Reinventing the Balmain Showroom

Submitted by admin on Mon, 2011-11-28 20:30

Reinventing the Balmain Showroom
Reinventing the Balmain Showroom
Reinventing the Balmain Showroom
Reinventing the Balmain Showroom
Reinventing the Balmain Showroom
Reinventing the Balmain Showroom
Reinventing the Balmain Showroom
Reinventing the Balmain Showroom
Reinventing the Balmain Showroom
Reinventing the Balmain Showroom
Reinventing the Balmain Showroom
Reinventing the Balmain Showroom
Reinventing the Balmain Showroom
Reinventing the Balmain Showroom
Reinventing the Balmain Showroom

Balmain !  The name evokes style and fashion with a tradition, and memories of movie stars pop up: Marlene Dietrich, Katharine Hepburn, Brigitte Bardot, Sophia Loren... Actually, it seems that not so long ago, the elegant Parisian couture house prided itself of discretion, and was reluctant to generate any kind of buzz. This all changed in 2006, when Christophe Decarnin, the new Style Director, revamped the brand while keeping it true to its roots and giving it a “chic rocker” style. Decarnin’s effect seems to have had a strong impact on the celebrities in Hollywood. No wonder Avatar star Zoe Saldana often wears Balmain at the premieres of her movies, raising each time a roar of “ooh La La J’adore!” by star gazers.

Naturally, Decarnin had to do something about the historical showroom located on 44, rue François 1er, next to the Champs Elysées. To reflect the spirit of his “chic rocker” style, Decarnin found his alter ego in interior designer and architect Joseph Dirand. Not a surprise, as Dirand has received a lot of press for the Habita MTY, hotel in Monterrey he co-designed with architect Augustin Landa, and Wallpaper* distinguished the design team with the best New Hotel award in 2010. Today, appealing to a public beyond the Bling-Blings of Hollywood and the posh British journalists, the “chic rocker” style is making a hit in the conservative valeys of the Berkshires. Dirand has been invited to decorate Teddy Wharton’s Bathroom at The Mount’s 2011 Showcase of French Design.

On rue François 1er, the Decarnin-Dirand team have designed an interior meant to evoke both the spirit of a traditional Parisian interior combined with Decarnin’s “chic rocker” style. The look is clean, yet traditional. Plaster moldings replicate design elements found on the façades of the city’s monuments. Those moldings evoke the elegance of Paris’ streets and of its interiors. A slick coat of shiny white paint on the walls and ceilings plus the bleached oak parquet, give it an overall contemporary, cutting-edge feel. In addition, furniture by masters of the 40s -Gilbert Poillerat, André Arbus, Jean Royère- have been mixed in with Dirand’s own creations. Manufacturers invited on the project where handpicked. POUENAT Ferronnier was selected to manufacture the metal work: furniture, lighting and architectural elements. Among the most spectacular are the stair case and the entrance. POUENAT Ferronnier will be presenting its creations at « Maison France » in New York City at the Felissimo Design House on 56th Street from the 21st to the 25th of June.

Photos by Régis d'Hauteville

Date of publication: 
1
June
2010