WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT: INGE MOORE & THE GALLERY HBA



 
Last week in his post about the Sleep event and the European Hotel Design Awards ceremony, A-Gent of Style revealed he had been invited to interview two eminent guest speakers at Europe’s leading hotel design and development fair. Both interviewees turned out to be equally fascinating and charming, and so today, as promised, A-Gent would like to share with you one of these interviews and hopes you find it as inspirational as he did.



Founded in Los Angeles in 1964, Hirsch Bedner Associates has been leading the hotel design industry as an interior design firm with an international presence, depth of experience and detailed industry knowledge. With over 1,200 designers around the globe in 16 offices and a recent expansion in several locations in Asia, HBA has been creating the signature looks of todays luxury brands, independent contemporary boutiques, urban resort spas, world-class residences, restaurants, casinos, and cruise ships from one continent to another.



Top Ban, Israel

The Sea Hotel, Bay Yam, Israel


“The Gallery” is HBA’s London satellite office based in Notting Hill which was established in 2011 under the umbrella of HBA’s London studios and geared toward projects with a high degree of individualization and conceptual, bespoke interiors.






Inge Moore came to the UK in 2001 from her native South Africa
(she designed the country’s first post-apartheid museum in a collaboration with Museum Africa, as well as numerous, innovative hotel and casino projects for South African hotel group Sun International) to join the London team.




After becoming in 2008 the head and creative director of The Gallery, Mrs Moore was appointed early this year as President, Europe of HBA International.
Two weeks ago, she was awarded at a ceremony in New York the famed accolade Gold Key Designer of the Year, the premier award for hotel designers around the world judged by key people in hotel development, celebrating success across the range of hospitality, from luxury guest rooms, to eco and socially conscious hotels and budget focused services.


The_St_Regis_Rome_Ambassador_Couture_Suite_Living_Room (1)


One of the reasons for this success is her being at the helm of some of the most luxurious hotels in the world as some of her latest projects can attest: the Royal Suite in the InterContinental Park Lane, Mena House and the Fairmont Nile City in Cairo, Hotel Alfonso XIII in Seville, the Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastian, the St. Regis in Rome and the Ritz Carlton in Mauritius.

Alfonso XIII, Seville, Spain

Alfonso XIII, Seville, Spain


As you may remember, A-Gent of Style attended
the glitzy European Hotel Design Awards ceremony last Tuesday evening
(you can see all the results here) where, amongst other competing design companies, The Gallery was nominated for three awards (the most nominations any firm received this year).

That night, The Gallery HBA won each of the three gongs for the same project,
The Alpina Gstaad in Gstaad, Switzerland: the best Lobby, Lounge & Public Areas award, the best Bedrooms & Bathrooms award and the acclaimed
European Hotel Design of the Year award. To say that The Gallery and Inge Moore have been riding a wave lately and that 2013 was a glorious year for them would be an understatement. Rather impressive.


The Alpina Gstaad, Gstaad, Switzerland

The Alpina Gstaad, Gstaad, Switzerland

 

The Alpina Gstaad, Gstaad, Switzerland

The Alpina Gstaad, Gstaad, Switzerland

 

The Alpina Gstaad, Gstaad, Switzerland

The Alpina Gstaad, Gstaad, Switzerland

 

The Alpina Gstaad, Gstaad, Switzerland

The Alpina Gstaad, Gstaad, Switzerland

 

The following day, A-Gent of Style was covering parts of the Sleep event and managed to catch up briefly with Inge Moore between a seminar,
Destination Luxury, where she was a guest speaker and an interview she was giving with none other than Ian Schrager, Sleep 2013’s headline speaker (The Gallery HBA designed the ESPA spa at the Istanbul EDITION hotel, an Ian Schrager and Marriott Hotels partnership).






You won the Gold Key Designer of the Year award in New York and your project The Alpina Gstaad in Gstaad, Switzerland took away the best Lobby, Lounge & Public Areas award, the best Bedrooms & Bathrooms award and the acclaimed European Hotel Design of the Year award. Congratulations are in order. What are your feelings or impressions?

It is amazing that we won! But we have to carry on and do more, new, fabulous properties. We have to keep it up; the pressure is on. ‘What do we do next’ is the question. But it is a nice tap on the shoulder because there are so few awards. Generally, you get yield at by the operators or the owners, or you’re told you’re spending too much money, that you never get things done fast enough. But it’s also great for the whole team, it’s a great validation for The Gallery.




What does Sleep represent to you?

