30.180424 Salone Cover

Milan Design Week Highlights

What's on? | Apr 19, 2024

Fashion took centre stage at Milan's annual design fair Salone del Mobile this year, where everyone from IKEA to Kohler (new orange toilets designed by Samuel Ross, anyone?)  unveiled their latest homewares in ever grander exhibition and performance formats. And it is apparent by the sheer number of luxury fashion brands participating, that Fashion (with that capital F) is wholly interested in your house.

From Thom Browne's collaboration with Frette, blending New York greys with Italian linen expertise, to 24 newly commissioned LOEWE lamps to Gucci's vibrant exploration of Rosso Ancora, Salone (as it's affectionately called) showcases the interplay between designers and home design at its best. Here are just some of our highlights from our fashion favourites…

Thom Browne X Frette


What happens when a true bastion of preppy New York style collaborates with a 160-year-old Italian linen expert? Sumptuous bathrobes, that borrow from the construction of trench coats, bath linens, and bedding by Frette are given the Thom Browne treatment, all now sporting his signature quadruple stripes. The exclusive collection presented at Salone reflects a shared appreciation of refined textiles and artisanal techniques, and we caught the end of the one-off performance (this IS Thom Browne, after all) where his models lay flat in bed. Shhhhhhhhh.

Giorgio Armani


Giorgio Armani unveiled his latest Armani/Casa collection "Echoes from the World" at Palazzo Orsini. An exhibition exploring the brand's global inspirations, contextualizing his furniture alongside key fashion pieces across a series of themed rooms. Wanting the viewer to journey though the rooms as if in a film and Mr. Armani the director, his references to Japanese Samurai armour all the way to a Belle Époque boudoir come alive in the physical manifestation of his design pieces. Having been an early innovator in fashion-brand-as-storyteller through his Armani Hotel and apartments, translating his world of fashion into fabrics, furniture and interiors, you can see that each piece embodies his rich inspirations and no doubt is made with exquisite craftsmanship, in a "cinematic" journey to the countries that have always inspired Mr Armani. Molto bello!



LOEWE debuts its most ambitious Salone del Mobile collection yet, featuring bespoke lamps crafted by 24 acclaimed artists, many of whom have been previous winners and participants in LOEWE's Craft Prize, a canny territory creative director Jonathan Anderson claimed for the Spanish brand. Each lamp, showcased down the stairs at the impressively high-ceilinged Palazzo Citterio (let's face it, perfect to show off lights!), explores light's properties through diverse mediums and forms, marking LOEWE's eighth collaboration with craftspeople and artists during Salone, extending its legacy of giving space to material and form.

Gucci Design Ancora


A leather sofa, Murano glass vase, handwoven carpet, chest of drawers and lamp were lacquered in that newly recognisable red, embodying Gucci's latest creative chapter in Rosso Ancora under Sabato De Sarno. But this wasn't any old leather sofa, Murano glass vase, handwoven carpet, chest of drawers and lamp. No. These were five Italian design icons re-imagined in the rosy hue exhibited in an aptly contrasting chartreuse space conceived by Spanish architect Guillermo Santomà at Gucci’s flagship on via Montanapoleone that disoriented the viewer in a way that made you feel like you were in some delicious acid green dream living amongst the most amazing, and desirable, furniture pieces all by yourself. Smart and precise.

Plan C


An “Unexpected Guest” could be spotted in the windows of the Plan C store in Milano’s chicest shopping district, off the equivalent of London's Bond Street. Italian artist Maria Chiara Venturini took over two windows of the Banner boutique (think Browns, with some of the best-curated fashion in Milan) and made them into rooms that reproduced Plan C's creative director (and the daughter of Marni founder) Carolina Castiglioni’s own - very elegant - home in Milan. Plan C is a brand that delivers elevated everyday essentials, with signature sustainable fabrics and a slight twist in cut, and we're not surprised they wanted to delight with a live performance during some of the busiest footfall of the year.

Prada Frames


Prada brought it home, quite literally, welcoming guests in for a series of talks hosted by design curator Alice Rawsthorn in the Bagatti Valsecchi Museum, a jewel of a historic house museum in the heart of downtown Milan. Its ornate, permanent collections principally contain Italian Renaissance decorative arts, armour and sculptures, and the conversations were held in the bathroom, the bedroom, the library... you get the point. Talking about living environments as a framework to address contemporary challenges, the design duo FormaFantasma curated the talks and spaces and while we couldn't stay for the chat, it was a welcome pit stop while the city was abuzz with activations.