A magical stationery, a collection of graphite porcelain, a traveling detox bar… These are some of the astonishing and playful initiatives, sometimes offbeat, imagined by the fashion houses to mark the occasion during this reduced-format edition of the Salon du Meuble in Milan. Reporting.
Canceled last year due to a pandemic, the famous Milan furniture fair (Salone del Mobile in VO) relaunched this year via a version light renamed Fuorisalone, repositioning itself from September 5 to 10. These dates, which narrowly anticipate Milan Fashion Week, scheduled from September 21 to 27, have undermined most of the fashion players attached to this media event. Difficult, in fact, to invest in two close deadlines, knowing that in April, a new design project will have to be presented, with the 2022 edition of the Salone del Mobile, back to its usual dates.
Apart from Hermès, Dior and Bulgari, who took part in Milan Design Week via large-scale projects, most of the brands (Versace, Fendi, Armani, Louis Vuitton, Missoni, etc.) just took the opportunity to present their furniture collection through simple press releases or by displaying a few products in their stores, without organizing special events as usual. Other brands have joined forces with designers or artists for capsule collaborations to be displayed in their windows during the week.
Some have nevertheless unveiled original projects, like the ephemeral stationery open until September 17 by Gucci in the central Via Manzoni artery. With its look of old-fashioned stationery all in parquet and woodwork, the “Gucci Cartoleria”, this tiny cabinet of curiosities, welcoming only two visitors at a time due to sanitary measures, is the occasion for the house to launch its new Gucci Lifestyle collection under the aegis of its artistic director Alessandro Michele.
The latter has designed this magical space down to the smallest detail with a multitude of toys and pranks and tricks intended to make us fall back into childhood: from the small iron locomotive that walks upside down on the ceiling through the kits that open on the shelves, like the mouths of strange animals, or the fans that expand on the wall, and up to that small hole in the bottom of a wall that houses the interior of the chicest mouse , fully furnished by Alessandro Michele!
Notebooks, notepads, notebooks, colored pencils, card games, poker or backgammon cases and dice rub shoulders with skateboards, basketballs and the essentials for an impromptu trip (pajamas, pillows, mules and sleep masks). This Gucci Lifestyle collection will also be available from September 10 in a selection of the brand’s boutiques and on its e-shop.
Not far from there, in Via Bigli, at the corner with Via Verri, Virgil Abloh has transformed the ground floor of his Milan boutique into a sort of apartment with a contemporary chic-street style typical of his Off- brand. White. A large, primed table welcomes visitors at the entrance, surrounded by metal mesh poufs in pop colors, set up with small and large plates, cups, and teapots from a porcelain service decorated with black tags and graffiti. Unexpected avant-garde aesthetics on these immaculate porcelains that could not be more classic.
This is a preview of a larger collection, to be launched in 2022, produced in partnership between the label, recently acquired by LVMH, and the historic porcelain factory Ginori 1735, founded over two centuries ago. and a half in Florence, and owned since 2013 by the French group Kering.
Givenchy also plays the card of originality. In order to stand out in the Milanese luxury quadrilateral, once again invaded by onlookers and tourists in this week dedicated to design, the house has equipped a three-wheeled van as a traveling bar, repainted in its own colors in an opaque black, just stand out in white its name and logo.
The vehicle offers passers-by a single drink with a total black look. This mysterious potion with an uncertain taste has detox virtues, as the barman explains to us, telling us that it comes directly from Paris. It is the favorite drink of Matthew Williams, the young artistic director of the house.
Valentino for his part customized a newsstand that he transformed into a theater box office. The latter has been repainted and fully upholstered with the black and white images of the collection which paraded last March at the Piccolo Teatro. But the surprises and unexpected encounters don’t end there. This is even what makes the charm of the Lombard capital at the start of autumn, where a certain social effervescence can be seen once again.
After months of pandemic, the desire to find oneself is strong. So some houses have not hesitated to create moments of convivial exchanges, like Acqua di Parma. In his Via Gesù boutique, the perfumer presented a capsule collection of scented candles produced in partnership with the artisanal web platform Artemest. For the occasion, he had organized an entertainment on site, but visitors seemed more drawn to the back of the store, namely the pretty courtyard overlooking the back of the store where a very warm cocktail awaited them.
Crossed at the Triennale, where he took part in a debate, the French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, who has just opened a branch in Milan, was delighted for this “feeling of freedom” perceived during his visit to the “Supersalone”, the official lounge set up in Rho Fieramilano. “This year, the Furniture Fair offers a kind of best of presented in a very spartan way, through a promenade where everyone is placed on the same level. No more giant and exclusive stands, “he notes, qualifying this concept as” surprising. “” It’s quite interesting, I liked the principle, “he concludes.
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