It’s at the heart of the UK hotel design industry; it all comes together once a year and it’s always exciting to be back. I was delighted to be invited to a seminar.

The Alpiina, Gstaad, Gstaad, Switzerland



What is the position of London on the design scene?

London has really moved forward; in the design world, it’s at the centre. The good agencies are in London and it’s nice to work from London.


Park Lane InterContinental, London

Park Lane InterContinental, London

 

Park Lane InterContinental, London

Park Lane InterContinental, London



Are you aware of leaving a legacy behind you?

It’s flattering to see our projects being used as inspirational ideas. It’s hard work being a designer. But the great thing is you always have an end result, there’s something you’ve built, something tangible as opposed for example to an accountant and having financial statements.
Ultimately, I want people to enjoy our projects.


ESPA at The Europe, Killarney, Ireland

ESPA at The Europe, Killarney, Ireland



Would you agree that simplicity is key to successful design?

Absolutely. Life is so complicated. Real luxury is real simplicity, having not too much stuff. The art of design is editing, knowing what not to put in.

The EDITION ESPA, Istanbul

The ESPA, Istanbul EDITION, Turkey

What inspires you most? Where do you draw your inspirations?

Everything, a blog late at night, looking at beautiful pictures, a walk in the park, when I see a beautiful colour on an autumn leaf, everything’s that around me.
And the retail world is aspiring: fabulous fashion shoot and shows for instance.
You must get the ethos of the time.

The Avenue, Oman

The Avenue, Oman



Are you conscious of creating a narrative for your projects?

Totally. It’s a strong concept. I believe you need to spend a lot of time upfront and it makes things easier otherwise it becomes a muddle.


Cairo Marriott, Saraya Gallery, Cairo, Egypt

Cairo Marriott, Saraya Gallery, Cairo, Egypt



What length do you go to to achieve perfection?

To all lengths, to the end of the world because it needs to be right.

The EDITION ESPA, Istanbul

The ESPA, Istanbul EDITION



How much do you specify what you do? O
n average, what percentage is bespoke or custom-tailored?

I’d say 70% is custom-made items. I think it’s very boring to re-use pieces that people just recognise everywhere. It’s great for the suppliers and well done to them but when you walk into a hotel, you want to see something unique and special. And that’s what’s great about the hotel industry, we can customise.


The EDITION ESPA, Istanbul

The ESPA, Istanbul EDITION



Who are your design icons?

Ian Schrager! And Coco Chanel.







HBA will be 50 in 2015. Where do you see HBA in 50 years’ time?

I think HBA needs to break up and become more of a conglomerate of independent studios; we are all independent at the moment and we do our own things but we need to be further looked after and developed; it mustn’t be a corporate but rather a collaborative of different, little, interesting, really special things.


Cairo Marriott, Saraya Gallery, Cairo, Egypt

Cairo Marriott, Saraya Gallery, Cairo, Egypt



If there is such a thing, what is a typical day for you?

It’s always manic and there’s always more to do but I wouldn’t change it.




Is there a common denominator to your projects?

I think they are very tactile; they all have beautiful materials, it’s never flat, there’s always something you can touch and feel. A project by The Gallery is always a narrative-based tactile project.



The Alpina Gstaad, Gstaad, Switzerland

The Alpina Gstaad, Gstaad, Switzerland



The Alpina, Gstaad already looks like an iconic, timeless project. What are your thoughts on the time limit of a project?

I think every project should be timeless. Even it is a 1960s project for instance. It mustn’t be finished in two years. People like builders, investors and owners spend a lot of money. It needs to last, to have a patina as it ages rather than become old and be thrown away.


Alfonso XIII, Seville, Spain

Alfonso XIII, Seville, Spain. Art deco and teal!!! Heaven.



When do you know a project is finished?

Only when it’s finished built and I hand over the keys to the owner then it becomes theirs to look after and I can move on to the next project.


Hilton, Heathrow

Hilton, Heathrow



What is your own definition of luxury?

A day I can spend with my family, in the sunshine, and there’s no stress that day, spending the day cooking, pottering around.

 

Alfonso XIII, Seville, Spain

Alfonso XIII, Seville, Spain

 

St Regis, Rome

St Regis, Rome

 

 – All photos of HBA projects, The Gallery studio and Inge Moore
by Hirsch Bedner Associates –



 

CHIC SHEEP DON’T COME CHEAP: THE WHIMSICAL WORLD OF LES LALANNE







“They are not furniture, they are not sculpture – call them ‘Lalannes.”

– Claude Lalanne –


“The supreme art is the art of living.”

