If it's one thing the luminous house of Baccarat can never be accused of, it's being moribund. Instead, over the years, the company has actively worked with a strong set of designers to constantly come up with new designs or reinterpretations of classic chandeliers.
2011 is turning out to be a marquee year for Baccarat as it launches at Salone del Mobile a series of, for lack of a better phrase, light work by the likes of Michele De Lucchi, Eriko Horiki and Philippe Starck.
And lest you think it's all just a case of reworked chandeliers, think again. Alain Moatti and Henri Rivière, for instance, have created Fibre de Cristal, a (literally) flat chandelier - the first in Baccarat's history - in which a flat carbon fibre surface frames a crystal nest of LED pendants which throw off diffused light either from the ceiling or, unusually, a wall.
Last year, Yann Kersalé's Jallum lamps were self-charging columns that could be set anywhere, whether garden or deck of a yacht. This year, his Jardin de Cristal collection fuses crystal and electroluminescent diodes which, like the Jallum lamps, can be stood alone or grouped in veritable forest of crystal lights especially when mounted on a spiral shaped candelabra.
Michele De Lucchi's Sfera collection layers light and glass in an imaginative way. Inspired by the moment that air is first blown into molten glass, the Sfera's spherical globe blurs the boundaries so that the bulb appears to dissolve when the light is switched on. Multi-functionalism, a hallmark of Baccarat's new oeuvre, allows the chandelier to work as ceiling lamp, floor light or table lamp.
Without exception, we think the sheer inventiveness of Baccarat's outing at Salone is enough to make anyone light-headed.