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The 16 Best Things We Saw at Milan’s Design Fair

By Monica Khemsurov

 
 

The London design star Michael Anastassiades embraced this year’s trendiest hue — rust red — in a new series of lamps he debuted both at Nilufar Gallery and in his own booth at Euroluce, Salone del Mobile’s semi-annual lighting fair. The former have insect-like shapes, while the latter are meant as “explorations of indirect lighting reflected through colour.”

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New York lighting studio Apparatus also embraced rust red in its newest collection, in the form of lacquered tabletops (also available in black, above) supported by thick, translucent slabs of this year’s trendiest material: cast resin.

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Recently, the founders of CC Tapis have established themselves as the hipsters of the rug world, collaborating on bold, graphic designs with of-the-moment talents like Zaven, Studiopepe and, in Milan this year, Faye Toogood, Mae Engelgeer, Patricia Urquiola and Studio Proba.

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De Castelli was the dark horse of Salone this year, turning heads with pieces by half a dozen female designers invited to work with its signature palette of warm and patinated metals. Standouts included a painterly metal room divider by Alessandra Baldereschi and a group of worm-shaped tables by Francesca Lanzavecchia.

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The Italian furniture and interiors duo Dimore Studio is known for its embrace of eclectic, maximalist glamour; at its gallery in Brera, it filled colour-blocked rooms with an appealing cacophony of brass-and-resin dining tables, ’80s-style tubular metal chairs and Art Deco cabinets printed with photos of painted rooftops.

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At Rossana Orlandi Gallery, the New York designer Fernando Mastrangelo debuted the first half of Escape, his new collection of furniture made from layers of sand, silica and powdered glass — in Southwest desert pastels. The second half goes on view at Maison Gerard in New York this week.

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Every other year at Euroluce, Flos invests in a very talked-about, very expensive booth full of new lights by top designers. This year the lineup included Barber Osgerby, Nendo, the Bouroullecs and Konstantin Grcic, who created a modular blown-glass lighting system called Noctambule — night owl — that’s meant to appear particularly impressive in the dark.

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The Amsterdam duo Formafantasma also created new works for Flos, then used them as centrepieces in a major solo exhibition at Spazio Krizia. The show is filled with lighting experiments that deal in simple wonder, like a floor lamp that casts colours onto the wall through a strip of iridescent glass. It was easily the most talked-about show of the week.

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The up-and-coming Latvian designer Germans Ermičs channeled Shiro Kuramata’s famous glass chair at Rossana Orlandi, but added a saturated ombré colour-fade — plus two matching arced-glass room dividers.

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Hermès introduced its latest home collection — including a monolithic cast-bronze coffee table by Barber Osgerby and a new special-order Carré Box vanity designed to store silk scarves — inside a massive labyrinth filled with playfully styled vignettes created by architect Charlotte Macaux-Perelman and set designer Hervé Sauvage.

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The New York store-turned-furniture line MatterMade released its new collection to the European market in a series of colour-coordinated vignettes containing works both skinny (Philippe Malouin’s chandelier, Pedro Paulo Venzon’s chairs) and fat (Faye Toogood’s fiberglass lamps, Ana Kras’s marble dining table).

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Proving that recycled materials have made huge aesthetic strides in the last decade, Max Lamb created benches and tables made of Solid Textile Board from Really, a new initiative started by the Danish upholstery giant Kvadrat to upcycle cotton and wool leftovers from the fashion and textile industries.

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The Spanish designer Jorge Penadés has been making tables for the past two years out of a similar material he fabricates himself, compressing leather scraps he sources from Hermès into colourful slabs he can slice and piece together. At Rossana Orlandi, he introduced mirrors and geometric lamps into the series.

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Belgian duo Muller Van Severen took a break from designing furniture to create a sculptural installation with the art gallery Massimo de Carlo during Salone. Called Fireworks, it featured four multicoloured metal screens placed inside a picturesque turret that usually serves as offices for the Milanese architecture firm Binocle.

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The emerging talent to know this year was the Norwegian designer Sigve Knutson, whose lumpy creations were on view in a group exhibition with Dutch Invertuals, in a solo show in the 5Vie district, and in an installation in the reflecting pool of the Senato Hotel (the last two in conjunction with Carwan Gallery).

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In his airy Milan atelier and showroom, the architect Vincenzo De Cotiis introduced a painterly collection called Baroquisme, a combination of silvered cast-brass, marble and Murano glass impregnated with what looks like spilled ink.

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