Last week in Milan, the entire city was transformed into a series of design events, installations and presentations, expertly curated by the world’s most respected designers, architects, artists and creatives.
While many of the events are concentrated around the Brera design district, there is also a lot going on on the outskirts of the city as design studios and brands have secured historic and impressive locations for their immersive presentations. From grand Milanese palazzos to industrial spaces.
One thing we have noticed is that more and more fashion brands are also offering homeware and interior design.
Bottega Veneta started last November with a series of chairs by industrial designer, architect and artist Gaetano Pesce, but during Design Week they transformed the Bottega Veneta store on Via Monte Napoleone into a design installation. Gaetano Pesce and his team constructed a huge scaffolding structure under which they draped hand-painted canvas, sprayed it with resin in situ and backlit it to create an immersive grotto. It was called ‘Vieni a Vedere’, which means ‘come and see’. The bridge to the Italian fashion house was created by Pesce’s first handbag design for Bottega, in a limited edition, of course.
Cristián Mohaded has transformed the Loro Piana headquarters for Milan Design Week 2023, inspired by the stone walls of the Andes and the colours of Argentine lagoons.
He has also created a series of furniture designs, including sofas, armchairs, a bench, tables and containers, whose shapes discreetly evoke the shapes of stones carved in wood, softened by the textures of Loro Piana’s textiles and ceramics in colours that refer to Argentine lagoons.
His Arca bag was also a notable piece. The name Arca refers to the Latin meaning of a piece of furniture used in ancient times to store clothes and precious household objects. Thus, the bag designed by Mohaded is designed to hold and protect personal belongings, a product with minimal forms in which craftsmanship and technology come together.
The base of the bag is made of hand-woven wicker, while the upper part is made of velvet calf leather, thermoformed in 3D to give life to a clasp that is almost floating. The bag was available exclusively at the Via Montenapoleone store during the Salone del Mobile.
Known for its craftsmanship and the many transformations of its iconic baskets, Loewe also focused this week on a collection of chairs, exhibited in the courtyard of Palazzo Isimbardi.
From foil to shearling, the seating designs showcased an unexpected range of materials and colours. The added material was hand-woven into the chair by an international group of expert artisans, creating additional textures and expanding the shape of the chairs. Typical of the brand, the act of weaving and embellishing is reinterpreted here as a totally avant-garde tool.
Like every year, Hermès presented its home wear collection at La Pelota. The design was all about a collection that riffed on the house’s equestrian motifs, presenting simplicity in the most sublime way.
The Hermès cashmere plaid becomes an icon, a patchwork of silk scarves from the house’s archives.
Her signature Cordélie Arçon rugs featured fence posts and racetrack elements with hand-stitched elements. The porcelain tableware featured freehand illustrations in felt-tip pen by artist Jochen Gerner, and the Contour d’Hermès sofa was upholstered in wool and cotton slub canvas with red leather piping.
There were many other fashion houses that showed their identity through interior installations and design, such as Loro Piana, Missoni, ETRO, …….