, has created Public, a two-seater for public spaces.
A classic comeback
This year, Milan saw the remake of a number of iconic designs—some with new configurations, others in new colours, or in earth-friendly materials. Kartell gave its best-seller Componibili storage unit, designed in the 1960s, a new sustainable life (using biodegradable bioplastics) in four colours—green, pink, cream and yellow. In the year that marks a century since the founding of the world-famous Bauhaus, Porro’s designer Nicola Gallizia paid homage with the functionalism and purism of the small Lullaby lounge chair, while Poltrona Frau decided to reissue the free-standing Turner swivel bookcase, created by Gianfranco Frattini in 1963.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of the most iconic pieces, Up5, created by the “maestro" Gaetano Pesce, B&B Italia dressed it in new colours (orange red, navy blue, petrol green, emerald green, cardamom) and even unveiled a special edition—in beige and petrol green stripes, in line with the original colour palette of 1969.
Haute couture brands are an unmistakable force at the fair. Hermès left a mark: From the vibrant Paddock vases by Studio Hermès in enamelled metal, to the evocative Coulisse table lamp in Japanese paper designed by Tomás Alonso, the collection was devoted to its signature colours and motifs.
The Salone also saw the first Dior creations designed by the Milanese Dimore Studio. Available by special order—for just one year—the collection (vases, trays, candelabra, etc.) combines metals and natural woven rattan.
The house symbols of Gucci Décor (“Star Eye", macro rose, herbarium, mystic cat designs, and stars) are celebrated on cushions, wallpaper and chairs. Its temporary Milan store (open until June) showcases the collection of furniture, furnishings and decorative items designed by creative director Alessandro Michele.
Versace Home presented a collection of bold and vivid furniture—skateboards, kettle bells, beach umbrellas and lifebelts included. After all, design is about transforming everyday objects. This is the philosophy of the Japanese Nendo studio, which reinterpreted the signature Le Pliage bag for Longchamp, featuring it in three variations.
Back to the 1980s
Make way for pop and bright colours in geometrical shapes as designers draw inspiration from the 1980s. Consider the UpTown floor lamp designed by Ferrucio Laviani for Foscarini, with the disco tower of tricolour glass evoking the Empire State Building in New York, or the psychedelic harlequin patterns of Martino Gamper’s multicoloured Xequer carpets for CC-Tapis.
Mush by Giulio Cappellini for Cappellini is a series of service tables in two different heights. The contrast in volume and dimension evokes the 1980s. Then there are the polyethylene Pop Medusa Chairs (in yellow, pink, white, black, red and blue) by Versace Home.
The Italian fashion house Marni lets us imagine a world full of colourful PVC, petite sofas, rocking chairs and evocative chaise lounges.
Lit by led
Portable, costume-made or giant: LED lighting solution were the highlight of Euroluce. Made in porcelain and crystal, the new E2H lamp of Vista Alegre—in partnership with the British designer Ross Lovegrove—looks like a piece of art.
The hand-blown glass Noctambule for Flos is a dramatic statement piece by Konstantin Grcic, whose modules can be stacked as a column or suspended chandelier, or used as a single cylindrical LED lantern lamp. Catellani & Smith presented a small LED and brass galaxy in the form of the spherical Petits Bijoux pendant lamp. So, to switch the light on or off in the piece titled Lost by BrogliatoTraverso for Magis, you simply have to place your hand in the central void of the lamp.