At the Kartell stand at Il Salone del Mobile this year, the focus was solely on the 16 new offerings. No decorative elements to distract, no bright colours to sway opinion; just new designs in black and white (or clear, rather) to keep all attention on the matter at hand.
The star of the show was, of course, the Magic Hole Chair and Sofa by Philippe Starck and Eugeni Quitllet, but through the throngs of visitors and security guards, other highlights were to be found throughout the space.
Also by Starck with Eugeni Quitllet was the Masters chair, a contemporary Kartell mash-up of elements from the Series 7 chair by Arne Jacobsen, Eero Saarinen's Tulip Armchair and the Eiffel Chair by Charles Eames. All three backs morph into one and meet along the perimeter of the chair.
Bloom is a lamp of polycarbonate flowers designed by Ferruccio Laviani. Although not on display, the announced pink and black version of this lamp should be spectacular.
Front Page is a magazine and newspaper rack designed by Sweden's Front in the form of pages blowing open in the wind. Its practical size makes this piece a tidy and elegant home or office accessory.
Another unusual item was Patricia Urquiola's Comback Chair, an update on the 18th century Windsor chair, but with seven "teeth" that make up the backrest.
The Moon bowls by Mario Bellini are designed to look like lunar caps from both the inside and out, a new addition to the line that started with the Dune trays.
And, of course, one of the chairs from Tokujin Yoshioka's Invisibles collection, without being buried in a mass of snowflakes. All in all, a stronger showing this year.