Paris – Art Deco was exuberance-in-form at a time when industrialization was surrounded by the nervous optimism that can only come from the unknown. One of the main figures of this theatrical period was Paul Poiret, a French fashion designer who translated the surreal into the design of everything – clothes, parties, accessories, furniture and interior objects. With a particular fondness for the Ballets Russes, the clothes that Poiret designed always resembled the exaggeration of costumes but ultimately sought to display an appreciation of beauty.
Nearly a century after the collapse of the Poiret haute couture house, the fashion brand has been reconstituted for 2018. It was the objective of interior designer Boris Devis to create a spatial distillation of Poiret’s style for the brand’s Paris showroom. The space places vintage objects in crisp white rooms with curving architectural details. A vibrant selection of colours play off the white walls with pops of intense Yves Klein blues and gold detailing running throughout. A trompe-l’oeil blue sky framed by a voluminous dusty-rose valance, along with an installation of tropical flora in a doorframe, are included as the backdrops for the stage of our contemporary theatre – social media.
After all, Art Deco’s legacy is inextricably linked to the art of the spectacle; the expensive materials and expressive geometric ornamentation were a response to an adoration of theatre that was imitated for parties. Contemporary society is resonant with this love of extravagance, and echoes of the pre-World War I obsession with entertainment and beauty can be seen in our own obsessions with the theatre of social media. The whimsical backdrops of the Poiret showroom are resplendent with the Art Deco heritage of modern society.