Maison et Objet 2018
Arriving to a rainy Paris didn't dampen my excitement for the two days I had to enjoy Maison et Objet this year. This is the second time I've attended M&O and it is such an important event in the design calender for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is enormous! It is one of the biggest European trade fairs and houses a huge number of brands, designers and companies presenting their latest creations. M&O are now clearly distinguishing three different areas of the show, Maison covers interior decoration, Objet is the retail marketplace and Influences covers the more innovative and creative elements of design and overall M&O reigns supreme as one of the best places to discover the largest amount of talent and reach a hugely varied professional market.
Secondly, as it's scheduled in January it offers a sneaky peek into what is to come throughout the year as far as trends are concerned. You are quite likely to see new talent at Maison et Objet who will be established design stars by the time Salone di Mobile arrives in April. You also get an idea of what colours and textures designers are using and then the fun bit is deciphering all of these clues to give strong trend predictions for the year ahead.
As there is such a huge amount to cover I will try and give you a glimpse into as many exciting products and brands as I can, starting off with some of the big players, namely those luxury brands who inhabit Hall 8 Scenes d'Interieur. Beautiful collections are presented by Ligne Roset, Missoni Home, Cinna, Cielo and Baxter Made in Italy and there are many more. It is quite easy to get absorbed in here marvelling at the stunning array of furniture presented in sumptuous fabrics and striking colours.
Ligne Roset's stand was designed by Francesca Avossa Studio and the company were celebrating the design editions/re-editions of Pierre Paulin's furniture, namely the Bonnie sofa and chair orginally created in 1975 and seen here, below left, and on the right is the Sintra sofa designed by Noe Duchaufour Lawrence- you may notice a colour trend beginning to emerge already!!!
Unmistakable Missoni Home presented a stand full of signature style which inevitably included their trademark zigzags but as you will notice their use of lavender with monochrome creates a more subdued palette. Their main stand displayed colourful animal head masks, which was also a recurring theme throughout the entire show.
In contrast to the refined glamour there was also an overwhelming abundance of colour with lots of big, bold colours and prints. Two of my favourite stands, for entertainment value alone, were Seletti with their playful, pop art and clashing prints, and Jimmie Martin, who were exhibiting at M&O for the first time, with their Karl Lagerfeld inspired Naughty Angel! Both stands were incredibly popular - it seems the crowds were drawn to the maximalist, in-your-face and undeniably anarchic designs from both design houses.
As far as my vote for the best stand is concerned, I award it to CC Tapis, the rug company. They presented a number of beautifully designed rugs, somehow creating an entirely different atmosphere within their few square meters of display space. Placing their Patricia Urquiola 'Rotazioni' rug within it's own small space, framed within an arch was exceptionally beautiful and felt more like being in an art gallery than at a trade show. Their Mae Engelgeer pieces in Himlayan wool and reflecting the shapes of the Memphis movement were stunning. However, my favourite rug was from, in my eyes, one of the current rising stars of the design world, Elena Salmistraro and her Cartesian Outline.
She would have been a busy lady with her work appearing at a number of different stands such as Bosa where her Primate vases caused such a stir when they were revealed at M&O 2017 - they were back again this year, part of, as previously mentioned, a strong animalistic masks trend!
Other notable stands were Tom Dixon and their new line of textiles, Houtique from Spain had a jaw-droppingly gorgeous stand with the highlight being their 'Wink' light and then the super cool French designers La Chance were taking textured walls to a new level! The Portuguese luxury furniture movement epitomised by Boca do Lobo, Brabbu, Delightfull et al, cuddled together under the Covet House umbrella - had an unmistakable presence and along with other no less significant brands such as Ginger and Jagger, Rug Society and Royal Stranger, Portugal has been placed very firmly on the design map.