There is nothing more satisfying than investing in – or even admiring from a distance – an iconic piece of luxury design, whether that comes in the form of an Hermès Birkin or a multi-coloured Missoni knit. It makes sense, then, that the same applies when those fashion houses produce furniture, translating the signature codes of their designs into achingly chic take-home objects that will last a lifetime.
At this year’s Salone del Mobile, Milan’s annual furniture fair, we saw many examples of this, from Loewe’s ceramics to Marni’s playful take on homewares. Here’s our round-up of the best in show.
California desert town Palm Springs is the key influence behind Diesel Living’s new collection, which launched at Salone last week, and which takes inspiration from a roadtrip embarked upon by creative director Andrea Rosso and the team. Available in a sumptuous range of dusky salmon pinks and ochre yellows, the resulting furniture – sweet round-backed loveseats and metal-topped coffee-tables – looks like it was made to live out its days in a 70s motel; a look we’d be more than happy to champion in our living room, too.
COS’ annual offering at Salone del Mobile is never less than spectacular, and this year’s immersive installation, dreamt up and executed by interdisciplinary duo Studio Swine (which consists of Japanese architect Azusa Murakami and British artist Alexander Groves) was no exception. New Spring saw decommissioned former theatre Cinema Arti filled with a recycled aluminium tree-like sculpture. Most captivating of all, though, were the mist-filled bubble blossoms it emitted; they burst on contact with skin, but remained happily intact when they landed on textures, creating a landscape of blossom-like liquid foliage in the dark room.
This year at Salone del Mobile, Marni transformed a stretch of sand into one giant playground – aptly titled Marni Playland – inviting the public to forget the predefined rules and structures applied to interior design. A series of furniture-based sculptures were left open to interpretation, with each object crafted from colourful wood, woven PVC cord and metal. And the best part? All of the furnishings were entirely unique, made in Colombia by a group of women who employ traditional local techniques to find a sense of independence through their handiwork.
Loewe’s This is Home collection encompassed furniture, lamps, blankets, ceramics and cushions, all conceived by the brand’s creative director Jonathan Anderson, who has a passion for craft unlike any other contemporary designer of the moment. As Anderson said of the range: “It’s a collage of different bits of information: canework, a star motif, English carpentry, knitted murals. I like the idea that fashion can explode into the household, bringing different artisans together to design new physical forms and apply craft in a home. This is how the Loewe character lives.”
Missoni invited guests to pose in front of an enormous crochet-printed textural wall in its signature zigzag before entering its presentation, neatly setting the tone for the celebration of its codes which ensued. But then, when you’ve made your name creating colour, pattern and form in clothing, why shy away from decorating the walls with it too? From wallpaper in a dreamy, softly striped gradient (somewhat reminiscent of watching the world go by through the window of a quickly moving train), to richly textural leather couches and thick woven rugs, the Missoni offering was a gentle tribute to the house’s long-established history.
London-based designer Faye Toogood truly comes into her own at Salone del Mobile – this year she presented no fewer than six projects and collaborations, each as considered and as beautifully executed as the last. Our favourite? Horse, Moon, Hill, a series of ten limited edition luxury appliquéd quilts designed in collaboration with Italian lifestyle linen brand Once Milano, and decorated with graphic forms inspired by the role of the white horse in paganism, but also in Christian, Hindu and Persian traditions. Equine legend comes to life in rich and earthy greens and browns and pleasing chalky whites. Even better – the complete range includes a series of pyjamas and dressing gowns made to match.
Including a dressing table we’ve been lusting over, plus a number of objects referencing the French design house’s origin as a harness-maker, a series of ten pieces were presented by Hermès at the furniture fair in its signature brick bridal leather, offset with hints of maple, lacquer, crystal, wicker and metal. We were also extremely fond of the log basket – carry yours like a Parisian Red Riding Hood.
Birkenstock has a long-established (and well-deserved) reputation for creating the most comfortable shoes out there – podiatrist-approved, suitably versatile and with more than a hint of fashion insider-approved belle-laide about them. It makes perfect sense, then, that the German-founded brand turn its attention to actual beds, as well as footbeds, too – a feat it has undertaken this spring with its new collection. From legs to lifestyle, in one fell swoop.
Much like its fashion lines, Versace’s homewares have long been associated with a particularly Italianate glamour, and what the maison presented at Salone del Mobile this year was no different, from the new addition of the Stardvst armchair (crafted from buttery black leather and metal studs) to a collection of coloured stools, their backs formed in the shape of the iconic Medusa head. We’ll take them all.
10. Louis Vuitton
India Mahdavi and Tokujin Yoshioka joined Louis Vuitton’s Objets Nomades collection this year, adding to a list of world-renowned designers who have produced interior design work for the brand. 2017 sees a collection of 25 objects, including a hammock and a foldable stool, exploring the notion of travel and embodying the codes of meticulous craftsmanship and imagination that makes the house of Vuitton all that it is.