Designers assemble for the friendly battle of the year as we ask, will there be a peaceful alliance of democratic design or will someone bring out their dragons in the quest for the global design crown? Whose blood, sweat and tears will pay off and create something truly memorable? Will it be magic or money that wins out?
One thing is for sure; the fireworks and theatrics will be worth a watch. Escapism, futuristic function, and human soul-searching - we can't wait to see what the best of the design world have to offer, as we head to Milan next week.
Milan design week is like Christmas for us, and the only thing better than actually being in the thick of it, is the anticipation of what we may see out there. Don't you always find that Christmas Eve is even more delicious than the day itself?
With this in mind we wanted to revel in the anticipation and share with you our top tips of what we are most looking forward to seeing, who has got our design buds buzzing, and what can we already learn from the way it's shaping up this year?
IKEA in Milan we hear you say! We know right? Seems like a strange combo, but we have a sneaking suspicion that this is going to be epic. We've always admired the Swedish brand for making design so accessible and their Ilse Crawford collab was incredible. So, with new collab launches from Tom Dixon, Hay and Faye Toogood, we have good reason to believe that we will be making our way to the IKEA kitchen for a v memorable party and some great pieces of accessible design that will no doubt become hot sellers.
It's anniversary time for Lee Broom, with 10 years of designs under his belt. 10 years at the top. From talking to the team there and from the teaser shots, this looks set to be Lee's most epic and sophisticated outing yet. He never disappoints in Milan, from his vast department store to his genius van last year. Set in an abandoned railway arch, he will be presenting his best designs from the last 10 years all in white, set on a carousel, as well as a new marble granddad clock that is a piece of true aspirational luxury to mark the passing of time in style. Pure theatre. And right up our street. Cannot wait to show you some insta-stories of this one.
An absolute idol of ours. This lady can do no wrong, with her earthy, yet otherworldly designs. Her designs seem born out of a wilderness from a future world, yet they still manage to feel like luxury. With numerous launches and installations at this year’s festival, it seems that Toogood will be making a major impact. And we are sure that impact will be sophisticated roughness, human elegance.
It felt like Dimore Studio, an interior design duo and long term obsession of ours, reached full ripeness last year as they presented their evolving apartment space in Brera district as a culmination of years of work. A dark dramatic space full of their lighting, furniture and fabric designs, all soundtracked by the curated noises of the tools and trades that had gone into the past 6 years of re-inventing the apartment. Since that, we visited their Hotel Saint Marc project in Paris that felt like seeing designers at the top of their game. So, what will they do this year? Can they top it? Will they continue to re-invent or will we now get a deepening of their style? Ones to watch.
COS x Studio Swine
For the past two years one of our fav fashion brands, COS, have presented amazing installations that have been the talk of the town. This year looks set to be no different with a playfully ethereal piece of escapism they have created with Studio Swine. The invite was beautifully intriguing (a blob of luminous glass on the thickest card imaginable) and the teaser video appeals to the child in us as smoke filled bubbles pop with human touch. They often create an oasis of calm in an otherwise chaotic week, a peacefully powerful entry in the Games.
Our friends in New York. We've been pals for years, since we were the first interior designers in the UK to use their stunning wallpaper. We love their social media and everything they release is filled with thought and soul and beauty. This year they launch a series of collaborative designs that will surely send us silly with excitement. Look out Milan, Brooklyn are coming!
Master of industrial design, a master showman and always a top contender in the Game of Mlian. It seems his eyes are set firmly on the future with his sci-fi new lighting and transformative new platform bed design. Whether he like Millenials or not, he certainly seems to be designing for them. And we can't wait to see what he's got.
One of the talented Underdogs, we've been following this lovely man's work ever since he messaged us to come and see him in London a few years back. He is warm, clever and tenacious with a focus that is sure to win through. We have a feeling this could be his year, after putting in the hard graft. From the sneak peaks we have seen of his glass prismatic work, it seems that he has captured the current moment of a fractured world in full glorious colour, ourselves reflected back at us in uncompromising, complicated ways. Let's hear it for the Underdog!
Everything is Connected - Ventura Lambrate
Norwegian design hitting hard like a Viking ship full of treasure and passion. Our artist pals Gilles & Cecilie, will be there so we are rooting for them in particular. You may remember their mural artworks that we commissioned on our last interior project. Those murals got a lot of love on our social media, so we are excited to see what they have in store in Milan. Plus we secretly think that one of us was a Viking in a past life (we will let you guess who) so we were always going to be rooting for this show.
No matter how much research and groundwork you do beforehand, there will always be a hidden gem or an epic installation that goes under the radar and smacks you across the face. Taking you by surprise as you turn the corner and see it for the first time. The word on the street can unearth several unexpected delights and we always leave a couple of spaces in our packed diary for those moments. Keep a look out on our Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pepo to get all the up to the minute info.
Which designers will you be cheering on? x