Guide for pros

Guide for the pros: one evening in Milan with a design critic Olga Kosyreva


What unites Elena Baturin, jeweler, perfume,Peonies and Swiss furniture? Today you will learn about this by reading our article about just one evening in Milan, conducted by our editor-in-chief in the society of design critic Olga Kosyreva. During the Milan Furniture Salon, a lot of parties, presentations and various events take place every day and every night, Not all. But for the design critic and co-founder of "Design-lecture" Olga Kosyreva impossible. On April 14th we together with Olga visited several closed designer parties in Milan. If you want to know what was the most-most-you here.

Jeans, Switzerland, chairs

Our route started near Duomo - the maincathedral city. On the street corner in the G-Star RAW store, the presentation of the new furniture collection of the famous Swiss factory Vitra was held. The first few minutes of being at the event were shocking: what makes Vitra furniture among jeans? However ... Olga Kosyreva, Design Lecture Hall: - Vitra has been closely friends and cooperates with the Dutch denim brand G-Star for several years, whose owners are simply in love with the furniture of one of the leading designers of the 20th century, Jean Prouvé, and invested in making it the furniture, which at auctions reaches a price of hundreds of thousands of euros, was reproduced plus or minus in mass circulation and was available to a greater number of interested persons. The collaboration began with the launch of a series of home furnishings, and then the management of G-Star wanted to furnish Prouvé furniture for their new office in Amsterdam, which was designed by Rem Koolhaas, an architectural star of the world. This is how the Prouve RAW office edition was re-released last fall, which G-Star has now presented in its Milan store.

Bvlgari, Zaha, Philip

Next, we need to get to the super-closedparty at the Bvlgari hotel. Here they presented a new and, as always, and maybe even more, an excellent collection of the famous jewelry brand of the same name. Serpentine - this is the name given to both the collection and the piece of contemporary art created by the architect Zaha Hadid specifically to showcase Bvlgari works. In a huge snake-showcase, the audience was presented with both new and old jewelry of the brand, many of which were bought from collectors for incredibly large sums of money. The party went well. Here were seen: actress Nastassja Kinski, Francesca Versace, architect Antonio Citterio, designer Philippe Starck, designer Ora Ito and other stars. We were delighted. An excellent example of how smartly and tastefully fashionable - in this case jewelry - brands enter the adjacent territory of object and architectural design. Salone del Mobile is the time when the cream of the design industry gathers in Milan. The Bvlgari hotel in a small private street in the heart of the city is an oasis of respectability and relaxation in the midst of all this bustle. Well, the name Zaha Hadid is so weighty that it is guaranteed to attract the attention of both the public and the press. So the Bvlgari brand simply couldn't have been the best combination to show off heritage treasures and new jewelry. The visit of Philippe Starck himself is an excellent confirmation of this.

Design critic Olga Kosyreva

Elena Baturina, gardens, perfumes

Further our path was supposed to lie towards the streetPontaccio, in the area of ​​which a lot of design events took place. Olga, a connoisseur of Milan, decided that the path could be shortened by going through the old botanical garden. And there a new discovery awaited us: pavilions were installed between irises and peonies, where designers tried to visually represent the smells of old perfumes, showed new bottles and, in an accessible way, with scents, told about the history of perfumery. The project was attended by such famous architects and designers as Jaime Ayon, the Campana brothers, Jean-Marie Massaud, Nendo, Ludovica and Roberto Palomba and others, and all this was carried out by the Elena Baturina BeOpen foundation, which was positioned here as self-made woman famous for her renovation projects and active participation in the Women Expo movement. Yes, if you go to Italy for the Expo this year, the gardens named after Elena Baturina will be open for viewing until May 25. Olga Kosyreva, Design Lecture Hall: - This old botanical garden in the Brera area is one of the secret secrets of Milan. You will never wander into it by accident, and even if you search, it is not a fact that you will find it on the first try. But it is beautiful, especially now, when, after early spring, flowers are already blooming in it. And the project related to fragrances is especially relevant in it. Not to mention the fact that it certainly marks the cutting edge of modern design - anything that engages the senses is especially in demand now. Humanity is tired of things, I never tire of repeating it. It wants impressions, emotions, new experiences - including from design.

Plastic containers, rigid frames and soft pink

To the presentation of the new collection of the Moroso factory,we, frankly, were not going to at all. She could be seen at the exhibition too. But our feet, accustomed to stomping the paths of design, themselves led us to the showroom of the famous upholstered furniture factory. Which, in fact, performed by Moroso is not at all soft: the technology for the production of sofas and armchairs on rigid metal frames patented by the factory many years ago remains practically unattainable for most other manufacturers. In the showroom, we liked the bestselling sofa embroidered with floral patterns, as well as the delicate pink colors in the new furniture collection. But our opinions about the shelves made of plastic containers were divided: Olga liked them as an idea, we did not, our editorial office loves cozy things. I am a big fan of this brand, not least because my favorite designer and wonderful person Patricia Urquiola constantly works for it. But the newest and most interesting Moroso presents at its stand in the pavilions of the Salone del Mobile, and the showroom usually hosts an exhibition of something avant-garde, radical and highly artistic. So now - frame wardrobes with standard plastic boxes inserted into them for transporting mail - this is not something that everyone would like to put in their bedroom. But in terms of color combinations, the most important color trends are always shown in the design of the space. Now it is - ash pink, pale yellow, whitened lilac, turquoise, blue, as well as a combination of brick orange with muted blue.

