Blending the divide between art, design and architecture is something the organizers of Milan Design Week do quite well. It’s not that most of the products shown during the event, with their artfulness and simplicity, can’t stand alone and deliver potent aesthetic experiences of their own. But more often than not, in addition to their own elegance and beauty, they’re fused with art and elevated from everyday products to objects of desire that convey both meaning and emotion.
From our visit, we’d like to highlight two art-fusion collaborations that stood out, both because they exemplify an invisible divide between art and commerce, and because the resulting product is irresistible in a most distinctive way.
DOLCE&GABANA x SMEG
Inspired by the colourful culture of Sicily, the birthplace of one of the two founding partners, Domenico Dolce, Dolce&Gabana’s bright and bold concepts were not only applied across its SS2016 collection, but also extended to fellow Italian brand Smeg; a brand known for its sleek and stylish home appliances, especially refrigerators. Even though each brand represents a different functional platform, they share similar backgrounds, values and a tradition of being proudly ‘Made in Italy’.
The result of the collaboration was a capsule collection of 100 numbered Smeg FAB28 refrigerators anointed with the unique Dolce&Gabana visual style; a unique combination of Smeg’s quality and technology and Dolce&Gabana’s creativity and artisan workmanship. Each refrigerator featured images of lemons, wooden wheels, battle scenes and marionettes by Sicilian artists – all elements that hearken to poetic marionette theatre and traditional wooden Sicilian carts enriched with classical floral motifs. The collaboration was spectacular and with a price to match—100,000 Euros for each of the 100 irresistible refrigerators.
SIMONETTA RAVIZZA x KARTELL
The Italian fashion brand known for its luxurious yet versatile ready-to-wear fur, Simonetta Ravizza collaborated with Kartell, the Italian maker of contemporary plastic chairs, to design a window installation for the Milano Design & Fashion Week.
The collaboration culminated in blending Kartell’s iconic Ghost chairs with a limited and numbered edition of 30 Furrissima bags. Every one of the 30 Furrissimas was a result of a constant research, transformation and intense experimentation, each with unexpected and never repeated details. All made in Italy and adored across Europe, the whimsical bags, with playfully integrated pieces of fur and a variety of patterned canvases, were love at first sight for us and so many others, evidenced by the fact that they sold out pretty much instantly. Bravo Simonetta Ravizza!
In the next post, we’ll take a closer look at what makes Milan Design Week so magical.