BONJOUR! My days in Paris-2 days at Maison & Objet (part 1)

By nancy January 24, 2012.

Here it is the end of day 2 of the Parisian leg of my Eurotrip. The last two days have been spent deeply engrossed in awe and inspiration at the maison & objet show at the Paris Nord Villepinte exhibition center.

Maison is an event for the home, but in reality it is so much more. Each of the 8 halls is jammed with the most beautiful and inspiring lifestyle products. The home has become so important in resent years, as we have all embraced the idea that it is truly where the heart is. The home reflects who we are, what we love and what we aspire to be and the Maison show touches on the entire scope of life at "home".

To me, and I assume to all those that attended- (and let me tell you there were A LOT of people there recession-shmession) creative and well executed design is what makes all the showcased products so special.

"long live design"

As I walked the many many aisles in all the halls I was amazed by creative coolness and posh practicality within the confines of each booth space. From high end large companies with elaborate spreads to the independent 1 man shops with smart and simple displays all managed to promote fantastic product ranges. It has been two days of over stimulation and immense inspiration.

Will follow up tomorrow with a brief view of the trend installations but as I sit and look over my notes and photos now I see 3 important themes which I walk away with:

1. ANIMAL HEADS

Yup you read right! Animals seemed to be all over the place, every stand, every presentation- ANIMALS. From photo-real, to crafty, to cartoon, to actual dead stuffed heads- there they were. They seemed to be designed to fit every style- from posh library offices to juvenile room decor. Many of these animals were quite humorous, who doesn't find a Disco Pug or Commander General Bambi hilarious? Here is a quick photo montage of some of the sightings I was able to snap sneaky picts of. I am not 100% sure how we will work this into the line... but just give me some time!

Is that a Pug in coat in tails on your wall or are you just glad to see me?

2. TAPESTRY

Needlepoint tapestry, just like Gran used to make! But this ain't your Granny's tapestry!

I was shocked (and sort of disturbed) by the amount of tapestry representing at this show. More disturbing the amount of ANIMAL HEAD tapestry (many of the animal photos above were in needlepoint).....I found it in the traditional uses such as pillows, poufs and couches, but also found it used in sculptural and modern ways. Representations of needlework was done as cut outs on distressed metal surfaces ( theme #3) and decorative items. Printed "needlework look" was used on wallpapers and fabrics. This classic craft has been launched into the modern world both in it's pure form and also with a modern twist. The icons of the tapestries were very much traditional florals and fruit, busts of people and animals dressed up as people (hilarious)  but mixed in, in small doses, were new hipster patterns. Needlework of digital avatars, electronics (both new and retro), cartoony characters and other non traditional tapestry motifs were used along side their traditional cousins to give a bit of whimsy and a pinch of unexpected humor.

my day has been a tapestry of... (sorry Carol!)

#3 RETRO CHIC

Here is where the Marche came to High Street! As per my previous post about the Paris Marche, the trend of Retro and Industrial Chic is ALL THE RAGE! Old school is New school (and I mean that literally because I saw a lot of stuff I know was straight out of Ephrim Curtis Junior High School - sans the wads of Bubble Yumm on the undersides) This stuff is super cool. Seriously. Didn't appreciate it back in 7th grade science lab. Metal and wood have finally been given the props they deserve and their age has only proven them more beautiful. Among the row upon row of chairs and stools, desks and cabinets all sat randomly distressed and aged to Retro perfection!

I read and article today which questioned whether this love of all things antique and retro is really just a mask over our fear of the future, a hold on what is safe and nastolgic, to that idea I say good point, but can you really fault a guy who turned a junky old pallet into a super cool coffee table? Is he afraid of the future or has he just opened his eyes and looked at at this mountain of refuse we call a "waste problem" and said wait this sh*@ is COOL!

I say this Retro revival requires great creativity and reinvention. I am a firm believer in "If it Aint Broke don't Fix it" and to that I add if it is Broke... turn it into something Hip and Cool!

So there it is- the three most important things I walked away from the show with. There was so much to absorb and so much great stuff to admire, but as I look back over the last two days and many pages of notes these stand out to me the most.

I apologize that there is no references on any of these. to be honest I was not supposed to be taking any photos, but in this day in age there is no stopping the datahungry. I am sorry if anyone is mad for stealing a shot of your stuff, but honestly it's great stuff the (wide) world needs to know!

Check in tomorrow...for another update from PaR'eeeeee!

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