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DESIGN
Alessi Fall/Winter 2009
by Brian Fichtner
on 25 August 2009
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During last week's New York International Gift Fair Alessi debuted roughly 200 new products and expanded families across the company's three brand divisions. Choosing favorites isn't easy, but check out a few selects below.

Gabriele Chiave's "Apostrophe" orange peeler (above) reminds us of what Alessi does best. Designed as part of their LPWK series, the sculptural form lends artistic life to the most prosaic of kitchen utensils. Reflecting the impact of globalization on our dining habits, the "Cum grano salis" set (below left) treats the salt cellar as centerpiece, offering a repository for four different salts along with a mortar and pestle and a spice container.

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It is always refreshing to see Alessi return to basics after a period of excess. The "Clotet kitchen boxes" by Lluís Clotet look, at casual glance, scarcely different from storage one might find at The Container Store. A closer look reveals a subtly warped surface on the container lid, as if it were the rippled surface of a lake.

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Mario Trimarchi's "La Stanza dello Scirocco" collection of baskets draws inspiration from the Sicilian sirocco room, a windowless shelter from African windstorms. Trimarchi writes: "It is a room without windows in which you can do nothing but ponder the wind that is undoing all sublunary things outside... For me, the magic lies in the fact that the project was hatched from things that come to pass outside the object itself, as if each basket and fruit dish were defined for the most part by that which it generates, i.e. its shadows, rather than by its function." Imbued with such consideration, the series masterfully reinterprets one of Alessi's most iconic products.

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"The Columbina Collection" by Doriana and Massimiliano Fuksas continues to expand, this year with the addition of trays, oil and vinegar cruets and parmesan cheese cellars. We particularly liked the subtle curves of the tray and cheese cellar, which give the objects an organic sensibility.

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