The Impeccable Design Style of Muriel Brandolini
by jill sieracki
Bird ceiling light by Francesca Amfitheatrof; canopy bed by Decour; X chair by Peter Hvidt; Substance side table by Hervé Van der Straeten; 1950s brass and leather lamp by Paavo Tynell; 1936 Isokon long chair by Marcel Breuer; Petale sconces by Hervé Van der Straeten; rug by Fedora Design
|James and Muriel in Taffin’s Fifth Avenue boutique|
Step into Muriel Brandolini’s kaleidoscopic world and be swept away by her beautifully appointed interiors, created for such elite clients as Annette and Matt Lauer, Pia and Christopher Getty and the Princess and Prince Pavlos of Greece. Her designs, fabrics and lifestyle collections take bohemian living to an unprecedented level of luxury. Vietnamese boat chandeliers, miles of crisp aqua walls accented by glittering white hand-embroidered lanterns, king-size beds tented in folds of brocade silk, geometric furniture rendered in soothing neutral color palettes—all exist in The World of Muriel Brandolini, her debut coffee table tome, being released this month from Rizzoli. In celebration of the book’s release, an accompanying boutique within Barneys New York, and a special auction of her own antiques and furnishings at Phillips de Pury, Brandolini talks with jeweler James Taffin de Givenchy. Her confidante and coconspirator for more than a decade, he will host a private cocktail event in Brandolini’s honor at Barneys New York on October 11.
JAMES TAFFIN DE GIVENCHY: Muriel, your sapphire ring was the first commissioned piece I ever did. I don’t even know how you found me!
MURIEL BRANDOLINI: I had heard of you from [textile designer] Carolina Irving. She told me, “You must meet James,” and I met you, and that was it. Since I met you, every piece [of jewelry] that I have is made by you for me.
JTG: That was it. You called me, and I had a sapphire. You gave me complete carte blanche to do anything. I don’t think you can be a designer without being influenced by your clients.
MB: We are both in tune with our drive to constantly make something new, and to surprise ourselves. We both love to create beauty through unexpected combinations. In my interior design, I might upholster a 1950s Italian chair in vinyl and set it next to a contemporary polished steel table. You use the most precious stones, set in wood, or rubber.
JTG: You have a new book out, The World of Muriel Brandolini. It’s not just a book about furniture or design. It’s you—your heritage, your passions and your work.
MB: I was asked to do a book for many, many years. It happened that I had 18 months free and I just decided to do it. In all honesty, it was an extremely difficult process, as I am not a person to look back on the past, and I was forced to revisit more than 17 years of a career.
|Coiffeuse and mirror by Estrid Ericson; pearlgray silk taffeta skirts by Gina Bianco; floor lamp by Arredoluce|
photographs by eric boman (opener); Ean Sung (portrait); peter estersohn (room)