Giorgio Armani’s aesthetic—clean-lined, inventive modernism interpreted in sumptuous materials—translated seamlessly from the runway to the home making Armani Casa, when it launched in 2000, an instant hit with chicsters around the world. The interiors line became a forerunner, too, for the designer’s hospitality brand, Armani Hotels & Resorts and real estate initiatives, Residences by Armani Casa.
As testimony to the line’s great success, Armani Casa just debuted its largest store during this month’s Salone Dei Mobile. It is located on Corso Venezia, close to Milan’s trendy Navigli district.
“Design is an essential part of my ideal lifestyle, and this new store gives me the opportunity of showing my entire collection for the home,” Armani says. ‘It’s an imposing, though not monumental, property, which is envisaged as a studio – flexible, versatile and constantly evolving.”
As you would expect from Armani, the space is an embodiment of directional style. Thin, vertical slit-platinum metal mesh screens hung on street-side windows filter light from the outside, The Logo Lamp, created in 1982, features as a motif in every window, its image visible through the mesh screens. A symbol of Armani Casa, this lamp design is also referenced inside, carved in the wood panels that cover the ground- floor walls. A sleek sculptural staircase in pale oak, the interior’s signature wood, connects all the store’s levels. The underside of the staircase is covered in a mother-of-pearl-like material. Interior spaces appear to stretch and shrink, thanks to the metal mesh, an ethereal concept that creates veil-like separations among the different settings. Hung between double-mesh screens, large decorative panels–prints on transparent acetate–reproduce collection patterns, including graphic details of rugs, textiles and wallpaper. A streamlined design of tables and displays was created, according to Armani Casa, to underscore a sense of a constantly evolving creativity.
Organized on four floors, the store also acts as showroom for the entire collection. Seasonal introductions including furniture, lamps, upholstered pieces and accessories are displayed on the ground floor; accessories, wallpaper and fabrics are showcased on the mezzanine; and the first floor houses the permanent collection, with limited-edition and iconic pieces. The basement contains technical products: kitchens with accessories, bathrooms with wall and floor coverings, and textiles.
For the latest collection the main color is platinum, with ornaments and accessories in red and green..There are new pieces and reinterpreted classics from previous years, for example The Logo Lamp, the Levante screen, the Jazz Bar cabinet, the Danzica low table, The Seine tables (in the new Matrix rendition) and Riesling bar cabinets. Armani has always experimented with shape and form in fashion, which he does similarly for his interior design, reimagining furniture contours and structures to give them an airy, weightless quality; utilizing ultra-thin layers of rich materials; and devising furniture and objects with seamless lines and enveloping shapes. The bed Morfeo is an example of this design approach, with its sleek curve design from headboard to footboard. For an extensive collection of decorative objects, metals and lacquered surfaces contrast with natural materials and beige and brown woods alternate with rare fabrics for a new take on blending past and present. Armani Casa in New York: 979 Third Avenue. The new collection will be available in October and November.
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