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Five Parisians at Heart

Aug 28, 2017

These five creatives share a passion for creativity in all its many forms, with work ranging from furniture to lighting, hotel and restaurant renovations, luxury-brand scenography and clothing and accessory collections.

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Text by Lise Coirier
Photography by Patricia Parinejad

What these five creatives have in common is a passion for creativity in all its many forms. Their work ranges from furniture to lighting, hotel and restaurant renovations, luxury brand scenography and staging and collections of clothing and accessories. It encompasses both small pieces and large-scale, graphics and sensory-driven productions; both erotic drawings and sudden flashes of inspiration. TLmag met with these five designers over the course of 48 intense, animated hours while Paris was in full FIAC mode, humming to the tune of contemporary art both night and day.

The city awakens to a new day in the studios of these designers, each of whom has her own secret garden planted with her own unique sources of inspiration, whether that be an imaginary bestiary, trips abroad or encounters with craftsmen and their specific skills. Ultimately, their work is informed by both their clients’ needs and their own personal dreams and visions, which they manage to communicate so beautifully.

Paris has more to offer than just professional opportunities. The French capital overflows with life. From its village-like neighbourhoods to its beautiful, UNESCO World Heritage-worthy architecture and zinc and slate-tiled roofs, Paris is still the City of Light. The lively, cobblestone courtyards bear witness to each passing century in Paris, a city whose charm remains both authentic and intact.

Constance Guisset: The Fan of Finesse
“In Paris, I pick my own moments of freedom”

After many fruitful years at Bouroullec, Constance Guisset launched her own studio in Paris seven years ago. Anima, her solo exhibition at the mudac in Lausanne, calls into question the systems of black and white and coloured objects that Guisset designed for the occasion. In all of her scenography work, including the recent Angelin Preljocaj ballet La Fresque, Guisset unpacks perception, creates surprise, invents new applications and demonstrates true generosity. At her Paris studio, which is part prototyping workshop and part design studio, the primacy of space is evident throughout. In her recent book, themes of shape, humour, finesse, colour, abstraction and impermanence are woven together.

Constance Guisset Studio. Editions Infolio, 2016.
Studio: 14, rue Cavé, 75018 Paris

Pauline Deltour: The Minaudière Magician
“I live in the Batignolles. It’s more spacious and has more parks. Before that, I lived in the 15th, 7th and 11th arrondissements and in the neighbourhoods of Faubourg St. Antoine during my residency at the Ateliers de Paris, Faubourg St. Denis and lastly, Magenta.”

Pauline Deltour is a Paris transplant from the north of France. She attended Ensaama and EnsAD before spending four years assisting Konstantin Grcic and then finally launching her own studio. Clearly the applied arts are where her passion lies. That fact shines through her recent designs for Lexon, Cire Trudon and Arita / Table of Contents in addition to her fashion collections in Japan. Deltour’s pieces oscillate between Eastern and Western influences. The designer has a special fascination for the East and for Japan in particular. In New York this May, she will present a new glasswork project, the fruit of a stint at the Corning Museum of Glass’ GlassLab. Additionally, she will soon be inaugurating a new hotel in Lille with EBO, her partners from her previous White Bird jewellery boutique renovation project on Paris’ boulevard Beaumarchais and her We Are Family project last October at the Biennale Interieur.

Studio: 95, boulevard Magenta, 75010 Paris

Charlotte Halpern: The Art Amateur Artist
“[I work in] an apartment on the rue du Bac courtyard that was once shared by the apartment of the Pre-Raphaelite painter James McNeill Whistler.”

Charlotte Halpern and Bertrand Houdin are the duo behind Anamorphée. With their shared vision of artistic creation and their mutual appreciation for the luxury brands that they support, such as Hermès, Diptyque and Domestic, the team has a number of impressive collaborative projects under their belt in the fields of art direction, illustration and graphic design. After ten years of partnership, Hermès gave Anamorphée the opportunity to create silk scarves with bold graphics for both men and women. The pattern from their Perspective cavalière scarf will soon be printed on Dedar drapery for Hermès’ home furnishings line. Their latest pet project, the publication Profane, reflects their quest for poetry and play in graphic design. Those are the key ingredients to Anamorphée’s literary, visual stories.

Studio: 110, rue du Bac, 75007 Paris

India Mahdavi: The Mixer and Matcher
“What I love about Paris are the city’s major interior designers, the way that the intelligence of the place is respected and the high level of craftsmanship. There is respect for the identity of spaces here. It isn’t just about appearances. [At my studio on the] rue Las Cases, I am far from the furniture showroom circuit. I am proud of my autonomy and independence.”

India Mahdavi founded her studio in 1999. Ever since then, the designer has been bringing storefronts to life and tackling interior design projects in France and abroad. Recently she designed Paris’ Café Français as well as the great Le Germain, a restaurant that doubles as a cinema. Another recent project and a great source of pride for Mahdavi is London’s sketch, a wildly successful centre that stays busy around the clock. According to Mahdavi, “In the end, Paris doesn’t glow as much as London.” The designer never stays still for long. A devoted traveller, she is passionate about the different elements that she reinvents in her work: velvet, glass, lacquer, ceramics, colours that are both strong and subtle and materials that tell a story. Mahdavi publishes her own writing, sells her work, manages her communications and collaborates with publishers while working on the scale of architecture. The author of a book on nomad chic, India Mahdavi is preparing a retrospective book to be published by Rizzoli.

Studio / Showroom / Petits Objets Boutique: 3 – 19 rue Las Casas, 75007 Paris

Ionna Vautrin: The Spirited Spirit
“Paris inspires me. It’s an open-air museum. I like that my neighbourhood is located close to designers. I see everything from inside my little bubble. Sainte-Marthe square has the ambiance of a village.”

Originally from Brittany, Ionna Vautrin studied in Nantes, lived in Spain during her time at Camper and moved to Italy to work for George J. Sowden before joining the Bouroullec brothers in Paris’ 10th arrondissement. Her lamps, including Binic, Doll, Chouchin, which she crafted for Foscarini, and Cyclope, which she designed for Moustache, are emblematic of her sense of humour and her creative intelligence. French rail company SNCF also hired her to design the new lamp for the TGV Euroduplex Océane trains. Vautrin has shown proof of an impressive imagination. The designer invented her own bestiary featuring cardboard costumes that were exhibited at the Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne and a toy zoo of familiar creatures such as whales, koalas and toucans, which she prototyped for Kvadrat. Together with the Bec statuettes that she designed for Bosa, there is no question that Vautrin has invented a universe all her own. That’s without mentioning Striptease, her veritable bestiary of lovers. The erotic drawings get a rise out of people, not to mention many a smile. For Vautrin, they are exercises in style. Striptease will soon find a permanent home in a book published by Flammarion.

Studio: 90 rue d’Hauteville, 75010 Paris

Constance Guisset in her studio
Pauline Deltour (also in our cover image) in her atelier
Charlotte Halpern working at the Anamorphée office
India Mahdavi in her studio
Ionna Vautrin outside her atelier

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