Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Surrealism at Schiaparelli

Last week, while sifting through my over-flowing box of article clippings, I found a 2013 AD France article, which I meant to feature on my blog two years ago.  The article, which shows the then-newly furbished Maison Schiaparelli, is still relevant, for in my opinion, Surrealism and Forties furniture never go out of style.

Located at 21 Place Vendome, where Elsa Schiaparelli's original salon was housed, Maison Schiaparelli caused great excitement in 2013, when, after a sixty-year hiatus, it reopened under new ownership.  (Its first haute-couture collection was designed by Christian Lacroix, while subsequent collections were designed by Marco Zanini and, most recently, Bertrand Guyon.)  Maximally decorated with all kinds of eccentric-yet-chic flourishes, the house embodies the flair of its namesake, not to mention her well-documented passion for Surrealist design. Forties-era furniture makes appearances in the salon, as do vintage rugs, including a striking one by Andre Arbus, and illustrations by Vertès and Léonor Fini.  Vincent Darré is responsible for much of the new Surrealist and Dadaist-style furniture, while Pierre Le-Tan's wonderful trompe l'oeil decorations grace a number of rooms.

The only thing really missing from these interiors is a healthy dose of Shocking Pink, Schiaparelli's signature shade of fuchsia.  But if Elsa Schiaparelli were alive today, I feel certain that she would be in her element in these sophisticated and slightly-madcap surroundings.

Image at top: The Entry Hall, with its Forties-era banquette, Maison Darré rug, and chair that was once owned by Madeleine Castaing.

Farida Khelfa, Schiaparelli's brand ambassador, stands next to Hippocampe, Maison Darré's sculpted wood and glass table, upon which a thirties-era bust of Anna Pavlova rests.  A pair of Maison Darré sconces flank an antique Venetian mirror.

The Grand Salon.  The 1940s-era rug is by Arbus, while much of the furniture hails from that same decade. 

In the salon, trompe l'oeil-painted walls are reminiscent of work by Christian Berard, while the bookshelves are also decorated with trompe l'oeil accents by Pierre Le-Tan.  The canapé is Jansen, and the mirror above it was purchased at the Yves Saint Laurent sale in 2009.

Also in the Salon is A'tiroir écrevisse, a lobster-like cabinet by Maison Darré. Both the chairs and curtains are from the 1940s.

A rug by Fernand Léger for Aubusson appears in the dining room.  The chairs are by Gio Ponti, and the dining table is by Maison Darré.

Finally, the office of Farida Khelfa. Around the Seventies-era desk are chairs by Poul Volther and Franco Albini.

All photos from AD France, April 2013, Alexis Armanet photographer.


  1. Just fabulous!!!

  2. can't wait + talent beyond

  3. I want every single piece!

  4. Why didn't this cause more of a stir two years ago?? Truly beyond. And, not to be crass, but who's the investor behind Schiaparelli's revival? It seems like (s)he dropped major coin on the renovation/furniture/objets...

    1. Nick, Diego Della Valle (Tod's) bought Schiaparelli and relaunched it, so the house has deep pockets behind it.

      I believe there was a brief article in W about the relaunch, but other than that, I don't recall much buzz about it. Hard to understand why there wasn't more of a stir.

  5. So stunning, Love the vibrant style and panache!! Thanks Jennifer!

    The Arts by Karena
    The Blink of an Eye

  6. So stunning!!! I want that desk!!!!