A 17th century mansion redesigned for the future

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THE CLOTHING OF THE 1960s Designer Paco Rabanne was an unrepentant optimist. Her chainmail halter tops and mini skirts pulled together from metallic sequins reflected dreams of a cleaner, happier planet – ours or a distant one. While fashion futurism today tends to be dystopian – dark capes, black latex thigh-high boots – Rabanne, of Basque descent, imagined the world would become groovy and expansive.

Bastien Daguzan, 37, who was CEO of Paco Rabanne for four and a half years (the founder, 87, retired in 2000), is also an optimist, both by nature and through his early successes. ; Raised in the rural southwest of France, he became Managing Director of Christophe Lemaire’s eponymous company before he turned 30. Paco Rabanne, owned by Spanish conglomerate Puig, flourished under Daguzan, with 39-year-old creative director Julien Dossena, who arrived eight years ago, often showing off colorful clothing embellished with metal and plastic elements that evoke the intergalactic playfulness of the brand’s beginnings.

For Daguzan and her Franco-Argentinian husband, Nicolas Gabrillargues, 37, director of the collection of women’s accessories at Louis Vuitton, this belief in a promising future is expressed through their love for interior design: they buy and frequently renovate apartments, sometimes staying only a year or two before embarking on their next project. Each house is a stage in their aesthetic evolution as they traverse centuries of architectural history and combine the ancient buildings of Paris with streamlined modernism and artefacts from other continents and cultures. “We like the feeling that we are always moving forward,” says Daguzan. In January 2020, they purchased an 1,800 square foot one-bedroom duplex carved out of a section of a vast 17th-century antique mansion in the Marais, directly on the Seine. Outside, the lively district vibrates; inside, everything is hushed with elegance, as in the 1870s, when the watercolorist of the Belle Epoque Henri Toussaint painted the mansion.

Much of the building’s original interior details had been lost: none of the Louis-era moldings, elaborate woodwork, or herringbone floors remained. Instead, the apartment floors were concrete, the walls virgin plaster. But the couple found the nudity appealing. Their last apartment, in the 10th arrondissement, had been a perfect Haussmannian capsule, and Daguzan was fed up with the typical Parisian style. “The idea that you could live in such a historic building and yet be unrelated to it,” he says. “This is liberation.” Moreover, this new project seemed perfect for Fabrizio Casiraghi, a 35-year-old Parisian designer and friend of Daguzan with whom he had long hoped to collaborate. Both love interiors that mix high and low and incorporate flea market treasurers – a floral still life, a vintage bar cart – alongside signature pieces from established designers like Jean-Michel Frank and Pierre Paulin.

Although Paris is full of stores that sell exquisite antique details, accessories and wall panels for those restoring historic apartments, men have instead followed the model for which Casiraghi has become known, creating a space that feels like a ‘being in a family for generations, each successive heir leaves his mark, gracefully incorporating the past while enveloping the future. “Our idea is that maybe the grandparents were there in the 40s and some of their furniture is there, then the parents from the 70s left some of that cool stuff and now it has all been transformed by the youngster. generation, “says Casiraghi.

TODAY, the LOFTLIKE apartment does not feel Parisian; it could be in New York’s SoHo or Berlin’s Kreuzberg. But what he lacks in vernacular charm, Daguzan and Casiraghi – who began his career in his hometown, Milan, with Dimore Studio – made up for it by evoking a twentieth-century blend, mingling the flowing lines of late Art. decoration with merlot-et-an orientalism tinged with forest green that the couturier Yves Saint Laurent favors in his own interiors.

The original layout of the corner apartment – common when a large house has been divided – accentuates unorthodox design choices. The single-storey entrance, with black and white checkerboard tiled floors (one of the few nods to Parisian tradition), leads into a giant rectangular carpeted bedroom. The bed, covered in a vintage Hermès throw in fawn and beige patterns, sits on a 17-inch platform that cuts the room in half, “giving the illusion of a separate space without any walls,” says Casiraghi. Near the door, a lamp by mid-century Austrian architect Josef Frank hangs above a round Pumpkin chair by Pierre Paulin in off-white curly wool. Next to the door, the black-tiled bathroom pays homage to Villa Necchi Campiglio, the rationalist Milan mansion designed in the 1930s by Piero Portaluppi and made famous in Luca Guadagnino’s 2009 film, “I Am Love »: The curved white lacquered luminaires contrast against the ebony walls like an abstract painting from the 1950s.

The main floor, at the top of a steep and open staircase, is even more spectacular due to its immensity high ceiling and its evocation of the most glamorous periods of the last century. On the wall that connects the two levels, there is a 6.5 by 10 foot tapestry in shades of ocher, black, marigold and brown made in the 1950s from an original drawing by the surrealist Spanish Joan Miró; it evokes Fernand Léger’s oversized 1928 canvas that Saint Laurent placed in the living room of his 1970s apartment on rue de Babylone. Gargantuan lanterns, produced by the Austrian company Woka according to the original design by Josef Hoffmann in 1917 for the fabrics department of the Wiener Werkstätte, hang from the 15-foot ceilings, creating a souk-like intimacy. Using waist-high shelves as subtle room dividers, Casiraghi divided the space into a living and dining area with an open kitchen; the floors are everywhere covered with coconut mats, then covered with Chinese Art Deco rugs. The vintage Florence Knoll dining table is surrounded by dark green lacquered demi-tonneau chairs by Hoffmann and, on one wall, near a pair of Deco club chairs re-upholstered in marigold wool, hang two huge sculptures of wooden boxes, picked up to the flea market. “Sometimes you fall in love with a Picasso,” says Casiraghi, “and sometimes it’s just a shape.”

Perhaps the flourishing that best conveys how Casiraghi and Daguzan adopted an origin story for the home is the series of shallow, square matte metal columns from floor to ceiling – they look like chic ventilation shafts. – built along the walls of the room. None of the original plaster columns may have survived, but why not pretend they did and just needed updating with a modern steel hull, which s turned out to be one of Rabanne’s favorite materials? Another inspiration was Betty Catroux, the Brazilian model and muse of Saint Laurent: in 1970, she and her husband, the designer François Catroux, clad the outline of the fireplace in their Parisian apartment in the same metal. To soften the industrial aspect of the columns, Casiraghi hung them with small framed oils and sculpted masks, some found at the Clignancourt flea market, others from the galleries or former apartments of Daguzan and Gabrillargues. A lithograph from the 1960s by Argentinian artist Lucio Fontana is mixed with the painting. The effect is charming, if not a little sentimental, as if the men had made room for the objects of their parents and grandparents while remaining true to their own vision. “There’s a line between glamor and honesty, a kind of joy of being true to yourself, and you want to walk on it,” says Casiraghi. “Most of all, you don’t want to be pretentious. The pretension is death.

Photo assistant: Jean Pierre Vipotnik


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