Radiant Marigolds, acid-green stripes of dragonflies, the blue brilliance of a sunlit Kingfisher flashing past, neon in nature is hard to beat. But today’s luminous trainers are trying hard.
While I watched in awe as some of the fastest people on earth ran past me at a blistering pace in the marathon on Sunday, I caught beams of fantastic neon feet. A little neon goes a long way.
Neon works best in small flashes of brilliance in the home too. Lettering and signs can look cool indoors and out. The modern neon installation by artist Matthew Creed looks great on the rustic stone walls of Hauser & Wirth’s s farmhouse.
Revolutionary floor couture designer Michaela Schleypen uses neon threads in her award-winning rugs. Cielo captures a luminous clear sky on a summer’s night using neon thread or lustre cotton to enhance the cosmic effect. Modular is another hand-tufted rug with neon threads. Through the combination of the relief surface and geometric pattern, the end result is a stunning optical effect.
Margo Selby has explored neon yarns and colours in her experimental approach to woven patterned textiles to create designs that tie in with the current trend for statement flashes of colour in the home. Inspired by some of her best selling hand woven deflected double cloths a selection of her cushions, rugs and throws have been re-interpreted in bright tones and vibrant fluoros.
The ‘Dogstar’ fabric (shortlisted for the Elle Decoration ‘Best British Pattern’ award) is woven on a striped warp in a double cloth structure which creates an interesting geometric 3D surface effect in bright neon shades of pink, orange, turquoise and lime.
Add a spot of neon and these weaves really light up interiors.
310,840 visitors played at design in the fairgrounds of the Salone del Mobile 2015. On the Sunday of this show, the Holy Mass was celebrated in the auditorium. I like finding a respect for tradition in surprising places.
At Salone, the watchword seemed to be contemporary luxury, artisanal techniques and prized materials. In Milan, every corner sees elegant ancient marble palazzos and the collision of ancient versus modern is nowhere more apparent in the renaissance of marble. I love this majestic stone.
Marble can be organic as discovered in Tau Vases for Citco Marble at Salone, where the fragile aesthetic of the pleated designs belies the solidity of their material.
Marble can be monumentally beautiful as in Jamb’s chimneypieces.
Jamb’s semi-precious antique coloured marbles and black marble are stunning and they probably have the largest collection of antique Sienna in the country. They have a rare 17th century Italian Macchia Vecchia chimneypiece, gorgeous mantels in original Breche marble and even an early 18th century Irish Chimneypeice in black Kilkenny marble flecked with white fossils of shells and coral. The one in this picture is beautifully simple –a George I chimneypiece in the classic Carrara marble.
Marble can be unexpected when printed on textiles and woven as rugs (above)
‘Marble’ is a new rug by one of the most innovative designers Michaela Schleypen, who uses her unique filigree colouring to translate this classic crystalline rock into the softest contemporary rug. Marble has never felt softer!
This new rug captures the beauty of marble, translating this naturally cold stone into warm and luxurious texture. Marble is often associated with classical sculpture and architecture. To replicate its streaky appearance on to a contemporary rug is a true innovation. To do this Michaela uses her finest colour gradation to date, creating the intricate variety of shades found in the grey veining of Italian Carrara marble.
The world and his wife are off to Milan. Today begins the annual pilgrimage to Salone del Mobile (14-19 April) - the world's most keenly awaited furnishings fair and the unofficial start of the design season. Go off-piste to discover the Rossana Orlandi’s gallery or experience The Department Store courtesy of London designer Lee Broom, who has transformed a disused street in quirky British style.
Bernie de Le Cuona weaves some of her finest cashmere and linen in Italy and this year she is also taking her exquisite interior and fashion collection to Milan, where her latest designs will be displayed in a special gallery during the Salone Internazionale del Mobile.
For many years some of the greatest furniture brands have selected de Le Cuona fabric at the Salone and this year de Le Cuona is going to be there during the show. To explore the collections visit de Le Cuona at its pop-up gallery located in the Brera design district:
I Segni del Tempo Sr, Via Marco Formentini 4, 20121 Milano
Discover discreet glamour in the new Rugged Elegance collection that marries master craftsmanship with modern sensibility. Opulent couture cashmere, beautiful embossed linen, lustrous silk velvet and vintage-style paisley draw the true design cognoscenti who love the raw sophistication of de Le Cuona fabric. The luxurious home accessories on show lend a seductive touch to interiors, while the fashion items are all about understated extravagance.