The Salone del Mobile has proven over the years that it’s more than just a furniture fair. In its 56th edition this year, the annual event saw over 2,000 companies showing their best in lifestyle and homewear design. And unlike the majority of fashion events, the Salone del Mobile is open to the public.
Fashion is no stranger to the world of interior furnishings too. High fashion brands like Fendi and Armani have well-established home divisions that while exist quite separately from the fashion business, afford a similar luxurious vibe and aesthetic.
At Salone del Mobile, the concepts by fashion brands sometimes deviate from functional lifestyle designs to installations that don’t necessarily have any use. But they do display the artistry and mastery of design. We take a look at some of this year’s display of fashion’s best at Salone.
Play was the central idea behind Marni’s installation this year. Dubbed MARNI PLAYLAND, each peculiar item part of the space was handcrafted from metal, painted wood and woven coloured PVC cord. Each sculpture was designed in a manner where its purpose is left to the user’s imagination. Proceeds from the sale of the limited-edition designs (including a rocking chair, stacking cones and stools) were donated to the Only The Brave Foundation as part of Marni’s commitment to charity initiatives.
If Dolce&Gabbana’s fashion creations speak to you, its collaboration with upmarket domestic appliances maker Smeg is one to keep an eye out for. While last year’s collaboration was restricted to limited-edition refrigerators (priced at almost USD33,000), they presented an array of small kitchen appliances this time around. The normally mundane everyday appliances like toasters, coffee machines and kettles are uplifted with vibrant prints typical of Dolce&Gabbana’s Sicilian flavour.
Loewe returned to Salone del Mobile for the third year running with an edit that showcased the house’s capabilities beyond fashion. LOEWE: THIS IS HOME presented a collage of techniques like knitting, woodcraft, canework as well as challenged Loewe’s mastery of leather. Highlights included hand-knitted abstract nude male figures that can either be mounted on a wall as a mural or displayed horizontally, a stack of square-cut leathers that can be separated to different heights and used as a stool or side table, and solid oak items made by the British workshop of Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thompson.
In celebration of the Salone del Mobile installation, a small collection of totes and pouches bearing the star motif seen on some of the pieces from Salone will be available in Loewe stores around the world.
Art fiend COS made its sixth consecutive appearance at Salone with a collaboration with Studio Swine. Housed within Cinema Arti, a decommissioned former theatre, New Spring is an immersive and multi-sensory installation. The focus is on the central sculpture that was inspired by Murano chandeliers and modern Italian design. Made almost entirely out of recycled aluminium, the sculpture emitted mist-filled bubbles that burst when in contact with skin but remained intact against textured fabrics. The entire experience happened in the darkness of the cinema’s interior and provided an impactful contrast.
Hermès is undoubtedly more than just a fashion house known for its esteemed leather bags. It’s repertoire also includes a myriad of leather-based interior creations, often challenging the expertise of its artisans. Among the many pieces presented, the pièce de résistance was definitely the GROOM ATTELÉ. Designed in collaboration with Guillaume Delvigne and Damian O’Sullivan, the hanger referenced Hermès’ incredibly rich heritage of making harnesses and saddles. It resembles a bridle typically used on horses with rings and hooks to securely hang (or display) objects. It does make for a great wall feature on its own too; truly exquisite.
No stranger to collaborations for Salone del Mobile, Paul Smith partnered up with fellow British business The Rug Company. The partnership is not entirely new as Paul Smith has been injecting his colourful designs for The Rug Company as part of the latter’s designer-led collections for over 15 years.
The exhibition at Salone served as a preview of an upcoming collection that’s slated for an autumn 2017 release. Inspired by the façade of Paul Smith’s Mayfair shop at No.9 Albemarle Street, the Albemarle rug features the cast iron motif (the same design available in Paul Smith’s existing No.9 leather goods collection) in grey against a matte wool base. Another highlight is the vibrant Overlay runner that’s synonymously Paul Smith in palette and design.
The 57th Salone del Mobile is scheduled to be held next year on 17-22 April.