Design critic Olga Kosyreva

Bathrooms, bright colors and clear plastic

That evening we were also lucky enough to get toopening of the first mono-brand Kartell by Laufen store in Milan. For the first time, the pieces of this collaboration were presented two years ago and since then it has gained many fans around the world. And now - the center of Milan, the Brera district. By the way, if you have ever sat on transparent chairs in a restaurant, most likely they were chairs created by Kartell, designed by Philippe Starck (if the restaurant was expensive), or they were Chinese imitations for these chairs (if the restaurant was not very expensive). In short, Kartell transparent seat furniture is familiar to almost everyone. And so the famous Swiss plumbing company Laufen decided to jointly release a collection of bathroom furniture with Kartell. The design of the entire collection and the store was made by famous designers Roberto and Ludovica Palomba, who had previously created a lot for Laufen. To be honest, the furniture turned out to be so beautiful that it overshadowed all bathroom furniture in our minds. The bathrooms should now look just like this. The Kartell company has always been distinguished by the fact that it broke the prevailing ideas with its things. So it happened here too. Several stereotypes at once: that the bathroom cannot be colored, that plastic has no place in the bathroom, that the bathroom cannot look like a living room - are smashed to smithereens.

Design critic Olga Kosyreva

Carpets, Kandinsky and Eleonora

Olga Kosyreva would not be a design critic ifI would not know about the secret places where the best works of modern design are presented. Among them was Spazio Pontaccio - a half-shop, half-gallery, founded and run by design enthusiasts, the married couple Eleonora Negri and Alberto Pellini. They presented a collection of furniture under their own brand, developed for them by the famous Italian graphic designer Federico Pepe. His magical graphics were hung all over the walls - and there was something from Kandinsky, something from student artwork, something from ornaments of kilim carpets. Frames for all pictures have been created especially for everyone. In general, the address is written down in a book for recommendations to designers and architects. Olga Kosyreva, Design Lecture Hall: - Spazio Pontaccio is a rare, unique format: it seems like a store, but everything that is sold in it was made by designers, including eminent ones, especially for this store. A year ago, they made a noisy statement about themselves when, on the opening day of the Salon del Mobile, they arranged a dinner party for 50 people in their windows. All chairs, tables, dishes, serving items were made specifically for dinner, and you can buy them only in this store. Among the guests were famous designers - Tom Dixon, Jay Osgerby, Studio Job, Patricia Urquiola - this list shows how highly they appreciate what the owners of this gallery do. I was also fortunate enough to take a place in the window - and this is an unforgettable impression, both from the people, and from the food, and from the fact that, in fact, you feel like a participant in the performance. Since then, Eleanor and Alberto and I are great friends.

Zigzags, mirrors, face control

After attending the event with Zaha Hadid andBy Philippe Starck it seemed to us that now the whole city was open to us. However, at the entrance to the private Missoni Mirroring party, we had to show evidence that Olga and I were famous journalists: get out business cards, press cards and make various calls. And - lo and behold! - they let us in here too. The Missoni framed mirrors were wonderfully good. But, I must admit, almost the same were on the company's stand at the exhibition. Therefore, we could not understand why such strict face control is necessary. I deeply respect Rosita Missoni, I talked to her personally many times - she is a rare person who is developing a home collection under her own brand. And although branded techniques and designs - flowers, zigzags, other geometric ornaments - are not very diverse, in my opinion, they occupy their own niche and bring a pleasant variety to the gray colors of everyday life.

Design critic Olga Kosyreva

Brass, red and gray

After visiting the exhibition, Olga took usreal back streets, and not very crowded. Therefore, when the road led us to the temporary showroom of the Lee Broom brand, there was no end to the surprise. The brand turned out to be English, all the employees were English, the furniture was in the style of the 1960s and 1980s, the color of the walls and mannequins was exactly the beloved deep gray of the Armani name, and the accessories with all their appearance said that they should be 20-30 years old and they left the workshop of the famous Ettore Sottsass. All these simple and complex associative series arose, as it turned out, in our country not by accident, but in a very planned way. It was on them that the owner and designer of the company were counting. Here I want to make a long speech. Firstly, Lee Broome with his collection is located in an area where there has never been any design activity - now it is called San Gregorio Docet and from this year on the design map of Milan. This is indicative - the design capital is becoming even more and more diverse, and the participants of Milan Design Week are cramped within the framework of long-standing design clusters like the Tortona Zone. Secondly, Lee Brum is well known in London, and now, thanks to this exhibition in Milan, he was recognized and talked about in the rest of the world. Which is pleasant to me personally. Because - and this is thirdly - I like him very much as a designer and a person, and I have been seeing his crystal bulbs with a notch in sweet dreams for some time. And fourth: the fact that he, a man with a refined taste, turned to Italian pop art and early postmodernism for inspiration (and these are the works of Ettore Sottsass and Co), speaks of the return of interest in this half-forgotten period. Let me assume that the style of the 1980s with its active graphics, bright colors, fake gloss and ironic figurativeness is what is called the next big thing in the design of objects and interiors.

Design critic Olga Kosyreva Photos: Oksana Kashenko, Philip Eichler, Venturelli