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A Famous Design Detail in France

Grooves, ridges, stripes, and faux folds structure materials. The range of materials and creations on which these sculpted ribbed effects emerge is expanding. Architects, fashion designers, and designers apply this vertical geometry, as if to reveal the facets of the material: leather or concrete, mesh or silk, glass or resin, all get into the groove. Emerging in ancient civilizations long before our era, on columns, pilasters, consoles, sarcophagi, and vases, grooves constitute the oldest surface ornamentation in architecture. Today, they inspire all aspects of creation. Designers, fashion creators, and scenographers use vertical stripes as a means to give a rich yet delicate character to their pieces and collections. In this highly architectural aesthetic, retail spaces as well as fashion accessories or home decor rely on radical minimalism. The art of creating sophisticated simplicity, by creating vertical lines, becomes a trend in its own right.

In the sun-drenched squares and parks of France, one can often find a group of locals engaged in a leisurely yet competitive game of pétanque. This quintessential French pastime, has deep cultural roots and holds a special place in the hearts of many.

Ribbed Lines in Art: Christo Wrapping Iconic Parisian Landmarks

The pleated and sculpted lines infiltrate the collections of designers, sometimes resembling palm leaves, other times resembling plastic packaging in the manner of the Pont Neuf or the Arc de Triomphe wrapped by the plastic artist Christo.

In 1985, Christo, along with his partner Jeanne-Claude, realized their long-held dream of wrapping the Pont Neuf, one of the most iconic bridges spanning the Seine River in Paris. The project, titled "The Pont Neuf Wrapped," involved covering the entire bridge in a shimmering ribbed golden fabric, transforming it into a temporary work of art. Fast forward 35 years later, and Christo's vision for wrapping iconic Parisian landmarks continued with the wrapping of the Arc de Triomphe. Titled "L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped," the project was realized posthumously in September 2021, fulfilling Christo's longstanding ambition to wrap the monumental arch.

These meticulously carved and disciplined grooves bear a striking resemblance to the shape of cannelés, the small cylindrical cakes typical of Bordeaux. For instance, pieces from Laetitia Fortin's "Cuir de Caractère" collection appear to draw inspiration from both traditional and reinvented copper cannelé molds. Laetitia Fortin was not the only artist inspired by these delightful little cakes; Cassandra Goad also features them prominently in her collection on France. The cannelé takes center stage in her "Patisserie" series, which includes bracelets as well as necklaces. Through these pieces of jewelry, Cassandra has created her abstract interpretation of French pastries: croissants, cannelés, éclairs, and pains au chocolat.

Ribbed Elegance: From Architecture to Home Interiors

The ribbed effect extends beyond accessories to infuse architecture and home interiors with a sense of modernity and sophistication. Take, for example, the "La Maison Plissée," a contemporary individual house crafted by architect Vladimir Doray. Nestled on Rue Édouard-Jacques in Paris's 14th arrondissement, within the vibrant Pernety neighborhood, it boasts a design marked by the radicalism of its folded metal facade, akin to an origami masterpiece.

Similarly, Gaia Repossi collaborated with architect Rem Koolhaas to conceive a Paris flagship store that mirrors the modern and architectural essence of her haute jewelry designs. Notably, the store's centerpiece is a rotating "billboard" adorned with a ribbed rose-tinted mirror, adding a touch of elegance to the space.

Meanwhile, GOODMOODS has meticulously crafted the offices and showroom for cosmetic brand Typology. Located in the heart of the 11th arrondissement, this 300m2 space features open spaces, soundproof cabins, laboratories, and meeting rooms- embellished with the coveted ribbed effect!

Furthermore, ribbed detailing finds its place in home decor through mediums like papier-mâché, ceramics, and resin, as seen in the exquisite creations by Juliette Berthonneau.

Whether in architecture or interiors, the ribbed effect continues to inspire, adding depth and character to contemporary living spaces.

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French cartoon Tintin and his dog Milou.
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