Paris has its understated grace and suave aesthetics, and Los Angeles the glamour that begs for the spotlight. So when the two moved in together on Melrose Place this year, the mélange was surprisingly chic.
Each year, Christofle artistic director Stéphane Parmentier re-imagines the 185-year-old French silversmith's sole concept outpost, Studio Christofle in LA. This year's incarnation – a bourgeois Parisian apartment – is a departure from the boutique's 2013 debut, with graphic black-and-white stripes and garish yellow rug.
Parmentier said he wanted to go back to the company's French roots with a simple and sophisticated design – the essence of la touche française. But like LA – the illusion factory of movie-making – nothing is actually quite as it seems. A closer look reveals the regal off-white and ashen Haussmann wall mouldings are a trick of the eye thanks to printed trompe-l'œil velvet panels. 'I like things when they are not obvious at first sight or first touch,' Parmentier says.
A little LA funk gives the shop's Parisian elegance a whimsical punk edge. A Seussian white ram covered in actual sheepskin carries an immaculate tea service on its back; custom midcentury pink leather chairs that belonged to actress Ann Rutherford sit under a giant rapper necklace hung on the wall as a mirror.
Wrapping the whole shop in fabric mutes LA street traffic – for a serene moment transporting one to a quiet dream of Paris. But if a stroll through the Studio makes you long to book a flight to France, maybe just settle for the vintage Christofle XXL palm tree-shaped champagne bucket. 'When you are far away from Paris,' Parmentier concludes, 'sometimes it's nicer.'