I hope that I saw all of Decorex. For us, its new location is more convenient, and Kensington Gardens was lovely in yesterday's sun. But the main space, Perks Field -- the biggest and the first that one comes to -- was noticeably busier than the Orangery. Based on the quality of the stands, there was no reason for this. So I do encourage you to to make it through as far as the Orangery.
And here is a very good reason -- to see our Best New Light at Decorex (and the runner-up!).
The wall panel above is the Applique Obsidienne by Christine Goumot (formerly directrice artistique at Saint Laurent) for Art et Floritude. It is W143cm H55cm. The finish of metal parts is a carefully judged combination of bronze and 24 ct gold. The design -- the different sizes of perfect and imperfect circles, and the relationship between them -- is beautifully judged.
But what elevates it to a higher plane are the dark parts. These are chunks of obsidian (a naturally-occurring glass produced during volcanic eruptions) that is closer to amber than anything else. Like amber, each piece will be different depending upon the quantities and shapes of the different colours in it. This means that every Applique Obsidienne will be different. There are LED lights behind each chunk. All are fascinating: the ones that initially look black do have variations within them, the more translucent ones share more colours and variety of shapes of darkness.
The result is the quality that defines great design: it gets better, more interesting, the more you look at it. You can lose yourself in the worlds you discover in any one of the chunks of obsidian (which are large!).
But it was touch and go whether the Applique Obsidienne above, or the Boule de Fleurs (below) would get top honours.
When we started working with Art et Floritude (a charming family company based in the Loire Valley), they were primarily continuing the fine French craft tradition of painted metal chandeliers on themes drawn from nature, often with porcelain flowers attached. Like this:
If the Applique Obsidienne exploits their metalworking capabilities, the Boules de Fleurs demonstrate what they can do with their porcelain flowers.
The original was created with Hubert de Malherbe for Parfums Christian Dior. The catalogue version is a simple ball shape made up of unglazed porcelain flowers on a (concealed) white painted metal frame, lit from within by LEDs. There are three sizes: Ø24cm, Ø28cm and Ø40cm.
On the outside of the Art et Floritude stand, you see an applique of leaves in their new finish, satin nickel. The colour of the wall it is on demonstrates how well it suits the long-dominant passion for mud-like hues.