Latex, silicone and squeaky pink surfaces bring an altogether different design experience to Fuorisalone. WGSN Lifestyle & Interiors Editor Sarah Housley reports
Design duo Atelier Biagetti stole the show at last year’s Milan Design Week, taking a sideways look at athleisure, wellness and the rise of the fashionable work-out in their Body Building collection. Fast-forward to 2016 and their new exhibition No Sex is just as on-point, exploring the world of sex, fetish and intimacy through materials and textures that are usually to be found in adults-only boutiques rather than in the home.
Latex lighting, silicone seating and skintone-like rose gold pair with squishy, yielding textures and arch neon lighting to create an environment that is clinical but fetishistic, spa-inspired, but at the same time, like no spa you’ve ever seen. This is wellness, but with an arched eyebrow and a flash of skin.
Products are paired, a masculine version speaking to a feminine version, and objects invite interaction: stools emit a squeaky sigh when you sit on them, and the medical cabinet-inspired lighting is activated by a pink bellow that’s placed at foot level. Materials appear conventional at first glance, but reveal a softer, stickier reality on closer inspection: what looks like glazed pink ceramic is actually the type of silicone that’s used to make vibrators.
No Sex’s aesthetic is very much in line with the conceptual drivers of WGSN’s S/S 16 macro trend, Soft Pop, which sees gender roles and performative norms shifting radically, and kitsch hijacked to subversive effect.
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