Just got back from Milan. What a whirlwind. My feet are sore; I slept very little but had a wonderful time. There is a lot to see at Milan Design Week. A feast for the eyes. I rarely do enough research before going and always feel like I am chasing my tail. But I managed to see some extraordinary things that would inspire a worm. A lot of the things there aren't necessarily that useful. But oh, to look at -that's a bit of life.
I thought I would make a list of more product-based things that are also inspiring but maybe a bit more practical. But who is to say that you want to rock around in one of Loewe's 'coroza' - they were pretty incredible and good in the rain.
So we are starting with a company I have known for a while. Ochre does fantastic lighting and furniture. But I have never seen their rugs, simple but beguiling. All 'Ochre Wild rugs are made entirely by hand, from the yarn making and dying to the intricate weaving and through to the finishing.' All the rugs have natural dyes and are hand-knotted, making for splendid unique striation throughout the rug.
She's a star. And her show in Milan was a special moment. Seeing a sizeable selection of her pieces in one place was an absolute delight. Her new trim is a triumph, and I am getting one of her mirror shades asap.
'A. Vetra shapes concepts with a strong tactile identity and a human trace. It's a project that explores craft and narratives rooted in a warm and familiar Mediterranean atmosphere, finding its strongest basis in slow processes, fascination for the handmade and connection with territories.'
In Milan they were showing their collection, 'A Gentle Gathering', colouring and tactile nature of these pieces were beguiling.
Nathalie Farman Farma and Casa Cabana blew my sandals off. Casa Cabana gave over a bedroom for Nathalie to create her dream Italian bedroom. She must be inhabiting my dreams as I think it was pretty close to perfect. Nathalie is a master at layering, and her new Jardin Touranien fabric was an excellent canvas for this superb room. All the pieces are available through Cabana.
Lyria was founded in 2002 by Riccardo Bruni. They have worked with many of the top fashion houses in those years. Now in 2023, Bruni heads one of the only independent textile mills in the country. This has allowed them to venture into the interiors industry by forming the House of Lyria, where they focus on 'merging tradition, experimentation and emotion to create materials with a wholly unique character'. Their collection of pillows and blankets is sublime, and I was delighted to be introduced to them.
With Lucinda Chambers and Molly Molloy behind it, Colville would only ever be great. So five years in, it's no surprise they have created one hell of a brand. Their Murano Marble Glass Vases were the chef's kiss on their exuberant homeware collection!
Walking around Alcova, I took a left into the Trame room. It was filled with delights; their ceramics & textiles were warming and fun, 'Every collection of homeware and accessories is inspired by a historical episode, reflects a cross-cultural journey.' What's not to love about that.
When wandering around Rossana Orlandi, I came across the work of Marre Moerel. She was exhibiting her 'Fonte'. Such a handsome and bold structure. Its ecological terracotta water filter and dispenser should eliminate plastic bottles' use and the need for refrigeration.
The Portaluppi Herbarium refers to the famous garden room of the architect Piero Portaluppi in the Atellani House in Corso Magenta in Milan. Working with Piero Portaluppi's great-grandson, designer, and author Nicolò Castellini Baldissera this collection has been carefully developed, 'After an in depth study of the decor we painted each element including the lower grass and the upper curtain in order to digitalise all the elements that are now available as a customisable printed wallpaper.'
Shirin Ehya launched the House of Touran in June 2021. It is a 'multi-brand lifestyle concept experience for all travel lovers', where Shirin curates pieces that align with her core values, 'functional design, meticulous craftsmanship, and respect for the maker communities.' These pieces are exciting, fun, and of course, beautiful.