Fashion And Furniture Meet In Milan-------
Today in Milan, the annual Salone del Mobile kicks off—the Milan furniture fair to me and you. And once again, fashion labels from both home and abroad and using the gathering to extend their reach from their clients’ clothes to their living spaces, debuting new collections and pieces.
Donatella Versace is one of Milan’s hometown heroes breaking out new wares for the occasion. “I think this is our ultimate home collection since it’s the perfect blend of fashion and design,” she told Style.com of the new offering. “It’s pure fashion in 3D! I wanted to make my outfits live in the homes of people and I think I finally succeeded. I love it because it is so direct and powerful that people will have no doubts when they see it: they’ll know it’s Versace.” It’s hard to imagine who else would combine leopard print, gold, heraldic crests, and crowns—on a single chair (left). But there’s subtler charm, too, in Versace Home’s gold-detailed leather sofa and undulating coffee table, debuting exclusively here.
If there’s no mistaking Versace, it’d be hard to mistake Maison Martin Margiela, either: the Maison has once again created a temporary apartment at the fair to showcase its furniture, produced by Cerruti Baleri. New for the season is the Lazy console table, scaled-down to off-kilter smallness, and a “shrinking” upholstered headboard, the Lolo (below).
For Marni’s installation, spearheaded by designer Consuelo Castiglioni’s daughter, Carolina, the label collaborated with a group of ex-prisoners in Colombia to create 100 woven chairs (like the two below) that will travel worldwide to Marni stores. (Marni collaborator Francesco Jodice will also photograph the artists seated on their chairs.) “The result is great,” Castiglioni told Style.com. “They are really 100 special pieces. We also wished to support an Italian project, or more precisely a Milanese one. We found the institute ICAM, that allows mothers in prison to live with their children, [up] to 6 years old, in a family environment.” The project, however, does not mark the brand’s entrée into furniture. “At the moment we have no plans to create furniture collections,” Castiglioni added. “This special project is linked to the Salone del Mobile 2012. [It] is part of the Marni approach to bring together different projects and realities.”
Several other fashion labels will introduce new home pieces at Salone del Mobile as well. Roberto Cavalli and Antonio Marras will both show collections for the first time. Bottega Veneta will present its latest range on Thursday, including a new line of seating made in collaboration with Poltrona Frau. Salvatore Ferragamo and Molteni&C have joined forces to present the work of the Parisian designer Constance Guisset, winner of the Paris Grand Prix du Design, who created the wooden MO lamp and SOL rocking chair that will be installed at Ferragamo’s Via Montenapoleone boutique. At Vionnet’s Corso Monforte boutique, the Montana-based artisan Christopher Kautz will show new work in wood, called Cranewalk. Finally, Hermès will unveil Model H, its new line of modular architectural elements to serve as both wall decor and partitions, designed by the Japanese architect Shigeru Ban.
Nike, meanwhile, is using the fair to emphasize design, rather than furniture. The megabrand is debuting the new range of its Flyknit series, woven in custom-engineered yarn. This is only the first stop for the new Flyknit sneaks (above), which debut at Milan’s 10 Corso Como and Excelsion as well as Salone del Mobile; they’ll come to Nike’s 21 Mercer boutique later in the month, followed by arrivals at 1948 and Dover Street Market in London, and Nike Harajuku and Dover Street Market in Tokyo.