The green soul of luxury

Petra Ruta

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5 MAG 2017
Low environmental impact, sustainability of products and materials, ecological certification of the supply chain. All of which translates into a haute-couture process. This is the enlightened approach of Visionnaire, which gives interior luxury a new, entirely green heart. On display at the recent Milan design trade fair

“Today, the rules of the game have changed in luxury. No longer is it tied solely to the economic value of the product but is concerned about the less visible aspects involving production with low environmental impact ." Eleonore Cavalli, the artistic director of Visionnaire, has been celebrating a real revolution/evolution that has caught up companies and the whole industry during Milan design week, which has just drawn to a close.

 An intelligent and necessary change in direction prompted by an in-depth study of the world of luxury and interior decoration that looked to the future.  Starting with Pantone 15-0343, renamed "Greenery", which was chosen as the colour of the year for 2017 and is a symbol of this metamorphosis.  It charts a new course for the company and is splendidly represented in the showroom in Piazza Cavour, ten years since its opening, where the spectacular video installation “Cosmical” showed natural landscapes at risk of extinction as a warning and to increase awareness, as well as acting as the backdrop to the capsule collection steeped in the company’s green philosophy.  

“The idea is to experience nature, starting in the home,” continued Eleonore Cavalli. “That’s why our research and development department stated to work on the issue of environmental sustainability, beginning with those products with which we come into close personal contact, firstly sofas and beds.”
Inside the space, the company's proverbial care in choosing materials was tangible, the true DNA of the business, which remains unaltered in this new adventure.  The wood used comes from certified supply chains, in other words, plantations that operate plant repopulation systems. Jute was selected for the springs and the elastic, petrol-based straps of the past were abandoned, while the upholstery was made using plant-based propagation procedures. Feathers have been replaced with hemp, cotton, wool, ramie and kapok while the pillows are stuffed with millet seeds and linen.  The only feathers used are taken from animals already earmarked for slaughter. The natural cladding fabrics are put through a controlled weaving process with precise protocols and then coloured with natural plant dyes.  Chrome tanned hides (white-blue) have been banned in favour of curing with plant dyes (white-white).

 Awareness of environmental issues has even spread to the art in the Piazza Cavour showroom.  Genesis, a one-man exhibition by the Swiss artist, Conrad Jon Godly, curated by Marco Morandini, turned the event into the setting for 13 works, oils on canvass, specifically created for the occasion and featuring textures evocative of primordial forms.  Simultaneously, the Visionnaire showroom in Via Turati launched the first edition of "Artist's Showcases", with a site-specific installation by Enrico Tommaso De Paris.

 

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