– François-Xavier Lalanne –







Rhinos, hippos, alligators, apes, monkeys, bulls, bears, hares, chickens, sheep…



 Fret not. A-Gent of Style doesn’t house a ménagerie at home.

A collection of wild and domestic animals is currently on show at Sotheby’s
in New York but instead of being alive, running free or even stuffed, they are in fact part of Les Lalanne: The Poetry of Sculpture, a selling exhibition organised by the auction house featuring whimsical works by Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne, hosted in the New York S|2 private sales gallery from 31 October
through 22 November 2013.




The French artist couple’s most iconic and sought-after works chosen and curated by Paul Kasmin, a long-time gallerist of the duo, and Michael Shvo, an avid collector of the works, are exhibited in a space transformed into a “midnight garden and thereby evoke the surrealist sculptors’ magical world in which their life and art were intertwined since the 1960’s.”



If you believe in François-Xavier’s credo “The supreme art is the art of living”, then the pieces below currently up for grab at Sotheby’s might be for you; some of them, including their signature curly sheep, date back to the 1990s whilst others were created in the last decade and a few were made by Claude Lalanne in the last few years. You can view the full listing here. Desperate to be in New York now doesn’t even start to describe how A-Gent of Style feels at the moment.


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The 89-year-old Claude Lalanne, whose age hasn’t slowed (she goes to her Ury studio every day starting at 8 a.m), attended last month the opening reception at Sotheby’s with Michael Shvo (François-Xavier Lalanne died in 2008).

Michael Shvo and Claude Lalanne

Michael Shvo and Claude Lalanne



Throughout the decades, Lalanne’s surrealist and mischievous objets have always been prized and appreciated by collectors but in recent years, they have been appearing in many gallery and museum shows and major design auctions.
The latest and largest gathering of Lalannes was the retrospective
at Le Musée des Arts Décoratifs in 2010 in Paris.




A Rhino screen designed by Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne made an appearance at PAD a few weeks ago at the Galerie Jean-David Botella.



This sale will be no exception and prices are most likely to go through the roof.
The estimates ranging from $20,000 to $1.5 million will probably top the sky-high prices Lalannes generally command. In 2008, the year of François-Xavier’s death, one of his sheep stools sold for more than double the estimate, at $158,50.
On December 2012 in New York, a pair of Lalanne sheep stool sculptures sell for $542,500. And in December 2011, a group of ten sheep, “Mouton de Pierre” designed circa 1979, sold for $7.5 million at Christie’s New York.




Crocodile Banquette, a gilt-bronze and copper crocodile bench designed
by Claude Lalanne in 2008, was sold by Christie’s for $482,500 in December 2009.


Kasmin-Shvo also curated another show in New York featuring Lalanne works called ‘The Sheep Station’ on display at a former Getty station turned grass station in Chelsea, Manhattan, where twenty-five life -size sculptures of the iconic epoxy stone and bronze “Moutons” of Francois-Xavier Lalanne grazed.
Claude Lalanne also attended the opening party which took place on the grass. The show, which ended last week, is the first of a series of installations on the site that has been dubbed Getty Station. It must have been quite a scene to turn the corner of a block and suddenly see this faux pastoral landscape.









Claude and François-Xavier met in 1952 and started their working collaboration in 1956. They both shared a passion for animals and nature; their first exhibition in 1964 was called “Zoophites”. Until François-Xavier’s death, the inseparable couple always worked and exhibited together. They have often been regarded as a single entity hence their moniker ‘Les Lalanne’ (family names don’t take the plural form in French) but seldom collaborated on a piece of work.


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Generally speaking, Claude’s works tend to be inspired by botanicals and are therefore delicate and intricate sometimes baroque; they are on the cusp of fine art and decorative art and can be used as jewellery, furniture and silverware. She uses traditional casting techniques with contemporary electroplating methods.









Her equally inventive late husband François-Xavier, on the other hand, was inspired by wild, hefty animals like the hippopotamus or the rhinoceros and was influenced by ancient Egyptian sculptures. He crafted more weighty, stylized forms using big metal sheets to emphasize his animals’ scale.






The duo always remained true and faithful to their aesthetic tenets and never embraced the various popular movements du moment such as Pop Art and abstraction. Les Lalanne’s world is a realm where Surrealism, Nouveau Réalisme and anthropomorphism merge, where each and every living organism and creation is playful, whimsical and unique and combines the decorative and fine arts. Functionality is also key: their objects can be touched, used, sat or eaten on or even sometimes slept in.








