6 floral installations at the Milan design week

 
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Every April Milan opens its doors to the design week and events of “Fuorisalone”.

For me the Fuorisalone has became an absolute must. In this edition two elements that immediately caught my attention were: flowers and the combination between modern and antique.

As soon as I arrived I went straight  to see the Danish brand “Hay” which was hosted at Palazzo Clerici. The Nordic style was perfectly integrated in the magnificent neoclassical rooms decorated with marble and golden stuccos. The floral arrangements added a cosy atmosphere to the grandeur of the palace.

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Moving on I stopped at the baroque Palazzo Litta, that held the installation  “Temple in the forest” designed by the London studio of Asif Kahn.

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Next I was taken by surprise by the pop up store that Raw had created especially for the Fuorisalone. The new collection of floral fabric born from the collaboration of the amercan brand John Derian and the English  Designer Guild, had a very romantic feel.  Intense pink flowers styled by “Flo” were surrounded by candles to set the scene.

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Arriving in Piazza Duomo I went to see Tiffany’s shop windows. For this occasion Tiffany had asked 5 artists to create a special installation in a silver greenhouse. When I stepped inside I was immediately enchanted by a spectacular curtain of flowers displayed before me.

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In the afternoon there were 2 palaces to visit.

In Palazzo Serbelloni’s courtyard there was the “Swarosky palace”. Upon entering I marveled at the effect of the glittering dancing lights everywhere.

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On the first floor of Palazzo Serbelloni I was blown away by the incredible and stunning floral arrangements created by Christian Tortu for  the Danish brand Gubi. The choice of colours, flowers and natural elements from the vegetable world were perfectly matched with the awesome rooms and furniture.

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To end this amazing day I visited the installation created for Louis Vitton at Palazzo Bocconi. Just inside the courtyard was the incredible Hexacube House “Bubble house” designed by the Greek designer Goerge Candilllis in 1970. Stepping inside the palace, at the top of a majestic staircase I was welcomed by a cascade of 10.000 paper flowers.

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Did you have any chance to visit the Fuori salone? Let me know what surprised you most!

 

an unusual Saturday in Berlin

 
 

Destination Berlin to meet a very close friend for a 24 hour stay.

Two absolutely essential places to visit were Fiona Bennet’s hat laboratory and the Soho House Berlin space.

With Giselle, my dearest friend, I headed immediately to visit Fiona the “hatmaker”, who dresses many Berliners heads for every occasion. Stepping inside the shop, once an old soap factory, you enter a beguiling timeless world. A white fairy world where hat boxes, ribbons, little pearls, silk flowers and feathers vie for space and I just felt like Alice in Wonderland.

Pop next door, you find yourself in the future, in a space with mirrored and silver plated walls where colourful dresses, shoes and accessories are showcased.

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After a well earned break in a cosy bar we took an unusual taxi, a 1963 Peugeot to the Soho House Berlin.

A two floor building with huge windows where modern and vintage is perfectly balanced. Inside the store you can find a barbershop, a florist, books, a coffee-shop, a corner with old vinyl records and of course the latest fashion. Dotted around the store are many little sofas and tables where you can stop and watch the world go by.

During my short but sweet Berlin stay I was pleasantly surprised to notice that everywhere was decorated with plants. In a nutshell the latest trend is definitely the Jungle urban style. Obviously there are always flowers to go with it!

 
 

Flowers and Fuorisalone in Milan #2

 
 

I spent the evening in the iconic district of the Fuorisalone: Tortona. Everybody, youngs and old alike were enjoying the spring air strolling between the Mudec (Modern art museum) and the nearby area with galleries, showrooms and open spaces.

My last day was spent wandering around the area of Brera where all the most famous design showrooms are situated. As well as my planned itinerary I also enjoyed exploring . Suddenly I across a deconsecrated church which hosted Bulthaup's amazing work. The furniture was in perfect unison with the simplicity of the church. Vases full of white ranunculus stood out on a dramatic wooden table.

