Objects at Maison et Objet 2013
Maharajahs, nylon diamonds, scissor charms more
Amid the vast array of design to behold at this year's Maison et Objet—we were interested in lighting, seating and innovation, in particular—were smaller accessories that give the very show its name. Here, a trio of designers presenting objects from sleek scissor necklaces and nylon diamonds to Indian scarves featuring vintage photos of a maharajah.
We first marveled at Vasanty Manet's accessories in her stylish boutique in Pondichery, a former French trading post in South India. Manet, a once-famous Indian dancer, was inspired to pursue design, successfully landing in some of Paris' most sought-after boutiques and museum shops, and shows at Maison et Objet twice each year. Her work stands out for its mix of tradition and contemporary trends, with an aesthetic that blends ethnic-chic and feminine sensibilities. The line's refined taste draws from the vibrant colors traditional to India, as well as the impeccable embroidery and fabric work of its artisans. One of our favorite pieces at the fair was a rich, woolen pashmina printed from top to bottom on a one-to-one scale with an old black and white photograph of a dressed-up maharajah covered in jewels.
French designer Anne Chedeville seems to pluck the materials and inspiration for her jewelry from a veritable magpie nest. Under her label Très Fine which she launched last year, she creates necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings from tools one would usually find on a desktop from scissors and pencil sharpeners to rulers and protractors. Non-metallic items such as distorted pencils, glasses and fake silicone foodstuff like slices of tomato or salami are finished in silver to complete the collection. Very contemporary and still poetic, the Très Fine jewels introduce a dose of humor in the elegance of their style as proven with their names, "Tie-me up", "Write to Me, Please" and "Unoccupied Territory."
Italian company Maison 203 creates jewels of a radically different type—but still in the ultimate contemporary category—for their successful My Best Friend collection. Riffing on the traditional adage about what a girl values, My Best Friend diamonds are printed in 3D in 100% nylon. The process allows for delicate, flexible and resilient lace-like compositions and jumbo jewels in bright colors, with each item printed all in one piece with no fixation, sticking or other joint. The use of 3D printing technology promises great breakthroughs in fashion and jewelry in particular.
Images by Isabelle Doan