What I saw at Milan Design Week 2013



Last night I got back from Milan’s Design Week – there really is no place like it! Everyone is just so stylish – especially the men! At one point I saw a beautiful specimen in his late 60’s with shoulder length silver hair drive off on a pastel grey Vespa in a sugary sweet lavender suit! So beautiful and co-ordinated and not at all silly!


The pasta was SO good [I’m never touching anything but fresh ever again], the gelato to die for – and the coffee – I really had to stop myself from consuming one at every opportunity. Really these stereotypes about Milan are there for a reason!

The week also blessed us miserable Britishers with a very welcome burst of sunshine and for a few days we played pretend summer, put our sunglasses on and ate too many gelatos.

So every year you hear the same murmurings about the industry’s most important show –  ‘it wasn’t as good as last year’, ‘so and so was a bit lacklustre’ or ‘I won’t be bothering next year’ – but honestly there really is nothing like the excitement of design week in the air – it seems absolutely everyone is in the city for that day, there are familiar faces at every eatery, bar and event – and Milan Design Week continues to be just simply fabulous!

Here are my highlights:

New design gallery and dashes of elegant neon. Simply beautiful.


Wallpaper Handmade itself did throw out a few crackers however – including a personal favourite by British designer Bethan Gray. Her new black and white marble tableware collection was simply stunning, combining everyones material of the moment – marble – in contemporary stripe and chevron patterning [the rings photographed with the cheese dome are trivets!]


Moving onto Tom Dixon’s MOST which showcases a vast breadth of design talent – the clever Central Saint Martin’s bunch caught my eye. Textile Futures was a preview of graduation projects from final year students at CSM. The designers showcased a breadth of exciting work exploring the future of materiality.

My favourite explorations were Guinan An’s latex vessels which looked so handcrafted and like they were made of bright clay and Loeke Smeet’s copper stud decorations for exterior walls which tap into the industry’s fascination with aged patina.


Traditional luxury glass brands are not usually my bag and usually I would pass them by – but this very beautiful installation at Rosanna Orlandi by Murano glass lighting brand Baroncelli made me look twice and I am glad that I did. A mix of the brand’s contemporary pieces and vintage glasswork, the colours and designs are exquisite [my pictures don’t do the installation justice]. More is definitely more!



My product to take home would be Alberto Fabbian’s beautiful &ABILITY coffee table showed in the Lambrate Design District. The most perfect example of craft and design the lovely circular table was imbedded with wicker baskets and ceramics for multiple storage options. Want!


Finally – my favourite trend – it was all about the mirrors!


Author: Rohini Wahi

Rohini is a London based freelance journalist and trend forecaster for the design industries. She has worked for Elle Decoration, Living Etc, Houzz and Design Sponge amongst others.

She loves a period drama and keeps a tidy home. Launched in 2007 The Beat That My Heart Skipped focuses on home inspirations, design trends, lifestyle and food – coupled with an insight into Rohini’s work and home life – from key picks at trade shows to styled weekend soirees. To contact Rohini for queries, work for hire or just to say hi drop her a line at mail@rohiniwahi.com

2 Comments on What I saw at Milan Design Week 2013

  1. ces
    Monday, April 15th, 2013 22:06 at 10:06 pm (7 years ago)

    Really nice coffee table. I want one too! 😀

  2. Yuri
    Friday, April 19th, 2013 18:58 at 6:58 pm (7 years ago)

    great style. I like the fact that many pieces become really art objects!

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