Where will you experience the greatest concentration of design? Will you see trends for the next season? And will you discover the most attractive installations on which no expense was spared? The answer is clear—at the Milan design week Salone del Mobile.
This April festival of design attracts more and more people every year. It’s no wonder. Against the impressive background of opulent palaces, but also in hidden lanes or old factories, there is so much beauty and art that a visitor often has the feeling that the whole world revolves only around chairs and lamps. Hundreds of companies were competing to astound thousands of buyers, reporters and lay design lovers. We have selected for you five installations that amazed us and confirmed our feeling that in a year we will have to go back to northern Italy.
The star that received the greatest recognition from the professional public and visitors is the Czech brand Lasvit. Their presentation in the space of the historic, well-preserved Gerolamo theatre was an opulent celebration of glass and Czech skill. The company, which is managed by Leon Jakimič, rightly won the Milano Design Award, granted by organisations that specialise in design there. Lasvit presented the whole width of its portfolio, from small glass works of art to a massive totem pole with elements by Maxim Velčovský. We liked the chandeliers from the pairing of Plecháč and Wieglus, which were reminiscent of lights from leading opera houses.
Japanese Talent Again Did Not Disappoint
The longest queues this year, however, were for a different name. The Japanese brand Nendo, which is headed by the designer Oki Sato, always generates great enthusiasm in Milan. This year, however, the expectations were even bigger. Nendo located its exhibition in large, but also austere premises in the district of Tortona, which is full of industrial buildings and former factories. The Japanese forty-something opted for a concept and most of the objects exhibited gave rise to the question of what they were for. Untraditional warped chairs, shelves you couldn’t put anything on, as well as breath-taking glass objects. Nendo again confirmed that design is primarily a process and a path.
A Minimum of Minimalism and a Maximum of Fantasy
The colourful world of plants, animals and impressive mystery. This is the Dutch brand Mooi, which regularly occupies a huge Milan hall on Via Tortona. This year it managed to set itself up more than cosily. This is because of a trend that designers are following—a minimum of minimalism and a maximum of fantasy. The basic characteristic of their installations is wild wallpaper full of the strangest fauna and flora. This is supplemented by furniture that is not frightened of standout colours and designs. A red velvet armchair with an embroidered image of a tiger is something we’d take home immediately.
Lovers of luxury and leading brands couldn’t miss the installations of the Louis Vuitton and Hermés brands. Both of them bet on ostentatious locations in the city centre, which certainly paid off for them. Hermés primarily presented its earthy collection of table accessories, vases, ceramic jars and woven fabrics. Softened shades of Bordeaux, brown and blue in combination with classic morphology often gave the impression that one was in a museum and was examining artefacts from the Mycenaean period. And this is certainly good news for a brand betting on quality and tradition. The French label known thanks to its ubiquitous iconic handbags with the LV monogram was substantially more refined. Its presentation in the Bocconi palace was a romantic show full of red leather petals. The impression was set off by the luxury range of accessories, such as leather containers for cut flowers and ingenious leather armchairs.
Milan is packed with good taste and beauty all year long. But coming here in the week in April when the Salone del Mobile climaxes is a delight for every lover of design and aesthetics. Obviously, you see a huge range of beautiful products and find out what trends will be dominating in the near future. Primarily, however, you understand that surrounding yourself with perfectly crafted items that are also wonderful to look at is a natural part of life.