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This photo shows a luxury classic car

Echoes of the past

Contemporary Design and Classic Cars at the Concorso di Eleganza di Villa d'Este

The sinuous curves of a 1957 Ferrari 250 GT and the linear sobriety of a Le Bambole sofa seem to have little in common at first glance. But there is a common thread linking these two seemingly disparate creations. This link is rooted in the concept of design: a unicum that comes to define an era, an ambition, a taste. This is the focus of the 2023 edition of the Concorso di Eleganza di Villa d'Este, which celebrates the dialogue between contemporary design in high-end furniture and luxury vintage cars.

In the evocative atmospheres of Lake Como, Villa d'Este becomes the emblem of a journey from the luxury coachwork of the 1950s and 1960s to contemporary furnishing concepts. A journey that speaks of aesthetics, functionality and style.

This photo shows a luxury classic car

Roots of Design: A Dialogue Between Past and Present

We begin our search in the gleaming bodies of classic cars that have made motoring history. From Bugatti to Rolls Royce, Maserati to Lamborghini, each model tells a story of innovation, passion and refinement.

These machines are prime examples of how functionality need not compromise style. This principle is equally evident in contemporary high-end furniture. Today's designers, like those of the past, seek a balance between form and function, designing furniture that is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also meets precise practical and functional requirements.

This photo shows a luxury classic car

Lighting the Road: The Influence of Automobilism on Contemporary Design

The stylistic elements of vintage cars are an inspiration for many designers today. For example, the curved and sinuous lines of vintage car bodies are reflected in contemporary furniture, with their elegance and quest for fluidity of form.

A symbolic connection can also be found in the use of materials. Leather, used in the interiors of luxury cars, is also used in contemporary furniture for its luxurious look and durability. Similarly, wood trim, so popular in classic cars, finds new life in contemporary furniture.

A young apprentice in a shoe workshop preparing leather for further use on a large table.

The Future is Retro: Towards a New Vintage

The trend of the 'new vintage' is increasingly strong in the world of contemporary furniture. While classic car designs continue to influence the aesthetics of contemporary furniture, designers themselves are trying to revisit the past in new and innovative ways.

The Concorso di Eleganza at Villa d'Este, with its striking setting, therefore becomes the ideal stage for exploring this new design territory. Classic cars, with their timeless elegance, remind us that beauty has no age. They are a testimony to the fact that quality, craftsmanship and attention to detail never go out of fashion.

Similarly, contemporary high-end furniture celebrates these same values. It is not just about creating furniture that is beautiful to look at, but about making pieces that will stand the test of time, just like vintage cars.

It is clear, then, that classic cars and contemporary furniture influence each other. Both have the same goal: to create something timeless, something that can convey emotions and tell a story.

Photo of Le Bambole sofa by B&B Italia, a leading manufacturer of high quality designer furniture.

Eco-sustainability: Past meets Future

We cannot talk about contemporary design without mentioning eco-sustainability. Just as the automotive industry is increasingly oriented towards sustainability, the world of furniture is also trying to reduce its environmental impact. Recycled or recyclable materials, environmentally friendly production and long product life are all becoming increasingly important in contemporary design.

The Concorso di Eleganza at Villa d'Este thus becomes a place where past, present and future meet. It is a tribute to craftsmanship, beauty and innovation, values that are reflected in both contemporary design and classic cars. A celebration of timeless elegance that manages to look to the future without forgetting the lessons of the past.

A forest, symbol of sustainability