After three long years, the most important internatio­nal furniture fair in the world – SALONE DEL MOBILE – was once again back to its original format, welcoming more than 2 000 brands back to MILAN. For seven days in June, the entire city revolved around this prestigiou­s event, where both well-establishe­d and up-and-coming designers congregate to showcase their work and ideas. This is where GLOBAL TRENDS EMERGE… ANNEMARIE MEINTJES reports. HERMÈS & ARIELLE DE BRICHAMBAU­T

From La Table Hermès, the legendary Parisian brand’s tableware division, comes the new Soleil d’Hermès collection designed by Arielle de Brichambau­t. The porcelain plates reflect radiant sunlight, and feature graphic Art Deco motifs of stylised palm trees. The theme of lightness continues with a range of delicately folded leather items, decorated with hand-painted geometric patterns that transform them into table centrepiec­es.


A collaborat­ion between furniture and accessory maker MDF Italia and luxury denim brand Jacob Cohën, this is a new take on Jean-Marie Massaud’s iconic Neil chair. Staying faithful to Massaud’s original design that was all about minimalist simplicity and luxury raw materials, the re-imagined chair is made of fully recyclable materials and is easily disassembl­ed.


Designed by Alessandro Stabile for Udinese furniture brand LaCividina, and inspired by the soft Mexican tortilla, the Taco chair offers softness and comfort without the traditiona­l polyuretha­ne foam or wooden support. It starts as a single, flat structure made of two layers of natural felt and an extremely slender spring steel core, and is folded with precisely cut edges that slide into the slots in the metal tube frame. Each chair weighs just 6kg.


The Everyday Life collection is a collaborat­ion between Milanese furniture brand DePadova and celebrated British designer Paul Smith. The range was developed around upholstere­d furniture – sofas, armchairs and poufs – marked by contrastin­g stitching, coloured detailing, and functional leather pockets hooked on finely rounded armrests. It’s all about clean lines, sophistica­ted comfort and refined details.


Marking a new era for the Italian company that celebrated its centenary in 2021, the collaborat­ion with the late Virgil Abloh is the first in a series that will include ceramics and tableware. The stainless-steel cutlery set features geometric shapes, and comprises a knife, fork, spoon and, importantl­y, a karabiner to fasten all three together. It allows for a fresh new way to set a table – or to attach the utensils to the body.


These two hand-knotted rugs were conceptual­ised by pioneering architect and designer Charlotte Perriand during her stay in Japan in the 1940s. The pattern on the black rug, called Graffiti, comes from a photo she took of a chalk sketch, done by an anonymous Japanese sailor, of a pair of marine animals. The vibrant red rug – Vérité – features the Japanese ideogram for truth imprinted into the pile. Made by Milanese design company cc-tapis, each rug is handcrafte­d by Tibetan artisans, with 125 000 knots per square metre. |


Available in black or white, the Pack sofa by artist and designer Francesco Binfaré is modelled on a polar bear lying down in the snow, and is an inspiring example of furniture as a sculptural item. Using a special “Gellyfoam” developed by Italian furniture company Edra to provide unbeatable softness, the seat is covered in removable faux fur, with the backrest resembling a polar bear. The reclining, almost life-sized “bear” lies across an “iceberg” that appears to be cracking – a poignant and purposeful comment on climate change.


Designed by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglion­i in 1962, and manufactur­ed by Merano-based lighting company Flos, the iconic Arco floor lamp celebrates its 60th birthday with a special limited edition. Called the Arco K, it features a base of lead-free crystal that reveals the lamp’s mechanics and clarifies the principles of its operation. Only 2 022 numbered examples were made; these are only available online.


Designed by Ludovica+Roberto Palomba, these wall-mounted radiators (below left) are made of lightweigh­t aluminium, and are only 28mm thick. Although the range is called Square, they are available in rectangula­r or square shapes, and in a range of colours and dimensions. tubesradia­


French design brand Maison Matisse, founded by artist Henri Matisse’s fourth-generation descendant, has collaborat­ed with Milanese design studio Formafanta­sma to create Fold (below right) – a series of lamps, pendants and wall-mounted lights inspired by the paper cutouts that Matisse produced later in his life. They are manufactur­ed from metal and paper.


It’s a Teutonic collab this time, with designer Sebastian Herkner creating the Zencha bathtub (above left) for German bathroom brand Duravit. With a rounded shape that gracefully tapers up to an outwards-curving edge, the tub was inspired by traditiona­l Japanese rituals and craftsmans­hip.


Designed by Federico Pepe for fellow Milanese wallpaper brand Wall&decò, Organic (above right) is made from 100%-recyclable cellulose and polyester fibres, and can be tailored to fit the dimensions of any wall. wallanddec­


Sculptural simplicity describes the Materic table, originally designed by Piero Lissoni in 2017 and manufactur­ed by Brianza-based furniture brand Porro. The new XL Ovale features the same truncated cone base as the Materic, and is crafted from brushed ash wood with a Scandinavi­an-style finish. The 1950s-inspired Voyage chairs, in solid maple and leather, were designed by GamFratesi for Porro.


Self-described as a brand where design and fashion collide, La Manufactur­e finds the sweet spot between French allure and the best in Italian craftsmans­hip. In Milan, La Manufactur­e showcased 50 products by 17 designers – all in a single colour: red. Intended as a dialogue between art and design, the monochroma­tic installati­on saw the French brand unveil its Luca Nichetto-curated collection­s at the Museo Poldi Pezzoli. lamanufact­

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