Get a flavour of modernist Mexico City at this new showroom
Virtually tour VIDIVIXI’s new Mexico City showroom, and explore locally-made designs
With travel restricted for the foreseeable future, the idea of journeying to the vibrant flavour and sensuality of Mexico City in person is all but a distant fantasy right now. Adding to that fantasy is the newly unveiled showroom space from the design firm VIDIVIXI, which had initially been scheduled to open in March. While it will only be able to welcome visitors in person once lockdown measures are eased, VIDIVIXI – which takes its name from ‘I saw, I’ve lived’ in Latin – has still decided to forge ahead and share the cinematic environment that its created, even if only virtually for now.
VIDIVIXI, which was originally established in Brooklyn by designer Mark Grattan in 2014, has has been a Mexico City-based operation since he moved there in 2016. Together with studio partner Adam Caplowe, who manages the studio while Grattan serves as creative director, the company’s output has risen to new levels of sophistication with its new physical space and accompanying showroom collection.
Remodelling an artist’s studio
Located in Colonia San Rafael, directly opposite the abandoned Cine Opera that was built in 1949, VIDIVIXI’s open plan one-room vision has been divided into a series of three chambers. Because it had been previously used as an artist’s studio before it came into Grattan and Caplowe’s hands, a large amount of renovation had to be done to reflect VIDIVIXI’s ethos, which celebrates contemporary living in its pastiche of design styles that brings classic, vintage and modern all nearly together as one.
‘We remodelled all the walls [and tore] up the floor, which we then finished with micro-concrete,’ says Caplowe. ‘The windows were small and had prison-style bars attached when we first arrived, so we removed them and installed new custom window frames to make the best use of the light.’
‘We wanted to create a warm, saturated feel to the room, which we achieved with the palette choice and materials used,’ Grattan explains. ‘From the tatami-style mats to the Noren-style curtains, there is an Asian theme running through the space, which compliments the forms of the new collection. We feel [that] this, coupled with modernist and art deco overtones, creates a truly unique experience of the space.’
Group showcase at VIDIVIXI
To complete the picture further, Grattan invited artists and designers, all friends from former eras of his life, to contribute pieces to the showroom’s dream-like installation. Selected for their compatibility with VIDIVIXI’s own stylistic signature of bold, curvaceous forms that are typically realised in glass, chrome and leather, the additions include a richly saturated panoramic painting by Kristen Giorgi that hangs next to VIDIVIXI’s dining table topped with an elliptical glass pane.
Elsewhere a geometric table lamp with a rectangular paper shade by Adam Otlewski sits elegantly atop a low VIDIVIXI side table, while a graphic configuration of custom-designed mirrors by Bower Studios brings a Barragan-like quality to the space.
‘As we knew we were going to be presenting our collection in a new space, we had obvious gaps which we wanted to fill, such as wall space and lighting,’ Grattan explains. ‘Instead of sourcing props or loaning work, we decided why not make it a group show and include some of our friends. We reached out to a select group who’s work we really respect and asked if they would be interested in creating new work for the show.’
In total, VIDIVIXI’s new showroom collection is impressively comprised of the credenza, a sofa, a club chair, a figure four side table, and reworking of its signature bed (this time wrapped in green and black velvet upholstery) and coffee table.
The space also features a custom-designed curved table lamp - a single orb sitting on a serpentine axis - by Farrah Sit, which was manufactured locally, alongside Bower Studios’ pieces, bringing yet another layer of cultural dialogue.
‘[The showroom] cements us literally into the landscape of Mexico, which is very important to us,’ Caplowe concludes. ‘It has also opened us up to possibilities of collaboration and using our new space as a design hub for exchange between the US and Mexico.’ §