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This year’s Milan Furniture Fair provided the launchpad for another ‘Fashion guru collaborates with iconic interiors brand’ moment, when Christian Lacroix revealed his new range for mosaic maestros, Sicis.

As you’d expect, the king of haute couture’s very Baroque homeware works OTT embellishment, colour and vibrant pattern, all at the same time. Whimsical, magical and mad, but in a good way.

M. Lacroix found his inspiration for the collection in Empress Theodora, the Byzantine stunner captured on mosaic walls in Ravenna.

Crumbling palazzo to accommodate it all in, not essential…


Yes, it’s in Milan, but that doesn’t mean the Salone Internazionale del Mobile is a wholly Italian affair. Far from it. At this year’s show, the British design flag was flying high with contributions from a spectrum of talent, ranging from new product from Benchmark and Jasper Conran for Wedgwood at the UK-focused Design Junction to funky design installations from stylist Faye Toogood.

1. Simen Aarseth’s oak Puck stool for Benchmark. 2. Faretto lighting from Nigel Coates3. Barber Osgerby‘s Ton Ton chairs for Vitra4. The +Stone range, part of a collaboration between Portuguese stone maestros Sienave and British design partnership, Michael Sodeau5. Jasper Conran’s Mosaic chinaware for Wedgwood. 6. Pearson Lloyd‘s  adjustabl Fixie stools, for Tacchini7. Tom Dixon‘s fantastic Fan Chair. 8. Mrs B dining table with painted leg by Pinch for Benchmark. 9. Jasper Morrison chairs for Cappellini 10. Benjamin Hubert‘s Maritine chair for Casamania

While all the established movers and shakers head out the the main Salone del Mobile exhibition centre, it’s the complementary activity around Via Tortona, and in particular the Superstudio, which attracts a younger, more experimental crowd and has a much funkier vibe. In fact, checking out Superstudio is more like wandering around a museum of fun and unexpected curiousities than traipsing from exhibition to stand to exhibtion stand. The fact it’s housed in an aptly monikered ‘Temporary Museum for New Design’ merely adds to the Pop-Up vibe.

This year, Superstudio and its offshoot, Innovation – Imagination, comprised over 50 exhibitors, ranging from the innovative to the quirky, the experimental to the practical. Highlights included…

Floor to Heaven

Traditional patterns, shapes and production techniques are still inspiring modern designers to reinvent, revisit and reinterpret. Last year’s Eastern European folkloric thing moves into a new dimension that’s equally striking. This season, let’s call it, I dunno, Ethnic Funk. There was a lot of it about. One favourite was the floor couture by German carpet maestros at Floor to Heaven where a 21st-century bright palette breathed new life into ancient Moorish patterns.

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