Art Works Design

Saint Laurent Paris Refurbished Finds From African And Danish Craftsman


Saint Laurent’s Faubourg Saint-Honoré outpost is the latest of the Parisian brand’s stores to undergo a monochromatic makeover dovetailing with creative director Hedi Slimane’s modern vision for the maison.  The private salon in Paris is furnished with pieces from Danish furniture craftsman Theo Ruth and French designers Jacques Adnet, André Sornay and Alfred Porteneuve based on drawings by Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann.

Also of interest are the Bamana masks from Mali, which serve as a reminder of the iconic designer’s passion for Africa and the African art sculptures in the fabulous collection that Yves Saint Laurent built with Pierre Bergé.

Showcasing ready-to-wear womenswear alongside accessories, the revamped 390 sq m space displays all of the hallmarks of the brand’s now established Art-Deco-inspired architectural concept, which was conceived by Slimane upon his arrival at the label in 2012. Mirrored panels and vast slabs of ‘noir soie’ and ‘blanc statuaire’ marble span the walls and floors. Lines are kept clean, rhythmic and straight while in the private salon – a VIP area which is accessed by a mirrored elevator – warm touches come in the form of mirror polished brass furniture and exacting upholstery designed by Art Deco Modernists such as Danish furniture craftsman Theo Ruth and French designers Jacques Adnet, André Sornay and Alfred Porteneuve based on drawings by Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann.

Notably, a collection of Bamana Suruku masks from Mali make a pleasant if unexpected addition to the private salon and continue the African undercurrent that Slimane first introduced at the brand’s Hôtel de Sénecterre atelier in January of last year – a nod to Yves’ love of African art and the pieces he collected together with Pierre Bergé.
Saint Laurent’s nearby menswear location at 32 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré is currently undergoing a similar renovation, which will complete Slimane’s overhaul of the brand’s Parisian stores when it opens later this year.

As legend has it Yves Saint Laurent founded the notion of ready-to-wear in 1966 under the label Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche, democratising fashion at a time when the Parisian mode scene was dominated by haughty couture houses. Yet, in spite of the Parisian brand’s many tries to the city’s infamous bohemian enclave, it has been many moons since its headquarters last inhabited the city’s Left Bank.

However, today, creative director Hedi Slimane announced that by 2018 the house’s current Rive Droite headquarters will be relocated to the 7th arrondisment’s 37 Rue de Bellechasse. Shot here by Slimane, the former 17th century Penthemont Cistercian Abbey, which is currently in use by the French Ministry of Defence, will house the brand’s new showroom and offices spanning 9180 sq m, while the designer’s studio remains in Los Angeles.

This new Paris property will join the brand’s atelier within Hôtel de Sénecterre at 24 Rue de L’Universite, which moved in January last year. The restoration of this 2100 sq m site, built in 1685 by Thomas Gobert, has been overseen by Slimane in the 18th century traditional French style and hosts the house’s tailoring and flou ateliers. That said there is also a strong African undercurrent throughout, tied to its founder’s exotic sphere of influence, and represented in a collection of Bamana masks and modern furniture pieces by Pierre Legrain and Deco designer Elizabeth Eyre de Lanux.

Other modernist furnishing pieces curated by Slimane include Jean-Michel Frank and Paul Dupré-Lafon, resulting in an elegantly eclectic mix of 1930s pieces within the building’s grandiose, 18th century surrounds.

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