Milan 2013: New British at Vivienne Westwood

One of Milan’s hottest party’s this year was New British at Vivienne Westwood, with a line around the block even after the party was over. The exhibition that everybody was there to see was a collaboration with 100% Design and a celebration of the small-scale, high-quality furniture and lighting production that is seeing somewhat of a revival in the UK.


A curated selection of products across a range of design disciplines showcased a new British confidence in high-quality, often local materials and craftsmanship.

100% Design Show Director William Knight said: “We are privileged to work in conjunction with one of the world’s leading fashion innovators. This initiative in the Vivienne Westwood store during this year’s Salone Internazionale del Mobile is a reflection of our commitment to promoting the best in British design today.”


This Wire Light by Deadgood is a great example of modern British Design.


Kirath Ghundoo’s wallpaper was another example of the enduring trend for all things geometric and I loved the color palette and the way it was displayed within the shop in loose rolls. Kirath is based in County Durham, Northern Ireland.


One of the real successes of this exhibition was how well the products fitted into their environment. Donna Wilson’s Earnest Pouffes for SCP look almost like they were designed for this little space at the end of a rail of fabulous clothes.


I love the Odd Couple Bench by Plant & Moss. It is handmade in Britain using traditional wood turning and steam bending skills.


Samuel Wilkinson designed the Vessel light for Decode to celebrate his Plumen 001 bulb – the concept was inspired by a traditional ‘ship in bottle’ – and I was very honored to meet the man himself at the event!


This side table is by Hong Kong-born designer Samuel Chan for his own label, Channels – as is the light in the window display. Channels products are made in their workshop in Shropshire.


It’s not often you see a piece of furniture with a completely new form; a new solution to a problem. James Smith’s Uma Clothes Stand offers an alternative to the slightly shameful clothes-covered chair in everybody’s bedroom.


The Bridge Armchair is by Matthew Hilton for Case Furniture and is available in oak or walnut finishes. Case was also exhibiting at Edit by Design Junction – more of that later!


Tristick II by Charles Trevelyan for Viable London is a collection of individual candle sticks designed to communicate the complexity of a candelabra when grouped together. They look slightly like they might walk across the table of their own accord!


This green version of Bethan Gray’s Brogue Side Table was originally designed for the Maggie’s Joy of Living Project. The detailing is equally seductive in white or green and I’m a big fan of this little table.


Deadgood Ltd’s Loved Up Chair, Niche London’s Fractional Side Table and the Clamp Lamp by Plant & Moss made this little corner quite the gentleman’s retreat.


And last but not least, another roll of Kirath Ghundoo’s wallpaper provided the perfect backdrop for this cheeky little ‘Stool 1 in Red’ by Another Country.

Katie Treggiden is a purpose-driven journalist, author and, podcaster championing a circular approach to design – because Planet Earth needs better stories. She is also the founder and director of Making Design Circular, a program and membership community for designer-makers who want to join the circular economy. With 20 years' experience in the creative industries, she regularly contributes to publications such as The Guardian, Crafts Magazine and Monocle24 – as well as being Editor at Large for Design Milk. She is currently exploring the question ‘can craft save the world?’ through an emerging body of work that includes her fifth book, Wasted: When Trash Becomes Treasure (Ludion, 2020), and a podcast, Circular with Katie Treggiden.