BIRDS of a FEATHER: JANAINA MILHEIRO & ROBERT FOUR-AUBUSSON







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?














































IN CONVERSATION WITH RACHEL BATES at CHRISTIE’S LATES











A-Gent of Style is thrilled and honoured to be Rachel Bates’s special guest tomorrow evening at Christie’s Lates. The delightful interior and product designer will be in conversation with me to discuss ‘the most important colour in the universe’ as part of the Colour and Form theme. We hope to see as many of you as possible.

Tuesday 7 February 2017

The Hangar Gallery 7.15pm

Christie’s South Kensington, 85 Old Brompton Road, London SW7 3LD

Free entry





Brighten up your winter with an evening devoted to colour and form. On 7 February  at Christie’s South Kensington, interior designer Rachel Bates and A-Gent of Style Fabrice Bana will discuss “The Most Important Colour in the Universe.” Design journalist Kassia St Clair will tell “Five Colourful Stories” behind her new book, The Secret Lives of Colour. Felicity Aylieff, a ceramic artist and Senior Tutor of Ceramics and Glass at the Royal College of Art, will lead a tour of the RCA’s pop-up ceramics exhibition, and Christie’s specialist Imogen Kerr will discuss highlights from our upcoming Impressionist & Modern Art sale. Discover the art of top-tier handbag collecting with Christie’s specialist Matthew Rubinger, and purchase bespoke stationery from Armorial, the renowned Parisian stationers. To top it off, Morag Iona Young, a personal stylist at House of Colour, will stage a series of short workshops demonstrating how colour can transform the way we look and feel about ourselves.












ANCIEN & MODERNE 2017







The biggest event in the design calendar in January was undoubtedly in Paris at Maison & Objet and Paris Déco Off.
A-Gent of Style was honoured to be for the 3rd time jury member of the Paris Déco Off this year which took him on a whirlwind of launches, talks, events, networking, and many many meals and parties all around the French capital with old and new design friends .



One of the most-anticipated destinations this year was the 2nd instalment of Ancien & Moderne, the lifestyle bohemian pop-up shop located temporarily in a charming street of Saint-Germain des Près only steps away from the Seine river. The brainchild of the divine Stacey Bewkes of Quintessence and Beth Dempsey of Images & Details, Ancien & Moderne regrouped a fine, talented cohort of international design tastemakers who altogether presented their new creations specially conceived for the event. The result was once again timeless and beautiful, and the symbiosis of various creative minds collaborating on a single project was inspiring as well as refreshing. 




The star of the show was the incredible composition Bruyère by Fromental who designed a striking hand-painted silk wallcovering inspired by French textiles maven Jean Lurçat that wrapped the whole pop-up in a vibrant English mustard filled with whimsical details taken predominantly from nature.










Justin van Breda presented stylishly customised pieces of furniture with Fromental, The Rug Company a burgundy patterned rug designed by Martyn Lawrence Bullard, Philippe Berry his playful bronze furniture with butterflies, Porta Romana table lamps, Michelle Nussbaumer her new book, fabric collection and jewellery, Tuile à Loup their beautiful ceramics, and acclaimed designers Bambi Sloan, Timothy Corrigan, Frank De Biasi and Alex Papachristidis provided dazzling mirrors.

And let it be said, Ancien & Moderne brought much sunshine and optimism on that historical infamous inaugural day. I hope it brings you the same and more today.






























Until next year, félicitations to all involved. Chapeau! And thank you for given us, if only temporarily, a new Yellow Room room to cherish!







PHANTASMAGORIA: VINCENT DARRE & PIASA





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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.


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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’.


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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 –


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– ‘Vincent Darré, extravagance dadaist’ exhibition at Piasa, Paris – 


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Vincent Darré with Vogue’s Suzy Menkes who wrote the preface to the catalogue

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You can view the full catalogue here

A-Gent of Style‘s selection of the sale –


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– Imagery by Piasa, Aurélien Mole, and from Piasa’s and Vincent Darré’s Instagram accounts –

 

 

 

 

 

 

FLEUR COWLES, FLAIR & CHRISTIE’S





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Like A-gent of Style, some of you might admire (and get easily entertained) by larger-than-life characters from the world of publishing and fashion such as Diana Vreeland and Anna Winter – and documentaries about their respective career such as The Eye has to Travel and The September Issue (the newly released The First Monday in May has proven to be a very entertaining). Not many people however would have heard of another charismatic and influential editor belonging to that executive and glamourous club.


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Fleur Cowles was a renowned publisher, journalist, author, artist, patron and fashionista who also maintained a position as a doyenne of both New York and London society for the better part of a century. Created in 1950, her magazine Flair was renowned for its striking design and lavish production as for its editorial content. Despite strong circulation, the colossal costs for special features, such as embossed cover cut-outs and unfolding pages that revealed hidden pictures as well as original artwork produced by the celebrated illustrator René Gruau, caused the magazine to run for only a year. To this day, Flair remains a much respected publication and copies are still highly sought after almost 70 years after the last issue went to press.


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Tomorrow Christie’s South Kensington will present the collection of  Fleur Cowles who died in 2009.

The eclectic collection to be offered at Christie’s South Kensington offers a rare glimpse into the private world Cowles created. She and her last husband, Thomas Montague-Meyer, together occupied two adjoining ‘sets’ at one of London’s most renowned addresses – Albany, Piccadilly – for more than 50 years. Her striking interiors remained unchanged during these decades and the auction will capture the magic of a time-capsule broken open for the first time.


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The collection illustrates not only the amazing interiors Cowles created in her secluded London home, but also the amazing life the bigger-than-life aesthete lived; the auction  includes everything from her 1950’s Dior hats and designs for famed Flair magazine, to her prized collection of naïf art, furniture, sculpture and works of art, as well as some of her own paintings and photographs dedicated from many of her famous friends, such as Vivien Leigh, Lady Bird Johnson and the Duchess of Windsor – she counted amongst her circle General Eisenhower, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Cary Grant, HSH Princess Grace of Monaco and the Reagans to name but a few. 


Now, wouldn’t a biopic about Madame Cowles’s life be just the ticket? And imagine what her Instagram account would be like!


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– The sets  currently on view at South Kensington designed by Cave Interiors, Joanna Wood Interior Design and Maddux Creative –


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Here is A-Gent of Style‘s selection from the collection

You can view the full catalogue here




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– All images by Christie’s – 










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