Last Thursday night we held our first ever reader dinner at Ladro in Greville Street, Prahran, Melbourne.
On a cool autumn evening we gathered beneath the rooftop bee hives above the courtyard of Ladro, to listen to designers Narelle Cuthbert and Lucy Marczyk of Nexus Designs and Richard Munao, the founder of Corporate Culture and sister store Cult, share with us their experiences, and observations, of what is arguably ‘the best furniture show on earth’.
We also asked creative nomad, Shantanu Starick aka, The Pixel Trade, to join us and photograph the night. What we got was some amazing shots of our ‘cover girl’, the Navy Chair, who was literally swinging from the rafters, and Shantanu’s stunning photography of the venue, the food and stellar group of guests who all share a common bond – the love of good design.
We asked Interior Designer, Narelle Cuthbert from Nexus Designs, to share with those that couldn’t be there on the night, some of her highlights of Milan’s Salone del Mobile 2013.
1. Where did you stay?
We stayed at the Spadari al Duomo, a small boutique hotel tucked amongst a row of gourmet food shops and most importantly close to the fashion district!
2. How did you start each day in preparation for the fair? (was it a case of ‘must have my coffee’…or hair of the dog?…or walk through the streets…or mediation!??!)
Each morning was spent devouring an amazing buffet breakfast warm croissants and pastries oozing with chocolate in particular) and several espressos whilst simultaneously checking emails and skyping the office back home.
A highlight of the week was spending our last day unwinding at the Bulgari Hotel, drinking champagne and eating a sumptuous breakfast on the terrace.
3. How did you unwind at the end of each day?
Most days were spent on the run, with barely enough time to return from the fair or showrooms to change for the evening festivities. We were fortunate enough to attend events at Edra, Moroso / Kvadrat, Flos, Magis, Modular, Emeco, Fritz Hansen just to name a few!
4. Can you name your favourite installation or display?
Kartell’s play on the infamous Galleria Vittoria Emanuele Milan’s premium shopping strip.
‘Kartell Galleria’ provided shoppers with the opportunity to browse exclusive shop windows showcasing individual products. Each boutique played homage to a dedicated Kartell designer and their products.
5. What did you notice as the 3 trends to stand out from the fair?
Glossy lacquered timber veneers made a comeback along with textured joinery and tabletops. Slick concrete and tiled tabletop finishes were also very popular.
The continuing trend of quilted fabrics and contrasting/feature stitch detail was also evident amongst most brands as was more muted/matt versions of gold, copper and brass.
Interestingly dusty pink was the standout colour at the fair particularly at Cappellini, Zanotta and Vitra. In comparison burnt orange was evident at the showrooms as seen with the Nuvola Rossa bookshelf and the Aeo armchair at Cassina.
6. Name 3 favourite designs you discovered.
6. Who was the most exciting new and up and coming designer?
Michael Anastassiades is definitely a name to watch. Not new to lighting as such, Michael’s work for Flos this year was breathtaking. Simple, elegant and timeless are three ways to describe this talented lighting designers work.
The string lights resemble a line drawings in the air, with tensors providing volume and 3 dimensionality to the fitting.
8. Who was a standout for the best collaboration?
The collaboration between Kartell and Laufen was genius. Acknowledging the importance of the bathroom in the house these two high profile companies combined forces to provide an innovative integration of sanitaryware and furnishing accessories.
9. What brand or designer made the best use of colour ?
Zanotta who were a close second behind Kartell with the best stand design, combined both orange and dusty pink with warm timbers and bold rugs.
The overall effect was fresh and inviting and complemented the new Zanotta furniture collection well.
10. Most exciting moment at the fair for you personally?
Being able to meet and chat with some of our favourite designers and manufacturers, all of whom were extremely approachable and happy to chat! Konstantin Grcic, Marcel Wanders, Jaime Hayon and Giulio Cappellini
Images supplied by Nexus
Social photos from The Pixel Trade