Cu­rios­ity shop

A bou­tique in the re­vamped Hô­tel de Cril­lon in Paris is a world of one-off won­ders and fan­tas­tic treats

Wallpaper - - September -

Hô­tel de Cril­lon’s unique em­po­rium

Fol­low­ing a sweep­ing four-year ren­o­va­tion, Paris’ Hô­tel de Cril­lon has re­cently re­opened, and long-time guests and sup­port­ers have been re­turn­ing to find many of the grand­est as­pects of its hal­lowed past, dat­ing back more than 250 years, re­as­sur­ingly un­changed.

Yet, as part of its po­si­tion­ing as a ‘21st cen­tury palace’, the Rosewood-man­aged ho­tel has in­tro­duced a new gas­tro­nomic res­tau­rant, a brasserie, two suites de­signed by Karl Lager­feld, a sub­ter­ranean pool and a re­tail space con­ceived by Parisian jour­nal­ist and cu­ra­tor Thomas Er­ber. The space, called La Bou­tique, is the first per­ma­nent home for Le Cab­i­net de Cu­riosités

de Thomas Er­ber, a peri­patetic con­cept store that popped up in cities around the world be­tween 2010 and 2015. Er­ber has upped the ante on other cu­rated pop-up stores by as­sem­bling a uniquely eclec­tic and am­bi­tious se­lec­tion of spe­cially com­mis­sioned and site-spe­cific de­sign, ob­jets d’art, fash­ion, ac­ces­sories and other col­lecta­bles. His Lon­don edi­tion at Browns in 2011 in­cluded a book made from alu­minium sheets by José Lévy, and a cus­tom-made, cu­bic evening bag with brass and crys­tal de­tail­ing by Lulu Guin­ness.

Rosewood tapped Er­ber as the per­fect man to reimag­ine the ho­tel lobby bou­tique, too of­ten a tired se­lec­tion of lux­ury baubles. ‘We want La Bou­tique to re­flect the mod­ern sen­si­bil­i­ties and tastes of our

clien­tele, while also pay­ing homage to the her­itage of the prop­erty,’ says the ho­tel’s gen­eral man­ager Marc Raf­fray, who ex­plains that the key man­date for Er­ber was ex­clu­siv­ity. ‘We wish to have a dif­fer­ent ap­proach, of­fer­ing unique pieces and lim­ited edi­tions.’

For his part, Er­ber says the ho­tel was open-minded and re­cep­tive to his sug­ges­tions, es­pe­cially since he gave care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion to what guests might find not sim­ply de­sir­able but also use­ful – hence a lit­tle black dress by Mu­gler, a white shirt by Ci­fonelli and Ron Dorff un­der­wear. Among the 40 de­sign­ers and ar­ti­sans fea­tured at any given time, he es­ti­mates that two-thirds of them will be French, with cur­rent of­fer­ings in­clud­ing Hugo Matha mixed ma­te­rial bags and a hand­made valet by Ate­lier Ari­zona. ‘I think the di­ver­sity of the creative field we pro­pose will be very in­ter­est­ing,’ says Er­ber. ‘You can have all these dif­fer­ent things as long as the mean­ing is there.’

Within a two-part space on ei­ther side of the ho­tel’s en­trance on rue Boissy d’an­glas, La Bou­tique re­flects the same re­freshed, re­fined de­sign cre­ated by Tris­tan Auer through­out the re­cep­tion, brasserie and other pub­lic spa­ces, while as­sum­ing a touch of Er­ber’s eclec­tic aes­thetic. Un­sur­pris­ingly, he seems de­lighted that vis­i­tors and lo­cals alike can dis­cover his vi­sion with­out an end date. ‘What we’ve cre­ated here is a state­ment,’ he says. ‘We can set a bit of per­ma­nence. Things will last.’

Hô­tel de Cril­lon, 10 Place de la Con­corde, Paris 8e, tel: 33.1 44 71 15 00, rose­wood­ho­tels.com

ABOVE, MULTI-HYPHENATE THOMAS ER­BER HAS BEEN CURATING CAB­I­NETS OF CURIOSITIES AROUND THE WORLD SINCE 2010. HIS LAT­EST VER­SION AP­PEARS AS A PER­MA­NENT RE­TAIL SPACE AT THE HÔ­TEL DE CRIL­LON IN PARIS

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