24 Hours in Milan
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Janel Laban
Apr 14, 2011

Maxwell had a head start. As I was arriving in Italy, he already had two days under his belt to acclimate to the crowds, the caffeine buzz and the full on design overload that is Salone. I had no choice except to grab my camera, the press pass, a map of Milan and climb on board — the train to the fiera was leaving the station whether I was ready or not…

Milan, Wednesday, 9am: Breakfast (with cappuccino number one) at the hotel

10am: Disembark from Line #6 at Rho and blend into the sea of press, designers, buyers and furniture fanatics from all of the world. Wall to wall people moving as one through the train station and into the main gate of the fair.

10:15: After a quick espresso in the press room, I hit the show floor. In which hall should I start? "Modern", "Design" or "Traditional"? I split the difference and go for "Design".

Target bookshelf by Nendo
Super shiny "puffer jacket" sofa at Roche Bobois
Smart small space solution coffeetable with tucked under seating cushion at Italsofa
Metal versions of inflatable furniture - Zieta from Poland

13:00: Find Maxwell in the press room. We planned to meet and grab a lunch together. Instead, we start sharing photos of good things we had each seen that morning and end up skipping the meal in exchange for a session of favorite photography tips and tricks and yes, a final cappuccino.

13:45: Back on the floor until 18:00 when we have to head into the center of Milan for the party circuit.

Led Net Line Lighting by Michele De Lucchi and Alberto Nason
Handmade sofa at Joquer
Reclaimed wood and metal shelving at Haut Materia
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Biomorphic desk lamp by Ross Lovegrove

20:00: Sat down with Max for a quick drink at a sidewalk cafe to check the map and firm up the plan for the evening. Picked our first party and got detailed walking directions from our waiter, his coworkers and a friendly couple sitting next to us. The group effort on the best route paid off and and before I know it, we were walking through the design district which is dressed up for Salone.

21:00: Arrive at the Baccarat party in. Big, buzzy and a crowd of party guests at the door, being invited in by the team of doorpeople armed with a really, really long guest list.

Milan, Thursday, 12:30 am: Finish dinner and get on the frighteningly long taxi line for a ride back to the hotel. Crash, rinse, repeat.

9:00: Writing this post on my laptop while eating breakfast, heading back for round two as soon as I hit save.

Coverage posts from Maxwell and myself start today - stay tuned!

Images: 1 - 12 Janel Laban, 13 -14 Maxwell Gillingham Ryan

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