Saint Laurent’s Strikingly Modernist and Minimal Vision for Furniture Takes the Spotlight in a Two-Part Exhibition in Los Angeles and Paris

The boutiques host the "French Modernists" exhibition of iconic and elegant homeware by designers including Jean-Michel Frank and Jacques Adnet.

The austere, modern vision of Jean-Louis Frank is on display at Saint Laurent Rive Droite. Courtesy of Saint Laurent.

Saint Laurent’s Anthony Vaccarello doesn’t just take the chic and minimal route for his fashions. The “French Modernists” furniture exhibition opens today at the brand’s Los Angeles and Paris Rive Droite outposts, which also serve as galleries and incubators for the creative director’s passions (he regularly stocks them with high-end vintage furniture and artworks he curates, as well as informing the décor of worldwide boutiques).

Jean-Michel Frank's parchment 6-leaf screen. Courtesy of Saint Laurent.

Jean-Michel Frank’s parchment 6-leaf screen. Courtesy of Saint Laurent.

The exhibition, which coincides with this week’s PAD Paris design fair, predominantly showcases the titan of the movement, Jean-Michel Frank (1895–1941). Frank specialized in hyper-luxurious, maximalist style of minimalism. As an interior designer he helmed Elsa Schiaparelli’s Paris apartment and had his work documented by Man Ray. Architectural Digest noted “the rooms of his clients embraced the glitter of Boulle as well as the glamour of the silver screen.”

Frank, who also developed the ubiquitous Parsons table, has been long intertwined with the maison. Its founder Yves Saint Laurent and his life and business partner Pierre Bergé were avid collectors whose interest in the 60s and 70s helped reignite a Frank renaissance. Their benchmark 2009 Christie’s auction featured items such as an exquisite mica veneered low table which went for 379,000 euro.

The glamorous austerity of Jean-Michel Frank. Courtesy of Saint Laurent.

The glamorous austerity of Jean-Michel Frank. Courtesy of Saint Laurent.

Vaccarello also selected works by architect and designer Jacques Adnet and the jeweler and smith Jean Després who wielded hammered metal to play with light and reflection in his works. Saint Laurent collaborated with Galerie Chastel Marécha, Galerie Anne-Sophie Duval, and Galerie Jacques Lacoste. In a statement, the brand touts, “Although designed almost a century ago, the exhibition highlights the striking modernism and contemporaneity of the work of the three designers.”


“French Modernists” is on view at Saint Laurent Rive Droite boutiques in Los Angeles and Paris until April 14.

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