Tchotchke Overload at Maison & Objet
Twice a year, Interior Architect, Martine di Mattéo, and I gladly subject ourselves to ‘sensory overload’ at the Maison & Objet home collections trade fair that offers 3,000 international exhibitors under one roof of 130,000 square meters of space. We are just two of the 85,000 visitors that flow into the 10 halls at Parc des Expositions de Paris Nord Villepinte over five days.
The numbers may be overwhelming, but so is the show. There is no way to describe the monumental effort the manufacturers make to show off their best products at a show which could make or break their future sales. Some of the stands are serious showrooms that rival most retail spaces. We are always in awe of their ability to construct such massive displays only to dismantle them a few days later.
Every year the look and feel of the show changes. This year, there was a total shift of layout of the show which disoriented us for a while until we could get our bearings. There is no question that with every show, there is an increased display of candle manufacturers which never ceases to stump my rational thinking: How many scented candles can a human being use in a lifetime? Obviously a lot! What brilliant marketing this industry has created to make you think you can’t live without lighting something on fire!
The creative talents on display for decorative objects is another mind-boggler. Some of us call these objects “tchotchkes.” Wikipedia.org describes a tchotchke as…”a small bauble or miscellaneous item. Depending on context, the term has a connotation of worthlessness or disposability as well as tackiness, and has long been used by Jewish-Americans and in the regional speech of New York City and elsewhere. The word may also refer to free promotional items dispensed at trade shows, conventions, and similar large events. Also, stores that sell cheap souvenirs in tourist areas like Times Square, Venice Beach, and Waikiki Beach in Hawaii are sometimes called ‘tchotchke shops.'”
At Maison & Objet, there is no shortage of tchotchkes, including bins of ceramic fish, shoes that could cripple the wearer and vases the size of monuments. The “Desigual”style of pattern and color seemed to make its mark, not just at their own showroom, but in others’ designs in fabrics, carpets and ceramic motifs. While the color of furnishings in the manufacturers’ new lines remained neutral for the most part, there were touches of color in the accessories and textiles. In addition, there was an overwhelming showing of nature-meets-manufacture blending wood and natural materials with acrylics and plastics.
Maison & Objet is backed up by Paris Design Week opening today and on through September 15th. There is plenty to take in all week long all over the city to “prove the vitality of the design sector by promoting ultra-dynamic avant-garde designers.”
If that isn’t enough to keep you busy in the City of Light, then don’t miss Les Journées du Patrimoines this coming weekend, September 14th and 15th, when this “annual cultural highlight brings an opportunity to spend a weekend in September visiting an endless variety of well-known (but usually off-limits) and outright unusual historical monuments.”
A la prochaine…
Director of The Adrian Leeds Group, LLC
(Adrian wearing Desigual®)
P.S. See you tomorrow, September 10th at La Rentrée’s “Parler Paris Après Midi!” from 3 to 5 p.m. at La Pierre du Marais — Antonio Meza will be talking about “Smart Skills for Success” — a coaching and training methodology for you to design a life plan that is congruent with your values, have a strategy, overcome obstacles and celebrate success. Don’t miss it! It’s free and it’s fun! Details at Parler Paris Après Midi.
…And while you will be just across the street, be sure to stop in at the Mairie of the 3rd Arrondissement (2, rue Eugène Spuller) to see the exhibition “Carnet de Guerre de Rob Roy 1939-1944” — on till September 19th, a commemoration of the liberation of Paris, watercolors by Rob Roy. For more information about the works and the book see: carnetdeguerrederobroy.com.
P.P.S. If you’re in New York next weekend (and unfortunately not in Paris), you won’t want to miss the ART MEETS FASHION show September 13-15, from 6 to 10 p.m. at 241 37th Street (B/N 2nd and 3rd avenues), Industry City at Bush Terminal, Brooklyn, 11232. Works on display will include some never-before-seen work by photographer Erica Simone and 29 other talented artists. Signed prints will be on sale to benefit the BK Style Foundation and the Foundation for Art in Motion. For more information visit 62e.r.mailjet.com/ or 6n2.r.mailjet.com.
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