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NAVIGATING SALONE Photographer Piotr Niepsuj

Photographer Piotr Niepsuj / MUAH Andrea Severino Sailis / Interview Jordan Anderson / Special Thanks 10 Corso Como

Full look PRADA.

NAVIGATING SALONE Photographer Piotr Niepsuj


NAVIGATING SALONE Photographer Piotr Niepsuj

Full look MARNI.


Dan Thawley is renowned for his multifaceted expertise across the industries of fashion, art and design, seamlessly intertwining fashion and design realms. Notably, his tenure as editor-in-chief at A Magazine Curated By saw him collaborating with iconic names such as Giambattista Valli, Rodarte, and Thom Browne, showcasing his profound understanding of creative expression across various mediums. Beyond editorial pursuits, Thawley's consultancy work with esteemed fashion houses like Chanel and Dior underscores his influence in shaping the industry's narrative. Enter Matter and Shape, Thawley's latest endeavor in partnership with Milanese strategic consulting firm P:S, and French Salon experts WSN. Their recent debut in Paris during fashion week marked a milestone, presenting a curated fair that bridged the gap between fashion and design. As Salone Del Mobile approaches, Thawley stands at the intersection of these dynamic worlds, ready to illuminate the upcoming event and the ongoing evolution of Matter and Shape. In the midst of the excitement of the week, Matter and Shape will be hosting a design exhibition with the German lighting company Grau, «they'll be showing their Bonfire sculpture for the first time in Italy. In conjunction with the Italian cultural agency Threes Productions, we will host a reading session of Frankenstein by Office for a Human Theatre, evoking the idea of ancient human communion around the campfire,» he explains.

Thawley's passion for design and innovation shines through as he also expresses excitement for the diverse range of events and exhibitions scheduled during the week. «Some of my must-see events and exhibitions at Milan Design Week definitely include Formafantasma's beautiful show La Casa Dentro at ICA Milano, as well as seeing friends show their new designs at the satellite fair Alcova - this time at the beautiful Villa Borsani outside Milan. I'll be watching some of the Prada Frames talks about 'the home' at Museo Bagatti Valsecchi (that will become podcasts with koozArch so everyone can listen), and also checking the homewares projects of fashion houses like Loewe, Hermès and Gucci too» he shares. He also looks forward to exploring innovative materials like Dzek's 'Flaxwood' flooring project, and the Japanese tile brand Danto's project with his friend India Mahdavi, and lots of beautiful lighting, carpet and ceramics projects around the city from people like FLOS and Bitossi Ceramiche, Wonderglass, and CC-Tapis.

Reflecting on Matter and Shape, unlike the sprawling Salone Del Mobile, the event distinguishes itself by offering a singular experience in the heart of Paris in a tent in the Jardin des Tuileries during fashion week. «The point of hosting the event during Paris Fashion Week was to break boundaries between brands and designers with new audiences who work in different disciplines than design but appreciate it and understand it, or are learning to,» says Thawley. While Salone Del Mobile encompasses hundreds if not thousands of events across Milan, Matter and Shape presents a concentrated opportunity in Paris for people to discover designers, learn about design, and interact with both objects and individuals.

Thawley's vision for Matter and Shape challenges traditional design values by embracing a mix of genres, from industrial to artisanal and collectible to accessible. «With MATTER and SHAPE we are challenging the value system of design by mixing up genres, industrial and artisanal, collectible and more accessible,» he explains. This approach creates a narrative experience for guests and exhibitors alike, fostering a contemporary environment where discovery and surprise remain essential. A transversal approach to design at Matter and Shape was essential for Thawley, reflecting the current cultural climate where disciplinary boundaries are increasingly blurred. «A transversal approach to design at MATTER and SHAPE was non-negotiable. It is how I have always consumed culture - I think it is a sign of the times,» he affirms. This inclusive approach questions the value and transparency of traditional and emerging design practices, allowing people to gravitate towards what resonates with them authentically. Thawley envisions Matter and Shape as a platform that bridges design, industry, and craft, catering to diverse needs and fostering collaboration and innovation. The salon provides a space for architects, decorators, young enthusiasts, and professionals to interact and engage with design on various levels.

In terms of longevity, Matter and Shape's dynamic concept allows it to evolve with changing trends and consumer preferences. «For me, the beauty of our concept is that it can remain very dynamic and shift with the times,» notes Thawley. By remaining adaptable and responsive to industry shifts, the salon aims to deliver fresh experiences and surprises to its audience with each edition. The selection process for exhibitors at Matter and Shape involved creating a global shortlist of designers and companies and issuing an open call for projects. Each exhibitor was selected based on compatibility with the salon's vision, ensuring a diverse and compelling range of participants from Lobmeyr crystal to Pin-Up Home, Rick Owens and Older Studio, among others. Thawley's background in culture & fashion journalism informs Matter and Shape's vision and direction, leveraging his network to curate engaging content and experiences. «Having edited and written for magazines for 15 years, I was able to call upon my fashion network to support the salon as exhibitors and sponsors,» he says. His role prompts exhibitors to tell their stories clearly, creating a cohesive narrative that enhances the salon's overall impact.

Photographer Piotr Niepsuj
MUAH Andrea Severino Sailis
Interview Jordan Anderson
Special Thanks 10 Corso Como