In September, two of our KLD designers, Amira Al Shater and Fiona Stone jetted off to Paris for Paris Design Week. What better city could they have possibly visited for fashion, art, design and food? Here is a little insight into their 48 hours in Paris.
With less than 48 hours to spend in Paris, we had to be vigilant with our time, squeezing in as much as possible while getting a respectable amount of sleep. We were so organised that while on the flight, we were setting out a pins on the map to ensure nothing was missed on our adventure through the streets of Paris.
After settling into our boutique hotel in the heart of the design district we struck out and began exploring, wandering through the streets of Paris in search of inspiration, which came in the form of beautifully designed interiors, architecture, chic cafés, independent furniture shops and bookshops. Of course we also did some shopping and foraging through many of Paris’s fabulous vintage stores.
We were also lucky to talk our way into the sold-out Klimt exhibition-Atelier des Lumieres; a visual representation of his artwork. Truly mesmerizing with projected images running across the floors, walls and ceilings with mystical harmonious sounds evoking a feeling of dreaminess.
The evening was spent dining in an exquisitely designed restaurant DaRoco with industrial exposed brick, steel wall panels and mirrored ceilings contrasting against the delicate richly toned blue banquette seating and soft rattan chairs; a great design with great pizza too! We then hit some bars, chosen carefully for their design promise and cocktail menu. It was a lovely end to a busy Parisian day.
With such a brief time in Paris, we weren’t letting sleep keep us from experiencing as many of the delights of Paris we could. Fuelled by coffee and cake from the Hoxton hotel’s garden terrace, we set off for day two of our Parisian adventure.
As it was Amira’s first time in Paris, we had to squeeze in the essential touristy sights such as the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame. One couldn’t see Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower in all its glory. We’re not ashamed to say we were squealing with excitement at the sight of the stunning landmark and iconic representation of Paris. It was thrilling to be at the Eiffel Tower in the city of lights, the city of love dreaming up our own Utopian landscapes. Paris really does cast a spell.
Maison et Objet
We then set out at the Maison et Objet. Maison et Objet is a major French trade fair for interior design. Held twice a year, it is one of the most important European events for interior design.
As we entered we were met with a panoply of design, interiors, furniture and lighting stands. Asian product designers caught our eyes with unusual quirky product designs, while French jewellery designers stole our hearts with their beautiful hand made pieces.
In Maison, the Future exhibition combined new and conceptual materials in the forms of concrete panels, cladding, tiles, and fabrics to inspire us.
One of the highlights of our visit to Maison et Objet was experiencing some of our favourite designer pieces in an amazing setup such as Imperfetto Lab & Dooq.
It was great too to see Irish companies such as Mullan lighting representing at Objet. We always feel a sense of pride when Irish artistry and craftsmanship are represented on the world stage along with the best of the best from other countries as well
Often, working locally, we spec pieces but don’t get to see them in real life, so it was a real treat to see and touch all the beautiful pieces that were on display. We had a great time meeting and interacting with furniture suppliers, new and old and really experiencing their wares up close. In particular Munna Design, the furniture design brand renowned for creating handmade upholstery with unmatched craftsmanship.
Fun elements brought us to this furniture designer with dreamy velvet fabrics in a muted pastels tones accompanied with brass/ timber elegant legs and finishes. Neon lighting signs created a beautiful subdued atmosphere against the rough plastered walls with an abundance of delicate greenery to enrich the stunning exhibition space, creating the impression one was in a fantasy home. An oversize fringe chair made quite the dramatic feature, inviting people to perch themselves and curl up. Supplying us with prosecco filled ice pops it was no wonder we did not want to leave this space!
Our time in Paris flew and we doubt we could have squeezed more in. 48 hours was just the right amount of time for a short, snappy, busy visit to one of the global centres of fashion and art. Design is all around us, but when in a city like Paris, you really do feel a little closer and connected to the magic. Thank you KLD for a wonderful trip!