There’s no excuse to sacrifice fashion for frugality, especially in France. And at the recent Maison & Objet

design fair at Paris-Nord Villepoint companies were flaunting recession chic with exemplary flair.

There were two noticeable strategic approaches to the style in the aisles: re-editions, and stripped down, frill-free ranges, such as you might expect to see slapped with a supermarket economy label.



See our highlights from the Maison et Objet design fair

Authentics did both in one fell swoop with its Basics range. A refreshing addition to its classic bathroom series from the 1980s, everyday items by designers such as Konstantin Grcic , Vogt + Weizenegger and Hansjerg are re-issued in a simple translucent white washable, stain-resistant, completely recyclable and crucially, according to the literature, “remarkable value for money”.

Ligne Roset’s beautiful collection of fifties Pierre Paulin resurrections (above) was also exemplary. Shunning the fame and fortune seeking designer youth of today, Paulin explains that the time is right to resurrect honesty and intergrity in furniture design. “When I designed these items I never thought about how long they would be in fashion, I was just perfectionist in getting the form right,” he says. “They might be dated in some ways, they are very 1950s designs, but these designs can be popular again because we now understand quality. People are coming back to essentials.”