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Better Than Fashion Week

Stella McCartney Helps Make Milan Furniture Fair a Scene

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Alasdhair Willis and Stella McCartney   
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"People are always trying to pull me in different directions," Stella McCartney said on Wednesday night. "But I get a huge satisfaction from being able to say no! I like to do one thing properly, not lots of things quite well." Apparently, though, she doesn't turn down the hubby. The designer and her better half, Alasdhair Willis of Established & Sons, were the hosts of an intimate dinner on the first official evening of Milan's Furniture Fair.

The meal was vegetarian, of course, and the seating was canteen style on a mezzanine that overlooked an enormous Established & Sons hut, made up of 30 tons of haphazardly assembled untreated wooden planks. Representing the design crowd were Maarten Baas, Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, and Erwan and Ronan Bouroullec. On the fashion front you had Nadja Swarovski, Renzo Rosso, Giambattista Valli, and Margherita Missoni, all of whom agreed that the Salone del Mobile was Milan's best event—yes, better even than fashion week. "The fair is not so oppressed by the business side of things and the people are nicer," Valli explained. "Most of the parties are open to everyone; it is much more democratic and free."

Not that attendees like Lapo Elkann; Alex Dellal and his girlfriend, Charlotte Casiraghi; or their jet-setting group's newest member, gallerist Nicolo Cardi, need any help getting into parties. As soon as the pesto lasagna had been gobbled up, they were off to the city's next hot fête, the opening of Fabio Novembre's Il Fiore di Novembre at the Triennale.

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