Maison et Objet: Italy 1- Belgium 1

4169555rgkhx_1350 Text: Christiana Konstantinou
Image: Aerodynamic Library, Morph in Design

This season's Maison et Objet - the largest home furnishing fair in France - closed its doors this Tuesday, January 26th. While the general mood was in theory "crisis", the show was in reality rather successful. True, less of the smaller designers could afford the trip, but the once who were there gave once again a good lesson to the French industry. Hall # 7, titled "NOW!" was a beautiful display of fresh, new ideas, with the Italians dominating once again. Contemporary furniture from the neighboring country literally stole the show, proving once again their superiority in European design. On the opposite side, the "real Parisian" contemporary style - a mix of real/fake antiques and white-washed/grey tones is no longer the unique privilege of Blanc d'Ivoire.  Numerous Belgian brands like Flamant and Chehoma seem to have taken over the market, competing both in price and quality with the "Parisians". Beware!

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Michel Quarez Poster Art

Quarez wall2 Text and image: Joel Ma

There are two reasons to visit the Michel Quarez Poster Art retrospective other than the impressive works on display. 1) The gallery is inside the magnificent Bibliotheque Forney, a medevial castle which houses an extensive art library, garden and dramatic courtyard. 2) The location close to the Seine in the perpetually interesting Marais district.

When viewing the work of Michel Quarez, one is struck by his prescient connection to today’s modern electro fashion - black jackets and jeans offset by fluo high-top sneakers of Paris teens or the techno affection for colour, see artists such as M.I.A or Lady Gaga. His style is reminiscent of Basquiat or Herring as well as early New York grafitti but still maintaining a distinctly French identity.

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Art Nouveau at Musée d'Orsay

23 Text: Tiffany Tang

By tracing the origin of Art Nouveau in Paris and explaining how the movement developed and spread across the continent, the “Art Nouveau Revival” exhibition in Musée d’Orsay displays a collection of works that best epitomize the different phases of the movement.

The Art Nouveau movement started at the turn of the nineteenth century, but it was met with decades of rejection until the 1960s. The original movement was a reaction against historicism and traditional art in favor of a new style and form that adapted itself to modern life, blurring of boundaries between fine arts and applied arts, and combining the new aesthetics with functionalism. The new aesthetics were characterized by the use of organic floral styles and curved lines as ornamentation in furniture, jewelry and tableware. Originally termed in Paris as “new art,” Art Nouveau took on different names as its influence spread across Europe and to the United States: Jugendstil in Germany, Stile Liberty or Stile Floreale in Italy, Modernismo in Spain, and Nieuwe Kunst in Holland. 

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Artazart Design Bookstore

Inside Artazart low res Text and image: Joel Ma

In the 21st century everyone knows at least one graphic designer. They usually have a keen eye for visual metaphor, impeccable personal hygiene and may or may not wear slim rectangular, black plastic glasses. If the bookshop Artazart were a person, it would be your Graphic designer friend. Artazart stocks a staggering selection of books on photography, architecture, art, web design, graffiti, journals, magazines, children books, bags, cameras, art resources and anything of a stylish visual nature. It announces its presence on the banks of the  Canal St Martin with a bright orange shop front, elegant font and warm lighting. It has been operating for the last ten years and has seen various incarnations including converted gallery to bookshop/gallery to bookshop with a comprehensive online store.

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Slott - Preliminaries: design at the threshold of love

Untitled Text: Kay Roberts
Photo: "Belly Love," Florence Jaffrain

Walk along the side of Gare de l'Est, up towards Gare du Nord, west of the Canal St Martin, catch sight of a shop window with a seductive throbbing light illuminating a white sculpture, or is it a sofa, or is it a bed?  Enter through the courtyard to the internal atelier space of Slott to find, on the ground floor, two objects, one a gold metal form in the shape of a fire, the other a large arbour made of fronds. Objects in that curious hinterland between art and design, art as design or design as art. But as all art forms rapidly morph into each other that is probably an obsolete distinction.

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Cerveau Collectif at Le Laboratoire

6a00d8341c90c353ef0120a5f59a5d970b-300wiText Araceli Salgado Pintor - Photo: Smoking the "Whaf"

An exhibition of innovations and a synthesis of  Le Laboratoire’s creations is what is presented at “Cerveau Collectif”.  In a showroom layout composed by different tables with multiple objects where the spectator is invited to guess which is the invention issued helped by the objects around in each table. With Mustrek, the interactive application for iphone, the visitor can follow the inventors’ steps by reading, hearing or watching the anecdotes attached to each object, also he can try to “puzzle” all  objects at the video table.

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Pop Your Xmas - on the Champs with Castelbajac




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Text by Philippa Brangam image Coolhunter

Understated is certainly not a word you could ever use when talking about fashion designer Jean Charles de Castelbajac. This holiday season he is putting the pop into xmas with an installation at Publicis drugstore. From November 20th Publicis will be covered with jewel colored glass panels creating a stain glass window effect.

This Thursday, 26th November Publicis is hosting a special event to celebrate the installation Pop Your Xmas. With music from DJ Greg Boust, JC will be Present when the lights are switched on at 7pm and a book signing in-shop will follow. He has also designed a series of exclusive gifts available on the ground floor of the store.  A great chance to meet the charismatic designer and get a head start on Christmas shopping.

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WIN tickets to Diptyque's 'Wycinanki' Candle Launch

Wycinanki Text by Eva Krysiak

Candle and perfume retailer Diptyque are launching three special Wycinanki candles for their winter Christmas collection. 'Wycinanki' are traditional Polish cut-outs, whose delicate motifs depict the animals and plants of the local region. The Wycinanki were used as decorations at home during celebrations and festive seasons, and especially during Christmas.

The Diptyque candles will come in three festive scents of Christmas: Sapin, Benjoin and Marrons grillés. The launch party of these candles will take place on November 26th, and VINGT paris have two invitations (each admitting 2 guests) to give away to readers.

For a chance to win send your top 20 festive suggestions for Paris to news (@) vingtparis.com.

Pershing Hall Hotel

P-pershinghall1 Text by Eva Krysiak

Pershing Hall Hotel provides a striking blend of sensory titillation. Dramatic green, red and pink lighting cloaks the walls and the smell of fresh mint and limes wafts from the cocktails. A vertical, botanical wall provides the centerpiece of the downstairs lounge - at 30 metres high and spanning two floors, it provides a dramatic setting. 

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Cité de la Mode et du Design

Cite Anna Bromwich writing for VINGT Paris

Cité de la mode et du Design,image by Ollografik

Perched on Quai D’Austerlitz on the old industrial banks of the Seine is a 21st century Emerald City. The Cité de la Mode et du Design is a converted storehouse wrapped in a vibrant green, wavy skin that was designed to echo the murky Seine running beside it.

Cité de la Mode is due to open in early 2010 and the public should soon be able to visit the complex of boutiques, restaurants and exhibition spaces all pertaining to the theme of fashion and design.  The building already plays host to the post-graduate fashion design and management school l’Institut de la Mode. However, it is the Cité's adventurous architecture which is the greatest testament to its proposed use. Twenty years ago this part of town was a run down industrial zone. Stretching from Gare d'Austerlitz to Boulevard Général Jean-Simon, a visit to this corner of the 13th arrondissement was easily bypassed unless you happened to be tugging a boatload of merchandise up the Seine.

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