Chef Mario Batali stopped by a group of diners at a press event today at Eataly to say that everyone who came into the new high-end Italian-theme eating court is ‘Italian.” But he was actually right, as sprinkled among the journalists sat the upper ranks of the Italian furniture industry all come to New York to announce one of those commercial-turned-cultural events that only the Italians can pull off without seeming crass.
“I Saloni Milano in New York” wants to be for furniture what Fashion’s Night Out is for fashion. On November 29, some 20 Italian showrooms throughout New York will throw open their doors to “pay homage to the quality, innovation and beauty for which Italian design has long been known.”
But that’s not the half of it. Programs in multiple venues will run for six weeks thereafter until January 8, 2011. Robert Wilson, master of theatrical event, will be at Center 548 in Chelsea to debut “Perchance to Dream: Videoportrait and Design Landscape,” a commissioned piece featuring ballet star Roberto Bolle. An ardent Italophile, Wilson is currently designing seven plastic chairs for Kartell, one for each decade of his life, and will also be selecting contemporary Italian-made furnishings to fill the gallery space as accompaniment to the videoportrait. When asked about his preferred style, he said, “I am interested in counterpoint. And you?”
But that’s not all. Over at the Park Avenue Armory on December 3, artist-filmmaker Peter Greenway will be showing his multimedia spectacle of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper that debuted in Milan in 2008. Here he will be upstaging himself with a replica of the dining set of the painting inside a full-scale mock-up of the nearly 4,000-square-foot apse and cupola of the Refectory of Santa Maria delle Grazie inside the drill hall.
If that weren’t sweet enough, we hear that the panettone and caffe will be flowing everywhere throughout the holidays to inaugurate the 50th anniversary of the Milan Furniture Fair.