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Highlights and best moments from Milan Design Week
May 6, 2014

While much of the industry was knee-deep in High Point Market, another group of designers was at Milan Design Week fielding new trends and ideas. Editor at Large tapped a handful of designers and editors to share their favorite finds and “pinch me” moments from the whirlwind week.
  
  
Clockwise from top: Cos x Nendo installation, Hermes installation, Dimore Gallery piece and David Raffoul and Nicolas Moussallem's furniture
“This year’s Salone was just heaven on earth for an interior designer like myself. The Cos x Nendo installation was powerfully ethereal by taking the simple white shirt and bringing it to new heights with the different color blocks sewn onto it that were then displayed in metal frames. Nendo's studio work was displayed downstairs, and my personal favorites were chocolates rendered to look like oil paints with flavored syrups and the grouping of silicone shivering bowls. At the Triennale Design Museum, the inspiring art installation ‘Light is Time’ by the watch manufacturer Citizen, created a glistening, immersive interior by suspending 80,000 watch plates from the ceiling. I was in awe of the Hermes installation designed by Philippe Nigro at the Palazzo Serbelloni. The display of stunning fabrics, wallpapers, furniture and accessories juxtaposed next to lush foliage of this palace built during Napoleonic times, with Frescoed ceilings, antique chandeliers and paneled walls created an exquisite and unique visual symphony. Other remarkable displays were Nina Yashar Gallery’s installation at Nilufar, David Raffoul and Nicolas Moussallem’s introduction of their new furniture line, and Lindsey Adelman's blossoming wall and ceiling sculptures. Additionally, the incredible Dimore Gallery highlighting the latest designs by owners Britt Moran and Emilano as well as their other beautifully displayed furniture and decorative accessories were shown in standout vignettes.”—Amy Lau, Amy Lau Design
  
  
Clockwise from top: Marni's Animal House, Alissa + Nienke's marbelized porcelain, "Ombre" trend and "Mixed Media" trend
Marni's Animal House party was great. I also attended a dinner party/performance-art piece by a group of artists from the Netherlands at Ventura Lambrate that was really special. The Hay pop-up shop was pretty awesome, since their goods aren't super-easy to find stateside. I fell totally in love with Patricia Urquiola's new collection for Gan. It's a group of super-textural rugs/modular seating covers that can be changed easily. I'm also crushing on Alissa + Nienke's marbleized porcelain pieces. And, this bathroom-organization system, Simplify Bathroom Set, from Melbourne-based Group Work caught my eye. BDDW's new shelving is also so lovely. As far as trends, it was Ombre, futuristic designs, (think, Beetlejuice!), mixed-media vessels, and an emphasis on texture.”—Cat Dash, editor of Lonny Magazine

Established & Sons display
“There is even more of a trend toward the handmade this year. I noticed an emphasis on quality items made in small quantities, with the country of origin highlighted. THE eventl, held at Wallpaper, was called Hand Made. Everyone was there. It was the talk of the town, but I have to also mention the event in the space by Rosana Orlandi. She curated a new concept store, set in a 19th c. palazzo. She used the most contemporary furnishings to contrast with the grand setting. It was fabulous. The English company Established & Sons had some great new products. They do collaborations with other companies and they showed two products with Pierre Frey fabrics—a sofa and a vase. They are amazing. We also hosted about 30 people at our dinner, mostly designers but also some press, from all over the world. We had the Alberto Pinto team, Fabrizio Rollo and Philippe Dahon from Lebanon.”—Pierre Frey, director of international relations for Pierre Frey
  
Gold and wood trends
“Although we are still seeing burnt oak pieces from last year’s Salone, this year natural wood finishes in lighter shades have been introduced and can definitely be expected to be seen in showrooms this fall. Where crystals and shiny metals have been the dominant lighting trend over the past few years, we are now seeing a lighting trend move towards more natural finishes like bronze or burnished bronze, unadorned suspension cords, as well as bulbs with visible filaments. The renowned European style of super low beds are making way for taller frames and thicker, plusher mattresses, a trend we confidently feel many Americans will welcome and embrace. As we also saw from our buyers at the High Point Market, gold is definitely making a comeback and in a big way! While it will not take over the chrome and stainless steel finishes, ‘gold is gold,’ and will be making a statement from accessories to major case pieces.”—Michael Wilkov, CEO and founder of Cantoni
Tom Delavan, design editor for T magazine, shared that one of his favorite moments was chatting with Orlandi as she hosted a cocktail party at the Bagatti Valsecchi Museum in honor of her “Untold” exhibition. In the below video, she explains the pieces and exhibition in a short Q&A with Delavan:

Overall, the 53rd edition of the Salone del Mobile fair notched up a total of 357,212 visitors—up 13% from the 2013 edition. This was an even more international Salone, with distinguished visitors from over 160 countries.


"Where Architects Live" exhibition
This year’s main exhibition, “Where Architects Live,” featuring a look inside the home lives of leading architects including Shigeru Ban, Mario Bellini, David Chipperfield, Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas, Zaha Hadid, Marcio Kogan, Daniel Libeskind and Studio Mumbai/Bijoy Jain played a starring role at the show.

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