Celebrating Charlotte Perriand

a French luxury house pays tribute to free-spirited modernist Charlotte perriand by reimagining her pioneering ideas

Words by Natasha Inchley | Photos courtesy of Louis Vuitton

  2. The visionary French architect Charlotte Perriand had a habit of thrilling and shocking in equal measure. Her particularly modern viewpoint extended from organically-shaped furniture to large-scale interior spaces in bold colour palettes, but it was Perriand’s liberated approach to design that garnered her the most attention at a time when women were expected to stay at home.
  4. Luxury-goods maker Louis Vuitton recently paid tribute to that pioneering spirit with a show of Perriand-themed projects. Julie de Libran, the house’s womenswear director, drew on the architect’s graphic aesthetic as inspiration for a dynamic spring/summer 2014 Icons collection that includes, amongst other things, a leather tunic, silk lounge suit and raincoat in vivid geometric patterns. Her bold looks are all designed to compliment and mirror Perriand’s important pieces such as the Tabouret stool and Ombra chair.
  6. The house’s most ambitious task however, was to construct “La Maison au Bord de l’eau”, a modern holiday lodge dreamt up by Perriand for a design contest in 1934. The architect’s submission won second prize but was never built; she later reworked the idea for wealthy holidaymakers but it was Louis Vuitton’s in-house architect team that revived the project from sketches found in the estate archives.
  8. Painstakingly constructed in Italy, the pavilion was shipped by boat to Florida where it was unveiled in the beachside garden of the Raleigh Hotel for Miami art week. Here, surrounded by curved wooden lines and reproductions of the architect’s furniture – including the iconic Chaise Longue Pliante – Perriand’s great affinity for the environment is obvious: her love of the mountains and the beach is imortalised by way of a shelved wall so as to encourage its inhabits to collect and display seashells and outdoor finds, while her love of Japanese lines informs each and every room. The effect is supremely elegant yet startlingly simple, which is no doubt just how Perriand would have liked it.

Main image above: French visionary Charlotte Perriand, circa 1930s; her holiday lodgeLa Maison au Bord de l’eau, constructed by Louis Vuitton's in-house architecture team and presented during Miami art week. Below: the modernist spaces compliment Louis Vuitton's geometric-themed Icons collection.