The night before last I was at a party in Noviglio, just outside Milan, where the Luti family had invited a few people over to present a book: Kartell – The Culture of Plastics. Their book, given that the Lutis are Kartell, particularly in the person of COB Claudio Luti. Great night. Great organization. Great crowd. Though I must admit there were a couple of plastic people, and a hint of plastic surgery here and there, which is really only par for the course when the Milano Bene are in attendance. But the focus was on the PET. And on star designer M. Starck, who disappeared like a Louis Ghost straight after his interview.
The coffee-table book (which only needs legs to be a coffee table itself, so that I had to choose between it and a carry-on for the flight home), published by Taschen, is a journey into the history of an Italian brand that made plastic furnishings cool, the world over. This through the intuitions of founder Giulio Castelli and his successor Claudio Luti, and their faith in the elite of Italian and international designers over the decades since 1949, a list which runs from Gino Colombini, Gae Aulenti, Joe Colombo and the Castiglioni brothers to Ron Arad, Michele De Lucchi, Patricia Urquiola and of course Philippe Starck himself – and many more in between. The extraordinary backdrop for the party was the showcase Kartell Museum. Those of you who weren’t invited can watch the movie here – but do read the book too!