Hildy Kovacs on her latest European design foray
Staying at the forefront of international design inspiration means getting up close with the newest style. For Hildy Kovacs this means regular research trips to various international design shows. After visiting New York recently she continued on to Milan where the International Furniture Fair was being held.
This show attracts thousands of exhibitors each year, and includes work from the kitchen, bathroom, lighting and furniture sectors, covering all aspects of home and a certain amount of commercial design.
Hildy has been visiting this show for over a decade. In this time she’s seen the event move from the old showgrounds, where the fair was more closely linked to Italian furniture, to a new purpose-built architecturally stunning location where the best in the world gather to display innovative new designs.
According to Hildy the new venue alone is worth the 45 minutes from the central railway station on a trip that is “so packed you’re standing back to back or front with no breathing space for the whole duration.”
Then there’s the show itself. “This is a show that is worthy of visiting even just once to see the best of the best,” she said. “It’s an experience that will leave all those passionate about home design, all those interested in shape, color and texture, inspired to do their best.”
This year was she said, “as busy as ever”. Within such a huge tapestry of potential inspiration the many different approaches with design, fabric and construction can “make things all too complicated at times,” said Hildy. The difference in true quality shone through however. “For those who are truly talented such options enable them to display their true abilities, understanding and depth of the craft.”
Much of this quality was centered upon a few key focuses this year. “A large influence in design has been centered around the Scandinavian arena,” said Hildy. “A lot of the product in Milan was based on the work of a group of mid-century designers, like Wegner Jacobsen and Ditzel to name a few,” she added. “It’s beautiful, functional and very now.”
“The Italians are also masters at producing product that is accepted universally and sold the world over,” said Hildy. Even with heavy international competition from cheap, inferior copies, and the global recession, Hildy believes the revival in sales over the last twelve months has everything “looking far more positive” for well-designed furniture.