Launching on the occasion of Milan Design Week (17-22 April 2018), Softening the Senses responds to the predominance of hard surfaces in today’s interiors. Stepping off the cement streets of Milan into the showroom of Vescom – the international manufacturer of wallcoverings, upholstery and curtain fabrics – visitors enter an elegant space defined by classical arches. The atmosphere is different here: there’s comfort, ease, silence.
Softening the Senses centres on two brand-new acoustic curtain fabrics: Corsica and Capri. Set to enter Vescom’s collection in early May, the products – which float like bubbles at the showroom’s core – expand on an earlier series. ‘Our acoustic curtain fabrics were initially white and neutral,’ says Christiane Müller, Vescom’s design director. ‘But now they’ve graduated to become materials in their own right. We use different yarns for texture, a play between matte and shiny.’
But what really sets the curtain fabrics apart is the fact that they’re translucent – a factor that seems at odds with sound absorption. ‘All fabrics have acoustic qualities of course,’ says Müller. ‘Velvet would have a similar sound-reducing effect. But our fabrics are so light and translucent. They connect, rather than divide, space. Corsica and Capri are also extremely soft yet strong and high performing. They’re much more than they seem.’
materials come to life
Instead of simply presenting new offerings in a showroom format, Vescom offers visitors the chance to experience its products in an immersive environment. ‘We’re letting the materials come to life,’ says Massimo Clerici, managing director of Vescom Italia. By layering diverse structures and materials, Vescom creates a rich tactile tapestry throughout the space.
Surrounding the central curtained zone, a grid of upholstered wall panels features luxurious new fabrics such as Lamu and Wolin in harmonious pastels. The warm neutral palette extends to the soft furnishings on show.
Softening the Senses reveals the subtle connections between Vescom’s complete collection. ‘All of our products are linked,’ says Müller, who highlights the recurrence of materials, colours and textures among the brand’s various ranges. Wallcoverings, upholstery and curtain fabrics can be used together in one scheme. ‘They’re different products but they have the same signature; they’re from the same hand. Architects have the freedom to play with the collections in whichever way they choose. There’s the possibility to create crossovers with furniture, installations and wallcoverings.’ By tapping into this ‘world of Vescom’, says Müller, designers can provide interior solutions with one atmosphere and ambience.
a view to the outside
Architects also have the option to add their own signature to Vescom products with customized high-quality digital printed wallcoverings. A James Turrell-inspired print – a view to the outside that enters the interior – completes the picture in Milan, but in reality anything is possible. ‘Architects can make their own statements and tell their own stories.’
Supplying wares for hotels, restaurants and offices across the globe, Vescom ensures its products last the distance. ‘Longevity is extremely important to us,’ says Müller. ‘When you see how some beautiful materials age so poorly, you realize they’re not made for heavy use. Ours are.’
Following the conclusion of Milan Design Week, Softening the Senses will remain on show in Vescom’s Milan showroom for a longer period.
Vescom showroom Italia
Foro Bonaparte 50
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