Feb 15

Paris is a trip!


There are only a few places on the planet that have that certain "It-Factor." Paris has this quality in historic amounts. The fashion, the art and the incredible architecture are all so inspiring. This year, Design Week-Maison d'Object collided with Fashion Week, which caused restaurants and shops to overflow; but there seemed room to spare due to the sheer energy in the city!


 Taken from window of the Lotti Hotel, Place Vendome.


My quick trip through Louis Vuitton en le Rive Gauche garnered no new purchases, but I did stumble upon a wonderful store of men's and women's clothes called Bill Tornade. The designing brothers, Francis and Jose Ronez, have been making waves with their collections since 1977. The clothes are sexy, modern and mostly unavailable in the US! But you can see their 2012 collection if you google Bill Tornade or try: http://us.fashionmag.com/tags-bill-tornade


A Bill Tornade model struts the catwalk.



 Baltus installation at Maison d'Object


We spent most of our time at the Masion d'Object design trade show. It is the only place to see most everything that is going on at once on our globe. As several of our manufacturers have consistently shown at this market, we try to go every three or four years, however it makes for a very intense week of work and connecting the dots. Baltus, our line from Spain, literally knocked everyone out of their berets with their incredible 2,000- foot installation. Months of prep had gone into this space, and it really was evident. What an incredible design team. The image above is just one part of their space at the show. The ooh-la-las were everywhere as they unveiled new product swathed in their own ultra-sleek and contemporary style.


 Sabina Braxton showing off one of her couture textiles.


Sabina Braxton has her space there every year. And what a year she has had! Her line is a marvel and continues to garner accolades from the world of design. Her new line of handpainted linens is outstanding and was made to seem even more impressive due to the backdrop of its presentation to us. We viewed her latest offerings in her workshop, which is a gorgeous 3 story townhome. Her space at the show was likewise filled with her most recent fabrics. The selection she had on display at the show was literally stopping even the most seasoned design professionals in their tracks. Bravo Sabina!


Allan Knight at the Louvre.


Our trips always yield fresh and timely inspiration and a closer relationship with the manufacturers and friends that we find there. There is just no subsitute for that face to face interaction.  We had started the trip in London where we went all over the Chelsea Design Area. There is a lot going on in the United Kingdom. Trends are definitely bubbling. I am keen to watch what happens in London over the next few years.


Venice rounded out our intinerary.  Our glass factories and mirror production workshops are on Murano, so if we want the best mirrors and chandelier of murano glass, we must work with the workrooms and owners closely. Our favorite vendor on Murano has a handwritten family tree that goes all the way back to the 1500s. Upon viewing the tree, I asked why one of the male family members was crossed off  with a small red X. He looked at me gravely and made the unmistakable sign of a throat being cut. He went on to explain, "He moved to Paris and began selling our secrets, the secrets of glassmaking, so the Veneto  took care of him." A little scary but true. 


Aside from my slip and fall into a canal (yes, I fell in the drink in Venice after crossing a bridge), the trip hither and yon was an adventure that continues to inspire new ideas and cement relationships.


Now, if I could just figure out how to get the green seaweed stain off of my satchel. It was with me when I  baptized myself near St. Mark's square.


I think Dino's could do it. I wonder if they take Euros?





 The Grand Canal at sunset, Venice.



photography by: Cearan Henley
article by: Cearan Henley
Allan Knight and Associates  / Allan Knight Luxury Blog ~live beautifully

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