There have been a few definite highlights during Paris Déco Off this year for A-Gent of Style and today’s feature is one of his favourite discoveries. The exhibition was just on his door step in Saint-Germain-des-Près and he could have easily missed it so a big thank you to Bruno de Caumont for taking him to the opening. We were transfixed. Let us hope you are too…
The Robert Four-Aubusson Gallery opened its doors a few weeks ago to a contemporary creation by Brazilian artisan and designer Janaïna Milheiro with the exhibition Verdure et Plume (Greenery and Plumage).
As soon as he walked in the gallery, A-Gent of Style was simply blown away by the sheer beauty and genius of the dazzling creations around the showroom.
Greenery is a dynamic contemporary re-reading of a theme greatly appreciated from the 17th to the 19th century on which Aubusson built its reputation. Leaves, flowers and rare plants revealing a fantastic bestiary with magnificent birds. As for Milheiro, her creative world is defined by feathers and textiles. The artist produces unique weaves, embroideries and lace created from real birds’ feathers on commission for the fashion and decoration sectors such as Armani, Chanel, Hermès vitrines, Guerlain and Elitis.
With Patricia Racine, the artistic director of the Manufacture Robert-Four Aubusson, they used fragments of authentic antique Aubusson tapestries and chose one piece of work that had a parrot in relief. Once it had been cut out to create four different graphic worlds, the bird gradually faded out until its presence became a fleeting suggestion through a few fragments of its plumage. Each piece, either sewn or fixed with metal attachments, was painstakingly and meticulously assembled together and presented in a transparent perspex box that permitted to see the reversed side of the decor.
Milheiro’s talent resides in combining different techniques with unexpected materials that produce an innovative, graphic and poetic vision of plumage hence her interest in working on authentic Aubusson tapestries.
“I sought to create greenery with feathers that were superimposed on the groundwork and would thus interplay with the greenery of the tapestry, simultaneously bringing to it an unprecedented relief”, explains Janaïna Milheiro. “Composed to resemble lace or textile designs, the feathers are cut out in precise shapes which respect their innate anatomy whilst evoking the vegetal world. feathers and tapestry overlap, echo and mirror one another. The idea of the bird remains but only as if it had just taken flight.”
Patricia Racine adds: “Our aim is not to erase the past but to revisit it. With this creation that glorifies the groundwork, I feel we have attained our objective in a very graceful manner”.
This, to A-Gent, is a brilliant example 0f overturning traditional codes without rejecting the essence of secular handicraft, and at interpreting a new vision. In the words of The Peak of Chic Jennifer Boles’ book title, ‘In with the Old’. Simply glorious. Don’t you think?
Another day, another, auction house, another sale…and third time lucky.
At a time when the world and its geopolitics seem to have gone awry and make little sense, it feels right for A-gent of Style to welcome and celebrate Vincent Darré, the quirky, fanciful polymath as the parisian storyteller of fashion and design empties his now fabled maison de curiosités for a sale with Piasa in Paris today.
This eccentric creative force who worked for fashion power houses such as Yves Saint Laurent, Montana, Karl Lagerfeld, Moschino and Fendi before going solo to set up his Maison Darré to make his own quirky and whimsical furniture and designs (and many collaborations with artists such as Pierre Le-Tan and textile master Pierre Frey) is inviting us to see for the last time most of the content of his “laboratory of dreams” which have been re-staged as room sets and vignettes at Piasa auction house prior to the sale this evening appropriately titled ‘Vincent Darré, extravagance dadaist’.
Expect to find anatomical curios, anthropomorphic and skeleton pieces, antiques from the flea markets and many of his prototypes and creations influenced by surrealism, cubism and dadaism with odds to Cocteau, Braque, Dali or de Chirico in unconventional juxtapositions similar to his apartment, all filled with memories but little nostalgia. The “anarchist of good taste” is ready to let go of the elements of his phantasmagorical universe to create another one. Judging by his latest idiosyncratic but fantabulous project Hotel Montana in Saint-Germain-des-Près, it is difficult to gauge whether this enfant terrible will move from audacious maximalism to restrained minimalism, and what his reinvention and reincarnation will be. Time will tell. And A-gent of Style simply cannot wait.
– Vincent Darré’s apartment –
Vincent Darré with Vogue’s Suzy Menkes who wrote the preface to the catalogue
You can view the full catalogue here
– A-Gent of Style‘s selection of the sale –
– Imagery by Piasa, Aurélien Mole, and from Piasa’s and Vincent Darré’s Instagram accounts –
A couple of weeks ago, when Xavier Brunswick, 20th C Design specialist at Christie’s, London, approached A-Gent of Style to partake in another collaboration with the illustrious auction house, he felt extremely flattered. When it appeared he was to be involved in the online sale of Line Vautrin’s work, he felt a great sense of excitement – A-Gent of Style has been a great admirer of the “Poetess of Metal” for a long time, which he featured on a few occasions on this blog. When Christie’s offered to do a photo shoot with A-Gent‘s favourite picks from the sale at the latest residential projects he had designed in London, he had to pinch himself to believe it. Ensued an unforgettable and fun day of touching (and playing with) Line Vautrin’s creations, styling the shoot (and a lot of posing) and being interviewed for his favourite picks.
Featuring jewellery, compacts, boxes and mirrors, from 1943 to the late 1960s, with estimates ranging from £200 to £8,000, this online-only auction showcases Line Vautrin (1913-1997)’s mastery to work different materials, let it be bronze, talosel resin or mirror fragments. A handpicked selection from the collection of Helene Theodoropoulos forms the core of this sale. Madame Theodoropoulos was Head of Sales and owner of the boutique that Line Vautrin, “Poetess of Metal”, opened at the passage Sumika, when she moved from Paris to Casablanca in 1949. These works (lots 13 to 39) were given to her directly by the designer and have been in the family ever since. The mix and the variety of the use of materials and the careful use of poetry, charades, wit and humour will take you to the luminous, the timeless world of Line Vautrin, the quintessence of Parisian chic.
Christie’s would like to thank Marie-Laure Bonnaud Vautrin for her help with the cataloguing of these lots.
You can see the live online auction here
Full feature on Christie’s website here
A-GENT of STYLE’s FAVOURITE PICKS:
PHOTO SHOOT (INTERIOR DESIGN by FABRICE BANA):
A-Gent of Style would like to thank Xavier Brunswich and his photographer for this great opportunity, and also his client for letting them do the photo shoot at home.
© Christie’s Images Limited 2015
and A-Gent of Style