Milan Design Fair: Armani draws crowds, Loro Piana celebrates noble fibres from the Andes
The Milan Design Fair never ceases to surprise. For this 2023 edition, Giorgio Armani opened the Palazzo Orsini, the brand's headquarters since the 1980s, to the public for the first time, where a selection of the new 'home' collection was presented. Elsewhere, Loro Piana captivated its audience with an extremely luxurious collection featuring furniture made from rare and expensive vicuña fibre.
On the opening of Milan's Design Week, Giorgio Armani attracted 5,500 people to the Palazzo Orsini. In the days that followed, an equally impressive crowd continued to gather, queuing for several hundred metres along Via Borgonuovo, where the fashion house occupies no less than three buildings. Located at number 11, the historic 16th century palace, houses, in addition to the label's headquarters, its studio and haute couture workshops.
The palace is a magical setting for the new Armani/Casa collection. Each room is decorated with mirrors and the ceilings are painted with frescoes by Andrea Appiani. One room houses the sinuous wicker furniture designed for the veranda, while another hosts a series of precious Art Deco accessories. Of particular note are the Murano glass objects. Everything is meticulous, down to the tarot card characters all dressed in Armani.
In a smaller room, a desk, a chair and a dressing table entirely covered in mother-of-pearl mosaic, handmade in Italy, are showcased. Only eleven of these objects were made, as a tribute to the Orsini Palace.
The tour continues in the beautiful secret garden behind the palace, where the brand unveiled its first line of outdoor furniture. A table, a folding director's chairs, and a sofa and lounge chairs made of teak wood with a woven effect.
The cashmere label Loro Piana, part of the LVMH group also hosted its presentation in its Milanese headquarters on Via Moscova. The courtyard of the modern building was transformed for Design Week into a kind of Andean landscape. This year, for its new project dedicated to its Loro Piana Interiors line, the house turned to the Argentinean designer and artist Cristián Mohaded, who was inspired by the "apachetas", the cone-shaped piles of stones that mark certain paths in the Andes.
The designer recreated the towers, stacked up to eight metres high, with geometric volumes covered in coloured fabrics, reminiscent of the irregularly shaped stones that make up the apachetas. A total of twelve unstable towers rise up in the courtyard, where the furniture designed by Cristián Mohaded is displayed. Together with the Loro Piana craftsmen, he has created a highly tactile and sensorial collection.
Sofas, armchairs, benches, poufs and coffee tables are all covered with the most precious textiles produced by the company, from cashmere to alpaca and a cashmere and silk velvet. For the first time, Loro Piana has also used precious vicuña fibre, made from the fleece of Andean llamas, to make some of the armchairs, which will be sold at 80,000 euros. The furniture in this collection, which starts at 15,000 euros, is all made to order.
All the pieces are finished with hand-chiselled oak elements, then treated with beeswax, while a coffee table is also covered in red ceramic.
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