During the past few years, Italian design - both sober and chic - has stood in direct opposition to the design language of the Dutch, which has been ornamental and poetic; now, reunited at the Milan Furniture Fair, these two worlds are complementing and completing each other.
Marcel Wanders was one of the first to explore this decorative approach with intricate objects that have an artisan's touch while being produced with the most innovative techniques. Many others followed: Tord Boontje, Brand Van Egmond, even Droog Design jumped in.
Their creations have been popping up in show rooms the world over, such as these pillows and plates at B&B Italia. Everywhere dishware, carpets and accessories decked out in very graphic designs, like shadow play and spiral scrolls juxtaposed with more contemporary traits, have been making their mark. Textile patterns have also been inspiring contemporary furniture designers to play their déco and fashion cards. At Kartell, the Mademoiselle armchair, a Starck classic, plays "top models" by dressing up in fabric designs characteristic of the big names of fashion. At Moooi, the sofas are also smartly dressed, while at Paola Lenti, the carpets are delicate crochet works.
Ornamentation has even come to roost where it really has no place like the strange collaboration between two big names in design: one from the north, the very serious Fritz Hansen, and one from the south, the exuberant Bisazza. The fruit of this bizarre union leaves one perplexed... The designers of the Ellipse table, a classic of Danish design, must be rolling in their graves.
Translation by Jennifer Edwards