Design Parties

What Went Down Around Town During Milan Design Week

April in Milan is a marker of many seminal moments. First is the warm and very palpable feeling of spring in the air punctuated by the growing buzz leading up to the city’s largest fair, Salone del Mobile. Now in its 62nd edition, Salone has expanded beyond its campus on the Rho fairgrounds with exhibitions and off-sites taking place in every corner of the city, attracting a large roster of luxury brands and international galleries showcasing artisans across the fields of art, furniture, and collectible design. What once began as an interiors industry event has become a staple for creative professionals and designers across art, fashion, culture, and media.

The growing intersection between fashion and collectible design is clear, with fashion houses increasing their presence at this year’s fair. Italian flagship brands like Prada hosted an exhibition curated by Milan-based research studio Formafantasma, Bottega Veneta hosted a cocktail celebrating of Le Corbusier for Cassina, and French fashion magnate Saint Laurent commemorated iconic, Italian design with a Gio Ponti exhibition.

Image courtesy of James Taylor-Foster/Instagram.

Prada Explores Intimacy, Queerness, and Restlessness at Home

Prada hosted a multidisciplinary symposium curated by the Milan-based, research-led design studio Formafantasma: Prada Frames. The central exhibition explored the theme of “Being Home” and its multi-dimensional meaning and use of space. Programming included intimate conversations and lectures housed at the Bugatti Valsecchi Museum, a former 19th-century residence-turned-cultural institution characterized by its art history expressions on Milanese design. The three-day conversational salon included participation from scholars, lecturers, and artists including Paola Antonelli, Brigitte Baptiste, Kate Crawford, Jack Halberstam, OFFICE Kersten Geers David Van Severen, Anna Puigjaner, Alice Rawsthorn, Isabella Rossellini, and Françoise Vergès.

Bottega Veneta Has Whiskey on the Rocks

The legacy brand Bottega Veneta celebrates French modernist Le Corbusier in a cocktail celebration and multi-day exhibition with Cassina. The sprawling, large-scale installation, titled “On the Rocks,” features some of the French designer’s most celebrated timepieces of design. An LC14 Taboutet Cabanon is spotlighted along with iterations of the whiskey box crafted in Bottega Veneta’s signature leatherwork, a meticulous Intreccio foulard technique that is hand-woven at the House’s atelier in Montebello. The house has issued 60 limited leather editions and 100 wooden crates for the exhibition. 

Image courtesy of Saint Laurent. 

Saint Laurent Tries Out Italian Flair 

Saint Laurent presents a collaboration with the renowned Italian architect and modernist Gio Ponti. The exhibition, curated by Anthony Vaccarello in conjunction with the Gio Ponti archives and Fundación Anala y Armando Planchart, offers a glimpse into the exceptional ceramic collection crafted by the iconic creative. Ponti, who designed the Venezuelan residence of Anala and Planchart, also filled the couple’s home with furniture, lighting, and ceramics. For Milan Design Week, Saint Laurent has re-issued a selection of 12 hand-painted ceramics exclusively on view and for sale this week.

Image courtesy of Loewe.

Loewe Shines a Light on Milan

For Loewe’s inaugural Milan Design Week exhibition, the Spanish house commissioned 24 internationally renowned artists and long-standing collaborators to create a series of Loewe Lamps. Featuring items like a standing light constructed in clay by Japanese ceramicist Kazunori Hamana, a Fir Candle hand-dyed and handwoven in silk by Anne Low, and a lamp in steel cylinder and rusting fluid by Akiko Hirai, the annual exhibition is a showcase of Loewe’s commitment to craft and support of its global community of artisans.

Hermès Designs Home Goods for the Dune-scape 

Hermès hosted its annual multi-sensorial fete at La Pelota, presenting the new collection in a landscape expressed through multiple material ecologies. The set design takes the viewer down a runway of different desert landscapes reimagined in sand, marble, and stone. A gallery of Now and Then showcases Hermès selection of objects from its past to the present, demonstrating the innovative quality of the Maison’s objects and how its designs have weathered time and trends.

Image courtesy of Thom Browne.

Thom Browne Proves He's Good in Bed

The celebrated American designer Thom Browne collaborated with heritage Italian textile label Frette on a performance piece and line of bedding at Palazzina Appiani in Milan. Six models, suited in Thom Browne tailoring, were orchestrated to sleep to a score of classical concert music. The installation, "…time to sleep...," inaugurates the launch of Thom Browne home, uniquely honed into Browne’s distinctive visual language and aesthetic.