Lee Broom's fake department store
installation opens in Milan

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Milan 2015: London designer Lee Broom has joined together three shops on Milan's Via Alfredo Cappellini to create a faux department store for displaying his latest products (+ slideshow).

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Broom's 25-piece range is his largest to date and includes a chair that sits on a hoop suspended from the ceiling and lights made from marble and brass.

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Called The Department Store, his exhibition is arranged over two floors in the disused shops, which have been combined to create a series of spaces dressed with grey mannequins, display plinths and curtains.

Clock Tower Entrance
Clock Tower Entrance

"I've never been the type of person to just put products on plinths and let people make their own mind up," Broom told Dezeen. "When I'm designing the pieces, even at that point I'm thinking about how they'll be displayed and creating more of an experience rather than just an exhibition."

Clock Tower Entrance
Clock Tower Entrance

Broom, who has a background in theatre and fashion design, themed each space in the exhibition around a different shop department. A limited pallete of bright red, blue and yellow is used as an accent on some of the furniture and helps the pieces stand out against the grey backdrops.



Clock Tower Entrance
Clock Tower Entrance

"Milan is still really important," said Broom. "It is a business thing to be here. We want to get dealers and we want people to see the products, but I think you'll see this is also an artistic representation of where I am now as a designer and this is a good stage to do it from."

Shoe Department
Shoe Department

Visitors enter on the ground floor and are greeted by the Clock Tower, a structure flanked on either side by female mannequins. It has a clock at the top and a description of the exhibition printed on the front.

Shoe Department and Perfumery
Shoe Department and Perfumery

Behind this, an area called the Beauty Department hosts the Shadow Collection of wooden cabinets and tables with corrugated sides and flat tops.

Perfumery
Perfumery

In the centre of the space, the Shoe Department displays Broom's Hoop chairs made from brass-plated or black metal rings with bright red upholstery. One version is suspended from the ceiling, while a freestanding design is intended to serve as a dining chair.

Stockroom
Stockroom

At the back, the Perfumery is a glass display cabinet. Stands that display updated versions of Broom's crystal tube lights are shown inside and around a glass perfume counter.

"I want to have each mini collection have their own character and their own department," said Broom.

Mens' Accessories
Mens' Accessories

"It's not sustainable to do something like this every year," he added. "We design and manufacture our own products and it would be too expensive and too time-consuming. This is our big year."

Ladies' Accessories
Ladies' Accessories

An existing set of steps retained from one of the old shops leads down to the basement, where visitors enter into the Stock Room, which is decorated with packaging and designs from previous collections. These are arranged around packing crates and mannequins.

Fitting Rooms
Fitting Rooms

Elsewhere in the basement, Broom's Chapel Lights – dome-shaped spun metal pendants with flat, stained-glass bottoms that filter the light from inside – are arranged over bowler hats and a top hat in Men's Hats, while Men's Accessories features vitrines containing a male torso mannequin and a shirt collar, lit by the designer's Fulcrum pendant lights, formed from a cylinder of silver metal broken up with a round ball.

Book Store
Book Store

Also on display in Men's Accessories is the Drunken collection of furniture pieces that feature angled cylindrical bases with offset tops – including a lamp and a side table with a large red ball between the base and the tabletop.

Millinery
Millinery

A similar area called Ladies' Accessories displays the Crescent Light collection of globe-shaped lamps that look like they have been split in half and slid apart to reveal an inner surface of brass, while the Fitting Rooms are occupied by the designer's Altar chairs.

These feature a continuous back structure of a single piece of black metal, arched to create the back rest and two legs. The round seat, upholstered in red or blue fabric, is also supported by a front leg.

Haberdashery
Haberdashery

Ring Lights are exhibited over ladies' hats in the Millinery section, while Haberdashery displays the Nouveau Rebel collection of marble and brass lights among rolls of fabric.

Wine Shop
Wine Shop

The Book Store, with grey plinths surrounded by monochrome stacks of books, shows the Acid Marble collection, featuring two marble tables with bright yellow tops and a matching desk light.

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Carpets and Rugs

Finally, the Carpets and Rugs department is dominated by a single chaise longue formed to look like an oriental carpet and a matching metal wall-light shaped like a shallow bowl with a patterned interior surface.

Photography is by Luke Hayes.