From the 1960s onwards, Les Lalanne captivated a whole generation and soon had a cult following among notable private collectors around the world who either bought their works or even commissioned them bespoke projects. Fashion luminaries such as Coco Chanel, Hubert de Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé,
Karl Lagerfeld, Valentino and more recently Marc Jacobs, John Galliano, Tom Ford and François Pinault are some of the Lalanne’s biggest collecting fans.

Coco Chanel in her Paris apartment, rue Cambon

Coco Chanel in her Paris apartment, rue Cambon




 

    Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge

Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge

 

Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge

Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge

 

Valentino

Valentino

 

Marc Jabos Paris apartment

Marc Jabobs Paris apartment

 

Tom Ford Madison Avenue flagship lalanne

Tom Ford Madison Avenue flagship, New York

 

By Peter Marino

By Peter Marino



In 1969, the Lalannes collaborated with Yves Saint Laurent for one of his collections: they designed moulded bronze breastplates and bustiers that served as the bodice of a gown for the model Veruschka, three decades before Jean-Paul Gaultier’s conical bras for HR Madgeness.

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In 1976, Serge Gainsbourg notoriously named one of his most successful albums  L’Homme à Tête de Chou (literally The Man with the Cabbage Head) after acquiring a sculpture by Claude Lalanne which Gainsbourg featured on the album cover.





Today, it is not uncommon to come across in design publications
Lalanne flora-and-fauna pieces of art in the elegant and eclectic homes of serious collectors. A-Gent of Style always finds it entertaining to be able to spot a Lalanne – or a Polar Bear as a matter of fact.

Reed-Krakoff apartment, New York, designed by Pamplemousse Design

Reed-Krakoff’s apartment, New York, designed by Delphine Krakoff of Pamplemousse Design. Spot the Lalanne, spot the Polar Bear

 




By Jean-Louis Deniot

By Jean-Louis Deniot

 

By Peter Marino, FAIA

By Peter Marino

 

By Brian McCarthy

By Brian McCarthy

 

Carla Fendi’s Roman apartment

 




The latest monograph on Les Lalanne was published in 2007 and authored by two long-standing Lalanne devotees, the architect Peter Marino and Reed Krakoff, President and Executive Creative Director of Coach and husband of the talented Delphine Krakoff of Pamplemousse Design.




By Rose Anne de Pampelonne

By Rose Anne de Pampelonne

 

Claude Lalanne, Peter Marino and Michael Shvo

Claude Lalanne, Peter Marino and Michael Shvo



Chic sheep are not cheap!

Some of the Lalanne sheep were also featured last month in A-Gent of Style‘s retrospective for The Campaign for Wool.





A ROOM WITH A VIEW: GIANCARLO GIAMMETTI’S MANHATTAN EYRIE




“I would describe the look of the apartment as chiaroscuro, with rich browns and gold accents”
 
– Giancarlo Giammetti –



An apartment in Rome, a villa in Cetona, Chalet Gifferhorn in Gstaad
and Château de Wideville outside Paris.



Since 2010, fashion mogul Giancarlo Giammetti has had the luxury to add a penthouse in New York to the roster of exclusive homes he shares with his longtime business and life partner Valentino Garavani, simply known as Valentino, the illustrious Italian fashion designer. Giammetti bought the sleek Manhattan eyrie for $18.5 million a couple of years after he retired from the company and enlisted the gifted French interior designer Jacques Grange to decorate it.

Valentino and Giancarlo

Valentino and Giancarlo


A-Gent of Style is completely smitten with the decor and palette of Giammetti’s supremely chic and masculine abode. The result is a much more sedate and simpler affair than, for instance, his Cetona villa which was Renzo Mongiardino’s final project in the 1980s, saturated with kaleidoscopic pattern combinations
 and trompe-l-oeil. Which is not to say the penthouse is mundane and dull.
On the contrary, it exudes warmth, refinement and glamour. The floor-to-ceiling glass walls fill the apartment with an abundance of light and offer spectacular, panoramic vistas of Manhattan and Long Island. The indoor views of the museum-quality paintings by Picasso, David Hockney, Cy Twombly, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Richard Prince are rather impressive too.

