An Interview With Deirdre Dyson

Following the inauguration of Deirdre Dyson’s Parisian space where she can now expose her iconic carpets, she gives us with an interview.

You started creating / designing carpets after a setback – unable to find the one to dress your interior. What were for you the qualities, both aesthetic and qualitative, that were paramount in your quest at that time? What are your expectations of a carpet worthy of the name today?

Fitted carpets were the norm when I first started my search to find something contemporary. I could only find antique ones or rather dull repeat patterns.  I was looking for something free-    standing to expose some lovely wooden flooring, a texture that was dense and soft and a modern design. Today there are amazing designers creating contemporary work and trying new techniques and materials. I would be looking for concept and originality and a true understanding of colour.

You’re committed to made to measure – how hard are you trying to meet your customers’ expectations? But more importantly, how do you approach dressing up an interior, which sometimes can be a little off your aesthetic?

Interior designers and architects have usually made their decisions on colour and furniture before considering carpets but this gives me a great template and confidence that the client is happy with the scheme so far.  I listen extremely carefully to the brief, honour the mood board and produce three optional ideas/designs carefully matching their chosen colours. 

This is a starting point for discussion and development. Private clients like to select one of my designs as a starting point which we modify and colour after listening to their preferences. 

Their import is important as I want them to feel that they have played a part in creating their own carpet.  My team and I take as much pleasure as they do when the carpet arrives. 

The team work and result is the reward for the effort. I like to make sure that each carpet holds its own interest but must be in harmony and balance with its surroundings.

In the design of your carpets, you often put forward abstract forms, but which often evoke flowers and plants. Is Nature a constant source of inspiration? Or do you try, perhaps, to inject a modern or even industrial vision to the design of these same forms?

My inspirations are varied although nature often does play a part.  Even so, I try to make them modern and different from anything I have seen before. Some of my designs are even inspired by a new technique, like grading in opposing directions. 

Deirdre Dyson, Plumes

Sometimes I borrow a subject from my own paintings.  I did some industrial ideas for the Battersea Power station project which I admit I found challenging!!

Your latest collection, Looking Glass, plays with transparency and color. Can you tell me more about this aesthetic reflection? Is emotion a key to interior design for you?

I suppose an inspiration is an emotion and inspiration is the key to the subject of a painting or my carpets.  I like working to a theme and exploring a subject in different ways, so doing a collection of eight a year gives me this challenge and forces me to think beyond that first idea.

DEIRDRE DYSON 2020, LOOKING THROUGH 

I am always looking through glass at the amazing colours and reflections and wondered if I could create transparency and shine using silk and a mixed colour where shapes overlapped.  I was happily surprised at the three dimensional result. 

DEIRDRE DYSON 2020, GLASS CUBES 

A carpet is flat but the design can still be three dimensional. I love adding a pop of colour that floats above the main design.  I have 5000 colours to choose from and I don’t have to mix paint, just select the right one but I bless my art training which has given me the knowledge and surety of finding the ‘exact’ colour.

You have just inaugurated this summer your new space in the heart of Saint Germain Des Près – after London, Paris? Why this choice? Do you have a special relationship with the City of Lights? A question as much artistic as aesthetic perhaps?

We [Ref: Her Husband, James Dyson] love Paris for being the home of Impressionism and have always tried to spend weekends here on our wedding anniversary which coincides with your wonderful Christmas lighting. We have finally found an apartment which included the gallery space in the purchase. 

Not ideal really as it has random stone walls and floor and a dungeon below with curved low ceiling.  I thought that the juxtaposition of hard stone and soft carpet with ancient and modern might be interesting.

Our media devotes a privileged relationship to objects, rooms, iconic places? Do you have one or two objects/rooms/iconic places that have a special place in your heart? Which ones and why?

I have an overwhelming response to the magnificent cliffs on the sea at Poleagnos in Greece. The colours are breathtaking, awesome and the colours reflected in the sea are unbelievable. Opera theatres are also thrilling with their ornamentation and the suspense before the lifting curtain.

