1 Venus bookshelf by Fabio Novembre for Driade
If you value wit, humour and intellect, you can’t not like the works of architect-designer Fabio Novembre. He’s that guy who designed last year’s two-legged falling Adaptation sofa for Capellini (as a commentary on the contemporary world) and 2008’s Him & Her that marry the structure of the iconic Panton chair with inspiration from the Book of Genesis, resulting in chairs shaped like the naked body. This time, he has taken liberty to encase Canova’s semi-nude Venus in wooden shelves, ostensibly to help cover up the most intimate parts of her body. Actual books look good on the Driade bookcase too.
2 Liquefy tables by Patricia Urquiola for Glas Italia
I’m reminded of a Solero popsicle melting into a puddle before running down the sides of a table, but this extra-light tempered glass table by possibly the world’s most prolific female industrial designer — Patricia Urquiola — is so distinctive, it’s immediately captured my attention. With its faded veins, those so inclined can even blink and imagine it as a gigantic chunk of aventurine, emerald, garnet or jade. What’s also of note is that green is totally on trend for this upcoming season with numerous new releases at April’s Milan Furniture Fair flaunting the hue — often in tandem with the reigning colour of the year, millennial pink. Urquiola, of course, is a soothsaying crowd pleaser who released Liquefy in both green and pink.
3 Colette armchair by Rodolfo Dordoni for Minotti
No listicle on premium contemporary furniture is complete without Minotti, the Italian brand that so singularly defines elegance, discernment and long-lasting quality. It may be the Ermenegildo Zegna of furniture makers, with its meticulous craftsmanship and exceedingly timeless designs, but thank you long-time collaborator Rodolfo Dordoni for introducing some welcomed personality this year. All hail the Colette, a head-turner with an external metal structure assembled and welded at more than 300 points. Lustrous in light gold and black nickel, it’s like accessorising a classic business suit with decorative cufflinks.
4 Perch Light Tree by Umut Yamac for Moooi
Those with ornithophobia, cover your eyes. London-based architect-designer Umut Yamac has added to Moooi’s Perch Light family. From one bird sitting on its perch (2014) to five birds on a branch (2016), now, Yamac is offering up an entire chandelier of the origami fowls. Folded from actual synthetic paper and lighted from the inside, each bird rocks back and forth at the slightest touch or breeze. Fans of Moooi will know that the brand takes its name from the Dutch word for beauty but with an additional “o” to signify an extra touch of unique beauty. This growing family of now two-dozen luminous birds is perhaps the best illustration of what brand founders Marcel Wanders and Casper Vissers intended all those years ago.
5 Harmony bathroom console by Alessandro La Spada for Visionnaire
There’s really not much need to explain why I’m fixated on, of all things, a bathroom console. Just look at it, and fall in love. There’s side panels in jolie grey marble carved with low relief and inlays; lots of beautiful brushed steel and an immaculately white marble top. Visionnaire has the tendency to go overtly swanky with its striking use of plush fabrics, satinised metals and curvaceous forms, but this one is almost reductive and, well, harmonious.
For a full coverage of the 2017 Milan Furniture Fair, refer to your copy of Prestige Living, now available together with our June issue.