Opening Day (part 2)
Definitely noticeable and new at this show is a plethora of miniature furniture pieces. As many times as I have stood in awe before absolutely gargantuan pieces which used to dominate at Maison & Objet, and scratched my head as to where they would find a home other than hotels and resorts, this time around, the littlest ones are getting all the attention.
Not only are they wildly practical because they fit into any number of nooks and crannies where bigger pieces can’;t go, they also have a great deal of charm and convey a sense of intimacy that’s long been wanting in home furnishings.
As for color, so far it looks like the grays still carry the most weight, but efforts are being made to break its chokehold. Gray is now often combined with brown and taupe – still neutral but warmer – and the purple, pink to raspberry palette has settled on mauve. It’s a combination of the three and it’s everywhere – dustier, softer and more subtle than its forerunners.
Even Blanc d’Ivoire, a retailer which traditionally has honored its name by using white and ivory at its base, adding, cautiously, only other neutrals, for the first time here is showing three mauve beds, and one with an added punch of spicy orange. Other attempts to break up the solid neutrals come with plaid or houndstooth pillows. However, these traditional men’s wear fabrics are softened in velvet linen.
Maison & Objet has always had an extensive section devoted to flowers and plants. This time is no exception, but greater emphasis is on nature’s own sculptures in green. Chestnuts in their prickly green shells sit in rough hewn wooden bowls, and succulents are especially celebrated. Le Bon Marche, the most fashionable of the three main Parisian department stores had set up an entire section on its main floor for succulents, complete with a leather apron wearing "gardener" to sell them.
Fantasy and imagination are a delight of this section, including fanciful topiaries by Vermont, branches trimmed with crystals and pearls for blossoms. A display of an entirely black forest stopped traffic.
More to come tomorrow.