Friday, May 1, 2009

Megan Morton from Milan

Extreme excitement alert! I can't contain myself... Today the fabulous Megan Morton shares her photos and highlights from Milan Design Week! After her whirlwind trip to Milan, Megan offered to do a little write up for The Design Files.

I feel a little overwhelmed. It is too amazing.

Megan Morton's photos from Milan last week!

Throngs of fair visitors... and Pantone bikes!

Ceramics ceramics and more ceramics... These shots are from the Paola Navone Taste Lounge in Via Tortona... a Marije Vogelzang-esque food/design space which looks seriously AMAZING. More incredible shots here. Check out that amazing wall of colourful painted plates... and the hanging teacups!? Stunning. All photos - MM.

More from the spectacular Taste Lounge... Megan explained that you tick what you want to eat / drink on this circular placemat and hand that in to recieve your order. Love it! Photos - MM (that's Megan, bottom right!)

Design magazines hanging at the Taste Lounge. Photos - MM.

More ceramics. I don't know whose these are. Sorry. But they're gorgeous. Love the two-tiered display in the top there! Both shots by MM.

I can't remember what Megan said about this place... It all got a bit too exciting and I have forgotten the details. Something about old ladies making delicious pies and tarts, and the tables are decorated with Peonies. That's all I can remember.

More from the mystery garden party....

Megan Morton from Milan -
...What does design look like in a recession? It looks like heaven!

While I was getting ready for some quiet, sombre Design Week moments in Milan this week, thank Goodness, there was none to be found. Exhibitors are in the thousands, attendance has created stop-in-your-track bottle necks at every entry point to all three sites that make up the fair, and the only thing that seems to be missing is the unnecessary ridiculousness overindulgence of some of the bigger names from last year. Instead, beautiful modern offerings (Tom Dixon can you be any more all-over-it?), re-releases of some timeless but not forgotten classic (Thonet's 150 anniversary bentwood chair - Happy Birthday, you darling chair) and refreshing takes on the things we actually need (Dedon, you really have surprised me with your woven outdoor lounge. Your Marseille lounger in riveria blue and white woven makes me almost forgive you for that outdoor woven tower terror from last collection!).

Marseille Lounger by Dedon, in a variety of pattern designs - 2 x bottom photos here by MM. (Don't you love how she's captured a sailor on the nautical-style 'Riveria Blue and White' woven striped lounge?). Top photo from the Dedon press release.

More shots from Dedon. The Riveria Blue and White Marseille Lounger - Megan's favourite!

Tom Dixon's pressed glass lights - top photos by Megan Morton, bottom shot from the Tom Dixon PR machine.

Folded paper light installation for Veuve Cliquot by Tom Dixon - photo MM

Salon de Mobili is all about showcasing the new products (Piet Boon Home, you stood out as the smug Best In Show for things we all might need now) as well as an excuse to party like it's 1999 (best party all depends on who you talk to, but my favourite was new design store Skitsh and an off site party called Punks Wear Prada). Maison Martin Margiela takes the Gold Prize for his 4 room studio installation that is so breathtakingly beautiful that even the most cynic of aesthetes were walking around the space with their mouths agog. So indecently beautiful that that night I decided to sit out the parties so I could look at my apartments white wall, take it all in, digest it and some how commit his incredible work to memory. Maison Martin Margelia is hard to describe because of the narrative the space took you through and his commitment to whiteness so complex it was really one of those-had-to-see-it situations. Basically a replica of his studios, its hard to know at Margelia what he is actually selling (its his first foray into home-wares, so think lights, doorstops, covetable objects but not as we know it) but not as we know. In a market where there is a lot of decorative elements, Margiela's collection entitled Mat, Satine, Brilliant, (matt, shiny and brilliant!) creates a whole new market.

