My favorite week of the year finally came back to town: Milan Design Week! Unlike fashion week Fuorisalone (as Italians call it) happens only once a year. During this week product and furniture designers from all over the world come to Milan to exhibit their newest creations in various galleries across the city or at the fair slightly outside of Milan. I love this week not only because of the free cocktails and the countless cool new works you get to see but also because of the amazing creative crowd that comes to the city.
During Design Week Milan literally opens up all its doors and you get to peek behind the gates and into the courtyards of many buildings that are usually closed to the public. In addition you never lack interesting conversation partners since people who attend design week tend to be really cool. They are often designers or creatives themselves and the vibe is generally a lot more down to earth in comparison to fashion week.
Many of the exhibition spaces and galleries are the same addresses every year showcasing different works by new designers each Design Week. Two of the most famous ones and also two personal favourites of mine are Spazio Rossana Orlandi and the Nilufar Depot.
This year Design Week began for me with a cocktail at the Nilufar Depot on Monday where a few familiar faces had works on display. Among them my friend Andrea Mancuso who’s one of the co-owners of the design studio Anologia Project as well as our friends boyfriend Marco Lavit from Atelier Lavit. Not only handsome but also very talented both of them had great pieces on display. Andrea showed the LUMINARIA Chandelier which I loved, while Marco was showing an amazing outdoor sofa, the Venezia Chair and a table. Truth be told, I am an even bigger fan of the treehouse he made! You can check it out on his Instagram account here.
The second day of Design Week was another highlight for me since I unexpectedly ran into the amazing textile designer Mae Engelgeer at the CC-Tapis event. The CC-Tapis events have been a must for me over recent years as they always have great pieces on display and their Design Week parties are really fun. This year they inaugurated their new bigger and better showroom during design week and casually attending the event as always I found out that my favorite textile designer EVER launched a carpet collection with them!
Mae Engelgeer is a super talented Dutch textile designer whom I met during Design Week 2015 over a Spritz Aperol late night at Bar Basso. Since then I have been following her around each year to wherever she exhibited since I really love her work. One year she even crashed in my living room with her entire team!
You can’t believe my excitement when I stumbled into the new CC-Tapis showroom and noticed her name up there right next to Patrizia Urquiola! (who is huge in case you are not familiar with that design studio)
To top off Tuesday night we went to the Toiletpaper Bar after staying at CC-Tapis for a while, where we finished our night with some delicious Gin Tonics!
Wednesday – Thursday
The truth is that after two full days (don’t forget I also have a day job as accessory designer) and two very busy nights of Design Week, Wednesday I had to take a rain check. So I actually stayed home and cooked some basil pesto!
Reenergized on Thursday my first stop was at ‘Gardening the Trash’, a collaboration between the historic Italian textile fabricant Bonotto and the global leader in up-cycling technology based in Asia called Miniwiz. The two companies paired up and gave an inspiring demonstration of what the future of recycled textiles and materials will look like.
Those of you who follow me know that I am very eager and interested when it comes to all things sustainability so I absolutely loved this exhibition. The fabrics seemed very luxurious and being a designer myself I can imagine millions of ways to use them for RTW or luxury furniture.
After an educational and inspiring start to my evening, I made it to the Marni event, which is always a lovely occasion. They tend to find a way to present in some kind of garden or courtyard because a lot of the furniture they create is meant for the outdoors.
The rest of Thursday night admittedly just turned into a really fun night out. We took a break at the Kiosk of Piazza Mentana (which I highly recommend on any given night of the week during spring or summer) and went on to pass by at the inauguration party of LU Bar in Via Palesto: an absolutely gorgeous place with seating in and outside. I haven’t eaten there but I can vouch for the drinks and the very green atmosphere inside the winter garden of the historic Italian building right by the park.
Somehow after all of this I danced the night away at yet another Toiletpaper Magazine party before falling into bed like a stone!
After Thursday nights escapades I took the weekend very slow and just went to Spazio Rossana Orlandi on Sunday with some friends.
Here I ran into one of my favorite young Italian designers called Guglielmo Poletti. His pieces from the ‘Equilibrium Series’ were chosen by Rossan Orlandi at his graduation show at the Design Academy in Eindhoven.
Since I follow him on social media I had actually seen fotos of the pieces before but they were even better in reality. Each item is held together by e piece of string or wire and without it would completely dismantle. My favorite one is the equilibrium stool that is made out of a big piece of bent rubber.
My only regret about Design Week this year is that I didn’t even make it to Bar Basso once.. BUT I suppose there is always next year! 😉