One of the videos produced at Milan Design Week for vogueliving.com.au opens with the intriguing installation by Swedish fashion brand Cos. A large bubble lands on the palm of my hand and vanishes in — quite literally — a puff of smoke. Mesmerising in its transience yet lingering in the memory, and a metaphor perhaps for Design Week itself. The Italian city’s annual design carnival is the largest on the planet and the most important, but being there can feel like a visual and sensory merry-go-round, spinning ever faster. Salone del Mobile — the original Milan Furniture Fair — may have lent its name to the festival (aficionados prefer just ‘Salone’), but in reality the furniture fair often seems a mere support act to the myriad installations and exhibitions that populate Milan for this one magical week in April. After a decade of attending Milan Design Week, I’ve learned to make no assumptions. The anticipated highlights rarely are, and the unexpected and spontaneous are generally where the thrill lies. I also know it will be long after my plane has touched down in Australia that my mind starts to make sense of everything I’ve seen, distilling, editing, absorbing. This year’s Salone did not disappoint. While trend-watchers may have struggled to discern significant new design directions (beyond the increasing impact of 3D technology), the week over-delivered on spectacle and theatre. Our 34-page report, produced in conjunction with Lexus Australia, begins on page 58. This is my last issue as Vogue Living’s editor-in-chief. It’s been one of the great privileges of my career to edit — albeit for a short time — this most beautiful of magazines. Biased? You betcha. It’s also been a pleasure to work on a daily basis with a passionate and brilliant team committed to creating — in print and online — one of Australia’s most respected design brands. And just as I was honoured to take the baton from the previous editor-in-chief, so I’m proud (and yes, a little bit sentimental) to pass it to the next. I hope they realise, as I did, that in taking the reins of Vogue Living, things don’t get much better.
clockwise from left: one of Milan’s many magnificent gateways to the sensory experiences and spectacle beyond. The city once again didn’t disappoint during this year’s Milan Design Week. For the annual event, design agency Studiopepe re-created a sophisticated 19th-century apartment with its The Visit installation, while Dimore Studio continued to fuse interior design, art and fashion. Our ‘Milan 2017’ report begins on page 58. TO CHECK OUT OUR NEW- LOOK APP, VISIT VOGUELIVING. COM. AU/ SUBSCRIBE NEALE WHITAKER