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The lunch on the grass of

Vincent Darré

True Story

3 May 2021

With him, life is a stage, a fantastic show. Vincent Darré, a fancy decorator, creates a poetic universe of his own under his brushes. Slipping from fashion to decoration, Karl Lagerfeld’s former sidekick has taken a successful turn. From his years as a stylist, he has retained a taste for daring colors and a sense of sophisticated prints. A calibrated exuberance that can be found in his decorations.

 

His latest spring project? A lunch on the grass at Monoprix. The designer has imagined a poetic picnic with the store, where, as in fairy tales, each object comes to life. An enchanted world where the influences of La Fontaine, Cocteau and Trenet mingle with a thousand and one animals. While the furniture and decorative objects are inspired by a fantasy bestiary, the fashion line is punctuated by country-style prints. Discover this fairy tale narrated by Vincent Darré.

 

Vincent Darré

Vincent Darré’s office – © Oleg Covian

How did this collaboration come about ? 

 

“This is thanks to Diane Ducasse (founder of DA/DA), who signed a collection last month with Monoprix and who worked with me a long time ago. On her recommendation, I met the Monoprix team. They first suggested I work on a collection for Christmas. Except that I hate Christmas, it makes me depressed, I’m someone who loves summer. So I was given carte blanche for a summer theme and I immediately had the idea of a picnic on the grass.”

Vincent Darré X Monoprix

The main theme of this collection ?

 

 

“It’s that lunch on the grass and the idea that each time the animals turn into picnic utensils. So the teapot becomes a duck, the breadboard a turtle, the salt and pepper ladybirds, the lamp a bee… You sit on a bird and have dinner on a frog!”

Vincent Darré X Monoprix teapot

Illustration by Vincent Darré – The Lunch on the grass

What were your inspirations?

 

 

“It’s a bit like a fairy tale. It’s really the song Le jardin extraordinaire by Trenet. I imagined a dream picnic. The Monoprix pieces are sold to a very wide audience, which I don’t normally reach. My idea was to show my absurd and surrealistic universe to another audience and to make it much more accessible. I thought it was fun to reinvent all these everyday objects to make them a little bit extraordinary.”

Illustration by Vincent Darré – The Lunch on the grass

Vincent Darré X Monoprix

When did you create this collection?

 

 

“It’s been a while! For two years I had to say nothing to anyone. It takes a long time to work out, it’s a long journey.”

Vincent Darré X Monoprix

The patterns imagined for this collection? 

 

I have designed three prints for the collection, which can be used on a tablecloth, napkins and pyjamas. These prints are very similar to the Fables de La Fontaine.

Fables de La Fontaine, The Raven trying to imitate the Eagle – Marc Chagall

Fables de la Fontaine, The Rooster and the Fox & The Lion in Love – Marc Chagall

Fables de La Fontaine, The Raven trying to imitate the Eagle – Marc Chagall

Fables de la Fontaine, The Rooster and the Fox & The Lion in Love – Marc Chagall

It’s a kind of childish tale with very bright, and happy colors. Spring tones. And without having anticipated it, I believe that this dreamy element is well suited to the current context.”

Vincent Darré X Monoprix Bee Lamp

What was your creative process in designing this collection?

 

 

“Monoprix gave me carte blanche and they were as surprised as I was by every prototype that came along. We didn’t expect that! The most incredible was the bee. Managing to offer objects that are accessible to everyone was a great surprise!”

An artist who inspires you?

 

 

“Cocteau is always there, he’s like a mentor. He is very much into dreams. In his film Beauty and the Beast, released in 1946, all the objects come to life and so it could be a picnic with Beauty and the Beast too.”

How do your ideas arise?

 

 

“As I come from the fashion world, I have always worked with patterns and prints. I like to design everything I do myself. So at the beginning, drawing is really something that frees me up and makes me imagine things that I didn’t think I could imagine. I let my mind wander… The prints allowed me to tell the story of this little frog who was going to have tea with two mice.”

