Fashion week and the furniture fair are Milan’s two biggest calendar events – and both bring traffic to a standstill.

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Fashion week and the furniture fair are Milan’s two biggest calendar events – and both bring traffic to a standstill. Yet while the former takes place behind a velvet rope to keep onlookers away from leggy models, during Salone everyone is happy to throw open their showroom doors and let the public plonk themselves down on their latest creations.

This year the crowds gathered, as usual, in Via Durini to peruse B&B Italia’s latest furniture offerings, including Gabriele & Oscar Buratti’s pared-down leather Doyl chair. A few doors down, Meritalia offered a sharp contrast with Gaetano Pesce – who already made waves this week with an installation showing Italy nailed to a cross – unveiling a sofa inspired by the uniform of a court jester. It was positioned next to Fiat scion Lapo Elkann’s first stab at design: a kitsch two-seater mimicking the front end of the carmaker’s iconic 500 model.

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