With eclecticism at their core, and a united belief that shopping should be fun, Gabriel & Guillaume have ‘popped up’ in Paris. For the next month, the duo have taken over the upstairs rooms of Christofle’s headquarters to curate three mises-en-scène where 18th century mirrors sit next to 1970s bamboo lighting and rare art nouveau finds.
Nancy Gabriel hails from Beirut and first met Guillaume Excoffier in 2011 when he was running a design store in the Marais. Although neither are trained designers (she worked in advertising, he has a business background) they did up an apartment together and share a keen eye for things that ‘whatever period they’re from have a modern source’, explains Excoffier. As an example, he points to an Italian daybed – it’s from 1820, but could have been made yesterday.
More than 180 pieces fill the space and move seamlessly from big ticket, signed works such as a pair of brass coffee tables from 1970s Italian legend Gabriella Crespi to ceramics by the late Hungarian artist Livia Gorka and unsigned lamps and accessories.
The pair held their first pop up in Beirut in 2013 and for this show have incorporated contemporary design into the mix. Six works from Jean-Louis Deniot, Stéphane Parmentier, Fabrice Ausset and Marguerite Rivet appear next to vintage greats from Galerie Mitterrand, with whom they have collaborated (think Niki de Saint Phalle, Claude Lalanne, Ettore Sottsass and Robsjohn-Gibbings).
Next spring, they’re holding another pop up in Beirut, but neither wants a permanent space. ‘We don’t want to be like a gallery, with five pieces by one designer,’ says Excoffier. 'We travel all the time and we’re totally eclectic.’