Vincent Darré © Oleg Covian

Illustration by Vincent Darré

Vincent Darré X Monoprix

Does your career in fashion still influence you today?

 

 

“If there is an influence of fashion, it is an influence of colors and prints. Few decorators design their prints, I do because that’s what I enjoy and I think that comes from fashion.”

 

Vincent Darré’s flat – Maison Vincent Darré

Do you ever feel like switching back to fashion?

 

 

“No, I really don’t. I’ve been in fashion for twenty years and I’ve worked for lots of different houses. I think in decoration I’m more naive and so I come up with ideas that are more innovative than in fashion where I had become far too cynical.”

 

Do your years spent with Karl Lagerfeld still influence you? 

 

 

“He made a big impression on me and I have never laughed so much in my life as with him and the Fendis. I miss him a lot, I even dream about him: I was at his fashion show and he wasn’t there. I worked with him for six years, he remained a friend and I loved his conversation.”

Karl Lagerfeld

The color palette of this collection?

 

“Colors that are not normally used in decoration, perhaps because I was inspired by people like Yves Saint Laurent, who made an impression on me for his color range. It’s much more daring.”

Vincent Darré X Monoprix

The most functional, the most elegant, the funniest object of this collection?

 

 

“The bird-shaped wrought iron chair is the most elegant object for me, it’s the first time Monoprix has made a chair. And I think that, for them as well as for me, it is a successful achievement. It’s not easy to make things that are both accessible and elegant. For the funniest object I would say the duck teapot, it is incredible with its long neck. Finally, the chick jug is perhaps the most functional object?”

 

The film that would capture the atmosphere of this collection?

 

“A Walt Disney film, Mary Poppins.”

Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins (1964)
WATCH

Project 13 rue Royale, Paris – Maison Vincent Darré

Spring or summer? 

 

“Both, but it’s more the announcement of summer that I like the most, when you want to go out and get some sun.”

If you could share this lunch on the grass with someone, who would it be?

 

 

“My best friend, Arielle Dombasle, of course. Because she is like me, whimsical, with a sense of humour and always full of surprises. She would have a lot of fun in this animal lunch on the grass.”

Vincent Darré and Arielle Dombasle

Flowers or stripes? 

 

“I take the stripes, because in fact that’s what I always wear. And then I designed the collection, at the very beginning, like an imaginary tent with stripes, in nature. But the prints are with flowers so it’s the meeting of flowers and stripes.”

Vincent Darré

The soundtrack for this collection?

 

“I think of Le jardin extraordinaire by Charles Trenet, which is a bit like this collection.”

Le Jardin Extraordinaire

Le Jardin Extraordinaire
Charles Trenet
WATCH

Hôtel Le Montana, Paris – Maison Vincent Darré

Your proudest achievement?

 

 

“The Montana Hotel, next to the Café de Flore in Paris. It was the first hotel I decorated and I was able to go wild. Each suite was different from the other, it was a tribute to all the Parisian characters from all eras and it was really, really fun to do!

 

Hôtel Le Montana, Paris – Maison Vincent Darré

“The Montana Hotel, next door to the Café de Flore in Paris. It was the first hotel I decorated and I was able to go wild. Each suite was different from the other, it was a tribute to all the Parisian characters from all eras and it was really, really fun to create!”

What are your future projects?

 

I have done a fresco in the Bistrot de Paris, in homage to the Paris of the 70s where everyone comes out of a ball at the Rothschilds’. And I’m also working on a Breton restaurant in Saint-Paul with a take-away place that will be quite extraordinary.

 

I’m also writing a book which will be released in September called Le petit diable de Vincent Darré which is about ephemeral settings.

 

And then, I was called by Airbnb to imagine an installation in Cocteau’s house, I am delighted to be able to go and tattoo the walls of his house in Milly-la-Forêt.

The collection is currently on sale as a preview at Monoprix and will be presented in selected shops on 19 April.

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