In September 2015, MAISON&OBJET PARIS unveils its new Inspirations Forum, a new structure between Halls 6, 7 and 8 in which visitors will discover the Trends area, enhanced with a pop-up bookstore and conference space.
Now the three trend agencies that are members of the MAISON&OBJET Observatory will take turns at each session to develop the theme, reflecting the collective work carried out throughout the year, in an expanded.
This edition of Maison and Objet’s trend theme is Precious. Precious and preciousness are expressed in many ways. The word immediately evokes cut stones and their mysterious settings, raw materials rendered more beautiful by the genius of man and his hands. In art, precious entails a character of great delicacy, brilliance, even wealth. It is often linked to gold, mirrors and ornaments. But, while all that is valuable is precious, preciousness does not hold the same value for everyone. From somewhat trivial affectation to the very essence of life, preciousness inspires dialogue between excessive materiality and the most extreme fragility.
“The theme Precious came forth as a metaphor for that which is rare and unique. It distinguishes the return of well-crafted decorative arts, but also the fashion of excess.” François Bernard, Trend-Setter and member of the MAISON&OBJET Observatory
M& O’s editors recently spoke with Elizabeth Leriche, the first member to present the theme in the new Inspirations Forum about her exhibit.
Why was the theme Precious selected?
The theme is chosen collectively and is the result of very open discussions between the Observatory members. I personally want to deepen the work begun last season on unique hand-crafted pieces. I find the concept of ‘Arty Luxury’ to be very cutting-edge. We have also noticed a comeback of gold and decorative arts. This led us to reflect on what constitutes preciousness today, even beyond luxury. That which will become rare and capture our interest and challenge us tomorrow.
“I’m presenting a sensible itinerary that has raw material as its starting point. I want to evoke something along the lines of alchemy, which leads us to the second part of the exhibition, where preciousness becomes more intangible, more poetic and mysterious.” Elizabeth Leriche, Trend-Setterand member of the MAISON&OBJET Observatory
How do you explore this theme in your itinerary?
This is a many-facetted theme. As I can’t really address them all, I’m presenting a sensible itinerary that has raw material as its starting point. The rare mineral is transformed into a treasure. I want to evoke something along the lines of alchemy, which leads us to the second part of the exhibition, where preciousness becomes more intangible, more poetic and mysterious, with things that conjure up fragility, beauty, surrealism, even immortality. One is even inspired to wonder about the elements, the preciousness of air and water, for example. These are essential things that are becoming increasingly precious.
What will be the cornerstones of this exhibition?
I really wanted to evoke the preciousness of nature. There will be a beautiful installation from Lionel Estève, seen at the Galerie Perrotin. He achieves truly subtle work with leaves, which he gleans from nature and then treats with gold leaf. Visitors will also see something from Studio Formafantasma, who invited several designers to blow glass into shapes in accordance with their lung capacity.
To explore the idea of material, I asked the designers from Based Upon to lend us a table-sculpture made from a cracked mud footprint. There will also be a piece on the transformation of the raw material presented by Olivier Sévère, who is currently part of the Mutations exhibition at Paris’ Museum of Decorative Arts. I also plan to bring in weavings by Colombian artist Olga de Amaral, furniture in burnt wood, then guilloche and gilt, by Bertrand Lacourt, crystal mirrors from Maxime Ansiau and surrealist objects designed by Lebanese artist Najla El Zein, which will be presented in a cabinet de beauté setting.
I also want to spotlight the Japanese Kintsugi technique, which entails repairing porcelain or ceramic with joints of gold. But the selection process is still ongoing and it’s too early to talk about the itinerary’s ultimate presentation.
Watch for my updates and daily posts of inspiration from Maison and Objet and Paris Design Week.