When it comes to new ideas, Alexandra Golovanoff has one every few minutes. A line of cashmere knitwear in cosmetic colours, new hooks...
She’s got that fascinating something that you only see in rive gauche Parisiennes. Marie Gas is refined, a tiny woman with something of the Catherine Deneuve about her who heads several fashion concept stores from Paris to Marseille. Everyone knows By Marie. In recent years, she has been the go-to person when it comes to selection. You can see that when you look around her home. Reminiscent of a country home right in the heart of the 6th district of Paris, her apartment is very tastefully decorated. Materials have been carefully chosen. This is because Marie never stops hunting here and there; she is always meeting budding designers and finding rare pieces, such as her black Florence Knoll console or her perforated metal Mathieu Matégot newspaper rack. I must mention her offices and its elegantly superimposed frames which can easily become a favorite.
I always like to visit the Saint Ouen flea market in Paris and especially Paul Bert and Serpette.
Marie, for how long have you lived in the rive gauche?
I settled here as a law student but after moving to the rive droite for a while, I returned 6 years ago.
How did you design the decor of your apartment?
I opted for a minimum of decoration with a focus on wood and white walls and I decided to simplify the space to highlight and harmonise the objects and furniture I’d hunted down over the years.
What are your favourite objects?
The white marble Mangiarotti Eros table and the Superleggera chairs I discovered. These items have a similar timeless modernity and beauty.
Where do you go bargain-hunting?
Everywhere, whenever I can, or during my travels. I always like to visit the Saint Ouen flea market in Paris and especially Paul Bert and Serpette…the flea markets in the south and, most of all, Sundays in Grimaud. And each time I travel, I visit the flea markets in New York. Even if they are fewer each time, they are always a source of profound inspiration for Gas Bijoux creations or the By Marie collection in the By Marie concept stores.
What is the taste faux pas to avoid?
Is there a link between fashion and the decoration of your home?
A certain perception of taste, a form of rigour, the idea of selecting and mixing…as in the By Marie shops, my approach is to select what I like best among creators or items and then share that with our customers. The idea of authenticity and rarty is also part of the way I see fashion and the objects around me.
Which artist inspires you?
I particularly like Gio Ponti: his work is an entire world of art – architecture, design, ceramics, but also painting and poetry.
What would be the item of your craziest dreams?
A Barnett Newman painting.
What is the cheap item of which you feel proudest?
A few years ago I bought a small Ester Vonplon photo. At the time, she was a young photographer whose poetry had struck a chord with me.
What do you lack in your home?
A few square metres.
Can you recommend a good restaurant?
L’Affable in Paris, a refined and delicious bistrot.
What is your next holiday destination?
Certainly Formentera and I’m really looking forward to the Italian Riviera.
Photography & Text: Constance Gennari @thesocialitefamily