Maison Martin Margelia shots from the press release

Maison Martin Margelia

Maison Martin Margelia

There were some fabulous fantasy pieces (thank you Jaime Hayon for your Baccarat pieces and a brilliant show off site in Milan's most beautiful homewares store (store is called Rossana Orlandi, via Matteo Bandello 14, Milan. Just trust me, its a must!) Modern day jewels are the only way to describe his work, each piece taking more than two year to creates, to see them in the flesh, regardless of what you think of their EURO9000 (approx $18,000) there beauty can not be denied.

Jaime Hayon for Baccarat. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous! Bottom photo by MM.

What I found to be the quiet surprise of the show was the Piero Lissoni for Cassina range. Usually something I would allocate for bachelor pads or dressing for a mature home, its elegance was breathtaking. They showed with others, including colourful Capellini, modern firm Alias and Thonet, but seemed to be the only ones with noticeable styling (beautiful books turned pages out, old master artworks, crazy flowers and coloured vessels) that really gave the stand the kiss of life. The Cassina collection is aptly called, Future Poetry and the name seems to sum it up perfectly.

'Toot' sofa by Piero Lissoni for Cassina

Architect Zaha Hadid's reign as Queen Bee of the design world is no more evident than this week. She has just been photographed for the cover of Homme Vogue by Bruce Weber, and her visionionary thinking has managed to contagiously work through the design field inspiring all and sundry. Her new tap for Triflow, inspired by the movement of water itself, has caused much interest as is her limited edition shoes for Lacoste. And everyone is talking about her new library and Learning Centre in Vienna. An icon indeed.

Zaha Hadid's TriFlow tap

Design concept for Zaha Hadid's Library in Vienna

When it came to the actual Fiere (the official hall for exhibitors, as opposed to all the off site slightly left of field offerings) At the actual fair, the big guns showed their mettle against the global financial crisis with stunningly huge installations and beautiful stands. The big ones it seemed did not hold back. Knockouts where Minotti (bringing sexy back) , Moroso (incredible and so on the money! Believe it or not, fashion legend Diesel's range is so, so great. Rock and Roll indeed. What an inspired collaboration between two greats of fashion and interiors) and Bonacina (for grown ups, but for grown ups that you will want to be). But its Kartell's mission statement plastered all over their stand that seems to sum it all up, `What a wonderful world'. Oh yes it is.

Tokujin Yoshioka's Paper Cloud sofa for Moroso

The Diesel range for Moroso - left Ego Stud Mirror, right - Bar Stud Stool

The Diesel range for Moroso - Top - Cumulus Chair, bottom - Nebula Nine sofa

Megan said the new Ikea stuff was amazing... how about those fabulously kooky hat plant containers...(?) by Maria Vinka, and on the left ceramics by Olga Popyrina. These and more from the new 09 range are being launched in Australia next month think...? These shots again by MM.

Thankyou thankyou thankyou Megan!
Wowowow. Deep breaths.

Stay tuned for more Milan highlights next week! There'll be a peek into Megan's Milan press pack showbag (including pages from the stunning Jaime Hayon / Baccarat catalogue), plus another fabulous Milan round-up from Melbourne ex-pat Felicity Splatt. Jeepers. x


  1. Lucy ! A post to beat all posts !! This is great - wouldnt you just love to go ? These shots are the next best thing. Have a great day Sheila PS I did love your post with the amazing paper flowers - paris fashion week was it ?

  2. Wow! Overwhelming, indeed. The Maison Martin Margiela space is fantastic!

  3. Lucy, its all very exciting! The blog just gets better and better.

  4. wow. she is fabulousness incarnate, isn't she? makes me want to go next year even though I am not really even in design!

  5. you're bloody hilarious, lucy! congrats on a fabulous post. i mean, really, if you can't get to milan yourself, who better to be your eyes and ears than mm herself, huh?! i loved every word and image. x shelley t

  6. Being from Milan and living in Sydney, every time I read something on the Salone del Mobile I get a bit nostalgic.. I absolutely adore this reportage and the beautiful pictures, it seems to be there walking around with Megan. Thank you for sharing! x