Amélie, could you tell us about yourself?
I’m a Parisian and I really feel at home in the city. What do I like most about Paris? Its artistic scene, the way all the different cultures combine and feed off each other, its fashion scene, its cuisine, and how easy it is for anyone to live in Paris and get to know the city. The city has a truly unique atmosphere, which makes it one of the loveliest cities in the world, and it impresses me again every time I come back from travelling.
Tell us the story of this apartment. Why did you choose it?
It was the first apartment that I viewed. The apartment building, with its paved courtyard, the charming house covered in Virginia creeper, the sense that you were in a private villa with the large central staircase – I loved it as soon as I saw it. But the high ceilings and large rooms, with the combined kitchen and dining area at the heart of the apartment won me over immediately. The owners who wanted to sell it had it on for a really off-putting price! At the time, I wasn’t fully committed to the idea of moving. So I forgot about it and moved on. I was more attracted by the idea of focusing on an interior design project, until the estate agent reminded me and advised me to put in an offer – which was accepted! So I bought it without really knowing what I was letting myself in for, but I was really excited! A new chapter in my life was opening.
How long have you lived in this neighbourhood?
Saint-Germain-des-Près has always been my favourite part of the city. Some time spent in Neuilly – a few years – came to an end with the realisation that I needed to spend my life in Paris. But with gardens all around me! I loved living near to the Jardin du Luxembourg when my children were small, and I never tire of crossing the Seine just to go to the Jardin des Tuileries to get to the office. It’s one of the loveliest parks that I know.
. What do I like most about Paris? Its artistic scene, the way all the different cultures combine and feed off each other, its fashion scene, its cuisine, and how easy it is for anyone to live in Paris and get to know the city.
Is there a link between the style of your interior and the style of your clothing?
What I love, and what I want to convey, is a natural kind of sophistication. An authentic approach that values simplicity and minimalism, while seeking out quality and contemporary style. A way of being that favours difference and which is attentive to the way in which the universe reinvents itself. Never settling for being a “medium” – always aiming to be the best. Moving, changing, beautifying. Evolving and growing. All while remaining grounded and true to your roots.
What are your favourite materials and your favourite colours for this season?
Carmine red, which brightens things up and makes them come to life. Jade green, which is ultra chic. The blend of coloured marble with specific grains of wood: Macassar ebony, raw, sanded pine, or a brushed grey oak. Lacquer, as well – I love working with it and adding colour. The blend of ultra rich, sophisticated materials with pieces that are cruder, more minimalist, almost broken down to their primary materials.
Which designer pieces – interior design or clothing – could you not live without?
The list is long! In terms of décor, I love contemporary art. So my dream would be a painting by Cy Twombly. The coloured sculpture by the Austrian artist, Franz West, from my partner also fascinates me. Ancient African art, the photographs of Helmut Newton or Ellen Von Unwerth, Robert Mapplethorpe’s sublime photos of flowers, or Hiroshi Sugimoto’s photographic representations of times gone send me into a dreamworld and form part of the things that I love. I’m a fan of architects and decorators such as Vincent Van Duysen, Pierre Yovanovitch and Axel Vervoordt, whose work I love. In terms of fashion, I have my go-to “uniforms.” I can’t live without my Maison Standards and my lovely white blouse by Figaret, my Acne, and a Céline bag. In the evening it’s Isabel Marant or Yves Saint Laurent. I’m crazy about accessories as well and it’s true that I’m never seen without my Jimmy Fairly glasses, which are really stylish.
Tell us about the works of art that fill your apartment? How did you choose them? What do they say about you?
i’m not an impulsive collector, but I need to fall in love with a piece. As is often the case, I’m afraid of getting it wrong, but I follow my gut instinct. I either like bold, colourful pieces or contrasting monochromes, so either quite radical or more poetic, even “sexy.”
In which room do you spend most of your time?
In my bedroom during the week, and in the kitchen on the weekend, for shared family time.
How do you combine your family life and your full-time work?
It’s the eternal dilemma of the working mother who works and who blames herself for working! I am lucky enough to have three very gifted children who are truly out of the ordinary, as well as a very patient partner. My passion for my work is still the best stimulant.
Travel is a pervasive theme for you. Which have been your favourite countries so fart? Which countries do you most want to visit?
Photography: Eve Campestrini – Text: Caroline Balvay – Translation: TextMaster @thesocialitefamily