Latest buzz is all about the recent, annual Milan Furniture Fair where around 2,500 companies gathered to display their new and fabulous wares. And how. Sofas, chairs, lamps tables, fabrics and accessories all came in futuristic, impressive and unusual designs that showed off much original thinking. One notable name on the circuit is Lapo Elkann, part of the Fiat dynasty. And yes, the name doesn’t always bring to mind high design but Lapo is hoping to change that with his exhaust pipe chandelier and a crystal dining table with Formula One tires functioning as legs. And though it might seem that anyone could do this in their garage, on a Saturday afternoon, the table retails for more than $9,000.
But Lapo was just one in a sea of designers bringing fun and magical goods to the show. Superstar designer Philippe Starck, who is said to be attempting to cultivate square oysters, brought his OLED lights. It was among the notable trend of imaginative lighting styles. Sony and Matsushita brought digital technology for the home. Someone even brought a relevant iPhone app. Yet others took the whimsical approach, as in the case of the soft sofa with a wood-grain fabric pattern. It looks like a bench but is the opposite. The folks at Whirlpool brought neon oven doors in pink, yellow, green and more. Then there was “Chairless.” As its name suggests, it wasn’t a chair at all but rather, a piece of fabric that helps the “wearer” sit more comfortably on the floor. It was a hit. And probably much cheaper too. Especially if you can whip it up with one of Martha Stewart’s glue guns.
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