Ai Weiwei & More in Paris
The soldes sign beckoned from every emporium in Paris during my recent trip to the enormous design fair, Maison & Objet. And with the dollar/euro ratio almost at par for the first time in decades, there were bargains galore! The fabulous department store Le Bon Marché was festooned with conceptual artist Ai Weiwei’s bamboo-and-silk exhibit, “Er Xi” or “Child’s Play,” successfully combining art and commerce. While at the fair, the U.S.A.’s own Aerin and Arteriors showed new wallpaper and lighting, respectively, and French furniture maker Ligne Roset’s giant stand launched several new collections.
At Déco-Off, which runs concurrently with the fair, a pop-up salon called Ancien et Moderne (conceived by Connecticut marketing guru Beth Dempsey and curated by Francine Gardner of Intérieurs) featured an alluring group of European and U.S. companies. A custom wallpaper by Fromental provided an exciting backdrop for participants, including Irving & Morrison’s fabrics and accessories; Jill Barnes-Dacey decorative plates; Pierre Frey rugs; Rebecca Vizard pillows, and Martina Mondadori’s made-to-order dinnerware and home furnishings.
Were the streets a tad quieter, you may ask? Yes. Was Paris, the City of Light, dimmed? Non!