When I arrived in Milan I considered the Milan Design Week and the Fuorisalone as my favorite week of the year: a lot of people from everywhere in the world, cocktails, events, parties, design, art. It was also the “blossoming week” that announced the spring and the “open air life”. In the last few years I almost hated it: boring parties and presentations, too many people in town, crowds everywhere. I almost skipped it two years ago and totally skipped it last year until I found out the perfect equilibrium to face the Milan Design Week: choose carefully the events and presentations and attend only those that really look interesting to you.
This was my approach this year and I was totally happy with it…I think that I found the perfect Milan Design Week potion!
During the week I just got a few hours around the Isola Design District as it is not far from work but I didn’t find anything worth my attention (except a new cocktail bar, my beloved second hand shop Ambroeus and a new – to me – jewelry shop that I fell in love with, Francesco Tramontano) but it was the perfect after work situation: cocktails and chatting with friends and colleagues not far from work in a sparkling lovely area that I still love pretty much.
It is during the weekend that I took things seriously and started my fun Design Week weekend: I got up early on Saturday to join one of my favorite spaces in town, Antonio Marras atelier “NonostanteMarras”, where he exposed in collaboration with Saba, a “couture” collection of sofas and armchairs made from meticulous tailoring techniques using the designer’s exquisite textiles archive. Also a lovely bistrot was created in the internal court full of flowers (especially wisteria) while walking down the stairs a new world from a lost era is waiting for the amazed eyes of the visitors: embroidered tapestries, mirrors, fabrics hanging from the ceiling and wonderfully prepared tables represented a world that not even my words could describe. We were lucky enough to meet Antonio Marras himself (such a lovely person as well as his wonderful charismatic wife) and to get a pair of beautiful socks from his last catwalk!
After Marras we headed to one of the most exciting vintage events in town during the Design Week: the opening of the second Milanese store of Humana Vintage in via De Amicis 43! I am in love with this new spacious shop, much bigger than the first one near Duomo and with so many new things that I headed out with a couple of new gems to add to my wardrobe (you will see them soon, I promise!). It was such a lovely party with relaxed atmosphere and I could have spent hours there (which I will probably do in the next few weeks!).
On Sunday I won the rain (and the laziness due to the rain!) by walking on the moon: Moon Walk was the name of Marni collection presented during the Design Week in the blue light of their show room in Milan. The pieces were handmade by Colombian handcrafters who have been working with Marni for years now. The tribal element, mixed with bright colors and the wide use of different materials as well as the Black African and Berber inspiration made me love this collection madly. I loved everything especially the hand braided chairs and the colored rugs. As usual Marni is my not-to-miss place during the Design Week.
Last but not least, this year for the first time during the Milano Design Week a new district was created: the Centrale Hub, with two main focuses. The first one was on the Advantage Austria that presented new Austrian design products within the “Austrian Design – Pleasure and Treasure” concept in the prestigious Sala Reale of the Milan Central Station, a location that is rarely open to the public and that I visited for the first time. In this room they created a Design Pool, with pink walls and full of recycled polystyrene petals! Also the beautiful Sala delle Armi was exceptionally open to the public for the event. Two Milanese gems that I was very happy to visit for the first time.
Right behind the station, a whole forgotten area in via Aporti was brought to life by the opening of the old Central Station hangars and warehouses to host presentations of artists from all around the world. I was totally amazed about the work that was done there and I loved many of the installations presented here: from the Japanese DNP “Patterns as Time”, to the American Human Scale “Bodies in Motion”, from the Dutch Weltevree “Once Upon a Pool” to the Italian Aria “Come To Light”. But my two favorite presentations here were from the Korean Noroo Group “Tides by Kwanghoo Lee X Wang & Söderström for Noroo” (the pastel colors and the atmosphere were incredible and I loved that they printed the pictures that you took inside if you posted them on Instagram!) and my favorite ever, from the Dutch artist Maarten Baas “I Think Therefore I Was” that I can declare as the presentation of the whole Centrale district that I loved the most (I even got in twice!).
It was an intense weekend of art, design, fashion and fun but I think that…I will do it again!