Every year, we wait with bated breath for the biggest design showcase of the year: Salone Del Mobile.Milano, otherwise known as Milan Furniture Fair. This fair leaves design devotees thoroughly dazzled with installations, exhibitions, and pop-up galore. The 58th edition this year was a resounding success, as it boasted a host of innovative designs and revolutionary collaborations from luxury design labels, many of them high-end fashion houses. While some have been in wowing the design industry for decades, others have only started making a splash in recent years — the houses of Gucci and Dior, for instance, just entered the scene with a range of home decorations.
This transition should come as no surprise. A home furnishing arm offers an all-inclusive effect for those seeking the ultimate lifestyle experience from a coveted label. Moreover, the worlds of interiors and fashion have always been intertwined, with textiles and design at the forefront and both regarded as extensions of one’s personal style. We take a look at the high fashion labels racing to be part of the homeware scene.
Photos are credited to the respective fashion houses
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Nothing says iconic like the Medusa in the Versace universe. The logo takes centre stage with its eponymous collection – the chair, available in striking hues of yellow and pink, features curved lines, and is crafted from solid ash wood with a dark gloss.
For a more subtle take on an iconic Versace print, the Jungle collection features the same print on the plunging dress worn by Jennifer Lopez at the 2000 Grammy Awards, which, by the way, was what prompted the creation of Google Images. There’s more. The first Versace Home outdoor range features outdoor sofas, armchairs, a hanging bed crafted from grey teak wood and suede accents, all in signature Versace prints and style.
Shop Versace Home at available at Versace boutiques at Paragon and Marina Bay Sands
The fashion house that most recently joined the home interior fold is Gucci Decor with its fantastical fabrics, a melange of more-is-more prints, and eccentric accent pieces. Its home range is a maximalist’s dream. The Italian Maison reimagines the label’s whimsical, romantic, and retro fashion aesthetic through the lens of interior accessories and homeware.
Expect to see the Maison’s signature motifs and prints embellished on its offerings. Think lacquered chairs upholstered with velvet seats featuring tiger embroideries, wallpapers printed in vinyl and even silk, as well as screens crafted in wood and velvet, and porcelain pieces.
Gucci’s home collection at its flagship stores and boutiques, online at gucci.com and in selected specialty stores.
Dior made its home decor debut only three years ago, when it launched its own in-house interior label. Although it is still relatively new to the scene, its furnishing arm will most certainly cement its legacy as a leading designer label. At Salone De Mobile.Milan, Dior Maison unveiled a line of 14 creations designed in collaboration with Italian-American duo Dimore Studio. Available exclusively by special order for a one-year period, the collection features vases, trays, a candelabra, place-settings, frames and an umbrella stand.
This collection also celebrates Dior’s iconic cannage design, which made its debut at the Maison’s first fashion show in the form of a salon chair. The two warp and weft threads combined with two crossed diagonal threads then became a symbol for the Dior house, which eventually made its way to its range of perfume bottles, bags and shoes.
To honour this iconic and signature design, the collection used it as a main motif, using woven rattan alongside different metals and plexiglas. The umbrella stand, for instance, features woven rattan encircled in gold-plated brass and black metal trim. All of the pieces in the range resemble art, with silver-leaf work and golden nuances. Shown against a black backdrop with drawings of plants and furnishings in chalk, the house played on an illusionary effect to present its collection.
Fendi Casa has made a name for itself in the homewares department since 1989. Much like its fashion arm, the Maison engages only in high-level design and quality — production is 90 percent handcrafted by Italian artisans using traditional techniques in Italy.
Subtle opulence and exquisite craftsmanship aside, Fendi Casa’s style is characterised by contrast. It has everything you need for a stylish fashion-forward home. Italian designer and architect Cristina Celestino cross-referenced fashion and design, as evidenced by the offerings displayed at this year’s fair.
For instance, the Dorian bed takes inspiration from the recent Spring/Summer 2019 ready-to-wear collection. The double F logos that embossed utility jackets and travel bags adorns the storage compartment lined in micro-fibre, while zips with coloured ribbing were used purely for aesthetics.
This year, Dolce & Gabbana showcased yet another collaboration with Smeg at Salone del Mobile.Milan. Drawing inspirations from the traditional Sicilian cart, the small appliances collection puts unexpected pairings front and centre. In traditional triangular Sicilian decoration style known as “crocchi”, these explosively bright and in-your-face motifs feature symbols of all things Siciliy: Coasts and landscapes of Southern Italy and images of fascinating Mt Etna, surrounded by ornamental friezes, picturesque ruins of the Greek temple of Castor and Pollux in the Valley of Temples, trinacria and cartocci, a decorative motif similar to stylised acanthus leaves.
Nine up-and-coming designers were featured in Louis Vuitton’s Objets Nomades collection at Fuori Salone, part of Salon Del Mobile.Milan. The travel-inspired range first made its debut in 2012 at the fair, and has since launched masterful creations by this generation’s talented designers. These pieces take inspiration from faraway destinations, realised into large furnishings such as tables, lamps, chaise lounges, and armchairs.
The star of this year’s edition is the Bulbo armchair by design duo Humberto and Fernando Campana. The fluorescent yellow shell enfolds you in layers of soft petals of a large tropical flower. Other design wonders included Marcel Wanders’ Venezia ceiling light inspired by the city’s glass-work with blown Murano glass, leather inserts and a form that calls to mind the Baroque lamps of Piazza San Marco.
The transition from fashion to home decor for Hermès was a seamless one, despite its roots in neither. The Maison humble beginnings? A riding workshop, as a way to cater to European noblemen with all their equestrian needs. What it has channelled into both is impeccable craftsmanship, signature leather details and unparalleled elegance.
In Milan this year, Hermès paid homage to materials, and its role as an anchor between the artisan and the designer. Designers experimented with textures and materials galore. Joséphine Ciaudo worked with the traditional technique of leather marquetry, assembling boxes made of veneer and solid wood, and smooth and grainy leather to enhance their mahogany finish.
British designers Barber & Osgerby’s Halo and Hécate lamps created the perfect contrast with materials of granite and porcelain, and colours of intense black and translucent white. Gianpaolo Pagni updated cashmere throw blankets with bright cashmere appliqués and pearl embroideries, and a juxtaposition of equestrian motifs and geometric shapes.