Right at the heels of unveiling his latest haute couture collection in Paris, Giorgio Armani presented the latest selection of Armani/Casa furniture and accessories at the Armani/Silos during Salone del Mobile event in Milan.
In the brutalist spaces of the Silos, a veritable exhibition comes to life following the designer’s typical language of evocative re-workings and subtractions.
With a sequence of striking settings that set the pieces in context, onlookers are able to feel and imagine the creative journey that leads from the starting point to the finished piece of furniture, grasping its essence in an emotional way.
This unique display is echoed in the windows of the Armani/Casa store in Corso Venezia, where a new kitchen concept will also be presented during the Salone del Mobile.
“In recent years, I have focused on the essential aspects of my style lexicon. This exhibition, devised to mark the return of the Salone del Mobile in attendance, is a way of traversing my aesthetics in its salient aspects, highlighting connections, suggestions, and references.,” says Giorgio Armani.
The Exhibition Design
This exhibition marks the first time that the Italian designer is using the spaces of the Silos to create an exhibition that offers an immersive and emotional experience in the Armani/Casa world.
The exhibition unravels like a clear path through the inspirations, founding themes and recurring references of Armani/Casa: the 1930s and 1940s, the atmospheres and aesthetics of the Orient, China and Japan in particular, travel, and the world of nature.
Introduced by a projection of Logo Lamps — the archetype of Armani living conceived by the designer in 1982 — and concluded by a behind-the-scenes view that makes the creative process tangible, the exhibition presents eight themes for eight environments, each one enlivened by a moving backdrop.
Starting with water, a symbol of life and regeneration, the picture evokes calmness and peacefulness: a liquid, submerged environment welcomes and mixes natural references and 1930s and 1940s elegance, captured in the rugged texture of shagreen, reproduced on the leather that covers the STENDHAL secretaire and the ANTOINETTE coiffeuse with concealed interior.
Sophisticated materials and special finishes are a recurring feature of Armani/Casa: precious linear touches reminiscent of Art Deco in the shapes, in the use of wood, marble, quartz and shells.
In this picture, tactile sensations become space, defined by mother-of-pearl mosaic tiles: a hypnotic and valuable effect amplified in every piece of furniture, as in the OLIVIA desk.
Fabric, a connective element between fashion and furnishings, is the focus of the picture defined by notes of teal and the fluid movement of silk. The versatility of this material, a precious textile par excellence, is reflected in the idea of comfort in an intimate setting that welcomes the MORFEO bed, with its suspended structure.
The balance of finishes, textures, and treatments, resolved in the wavy linearity that pleases the eye and the sense of touch, refers in an abstract way to traditional elements of Japan and its domestic architecture, evoked in the picture characterized by treated linen panels, crossed by a geometric pattern of lacquered red lines.
Here we find the CLUB bar cabinet with its lacquered surface, which reveals an unexpected interior upholstered in jacquard silk with a fan design, along with the PURO coffee tables and the ONDA chaise longue.
The extreme rarefaction of Oriental aesthetics is evoked with an abstract taste in the space devoted to China, which houses the JYLIA chairs in lacquered wood, arranged to create a symbolic four-lobed figure, within an environment entirely clad in black. There is a powerful contrast between red, the color of joy and good fortune, and the space cancelled out by non-color.
The plant world is also a constant echo in Armani’s lexicon. The vertical flow of bamboo, the element of choice, on which the dragonfly rests lightly, is the backdrop to SIDE, the wood screen in thinly ribbed paulownia and to a number of other lightweight pieces, almost defying the laws of gravity: the SHARON chair, with its Canaletto wood contours, both compact and elegant, and the SUITE valet stand with its retro charm.
Nature, travel and the discovery of exoticism are represented by the painting dedicated to the tiger, the feline that dominates the current year in the Chinese zodiac. Never literal, Giorgio Armani has chosen to evoke its coat, with almost surreal taste, in the SAO PAULO fabric that drapes the curved RENOIR sofa.
The balance between local tradition and distant cultures, and the dialogue between past and present, are also recalled in the picture dedicated to the sailing ship. Here we find the PASCAL armchair, inspired by the seats of early 20th century ocean liners, with traditional finishes enhanced by pairing them with contemporary materials such as resin and methacrylate, and the SPACE table, in Canaletto walnut with plexiglass legs.
Photos courtesy of Casa/Armani