Ancien et Moderne
Every once in a while you take a risk, and the results are better than you could have imagined. Stepping outside of your comfort zone and facing your fears is scary, but I recently did it, and learned a few lessons in the process. Several years ago I went to Paris for Maison Objet and Deco Off, the world-renown interiors shows, and I felt that something was missing. Showroom after showroom displayed beautiful fabric, wallpaper, or furniture, but as a whole, it had become just another large trade show.
So for this year, I had an idea. My concept was to create a pop-up that would bring together companies and brands that use old world techniques or hand craftsmanship to create beautiful products for today’s marketplace. And we did it. For one week in January during Deco Off, we were able to combine the right elements with perfect execution to create our salon, Ancien et Moderne. Everyone – from participants to editors, from designers to retailers to customers – felt that they were part of something special. Not just a retail space, Ancien et Moderne was a salon, reminiscent of the Paris of Gertrude Stein.
After establishing a figurative vision, I gathered a group of like-minded women to help develop a literal one, beginning with the color palette. Fromental, known for their exquisite hand-done wallpaper, recolored their Barber pattern exclusively for us. Pierre Frey, one of France’s premier textile families, provided the beautiful rug, which helped ground the space. Martina Mondadori, the brilliant editor and visionary behind Cabana magazine, contributed one-of-a-kind products showcasing her philosophy and a new way to do business. Carolina Irving and Penny Morrison, whose fabrics and textiles are known within the design world, presented fabrics and furnishings that created a true salon feel. Hope Swales, the art dealer representative of sculptor Philippe Berry, launched his first furniture collection of consoles and coffee tables in Pairs, which became the backdrop for a dynamic grouping of plates by decapouge artist Jill Barnes-Dacey. Just like those plates, each element was strong enough to stand on its own, but together they provided a venue that was worth of the exciting events hosted there.
Alexandre de Vogüé, co-author of A Day at the Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte, kicked off proceedings with a book signing and a talk on being a fifth-generation resident of the lovely estate, as well as managing it with his two brothers. We were thrilled to host The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, and RubyLUX’s Cathy Whitlock for a talk on “Living with Antiques in Modern Times,” moderated by Jake Baer from Newel Antiques, as well as a decoupage workshop with Barnes-Dacey. Finally, we wrapped up with a talk “Celebrating the Strength of the South in the World of Design” with Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Editor-in-Chief Elizabeth Ralls. It truly was the place to be in Paris.
Now the task for every participant in our salon is to take the success of Ancien et Moderne and develop it into new relationships and business success. For us at Images & Details, the challenge is to create something just as noteworthy, yet unique, for next salon. Stay tuned!