Giammetti with a Richard Prince paiting behind him, looks out of the window, surrounded by layouts of his memoirs Private: Giancarlo Giammetti

Giammetti, in front of a Richard Prince ‘The Nurse’ painting, looks out of the window, surrounded by layouts of his newly-published memoirs ‘Private: Giancarlo Giammetti’


“I love rooms with a darker feeling,” Giammetti says. “New York is a city of light and views, but I wanted a compromise between that openness and my love of warmer, darker tones. I would describe the look of the apartment as chiaroscuro, with rich browns and gold accents”. The trained architect from the Università di Architettura La Sapienza in Rome who dropped out to join Valentino in business then adds: “I love lofty rooms and big open spaces where entertaining is easier and where art is very important. However, I do not build useless walls to gain space for art. I don’t want my house to look like a gallery with white walls and great lights.”



Giammetti invited Architectural Digest to have a peek at his abode which was published in its current December issue, perhaps as Christmas gift to its readers.




The photo shoot coincides with the publication by Assouline of
 Private: Giancarlo Giammetti, a photographic memoir of Giammetti’s life with a selection of more than 50,000 photographs, many taken by Giammetti himself, that the Italian fashionista has amassed over the years and that chronicles his glamourous, jet-setting social whirl with Valentino amongst the stars, models, artists and socialites of the moment.

If like A-Gent of Style, you recently drooled over the movie La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty) and particularly ‘those’ two sensational parties, you will no doubt relish every single page of the book.

Giancarlo at his book launch, Assouline bookshop, Claridges, October 2013

Giancarlo at his book launch, Assouline bookshop, Claridge’s, October 2013




But for now, let’s study, analyse and dissect!




The brown polished parquet covering most of the floor surfaces is the perfect neutral foil for the stunning structural columns and some of the walls sheathed in Indian mica which adds an enticing touch of old Hollywood glamour thanks to its shimmery hues of charcoal and brass. The mid-20th C Serge Roche-looking table is faceted in mirrors and the two chairs are by Giacometti. Bronze and glass Crittall doors lead to the kitchen on the right-hand side of the hallway.




An imposing gilt-bronze candelabra circa-1940 in the form of a tree towers near a book-shaped sculpture by Anselm Kiefer.



 In the bright living room, atop a rug by Beauvais Carpets, both armchairs, upholstered in a tiger-stripe fabric by Le Manach, and ottomans were designed by Grange himself; the focal painting is by Richard Prince, the vintage cocktail table is by Philip and Kelvin LaVerne, the vintage floor lamps are by Karl Springer from Liz O’Brien and the gilt-bronze crocodile chair is by Claude Lalanne. On the right, a circa-1800 Swedish gilt-wood armchair from H. M. Luther stands next to a table designed by Nick Allen. The sculpture is by Alexander Calder.



The vibrant red in the painting by Basquiat is echoed in the two lacquered-aluminum Chinese red fretwork chairs on either side of the black lacquer credenza and the red timber of the sensually-shaped dining chairs were designed once again by Grange and were possibly inspired by André Arbus. Note the interesting choice of having not one but two sets of round, bronze dining tables.


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An Art Deco feel is prevalent in the apartment as the geometrically patterned brass mirror can vouch for.



A 1935 Eugene Printz timber-framed and demi-lune brass legs console topped by Chinese stoneware cranes, a rug by Peter Marino, two acrylic side tables from Liz O’Brien and paintings by Picasso and David Hockney are the decorative ‘ingredients’ for this sitting room.


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A very simple, practical open-plan kitchen is adorned by a vintage Georg Jensen silver coffee service.



This ravishing corridor panelled in rosewood and walnut with a Jean-Michel Basquiat canvas leads to the bedrooms.




Another room, another view and angle of Manhattan. A Cy Twombly triptych and jungle-themed materials make up the master suite: a leopard-print carpet by Beauvais redolent of Madeleine Castaing, stools designed by Maison Ramsay circa-1940, palm-tree upholstered cushions on the Philippe Hiquily vintage armchair and a desk by Eugene Printz.


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Facing the master bed, a Joseph Hoffmann chair next to a corner desk in rosewood and discreet fabric-lined walls as a backdrop.




The big damask print on the two-seater sofa and the over-sized Richard Prince painting complement the dusky palette of the master bedroom’s sitting area.




A grey, masculine guest room is clad in a Donghia wallcovering; the side tables, circa-1945, are by David Iatesta and the Murano glass lamps are
by Dino Martens.



The pared-down master bathroom’s elegant and serene palette of white and grey doesn’t detract from the awe-inspiring views of Upper Manhattan and Central Park; white Calacatta marble on the counter tops and splashbacks, Rachel Feinstein painting and a bench by Jansen bench circa-1960. 

Now, that’s what A-Gent of Style calls ‘a room with a view’!



– Photos of interiors by Architectural Digest –




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