For those who have established a certain aesthetic direction of taste the world becomes smaller and more intimate. You get to know something or someone and that leads you to discover something or someone else. I was introduced to the French interior designer Joseph Dirand by the Belgian architect Vincent Van Duysen. We were having lunch at the Mercer hotel in New York a couple of years ago, and, why of course, Dirand would be there. Like I said, a small world.
Dirand came to my attention when he did the Rick Owens boutique in London, which was my favorite Owens shop at the time (the Los Angeles one has taken over that mantle since – it’s hard to argue with large spaces). Dirand has also done interiors for Balmain, Chloe, and Givenchy. But it is his residential work that remains a favorite. Dirand is a bit of a departure from my usual plaster-and-concrete sensibility, but not a radical one. Though his materials are unabashedly luxe, Dirand’s style is either minimal or often close to it. The combination thereof make his interiors eminently livable, the uncluttered spaces a welcome respite from our cluttered minds. His color palette mixes black and white with metallics, and earthy hues with jewel tones, perfect for someone who has long decided to disregard other colors. Dirand’s liberal use of marble is particularly impressive (and also makes me really not want to know what those interiors end up costing).
In any case, a monograph on Dirand’s work has been long overdue, and now Rizzoli has righted this wrong. The 240-page book consists of 200 black & white and color photographs of selected interiors. Sadly, the Rick Owens boutique is omitted, though I can see why, being Dirand’s earlier projects, one before his style has developed its lushness. Still, Owens’s fans will get glimpses of his furniture and furnishings, which Dirand has used in some of his projects. My favorite of those in the book is Dirand’s own Paris apartment, which shows his strength of conviction.
The monograph is cloth-bound and comes with a nice dust cover, and the photos are printed on matte thick stock paper, which compliments them nicely. The entire thing screams quality, and I wouldn’t expect it to be otherwise.
The photos that illustrate the book are taken by Dirand’s brother, Adrian. Both panoramic and intimate, they provide a good insight into the designer’s work. The bombastic descriptions by Yann Sillec are much less appealing, but you can easily skip over those and simply lose yourself in the visuals.
All images courtesy of the publisher