PARIS — As the spotlight turned to facilitating convivial moments and harmony in the home, Paris Design Week and Maison & Objet design fair ecosystem welcomed an international roster of brands and provocative new collections. The 10-day calendar of events kicked off Sept. 7 and closed here Sept. 16, under the aegis of the theme “cultivating optimism, hedonism and softness.”
“Are we done with this frugal hedonism so prevalent in recent years that associated the notion of well-being with virtuous and reasonable consumption, and a connection with our environment and nature? No,” Mélanie Leroy, Maison & Objet’s managing director said of the overarching “Enjoy” theme. It is time; however, she explained to find balance, whilst consumers strive to “re-enchant their daily lives.”
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An estimated 100,000 visitors flooded the areas between Concorde, Le Marais and Rive Gauche, as well as the Parc des Expositions de Paris-Nord, to glimpse the latest trends and hottest international names in furnishings, interiors, decor, wellness, hospitality and even beauty. Here our some of the eye-catching launches and debuts, as seen by WWD:
Ostrea Design, one of Maison & Objet’s winners of the Future on Stage mentorship program award, developed a special surface material made of crushed oyster shells. Natural and glamorous at the same time, Ostrea Design is part of a growing trend to create a holistic home environment based on eco-values and principles.
Creative Tunisia, funded by the European Union with a contribution from the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and organized by UNIDO, highlighted the work of Tunisian artisans and designers as ambassadors of Tunisian cultural heritage.
Bina Baitel, the artist behind the gilded, inflatable fountain positioned last year at the central courtyard of the historic Monnaie de Paris, unleashed her unbridled creativity once again — this time with Unusual Objects, her first personal collection of upscale furnishings and objects. Designs such as the Tremblay carpet will be on display a tote Christophe Gaillard gallery in Paris until Saturday. Crafted in Burgundy’s carpet workshops, pieces like these are meant to serve as the “foundation for the enchanting decor of the living room.”
Astier de Villatte
Astier de Villatte, the Parisian brand renowned for its handmade white ceramics and line of evocative scents, is adding a collection of lamps to its expansive homeware offering, riffing on the success of its candlesticks. There are 12 designs in total, ranging from the twisting lines of the Peggy lamp and the elaborate design named Tom, to the whimsical Singe and Canard featuring the titular monkey and duck. Off-white lampshades, available in unlined or gold-lined versions, help give off that homey glow once the lamps are turned on.
Friedmann & Versace
The focus was on hospitality at Maison & Objet, where Paris-based interior architecture firm Friedmann & Versace unfurled their latest Italian looks for the Bambini Restaurants in both Megève and in Paris’ Palais de Tokyo. Pictured here is a fresco by artist Roberto Ruspoli.
Long fascinated by the idea of form following function, the eponymous accessories label of stylist and art director Clémence Cahu is branching out with its first furniture pieces. Codesigned with Paris-based Cube Architectes and dressed in Cahu’s signature PVC livery, ’70s-inflected Minus and its plumper Cortex counterpart (there’s also an unnamed footrest) are named after the French moniker for a pair of madcap mice trying to take over the world — exactly what Cahu wants to do with her brand.
With the help of tea sommelier Lydia Gautier, Hermès-owned crystal-maker Saint-Louis is exploring the richness of the beverage with dedicated sets that expand the Apollo collection. The pots in the Full-bodied and Charming tea services mark the first time the house has mixed its signature material with matte unglazed bisque porcelain, while the tumblers have been developed to enhance the experience of different types of tea. And coffee drinkers needn’t feel left out: there’s also an espresso tumbler.
Creative and entrepreneur Leia Sfez is the kind of Parisian fixture whose wardrobe and interiors are scrutinized for inspiration by her 921,000 followers. Fortunately for interior lovers, she and husband Gary Sfez have launched The Oblist (a portemanteau of object and list), a platform that aims to become the go-to for those interested in art, design and vintage. Some 130 artists and designers from around the world can be found in the initial curation from a glass fruit bowl of Reflections Copenhagen and brass candelabra from Chanel-owned silversmith Goossens, to vintage silver ice cream coupes and an Art Deco liquor decanter.
Invisible Collection and Courtney Applebaum
Inside the Invisible Collection’s three-story, traditional mid-19th-century-style home, the firm presented collection of pieces from design stars; Los Angeles-based interior designer Courtney Applebaum, a go-to interior designer for Hollywood’s A-list, and a new collaboration between straw marquetry specialist, Lison de Caunes and Swedish designer Louise Liljencrantz. For Paris Design Week, Invisible Collection presented a selection of pieces from Applebaum’s first namesake furniture collection, including her signature Terracotta Lamp and Raffia Sconce.
Marie Janine, the “French Cana-Queen”
Marie Janine, the so-called “French Cana-Queen,” was one of the brands tapped to display in Maison & Objet’s new sector, well-being and beauty, designed to boost endorphins. The French brand shared its natural solutions for stress during the trade show. Producing everything from planting kits to fine chocolate, the brand stands out from cliché players on the wider market.
Organizers said Marie-Janine’s vision is part of a larger trend driven by what visitors, retail and concept stores want to see, select and buy.
Across the board, she explained, interiors are satiating a need to connect with consumers who want their home to breathe and represent their aspirations.
“After years of post-traumatic stress after the COVID-19 era, we know that consumers want to feel better, live better and that implies being able to be a little bit more selfish, focus on yourself and your inner person,” Leroy said.