Salone del Mobile: Designer collections echo ready-to-wear while bold prints and soft shapes emerge as top trends

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A Wave dormeuse chair by Versace Home
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Fashion brands including Versace, Armani and Bottega Veneta took their home collections to Milan’s annual furniture fair the Salone del Mobile April 17 – 22, where patterns were bold, prints were ubiquitous and a notable link between ready-to-wear and furnishing designs emerged.

Roberto Cavalli was one of the big names to make his home collection debut at the Salone del Mobile, with a flashy collection that naturally featured zebra-print armchairs and leopard print rugs. According to the creator, personality is reflected as much in furniture as sartorial choices, and he wanted to ensure a close link between both realms.

“When I create a dress I want it to emphasize the femininity of a woman at all times; and so as with designing for the home, I try to identify the character of the people I’m designing for, thinking how I can diffuse this with the colors, the warmth and joy of living that first of all one gives oneself,” explained Cavalli.

“[T]here is no difference between the thinking behind designing a clothing line and a homeware line. My lifestyle is always hugely driven by passion…”

Another label intertwining its trademark aesthetic into home furnishings is Versace, whose new Versace Home 2012 collection marries key Versace motifs such as the Vanitas, Greek Key and Baroque. Prints are ubiquitous, with a color palette inspired by Versace’s prêt-à-porter and haute couture collections -- yellow, acid green, electric blue and pearl grey are blended with hints of gold, ivory, stone and black.

For example, the iconic Vanitas chair has been covered in Baroque-print fabric, while the new wave dormeuse chair in bold velvet highlighted the trend for rounded and wavy silhouettes this year. Another label making nods to its fashion aesthetic was the Golden Age-inspired line from Armani Casa, with dark oak wood, Murano glass and satinized brass finishing characterizing the collection.

Meanwhile, Bottega Veneta kept things minimal yet luxe, making nods to angular and geometric shapes, as well as paying tribute to the softness of its accessories collection. For example, the Bottega Veneta Tassello system -- a family of modular furniture pieces developed in collaboration with Italian furniture maker Poltrona Frau includes seats that are “soft and slouchy, like a Bottega Veneta bag.”

Also worth a mention is Marni, who sold a limited edition collection of chairs inspired by a traditional Colombian aesthetic at its Salone del Mobile pop-up Marni boutique. The colorful chairs woven from PVC threads were produced by Colombian ex-prisoners, and are also part of its "L'Arte del Ritratto" project. Photographer and filmmaker Francesco Jodice has employed them as the backdrop for a series of portraits of Marni staff set to tour Marni boutiques worldwide. Watch the video at http://youtu.be/RzZ_u28Xqho.

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