April 7th 2017: Milan sprinkles design from every corner, doing its best to show its coolest face. The combination between marvellous palaces, gardens, warehouses or original pop-ups with thousands of new ideas, products and exhibitions create a dynamic atmosphere rarely associated with Italy.
At the Salone del Mobile people get crazy for all the parties and special events that for one week make the elegant Milan the ‘ombelico del mondo’ (belly bottom of the world). Without exaggeration, the once designers’ mecca and extremely elitist Salone, has recently turned into a mainstream fashion event. The majority of visitors have no clue about design; they just know it is cool, and they make it an occasion to take nice pictures, party and feel part of something big.
But the inevitable question that comes out is: is there still something about design?
Being one of the most acclaimed design weeks of the world, good design is still the main character; but it has to be carefully searched and not confused with many shiny and fancy nice shows.
First of all it is important to clarify that the proper Salone del Mobile, the one for companies and experts, is in Rho Fiera and without many extreme changes remains an occasion to do good business and meet creatives or colleagues in the sector.
A special and always interesting section is the Salone Satellite, inaugurated in 1998 by the brilliant mind of Marva Griffin, which is an area that shows the most remarkable creations by new designers and student, where Chinese are recently emerging.
On the other hand there is the Fuori Salone: the most popular, various and accessible part of the event. It is in this particular delicate and exciting part that it is absolutely required to pay attention, and be selective.
For a designer, inspiration and inputs come from every single hidden corner of the city illuminated by a springy sunshine.
From a Corso Venezia dressed by Louis Vuitton on sale into a futuristic Elle Decor concept store, passing through the IKEA creative and interactive space in Lambrate, Palazzo Clerici transformed into an improbable television studio by the students of the Design Academy of Eindhoven, the chic but not very fun Brera arriving to the Jil Sander showroom, where Nendo won, deciding to explore new possibilities by looking at simple things with an unusual perspective..Milan is unmissable!
The vibe itself is excitng, and smells the Italian historical good design, inherited by the big characters that made it special and meaningful, from Giò Ponti to Ettore Sotssass.
Even if nomadism and simplicity seem to be the main trends for the Milanese Salone, maybe less evil than the devil wearing Prada, but this Design Week is definitely very fashionable!