Stepping into the freshly decorated apartment by Jean-Paul Gaultier at Trocadero in Paris, I felt as if I had been transported into a quixotic dream, complete with a choppy journey through a triage of disparate scenes. In a grey area where expression and aesthetic surely override function and utility, it is nevertheless intriguing to experience the continuously blurring boundaries where fashion and architecture meet.
Each room embodies a different theme that inspires Gaultier. A nautically-striped jersey fabric is stretched sensually over the first room, which gradually diminishes to a blank white canvas.
Although the furniture is still evident, the absence of color renders this blanched corner with a phantom-like, three-dimensional surrealist effect.
"Il s'est glisse sur les murs comme il se love sur les corps...' —the fabric slips off the walls in the same way that it curls around the body.
Gaultier likens Paris to a jungle in the second room—with an overwhelming amount of ivy, lichen, and other greenery invading all crevices between mirrored structures and furniture.
According to Gaultier, "My imagination comes from the cinema...I love the idea that nature is capable of trumping concrete."
Gaultier's third chamber is reminiscent of his classic feminine themes manifested in corset, lace, and powdered pinks sliced with daring accents of black.
In a 2,700-square-foot apartment previously owned by French architect Jacques Carlu, Gaultier is the third fashion designer In a 2,700-square-foot apartment previously owned by French architect Jacques Carlu, Gaultier is the third fashion designer given the opportunity to re-envision it. Jacques Carlu was the architect of the Palais de Chaillot in the 1930s, across from the Eiffel Tower, where the Cite de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine and a slew of other museums now occupy. Before Gaultier, the apartment had been transformed into a classy white party by Martin Margiela in 2009 and a Baroque wonderland by Christian Lacroix in 2008.
On the terrace of the apartment, Gaultier lays out a game of reflections with mirrors, "of course, our everyday companions."
In collaboration with Roche Bobois and French Elle Decoration, Gaultier's showcase of this suite seems like a perfectly timed gateway between two realms of design. Word on the street is that fashion's enfant terrible will be launching a home furnishings line in the near future.