International trend report: the best 6 designs from Milan
Salone del Mobile
The biggest event on any self-respecting design devotee's calendar, The Milan Design Fair, aka Salone del Mobile, is where the world's biggest furniture and lighting houses unveil their new work. As always, this year's fair came and went in a blaze of vivid colour, look-twice pattern and digital innovations. Here are our standouts.
1. Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton added to its Objet Nomades collection of luxury leather furniture, calling on pre-eminent designers Patricia Urquiola, the Campana brothers, Barber & Osgerby, Nendo and Raw Edges to design portable pieces for the limited-edition range. The Campana Brothers' swinging cocoon chair and Raw Edges' Concertina chair get our vote.
We're used to seeing Marni's distinctive brights and bold patterns on clothing, but their showing at the Milan Design Fair proved their aesthetic translates just as beautifully to interior design. Marni transformed their industrial warehouse into a bustling South American market, complete with exotic fruit displays that visitors were invited to taste. The limited-edition woven furniture and wire tableware were handmade by Colombian communities as part of Marni's Mercado de Paloquemao charity project.
3. Pucci and Kartell
How could Kartell's signature polycarbonate chairs possibly get any better? Easy - with the addition of Emilio Pucci's vibrant silk scarves. The two design greats joined forces to create the Madame chair - single mold plastic seats upholstered in Pucci's limited-edition Cities of the World scarf prints.
4. Maison Margiela
Is it fabric? Is it tiles? None of the above - the newly redesigned Maison Margiela store in Milan is decked out in a cutting edge material made from tessellated timber. The flexible wooden fabric is the work of Italian company Wood-Skin, who covered the store from floor to ceiling in the stuff. The Paris fashion house unveiled its store's dramatic redesign to coincide with the Milan Design Fair, with the upstairs dedicated to new creative director John Galliano's first haute couture collection.
5. Patricia Urquiola for Glas Italia
Prolific Italian designer Patricia Urquiola had famously forsaken glass as a design material - until now. Her Shimmer series for Glas Italia, unveiled over the weekend, transforms glass with a luminous multi-chromatic finish that changes colour according to the light and vantage point.
6. Flos, Kartell and Ryu Kozeki
Perhaps the most major innovations shown at the fair were in lighting design, with brands exhibiting completely wireless, rechargeable USB-operated lamps. The best of the bunch included Philippe Starck's minimalist and metallic 'Unplugged' designs for Flos, the colourful 'Battery' lamps by Ferruccio Laviani for Kartell and the tealight-esque 'Xtal' by Ryu Kozeki.
Buro 24/7 Selection
Buro 24/7 Selection