I travelled to the Denfair Exhibition in Melbourne in June, and it was cold! Clouds hung over the skyscrapers and the city throngs moved quickly, not lingering in the chilly (though very beautiful!) streets. It's a straightforward journey via The Skybus from the airport to the Southern Cross train station in the middle of the city and then a walk (or tramride) downhill to the Exhibition Centre. Crossing the Yarra on one of many pedestrian bridges, you come to the South Wharf Promenade. Cafes there serve creamy, smooth artisan coffee for $3.90. Unheard of in Perth! The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre sits on the south bank of the Yarra and the Exhibitions open normally at 10 am.
Walking into exhibition hall, I wanted to touch everything. Silky smooth wood, slubby wool and silk carpets, handmade ceramics and glowing copper fixtures were just some of the sensory experiences that beckoned. Full, but not crammed, this Exhibition gave plenty of breathing space between each carefully curated designer offering. In it's second year, Denfair is an event that introduces Australian designers and firms representing them to the nation, even to the world.
I was thrilled to find some furniture designers from Western Australia featured, and was able to speak to them about their pieces in detail, learning insider tips from the world of industrial design. Nathan Day, from Yallingup and Jack Flanagan from the Perth Hills, are both world class craftsmen comfortable using cutting edge technology along with skills learned from studying the history of furniture making.
Furniture Wholesalers and Retailers styled beautifully inspiring spaces to show their wares. Elegant and warm Scandinavian design and Mid Century styling featured with local designers adding their own interpretations. In particular, Zuster, from Melbourne stood out with their luxurious details of rock crystal and polished granite. Great Dane was fun, with autumn leaves adding a sensory delight!
Textiles are my first love and they were very well represented at the Fair. South Pacific Fabrics and Style Revolutionary showed boutique imported fabrics and cutting edge performance textiles - a treasure trove I could have spent all day exploring. Innovative ways to use textiles were shown by many designers. The Bower range by Adam Goodrum for Cult was an instant hit and the cocooning screens of felt and wood have been featured by many design writers since the fair. My personal favourite was Cakebread, a textile design studio from Melbourne. Great fluffy cushions of woven wool and velvet and cotton quilted comforters shone with jewel tones and pretty pastels. I really could have curled up at this stand after a day of walking the fair!
All the images in this article are mine.