Milan 2023 – the colours, part one

Milan design week. My reports from the design week continue and I will in two section talk about the colours. First out – apricot and neutural, earthy combinations. Tomorrow we will look at more stand out colours like electric green and Lego yellow.

A few weeks have passed and Internet is now full of people and magazines listing favourite exhibitions and perhaps products. Gubi seems to get most attention from this week. I will do my report by talking about colours.

Apricot crush

Fashion website WGSN has already announced apricot crush to be colour of 2024. See here. And yes, I also agree from the design week in Milan that this is the main dominant colour. It is a colour that is somewhere between terracotta and beige. A little hint of pink is in there.

There is a huge variation of the colour and in general – super difficult to photograph. A lot of times the picture looks nothing like real life.

This dusty, almost terracotta beige have been seen a lot already. Especially in walls, podiums and places where you put the furniture, but now also on the actual furniture.

Where to start? Why not with colour company Kerakoll? They of course work a lot with this colour. What you can see in this installation is how they want to endorse texture. And I think this is something we will see more of. We have talked about tactility before but there is a new kind of texture.

Also look at the new fabric by Bouroullec for Kvadrat. Apricot and with texture.

And here at Mutina. The apricot is so neutural that it needs a “friend”. Here a navy blue.

Same apricot with colour buddies. At Convey.

Here apricot with blue and green at Hermes.

Already last year I could see this apricot beige together with an 80s green hue. Also this year. Here at Alcova.

Same green by Muller van Severen for Kvadrat.

Softer pastells with apricot at Kerakoll.

Proper apricot on the floor but matched with other colours at Kerakoll. Also interesting to see how the colour that was all over the scene in 2021 and 2022 now is almost gone. I am of course talking about olive green.

But of course also works with white. Here also at Alcova. Brand is De Marchi.

On the wall at Cassina.

Background at Palazzo Litta from Gianni Cinti.

It can also have a bit of yellow to it. Again at Kerakoll.

At Moroso.

At Zanotta

Mutina again. Almost orange.

Here with a dark navy blue, grey and eggshell at Poltrona Frau.

At Arper.

At Pedrali

Almost terracotta or orange.

And of course on lamps. Here at Vibia. And this matching colour combination leads us to the next chapter of this story…

The neuturals

I wanted to separate this story from apricot crush. It is about whites but also warm, sandy hues. It is something that we see continue from previous year. Yes, I am surprised. I thought we would be all about new colours and colour combinations. I will talk more about the other colours tomorrow but we need to talk about the elephant in the room – yes, white is still trending.

You can for instance look at the most talked about exhibition from the design week in Milan which is Gubi. Amazing setting, nice furniture. But it was all about the white notes.

Amazing in all senses – but all neutural colours.

You can of course argue and say that there were other colours here too, but it’s like it is all very safe. Nothing provocative. And that is fine. Just very neutural.

You can also look at an amazing exhibition like the one by Faye Toogood for Maison Matisse. Gorgeous, gorgeous. But all in neutural colours.

And it continues like this. As I see it everyone keeps listing Gubi, Faye Toogood and picture above (Cristina Celestino at Clay Court) as the best of the design week. And what do they have in common? Neutural colour combinations. Not all white but neutural.

I want to say that this softness and niceness can have more intensity but it is like a very, soft and warm hue. Perhaps because the world is harsh and complex? Here at Sancal.

Here at Blå Station.

Of course one could argue that this is a continuation of the apricot crush I mention above, but that apricot is much more “trendy”. And this usage of neutrual colours are more about niceness. Do you see what I mean?

I could even include these strong colours in this trend. It is about warmth, calm and round shapes. Here at Artemest.

More whiter neuturals at Kettal

Both pictures from Cimenta.

David Chipperfield for Kasthall.

Again – soft and nice at Moroso.

At Mosca

Even Dior gets nice…

I would say we are starting to see more plastics. I will come back to that with the other colours tomorrow but yes, plastics are back. Here a neutural white chair on terracotta. At Alcova.

Lots of white plastics at Nilufar Gallery.

White at Louis Vuitton.

White at Hermes (eventhough the colour makes is softer)

White furniture at Mosca.

White at Gufram.

Same place as Gufram is this installation by Formafantasma for Tacchini. At Spazio Maiocchi.

Perhaps these neutural colours is the same fascination as for straw and hay? A neutural, dried colour. Here at Loewe.

Also Loewe. An amazing exhibition.

Raw and neutural colours at Ethimo.

And just last picture. A hint of green and a hint of pink, but lots of neuturals. At La Manufacture.

Tomorrow we will be more energetic with blue, green, pink and super important colour of 2023 – yellow.


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