Opera Chic dives into Milan furniture fair madness
It’s that time of year again, Milan’s Salone Internazionale del Mobile—Salone for short—and the orgy of cocktails, dinners and hobnobbing has begun. And although the fairgrounds where the goods are displayed are the official draw, it’s the “fuorisalone” (away from salone) events that get Opera Chic’s blood pumping.
Downtown, the Quadrilatero has been decorated with 200 lampshades strung over Via Montenapoleone, some decorated by fashion designers like Ermanno Scervino, Kean Etro and Roberto Cavalli.
Kicking off the cocktail party cycle on Tuesday was Bottega Veneta’s fete celebrating their new collection of Japan-inspired furniture and household “oggetti” (objects). Creative Director Tomas Maier (awesomely casual in white jeans, black jacket and brown shoes) presided, and the distractingly gorgeous servers, all dressed in head-to-toe black Bottega, plied the VIPs (including Italian actress Isabella Ferrari) with trays of sake in pristine small wooden boxes. The sea of buff security guards—too good-looking to be menacing —nearly outnumbered the guests.
In the Mardi Gras atmosphere of Zona Tortona, Dsquared’s Dean and Dan Caten, Delfina Fendi and Margherita Missoni hosted an all-night rage in honor of the new Mini Countryman car. The setting was an indoor forest complete with live butterflies nestling in lush flowers. Two hours and too many Campari Fizzes later, the faux-celebrities arrived, which was our cue to move onto the next event.
There’s no escaping the Salone madness. The Marni shop on Via Senato has an installation created by Matteo Thun and Consuelo Castiglioni (above); Iceberg’s windows host a Dan Flavin-inspired fluorescent light display; Spanish architect and designer Patricia Urquiola has designed a handbag for Ferragamo that will be for sale only during Salone. The windows at Tods on Via della Spiga (below left) are filled with iconic furnishings from the hitlist of modern design: Philippe Stark’s Louis Ghost chair, Harry Bertoia’s self-named chair, Anne Jacobsen’s Anniversary Egg, etc. Even party animal Roberto Cavalli has gotten into the design spirit with Laszlo LL Papp conceptual furniture cradling his mannequins (below right).
O.C. has so many events on her agenda this week (including Versace’s “F.U.N.K” party and Stella McCartney’s and Marc Jacobs’s parties to celebrate their new stores) she’s actually looking forward to Friday night’s La Scala premiere of Verdi’s Simone Boccanegra so she can sit in one place for three hours.