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What: Salone del Mobile, Design Fair
Where: Milan, Italy
Each year Milano gets into a state of excitement. Exhibitors and fair visitors from around the world invade the city of fashion and Campari, the room prices of the fully booked hotels triple or even quadruple, the popular restaurants are completely over booked in advance anyhow, taxis are scarce goods and there are practically no parking spaces anywhere. Instead, the crowded pavements are full with beautiful and stylish people. Already on the evening before the official opening of the Salone del Mobile – the most important design fair in Europe – Milano is a party.
The noble boutiques on the Via della Spiga or Montenapolone are opened ‘till late at night to celebrate their cooperation’s with premium brands of the furniture industry. The Prosecco bottles were popping and one was drinking “una Piscina” (Prosecco on ice, one of my favorite drinks). Feverish excitement lay in the air. Everybody wants to be there, when, for example the L’Uomo Vogue together with the AD-Magazine and the kitchen manufacturer Asko invite into the newly opened luxurious hotel Mandarin Oriental, where champagne is already out after an hour.
That isn’t a bad thing, I say to myself, because the other days I have to be fit for the exhibition grounds, the Fiera Milano. A day at the fair is quite exhausting. Against this madness, the Way of St. James is a refreshing stroll. The 55th Salone del Monile awaits with thousands of exhibitors in 22 halls. Every other year – also in 2016 – the EuroCucina, the current kitchen trends are being exhibited as well. And the Salone del Bagno presents the new innovation in the bathroom division.
At the same time in the area around Via Tortona the parallel event Fuori Salone takes place, where international design newcomers present their designs. Former factories and warehouses, hidden backyards and lofts are becoming temporary exhibition- and party locations. The event has cult status by now and resembles a promising networking service: Many young talents have been employed from the spot by established designers.
But what is new on the design firmament? Definitely and actually trans-sectorial is the use of wood. Wood? Which is as old as the evolution, the critics amongst you may think! Right. But – as so often – it is the combination of different materials. Let’s start with the EuroCucina: There is not one kitchen manufacturer who renounces wood. The solid wood kitchen is hip. Ciao to the clean intense, fingerprint absorbing high gloss fronts – you only play a minor role at most. Wood is the clear star. Namely rough and haptic in the natural tone of the respective type of wood. Favorite partner of the wood is – you won’t believe it – marble. And that looks mega (!!!) chic. A thick worktop from marble, that’s quite something! The mere sight of it instantaneously awakens the I-want-effect in me.
Wood in the bathroom area is also on the rise. It goes to the extent that toilet bowls as well as bidets are offered in wood optic. Companies, who have always put their focus towards wood, for example Team7 or Riva 1920 benefit a lot from this trend. Star designer Matteo Thun has just designed the table ‘Icon’ for Riva. He told me: “Wood is the answer to the unloving, minimalistic design of the 90ies.” I think he’s right. BvH
Don’t miss the full MyStylery interview with Matteo Thun coming next week!