Ahead of the next issue of COVER, which will be full of the creativity shown in Milan last week, we report on some of the highlights at this year’s event.
Rugs and textiles really took centre stage at Fuorisalone this year. An increasing number of creatives are using rugs or textiles as a means of expressing their design concepts. After three years with either no event or a pared back version, in 2023 Milan’s all-important design week was back to full capacity. The city was packed full of people and the list of things to see was even greater than before.
At Salone del Mobile, Battilossi showed for the first time with a nod to the brand’s ‘Complimentary’ design drive, showing how its rugs can be used in combination. Jan Kath showed off rugs from the Spectrum and Erased Heritage collections plus examples of his new Azerbaijan production, which is in development.
In Hall 2 Amini had a fantastic display of the Tapizoo collection created in the 1970s by Gabetti&Isola while cc-tapis focused on cc-tapis project’s new Panoplie System of patterns and textures by Patricia Urquiola. The focus of the Jaipur stand was the brands beautiful collection with interior designer Pavitra Rajaram, which focused on Indian carpet traditions.
Thibault van Renne launched a new range of sophisticated outdoor rugs, that are handmade in Italy while Mohebban’s serene space was art directed by Studio Zero, whose Oceano rug was stunning. Sardinian brand Mariantonia Urru’s stand focused on the theme ‘Tinto in Pecora’ (Tinged by the Sheep) as a presentation of seven iconic MU rug designs using undyed wool. By Kamy had a number of great rugs including the Verde range, using upcycled materials.
The work of students and young designers is highlighted at SaloneSatellite. We loved the work of London-based Patagonian designer Cindy Lilen, whose lighting designs were made of the wool of Patagonian sheep. Aashka Desai from Arisaa takes traditional Indian motifs and turns them into contemporary rugs and designs for the home.
In the ever-popular Brera district a beautiful exhibition of Eileen Gray rugs by Classicon alongside gouaches by the artist was a real highlight. M2Rugs showed off its second impressive collection with Sebastian Herkner while Tai Ping wowed the crowds with new hand-tufted rugs by designer Elena Salmistraro, which brought eye-popping colour to Piazza San Simpliciano. Equally brightly hued but with greater provenance, were the textile pieces on show in Altai’s ‘Primitive Rugs’ exhibition of felts and shaggy Zakatala rugs.
Battilossi opened its new Milan showroom in Brera with an exhibition of the Milton Glaser rug collection. Post MDW the space will become a new venue for customising Battilossi rugs for the Milan crowd.
Big brands also brought attention to rugs. Hermes showed a new range of homewares at La Pelota, including a range of cotton rugs hand-stitched in Nepal. Cassina showed a new rug design La Main Ouverte, as a nod to Le Corbusier. Andrés Reisinger’s stunning new Pollination of Hortensia rugs were among the new designs at Moooi’s ‘A Life Extraordinary’ show.
Highlights from the rest of town include cc-tapis’s showroom innovative display featuring new designs by Patricia Urquiola, Bethan Laura Wood, Formafantasma and Germans Ermics. The brand’s stunning Les Arcs collection of rugs by Charlotte Perriand was shown at the Chiesa di San Celso in an awe-inspiring installation by Michela Croci.
An installation dedicated to the new Ciclopi collection of rugs in organic wool designed by Elisa Ossino was on show at the Amini showroom, where colour and light created a serene atmosphere. At Rossana Orlandi, textile artist Tjitske Storm showed off new tufted wall-hangings from ‘The Art of Living Together’: a collection of limited-edition tufted and woven tapestries.
In 5Vie, Alberto’s Levi’s gallery was home to rugs by Jan Kath and designer Clara Bon while around the corner Maison Matisse’s new collection with Faye Toogood featured some great tonal rug designs made by cc-tapis. A new tapestry made of remnant yarns by Sandra Planken was on display at Isola Design while Nodus showed the new Colomychus Chernobilis rug by Francesca Lanzavecchia and Mélancholie outdoor rugs by Sam Baron in the company showroom.
This is only a small selection of the rugs on show in Milan, demonstrating how much great carpet design there is to see in the city every spring.