The lat­est looks from the de­sign cap­i­tal.

Belle - - Belle Promotion - Words TANYA BUCHANAN Pho­to­graphs FELIX FOR­EST

A BEAU­TI­FUL SUS­PENSE PER­VADED the stand­out Her­mès in­stal­la­tion at Teatro Ve­tra in Mi­lan. Within an ex­pan­sive pavil­ion de­signed by Mex­i­can ar­chi­tect Mauri­cio Rocha built from hum­ble bricks, new ex­quis­ite pieces from Col­lec­tions for the Home 2016-2017 were sus­pended, propped and hung hap­haz­ardly with ropes and pul­leys at pre­car­i­ous an­gles. The dis­play was a clever re­flec­tion of the ten­sion be­tween the raw ma­te­ri­als the house be­gins with and the ex­act­ing crafts­man­ship and at­ten­tion to de­tail wrought upon each de­sign. This pos­i­tive ten­sion ex­tends to the com­pany’s choice of joint artis­tic di­rec­tors – each from very dif­fer­ent ca­reers.

“Only a com­pany like Her­mès could think of some­one like me to par­tic­i­pate in the di­rec­tion of the house,” says pub­lisher Alexis Fabry who co-founded Toluca Édi­tions in Paris. “It is typ­i­cal of Her­mès to ex­pect peo­ple to think in ways that they wouldn’t have imag­ined. But, of course, in all my pub­li­ca­tions there is the pres­ence of de­sign and my back­ground in dis­ci­plines like lit­er­a­ture and pho­tog­ra­phy cer­tainly comes to the sur­face now and then,” he says.

His part­ner in de­sign di­rec­tion is friend Charlotte Ma­caux Perel­man, the stel­lar French ar­chi­tect with a spe­cial flair for hospi­tal­ity de­sign, who trained at Philippe Starck and has worked for ho­tel giants Ian Schrager and An­dré Balazs, and now bal­ances her own de­sign prac­tice with her work for Her­mès. “Alexis

and I have rather sim­i­lar tastes but we had never worked to­gether. I be­lieve we are al­ways in agree­ment, which is re­as­sur­ing, but at the same time we don’t see things in the same way – often we don’t even see things go­ing in the same room,” says Charlotte. To­gether the pair have over­seen the de­sign and cu­ra­tion of a gen­er­ous col­lec­tion of fur­ni­ture, start­ing with a re-work of the el­e­gant 1980s ‘Pippa’ chaise which has been con­tem­po­rised with small ad­just­ments.

“The ‘Pippa’ was a piece of fur­ni­ture that was very much a part of our her­itage and we only changed what was ab­so­lutely nec­es­sary for it to be based in mod­ern times,” says Alexis. “Now it is no longer an ob­ject of the 1980s, it’s a con­tem­po­rary piece – and time­less.” Charlotte adds, “We be­lieve at Her­mès that we need to have the right dis­tance from our era.”

The pair are in ac­cord on the main agree­ment of the col­lec­tion – ten­sion. “The ten­sion be­tween ob­jects brings charisma to the col­lec­tion,” says Alexis. “For ex­am­ple, the fur­ni­ture is more rig­or­ous and the fabrics are more nar­ra­tive. Artist Nigel Peake’s work il­lus­trates this well – he would use a mo­tif such as horses and then add ab­strac­tion or an ar­chi­tec­tural el­e­ment. Har­mony is very im­por­tant to us and charisma.” And this duo have that in spades.

FROM ABOVE The ‘Dou­ble Horse’ throw in cash­mere and silk based on an orig­i­nal draw­ing by Ir­ish artist and ar­chi­tect Nigel Peake. In a fine bal­ance, the ‘Car­nets d’Equa­teur’ porce­lain col­lec­tion is sus­pended against ar­chi­tect Mauri­cio Rocha’s raw brick back­drop. “Har­mony i s v er y i mpor­tant t o u s a nd c harisma . . .”

“Charisma c omes f rom t he t en sion be­tween raw ma­te­ri­als a nd t he l evel o f c r a f t s m a n s h i p.” CLOCK­WISE FROM TOP LEFT Oria d’Her­mès din­ing set. Équili­bre d’Her­mès mag­ni­fy­ing glass. ‘Even­ing’ ready-to-lay panel by Nigel Peake. ‘Pav­age’...

CLOCK­WISE FROM LEFT The graphic ‘Pav­age’ fab­ric de­sign in Cobalt is a pat­tern first used on a men’s tie and in­spired by the Paris pave­ment. Her­mès Mai­son deputy artis­tic di­rec­tors Char­lotte Ma­caux Perel­man and Alexis Fabry pho­tographed ex­clu­sively for...

CLOCK­WISE FROM LEFT Roll of ‘Nigel’s Tar­tan’ wall­pa­per by Nigel Peake. Pippa mat­tress and lounger by RDAI. Char­lotte with a favourite piece, Équili­bre d’Her­mès mag­a­zine rack. Leather and beech spin­ning tops. ‘Sel­lier’ sofa by Noé Duchau­four-Lawrance....

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