Design Fashion

With Its Salone del Mobile Debut, MCM Collapses the Boundaries Between Fashion and Design

MCM's Chatty Sofa designed by Atelier Biagetti. All images courtesy of MCM.

The Munich arts scene of the 1970s would not have been the same without Modern Creation München’s Bauhaus-inspired, irony-tinged designs. A cutting-edge and decidedly punk essence has always been the house’s ballast. With its new Wearable Casa Collection, which marks its Milan Design Week debut, MCM continues on its trajectory of realizing a more conscious future without sacrificing tongue-in-cheek verve.

The collection, on view in the 17th century Palazzo Cusani through April 21, has been conceived by designer Alberto Biagetti and artist Laura Baldassari, the husband-and-wife team behind Atelier Biagetti, who first made design-world waves in Milan with their 2016 Salone del Mobile presentation “NO SEX,” a vibrant meditation on physical connection in a digitized world. In subsequent pieces for the likes of Louis Vuitton and Adidas, they’ve further fleshed out their penchant for recontextualization and the collapsing of boundaries between disciplines—an ethic which finds a rather seamless intertwining with that of MCM. The result is seven versatile new pieces which invite the individual to wear facets of their living space on their person.

The LED Clepsydra Lantern maintains a robust and stylish presence suitable for any living room, while its rechargeable features and handle, adorned with MCM’s signature Cognac Visetos emblem, allow for instant portability. Its lampshade can also be removed and worn as a hat. The Mind Teaser echoes elements of a Rubik’s Cube, the TARS robot from Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, and the touchpoints of Italian master architect and designer Mario Bellini all at once. It can be configured as a stool, chair, or even a coffee table depending on the whims of its user. The Tatamu soft roll mat is similarly protean and unfurls as a totem of MCM eclecticism, drawing from both Japanese and German design tenets to achieve a heightened elegance.

The MCM Pet Backpack

Other wearable items include a jewel mini-bag with a mirror and an inflatable wellness sitting ball as part of the Space Cabinet series, the Magic Gilet portable organizer, and a pet backpack with adjustable compartments and padding. But the anchor of the collection has to be the Chatty Sofa, a bulbous, graffiti-inspired piece shaped to spell out "CASA." A playful and bold evocation of Gufram’s Bocca Sofa by Studio 65, it is the paramount embodiment of MCM’s contemporary leanings as well as its reverence for classic design.

MCM's disruption extends beyond the pieces themselves. The rooms of the Palazzo Cusani host an immersive experience that can be entered via reality or a metaverse designed by Atelier Biagetti with Vitruvio Virtual Reality. In this realm, Wearable Casa objects take on a magical resonance. Guests, even those fully remote, can virtually wear a complete look by MCM while exploring an environment that showcases the design concepts behind their garments. It's a confluence of the tactile and digital, a collision in line with all those that underpin MCM—old and new, at home and on the go, elegant and brilliantly bold.