From the very early 60s, the artistic dimension that followed the economic, artistic and scientific renaissance saw fashion as the protagonist of a change that left the common areas to enter the private and intimate spaces of the house. A bare house that needs to be filled, where design intervenes, but which calls the “dress machine” to collaborate, asking it to imagine customized furniture collections. And fashion, in response, welcomes the invitation thus making possible the birth of the so-called “fashion living”. A first contact between fashion and interiors dates back to the years of Mary Quant, when her flower prints covered the walls of her London store of the same name: a choice aimed at guiding the eye of the public who increasingly saw the dress as a synonym of design and ”house on the move”. But she wasn’t the only one, Pierre Cardin and his passion for the exotic also made him an interior architect for his villa near Cannes, built in the image of his multifaceted creativity, where the furniture seems to inhabit the space’ ‘almost as if it were a person”, as the designer himself said in 1992. To then reach Madmoiselle Chanel‘s suite at the Ritz: a meticulous work of customization that makes the detail iconic, distinguishing it from the other suites in the hotel. An indissoluble combination, the one between fashion and design, which seems to use time to show itself different, renewed and above all more solid every year, even if the two co-protagonists of the scene are based on a fragile balance, given by a relationship of healthy envy.
Fashion envies design the Salone del Mobile, itsl cosmopolitan character, the influx of international buyers and the comings and goings of young people queuing for hours outside the exhibition halls. Design welcomes fashion for its economy, its being ahead of its time and its ability to know how to guide the public by bringing it to itself. Both are the players of tomorrow and yet neither of them dominates the other, even if sometimes fashion dictates the trend of design. Why? Fashion simply contaminates furniture, covering it with prints and logos that have previously appeared on clothes and accessories from various collections. A visual contribution that goes beyond the real purpose of the furniture, i.e. knowing how to organize the space, to add recognisability and personality to the furniture that becomes an “exhibition wardrobe“. Ranging from selected fabrics to used prints, design thus increases its potential, managing to combine function and care.
A consolidated system, which does not marginalize creativity, but brings it ever closer to everyday life, showing its thousand expressions. But to allow this design machine to continue its course, we must once again ask for the precious contribution of fashion, which is an expert in figures. Surely fashion moves capital and knows where to store it, and among these it chooses design, home design, making this the new eye for investors. From historic brands that have always supported interior design such as Missoni, Etro, Fendi up to the more recent N21 and Jacquemus which, collaborating with well-known home design brands, keep the cultural exchange between the two alive. But it is the historic brands that represent the unmissable appointments at the Salone del Mobile, with more than 20 annual open-door presentations where past and future coexist within the reach of furnishings. And so year after year the days dedicated to design are reconfirmed as an accurate stratagem to bring the public to the world of furniture using the resonance of fashion. A shameless strategy? We would say more a well-studied plan to rediscover the value of creative collaboration.
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