Décor Trend Dispatch
If Paris reigns as the capital of international fashion, Milan takes top honors when it comes to the world’s most fabulous furnishings. Salone Internazionale del Mobile is an annual six-day exhibition showcasing the newest and most innovative furniture from the world’s most highly respected designers and manufacturers. New releases from the top furniture houses are highlighted next to conceptual prototypes on the cusp of production. Although conceptual often leans toward futuristic, this year the furniture industry rallied around the Mad Men-inspired 1950s midcentury-modern trend. We saw familiar retro shapes reintroduced in bold colors and tight geometric fabric patterns resembling men’s suiting, and casegoods in walnut veneers and reclaimed wood bearing the mark of past influence.
Yet what’s more impressive are the steadfast contemporary designers who continue to offer a new point of view. Antonio Citterio’s deceivingly comfortable Evergreen Sofa for Flexform is comprised of a series of down-wrapped upholstered elements in warm autumn neutrals that float effortlessly on a rigid metal frame covered in leather. Equally notable was the zebrawood Muu dining table, designer Romeo Sozzi’s latest creation for his brand Promemoria. The tabletop rests on bowed legs finished with hammered-bronze-capped feet, giving the illusion that the entire structure is perched on its tippy toes.
To see modernity at its best, turn to Ligne Roset and the Elysée seating series they created from French designer Pierre Paulin’s design archives. Known for his use of geometric shapes and vibrant stretch fabrics in eye catching primaries, Paulin’s designs join half-moon elliptical forms as seat and back to create sculptured sofas, armchairs, and ottomans that are at once playful and inviting.
As Salone teems with activity, Milan itself is converted into an exhibition where design meets the city streets. Large-scale abstract architectural installations and modular sculptures dot such well-heeled streets as Brera and Montenapoleone, where prestigious flagship furniture and fashion showrooms like Armani/Casa, Moschino, Versace Home, and even Mercedes- Benz hold court and smaller boutique galleries abound; all host seemingly endless launch parties celebrating the spirit of design. Designers, always a stylish set of French, German, Russian, Scandinavian, and Spanish partygoers, permeate the city streets, moving from one opening to the next, hoping to catch a glimpse of such design gurus as Geoffrey Barnett, Piero Lissoni, Luca Nichetto, and Philippe Nigro. And like at the Frankfurt auto show and on the Paris runways, the future has arrived, and we’re ready to appreciate it.
photographs courtesY of Ligne Roset (Chair), Fl exform (Sofa & Table), Terzani (Light)