My next stop was the Botanical garden at the University of Milan. A small restful oasis in the middle of the city. The Botanical garden was created in 1774 by the Austrian Empresses Maria Teresa. Outdoor furniture was scattered around the garden. Fully blossomed white peonies, light blue orchids and a opulent old wisteria caught my eye. On the first floor of the University there were 50 reproductions of iconic design objects. A perfect match between modern and antique.

And then off to visit designers like Hay and Marimekko in via Palermo. Marimekko had decorated and furnished an entire apartment. Each room had a feminine, seventies feel about it with a splash of colour. In Via Palermo n. 1 a kinetic vegetable garden had been created on a rooftop. A colourful and earthy corner mixing flowers and vegetables.

And I must tell you about the Day-time Hotel, a magical place which had been opened especially for the Fuorisalone, beautifully restored by FAI. This place which was designed by architect Piero Portaluppi between 1923 and 1925, can be found at the Porta Venezia stop of underground. As you enter, you step back in time and see where there used to be public bathrooms, barbershop and hairdresser.

A particularly fascinating apartment is that of Piero Portaluppi whose nephew currently lives there. Just next to it lies the Museum of the Attenali, home of Leonardo’s vineyard.

On the whole a very enjoyable experience and I would strongly recommend it to everyone.

 
 

Flowers and Fuorisalone in Milan #1

 
 

Each year in Milan in April there is Design week wich includes the international fair of furniture design “Salone Internazionale del Mobile” and the events of the “Fuorisalone”. The international furniture fair started in 1961 to improve the export of Italian furniture. Nowadays is a very important appointment for Italian and European design. This year there are 1258 spread all over the city. During this week Milan opens up its doors and treasures to everybody. The most important areas are: Triennale, 5 Vie, Brera, the citycentre, Tortona and Lambrate.

This year I decided to dedicate two days for the events at the Fuorisalone. Thinking about the itinerary I focused my attention on the interaction between design and historical spaces. It was a hard task to choose between all the events since they were all very interesting.

My first stop was at the space of Rossanda Orlandi, must for the design. A fascinating space with a courtyard surrounded by lush plants. A long white wooden table with a line of glass vases and colourful flowers stood in the middle. The nearby restaurant Marta boasted its eclectic and flamboyant floral decorations.

Moving on I visited two historical palaces. Palazzo Litta hosted an African village 2.0 created by Francis Kerè in the courtyard. On the first floor a project to furnish little flats in Singapore captured my attention. All the ceiling was covered whith colourful ballons… 125 Dutch designers set up home at Palazzo Turing for the week. Walking through the courtyard each visitor was welcomed by 15.000 tulip bulbs given by the Dutch consulate.

Then I explored the area of 5 Vie just behind Piazza Affari. A maze of small streets and allies where every corner held small craft workshops, unusual little shops and design or artistic installations.

A very peculiar installation was in the Sarnremo carpark, half carpark and half art gallery. I found the mixture between unconventional spaces and design very interesting and stimulating. Following this mood many installations were created in old and unkempt apartments but each of them had its own distinctive soul. One example was the “Ladies&Gentlemen” open apartment with its long and dark hallway covered with black wood panels, the doors with coloured glass and a dramatic terrace overlooking a closed courtyard.

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The last stop was at the Sardinian fashion stylist Marras with the “Accumuli” installation. Walking through the lobby and opening the front gate I was embraced by the inebriating fragrance of the wisteria and then overwhelmed by its flowers. A flower corner inside a palace. A space where the inside and the outside were speaking to each other. Floral bouquets outside, dresses with floral patterns inside, floral wallpaper, vintage pieces of furniture. Everything to create a dreamlike atmosphere. Going down the “Accumuli” installation was very minimalist with ropes, terracotta and water. Finally a glimpse at a magical room filled with photos of old people and tables decorated with fine bone-china and flowers.

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The fil rouge of this day: flowers and design

End of the first part!