ART DECO, PARIS, THE FINANCIAL TIMES & A-GENT OF STYLE



 
Well, you don’t get to wake up very often on a Saturday morning with your name appearing in the Financial Times. But A-Gent of Style did!


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 After a few weeks of anticipation and keeping quiet about it (oh the agony),
A-Gent of Style was thrilled to finally see a couple of days ago the article for which he had collaborated. Last December, the award-winning interiors journalist
Kate Watson-Smyth approached A-Gent of Style to help her with a special feature on Art Deco and Paris, the equivalent for him, in decorative terms, to manna.

Watson-Smyth’s timing for this feature is perfect as Paris and Art Deco are once again – as they were ninety-odd years ago – at the epicentre of the design scene. Kate brilliantly explains and illustrates the article with beautiful images of iconic, precious
Art Deco objects mixed with contemporary, more affordable ones.

There is currently in the French capital an exhibition at Sotheby’s for the forthcoming sale of
Felix Marcilhac’s seminal collection (A-Gent collaborated with the auction house on this topic a few weeks ago; you can see his article here), and also the brilliant ‘1925, When Art Deco Dazzled the World’ retrospective at the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine
(two weeks ago, A-Gent of Style was given a three-hour long private tour of the exhib which will feature on this blog by the end of this week; stay tuned) as well as newly famed Parisian designers with an Art Deco sensitivity, (Jean-Louis Deniot, Pierre Yovanovitch, Joseph Dirand) and of course stupendous buildings almost a century old, all of which are testament of the importance and influence of Art Deco today.

If you did not get your copy at the weekend of the FT, you will find below the scanned article, or for a better quality, you can read it online here.



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FLORINE ASCH IN WONDERLAND



 
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A-Gent of Style is delighted to have recently come across another great illustrator, not of interiors this time (some of you might remember the blog posts on
Jeremiah Goodman and also Walter Gay), but of an artist who creates sumptuous, original cards through watercolours. Whether they are greeting cards, invitations, birth announcements, catalogues, menus, table decorations or press releases, Florine Asch captures the joy, life, energy, spirit and sometimes humour of her subjects and also of the locations and memories from her travels in Italy, Egypt, Africa or her native Alsace, ranging from snake charmers in Morocco, the Kremlin domes, Maharajas palaces to Flamenco musicians, wild life in safaris or the Paris Opera ballet dancers. Some of these works have now been published into beautifully sketched books.




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Over the years, Asch has imposed her talent as an illustrator for many prestigious companies. The antique dealer Patrick Perrin exhibited her drawings in 1991 in his Parisian galerie and her first client was Marie-Hélène de Rothschild and many others followed suit: the Prince of Liechtenstein, Guerlain,  Dior, Cartier, Hermès, Vuitton, the Paris Opera House, Fauchon, Ladurée, Plaza Athénée
(chef Alain Ducasse is a fan) and The Ritz to name but a few . She also illustrates for various magazines.


A-Gent of Style is a week away from celebrating his 30+ birthday and could think of a way or two to use Asch’s services to send his invitations.


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Captura de pantalla 2010-11-29 a las 19.10.52

Copyright FLORINE ASCH

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– All drawings by Florine Asch –




STRIKING: THE JOY OF LIGHT



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A few years ago, A-Gent of Style‘s apartment was burgled. After the initial shock of this violation of privacy and the traumatic experience that lingered, A-Gent realised only a fortnight later after the incident that the glass vase which was resting in a corner of the kitchen was missing. This vase contained a much cherished collection of matchboxes collected over the years from various places such as restaurants, bars, hotels, coming either from London, the UK or a long list of far-flung holiday locations from all around the world. Often, we grieve less the loss of an object with a commercial or material value than being bereft from a treasured and irreplaceable memento imbued with a strong sense of attachment, sentimentality and nostalgia. With hindsight, it was as much astonishing as comical to think the burglars would have taken the risk of getting caught for the sake of such a petty loot.
A-Gent of Style and the policemen reached the conclusion the burglars must have been a bit…batty, in every sense of the word!


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Long gone are the days when establishments – bars, reception desks, hotel bedrooms even washrooms – had matchboxes for their guests to take away. Whether you were a smoker or not was beyond the point. Apart from the obvious practical aspect – lighting a cigarette at the venue, a candle or a fireplace back home, or simply giving you the contact details of the establishment – these memorabilia also provided some of us with pretty, decorative objets that made a statement (and screamed “See, I was there!” when they were strategically placed on the coffee table for all to see) with their different sizes, fonts, colours, patterns and logos. They were fun to display, arrange and decorate with and could even start a conversation. Sadly, since the smoking ban, few are the establishments these days which have continued this tradition and still manufacture matchboxes.


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Enters The Joy of Light. This American company manufactures not just plain matchboxes but very special matchboxes with radiant colours and fabulous sometimes quirky designs. “Started from a passion for collecting stick matches as a remembrance of places visited and good times shared”, the Joy of Light currently has eleven collections featuring more than eighty unique designs, and offer custom and private label programs. They specialise in high quality reproduction of both old and new artworks which make elegant gifts or perfect home accessories.

Each 4 inch or 9 inch matchbox consists of a high gloss finish, double lined and color coordinated tray, full striker, and 45-50 matchsticks that have been paraffin dipped to ensure a longer burn time.

By their originality and uniqueness, The Joy of Light matchboxes carry on the almost bygone and instinct tradition of these decorative boxes and will add a simple touch of class to any interior. They also currently fill a void in the market that even a burglar will never be able to take from us. Watch this space to find out the retailers in the UK.


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– All photos by The Joy of Light –



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