We interviewed our very own Jeremy Norman about his travels with David to Paris, France and Essen, Germany last January. Here’s what Jeremy told us about his exciting trip:
DBE: Hi Jeremy! From the photos posted on social media, it looks like you guys had an amazing trip. Let’s get started talking about your weekend in Paris. What were you doing there?
JN: David and I attended Maison & Objet, the gift show. It’s an event where vendors from around the world come together to show all of their latest merchandise. It’s all of the newest home décor, interior furnishings, fabrics, and decorative objects.
DBE: What’s different about Maison & Objet from all of the other gift shows in the USA?
JN: It’s just so much bigger than anything we have here in the States. There’s a much bigger cross-section of companies from all over the world.
What was the most exciting new thing you saw there?
There were a lot of new types of lighting- both advancements in the actual technology and the way it is incorporated and built in.
What are the trends you can see for the next year in interior design?
A lot of vendors were showing mixed media- that is, mixing materials within one piece. Things like metals and woods were combined to create a lot of interesting texture. There was also a lot of layering going on: for example, embossed metals of the same tone were layered in different ways to create a new and interesting look. They were showing a lot of mixed metallic. We also saw a lot of materials typically considered to be “rustic” combined in ways that made them high end.
Very cool! And what were you doing in Essen, Germany?
We attended the IPM Conference, an international trade fair for horticulture. Vendors there were showing flowers, plants, and horticulture tools, as well as decorative vessels within which you can arrange your floral. There was also a competition for cut flower arranging going on at the fair, which happens to be a precursor to the World Cup of Floral Design.
What was unique about the floral arrangements you saw there?
Well, the European sensibility in regards to floral is very different from that of the USA. It’s much more conceptual. There’s a real appreciation for actual floral there- it’s more thoughtful and intricate. The Europeans also tend to make a lot of their own structures that they incorporate floral design into.
In our business of events, especially within the U.S., we don’t really have the time (and it’s not really appreciated here in the same way)- but it’s great to gain inspiration from what we can see over there and try to find a way to blend those elements with an American sensibility and time-crunch. It’s just like Haute Couture fashion, really. You’re not going to wear a total Couture outfit fresh off the runway- you have to pick and choose which pieces to incorporate and which pieces to either replicate more cheaply or eliminate all together.
What trends did you notice in terms of floral for this year?
I feel like we’re going back to the 1980s in regards to floral. People were using tons of different varieties of flowers that they combined into spare, very sculptural three-dimensional arrangments. The arrangements were very airy- not lush. Almost see-through in a way. You can see the construction elements- nothing is really hidden.
Ok! On to the fun random questions. What was your favorite thing you ate on your trip?
Oh gosh…do I have to pick one thing? I think the best restaurant I went to the whole trip was a spot in Paris called L’Avant-Comptoir. Oh my goodness. It was the best. They served us sweet and savory mixed macarons: they combined traditional macaron cookies with foie grois and boudin noir. We had a fois grois hamburger that was fantastic, and salmon with chicory foam. Mmm, was that good.
What was your favorite purchase?
I got a navy coat from Kenzo that’s really great.
Favorite site you saw?
The Fondation Louis Vuitton. It just recently opened in Paris, and is the exquisite building designed by Frank Gehry. It was actually 10 years in the making, really: they began construction on the building in 2006. It’s an art museum and cultural center sponsored by the Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey Group. Really one of the most amazing pieces of architecture anywhere in the world.