Each April, Milan is transformed into the design capital of the world for Salone del Mobile; the largest interiors and architecture exhibition on the planet. Our Vic and Izzy were Little Red Rooster’s eyes on the ground once again, seeking out the latest and greatest the show has to offer. For those not in the know, Salone comprises an astonishing 22 halls at Rho Fiera and a further five districts in the centre of town, jam-packed with displays, presentations and exhibitions – and our girls were ready to pound the pavements in style.
This year, thanks to Smeg announcing its partnership with Dolce & Gabbana, team LRR were joined by five top journalists across the print, digital and social media spectrum: Vogue’s Sam Rogers; HELLO! Fashion Monthly’s style editor Rachel Story and Thea Darricotte, executive editor at Conde Nast Traveller. As well as the UK’s number one, award-winning interiors blogger Kate Watson-Smyth and fashion influencer and model Ella Catliff, of La Petite Anglaise fame.
After jetting into Linate airport and being greeted by the blazing sunshine – temperatures in Italy hit the mid-twenties – we were whisked off to our luxury residence, the NH Milano Touring Hotel. We were then treated to glasses of fizz after some initial group bonding – just what the doctor ordered following a busy morning travelling!
It was then time to get our gladrags on, as we were soon ferried to Milan’s stunning Metropol for the D&G launch, the iconic venue of its runway shows. The venue is an absolute belter; a former cinema, a long, glossy runway divides theatre-style seating underneath the illusion of a starry sky. The initial entrance to the venue is somewhat unassuming, but step behind the floor-to-ceiling velvet red curtain and it’s a different story.
The catwalk was lined with traditional Sicilian market stalls, each one dedicated to an item from the collection (including kettles, toasters, stand mixers, citrus juicers, slow juicers and coffee machines). Traditional breads, cakes, Limoncello and citrus juices were on offer as guests made their way down the runway towards the spectacle at the end, where party-goers were invited to get ‘hands on’ with various products from the range. You could learn to make pasta just like mama used to, using the pasta-rolling attachment on the stand mixer, or squeeze your own fresh, healthy juices via the citrus and slow juicers – all while dressed up in traditional Sicilian fare. We had so much fun getting to grips with the products – plus, by posting to Instagram and using the dedicated hashtags #dgsmeg and #dgsicilyismylove, you were in with the chance of winning an item from the collection. We couldn’t believe it when, upon our return, we discovered that our very own Kate was crowned the winner!
Following the Sicilian spectacle, we made our way to a rustic restaurant just around the corner, where we enjoyed a delicious four-course spread of courgette and blue cheese parfait, classic beef lasagne, veal wellington and hot chocolate fondant with hazelnut ice cream. Needless to say, there were several stuffed bellies round the table that night.
The next morning, we headed to the grand opening of Smeg’s flagship showroom in central Milan, which can be found in the heart of the Brera design district. The new store is a clean, crisp display of all items found in Smeg’s product portfolio, while the shop window is adorned with a trio of hand-painted FAB28 fridges from its Dolce & Gabbana Frigorifero d’Arte collection. It was then time to say farewell to our guests, who were headed back to London; our girls however were staying on in the city to check out what else Salone had to offer. Come back tomorrow to check out what they got up to!