The Spirit of Paris
L’ESPRIT DE PARIS: SELECTED GUESTS SHOWCASING FRENCH SAVOIR-FAIRE
In celebration of the Parisian and incredibly Rive Gauche spirit that defines it, Le Bon Marché is opening a new section, "L’Esprit de Paris", on the first floor of the store. Located on the first floor and designed like a cabinet of curiosities, the space plays host exclusively to designers and artisans who share the same vision for a French art of living.
To coincide with its opening, Le Bon Marché met up with Julie Stordiau, Vincent Farelly and Jean-Baptiste Martin from Antoinette Poisson, Alix D Reynis, Marin Montagut and Marielle Hénon-Dhuicque from the Faïencerie de Gien, as well as Soledad Bravi and Philippe Model, to ask them for their favourite memories of Paris through declarations of love for its elegant heritage.
A PARIS CHEZ ANTOINETTE POISSON
Julie Stordiau, Vincent Farelly and Jean-Baptiste Martin are a group of three restorers specialising in wallpaper. It was on the site of an historic dwelling in the Auvergne that they discovered fragments of decorative Dominoterie beneath layers of wallpaper accumulated over the centuries.
In 2012, they joined forces and took on the challenge of resurrecting this French savoir-faire typical of the 18th century decorative arts. They founded the company A Paris chez Antoinette Poisson.
A Paris chez Antoinette Poisson produces collections that combine historical designs with classic patterns, although the trio also designs original patterns for their own collection.
Jean-Baptiste: "For me, one of my favourite memories in Paris is of a 1910 costume ball on the 2nd floor of the Eiffel Tower! Historical and magical in equal measure."
ALIX D REYNIS
It is by taking inspiration from French heritage and in particular, the streets of Paris, that the brand’s eponymous designer, Alix D Reynis, mixes modern and traditional styles with shapes from antiquity and the Orient, such as the laurel leaf, cross and arabesques. These combinations gave rise to the Limoges porcelain tableware and lighting collections. Every piece is hand-crafted in the traditional manner and perpetuates savoir-faire and craftsmanship, key features of the brand.
"My favourite memory of Paris are the years I spent at the Pantheon University close to the Jardin du Luxembourg, where I spent many happy hours... That and times spent with my sister walking around Paris, exploring different districts and taking photos to develop in the cellar at home."
© Wilfried Antoine Desveaux
A Paris chez Antoinette Poisson, pochettes
A Paris chez Antoinette Poisson, wallpaper
A Paris chez Antoinette Poisson, notebook
Alix D Reynis, streets of Paris tumblers
Alix D Reynis, Byzance candle
Alix D Reynis, small Orion jug
Over the course of his career and travels, Marin Montagut amassed antiques and curios of every description. This self-educated aesthete, globetrotter and artist of many talents likes to share his passion for the French art of living through collected objects evoking memories from around the world and designs by his eponymous brand, some of them produced in collaboration with craftsmen.
"My favourite memory in Paris has to be the first night I spent in the apartment I bought in the 11th arrondissement 3 years ago. We spent the first night up on the roof drinking champagne looking out at the rooftops of Paris. The symbolism of acquiring a little bit of the city that I moved to some 15 years ago felt meaningful. My little home perched up on the 7th floor and overlooking the rooftops of Paris is picture perfect."
Read the exclusive interview with Marin Montagut for Le Bon Marché complete with photos of his pop-up.
The Faïencerie de Gien was founded in 1821 in the Loire Valley in the heart of France. Symbolic of French savoir-faire, warm and living matter, Gien fine earthenware is unique and distinctive for its natural composition, the quality of its products and its designs. The two-hundred-year-old factory chose Antoinette Poisson to adorn its designs from the 19th century archives.
Marielle Hénon-Dhuicque, Creative Director: “Paris is a city full of secrets, as I've been discovering and rediscovering on my bike every day for over 20 years – it’s a great way to get around this beautiful city, which embodies understated charm and the French way of living. As a Parisian, I need this day-to-day delight... My favourite memory is crossing Pont Sully at 8 o’clock in the morning and watching the sun rise over Notre-Dame."
Marin Montagut, globe
Marin Montagut, soap
Marin Montagut, cushion
Gien, plate and cup
Gien, cake plate
The renowned illustrator, Soledad, has drawing in her bones. After attending the Penninghen School of Art Direction and Interior Design, she went into advertising. Then, when her daughter was born, she made illustration her career.
She created eight drawings of Le Bon Marché and the Rive Gauche exclusively for the "Esprit de Paris" department, available as posters or notebooks produced by Image Republic.
"One of my favourite memories is walking with the family in the Jardin du Luxembourg. In the autumn, my daughters with their pockets full of chestnuts, shouting "There!" every time they see another chestnut. Watching them go off on their roller skates, scooters or bikes in the spring. Happy days! And rounded off with some candy floss or a strawberry ice cream."
Blending Parisian elegance and playfulness, the style of Philippe Model presents itself as upbeat and colourful with careful consideration given to the choice of fabrics and materials used. At Le Bon Marché, he is showcasing a typically Parisian terrace. In doing so, he recreates the jolly feel of the wonderfully relaxing bistros in Paris.
"The exceptional beauty of Paris affects me every time I cross the bridges in the morning, all year round, like the Pont Royal or the Passerelle des Arts and I gaze at the wonderful clouds over the Seine and the silvery rooftops. It’s always different and always provokes strong feelings."
Philippe Model, curved bench
Philippe Model, "Rive Gauche" chair
Philippe Model, table with feet
Soledad Bravi, artwork
Soledad Bravi, artwork
Soledad Bravi, notebooks