Jenny Heinzen York -- Home Accents Today, 10/1/2011 2:00:00 AM
THE 91ST EDITION OF MILAN'S Macef Fair got a major makeover for fall 2011 with the addition of AbitaMi, "the d cor & design lab," which broadened the show's product range to include much more furniture and home décor.
Nearly 1,700 exhibitors were represented at the September fair, which covered nearly 1 million square feet of exhibition space at the expansive Fieramilano Rho complex. According to show officials, about 80,000 people attended the show.
While the Italian market is generally known for its extremes - contemporary or traditional - this show was notable for its clear direction toward transitional styling. The vintage European styles that have been so dominant on U.S. show floors have all but disappeared from the Italian marketplace, making way for a more modern vibe.
The color palette was very muted, with beiges, whites and light grays starring in every context, with only the occasional pops of color to brighten the floors of the exhibit halls. The color that did show up was heavy in the blue-purple-dark red family, with a dash of springy green leaning toward celadon.
White lacquer was the finish of choice, and the overall look could be described as shiny, but not blingy. Metallics were generally warm, with a noticeable trend toward copper emerging.
Where songbirds and peacocks have been all the rage, make way for the new bird in town - the parrot - which appeared in many different contexts throughout the show.
Soft goods and textiles were largely un-dyed or minimally dyed, in shades of white and taupe, seen most often in natural linen or linen-cotton blends.
Design is always at the forefront in Italy, particularly in Milan, which is known as an international fashion and design capital. So it was no surprise to note the fine attention to details throughout the show, with apparel-like details such as tufting, pleating, intricate stitch-work and beautiful fabric treatments being especially strong on upholstery introductions.
This upholstery arrangement from Elledue Arredamenti spotlighted some of the key colors of the show - white, dark red and celadon.
Handcraftsmanship is still very important, evidenced by this giant bowl of lifelike (though huge) hand-carved cherries.
The newest bird on the scene is the parrot, shown here on a dramatically overscaled vase from Abhika Casa.
Piped white leather upholstery adds a clean edge to the intricately carved sofa frame and cocktail table from IDP.
Murano glass was heavily on display during the show, often used in fresh, fun contexts like this selection of vases from Flaver.
Hundreds of shiny glass stars rain down from this dramatic chandelier by Reflex.
Pampaloni's tall vases/candleholders show off a shiny chrome finish with leaf-like inserts in bronze, silver and the copper that seemed to be an up-and-coming trend in metallics.
I Borbone's basalt lamp shows off intricate detailing with a classical bust form.
Gabriella B's overscale vases were popular in a fresh copper finish.
Milky white Murano glass is used to create the frond-like effect on this chandelier from Renzo Del Ventisette.
Menswear fabrics and details are shown off to fine form in this line of accessories from Marco Polo.
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