The counter-party of
8 July 2022
An architectural feast, grandiose, continuous from room to room. A total abolition of bourgeois conventions and good taste. Welcome to Rodolphe Parente’s counter-party, guest of honour and president of the jury of the Design Parade Toulon 2022. This cacophony, grandiloquent and lyrical, bursts forth from each staging, meticulously prepared by a clear cinematographic eye in collaboration with Marie Veidig.
An iconoclastic, timeless atmosphere, which is at the origin of some surprising choices of creations and collaborations. Examples? A bespoke country tapestry depicting a joyful human farandole by Mobilier National, an architectural pleated fabric in rainbow shades serving as a « Huis clos » in the dining room by Maison Lemarié Lognon, and works by Jean Claracq, Claude Viallat and Alice Guittard. Here is a look back at the Rodolphe Parente version of Grande Belleza.
How did you come to your profession?
« When I was a child, I sometimes accompanied my father, a craftsman, on building sites. I liked to see things being made and built with the energy of the human hand. I remember already in secondary school drawing houses and naturally I turned towards these design professions… stylist, architect, designer, it was very vague at first but it was this environment that interested me. »
Your creative process when you start a project?
« Understanding the cultural context of the project, i.e. for whom, for what and how. Each project that I carry out is unique, with a unique writing style which requires a sensitive understanding of the expectations and desires of the client in order to write a « tailor-made » story. »
Creativity, diversity, generosity
Your favourite Design Parade finalist?
« All of them very sincerely! This year the finalists have taken their projects so far… It is absolutely remarkable to see such a culmination of ideas and professionalism in the presentations.
What are the inspirations for your Contre Soirée stage design?
« I wanted to summon up the strong principles that I express in my practice: the architecture of thickness, the architecture of light, the concern for detail. This « counter-party » theme makes sense to me as an extension of the singular spirit of the design parade, where everything is done seriously without taking oneself too seriously in a spirit of sharing and generosity. The meetings are made on a « side step ». I also wanted to bring together heritage and interior architecture, to set up a dialogue between the building and the interior, while recreating the framing, a stroll that contributes to the understanding of interior architecture. »
A place that characterises this festive spirit for you?
« The party can be excessive, among friends, worldly, religious, pagan. I like places that federate, that bring people together, that create a link while disappearing behind the spirit of the place. I think this goes back to my childhood, to the kermesses and sagra in my father’s village in Italy. If I had a magical gift, I would ask Paolo Sorrentino to transport me to that first incredible scene on the rooftop of a building in Rome in Grande Bellezza: the mix and the beauty. »
Why did you mix these very different styles of materials?
« I don’t like preconceptions about materials. I like to put them in dialogue so that their mixture brings a new reading to spaces and atmospheres. I wanted to create this architecture of light with a simple material, shaped by hand, and this is what we have succeeded in developing with Maison Lemarié Lognon in this architectural pleat. Light and shadow contribute to this atmosphere, like a contemporary stained glass window that frames this magnificent tapestry from the Mobilier National. »
How did you think about the space and the choice of objects?
« I collaborated with Marie Veidig on bringing this place to life and we wanted to create a story around a living flat, outside the notion of good taste but with a real sense of how things are used. So we embodied these spaces as if we were living, cooking, laughing, singing, sleeping. Always with little accidents that add flavour to this beautiful narrative. »
The talents encountered during this project?
« I had a lot of pleasure in developing some rather unexpected collaborations with the 19M for this project, which allowed for the re-reading of certain crafts from great houses such as Lemarie Lognon or Gossens. I also had a lot of support from craftsmen like Romain Guillon or Lallier who, through their know-how, gave a patina to this project so anchored in post-modern writing. »
Instagram accounts related to this festive mood?
The party is not on Instagram, it is lived! (Even if sometimes I do live shows with my account, late at night!)
An iconic personality who embodies this desire to celebrate?
« Andrée Putman, timeless chic and ultra festive ».