I am a trained singer and opera has everything for me.  Divine music and story, costume design, stage design, concept and superb acting. A total perfect cocktail of all creative talents.


Deirdre Dyson Inaugurates her Parisian Gallery

Lady Deirdre Dyson now has her Parisian space where to exhibit her eminently inspired – eminently contemporary tailor-made rugs.

Deirdre Dyson Inaugurates Its Parisian Gallery In Saint-Germain-Des-Prés

For once, it’s in Saint-Germain-des-Prés that the artist-turned-designer Lady Deirdre Dyson inaugurated her first Parisian gallery – the second after that of London.

Deirdre Dyson, Uncommon Rugs

Lady Deirdre Dyson accidentally got started with inspired carpet design. Twenty years ago, as she scoured London boutiques in search of the perfect rug for her interior, Lady Deirdre Dyson was disappointed to find nothing to her liking. It was then that she stumbled across a manufacturer’s store. In addition to offering her to make her custom-made rug, he offered her the possibility of designing it, as she dreamed of!

Seduced by the result, the manufacturer then offered to become her partner. Thus, Deirdre Dyson rugs were born.

Using luxurious materials, Deirdre Dyson rugs are backed by an ancient technique – hand-knotted in Nepal by Tibetan experts. Responding each year to a specific inspiration, Deirdre Dyson rugs are then carved like so many works of art dedicated to sublimating interiors.

But Lady Deirdre Dyson knows the importance of tailoring. This is why their collection is deployed to order around a palette of more than 5000 colors, using exclusively natural materials – wool, silk or a combination of both.

Thus, guided by her instinct for more than twenty years, Lady Deirdre Dyson has made her first inspiration the foundation of real pieces of design. Pieces which, until today, were only visible in their case in the Chelsea gallery in London.

Deirdre Dyson, The Rue des Saints-Pères Gallery

To let her creations shine by themselves, Lady Deirdre Dyson has carved out her new gallery on Rue de Saints-Pères in sobriety and elegance.

The front combines the gray and gold of the Deirdre Dyson logo. But it is inside that the calm sparkles in the hollow of a vaulted cellar. These stones, from floor to ceiling, transport in a serene atmosphere, that of Deirdre Dyson creations.

A subtle magic that finds an obviously creative echo in the latest collection of Deirdre Dyson rugs. Called “Looking Glass”, these rugs play with transparency and color to give life to unique interiors. Necessarily tailor-made. A gallery like a showcase for Deirdre Dyson’s sincere creativity.

To visit without delay, the gallery is situated on 12 Rue des Saints-Pères, 75007.

Capri, The Glamor Destination of the Jet Set

An island with lush vegetation that attracts jet setters and inspires fashion designers!

If the craze for Capri seems to have known its golden age in the 1950s, the island is already known to crowned heads from the end of the 19th century. It was the doctor and philanthropist Axel Munthe who, settling there in 1887, attracted the Queen of Sweden with him, and of course many others. “My house must be open to the sun, to the wind and to the voices of the sea, like a Greek temple, and to light, light, light everywhere!” The villa San Michele which survives him transposes his desire; since becoming the icon of Capri – a haven of peace and communion with nature. It is this vision of an idyllic island that later attracts Oscar Wilde, Jean Cocteau, André Gide or even Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly.

But the building that made Capri a popular icon was the Casa Malaparte. Built for the Italian writer Malaparte, it is a kind of artist magnet. Jean-Luc Godard first who planted the scene of his iconic film ‘Le Mépris’, with Brigitte Bardot in 1963. Then, Karl Lagerfeld. In the 1990s, he traveled to Capri and returned with a photo album capturing this timeless house. Empty of all influences, is was Capri alone who inspires jet setters. And not the reverse.

Capri pants for example. A creation born in the 1940s, from the hands of the German designer Sonja De Lennart. Passing through Capri, the summer is so hot that she came to drastically reducing the length of her pants. A few decades later, it was Jackie O. who introduced the fashion for Capri pants to the world, at the same time asserting the uniform of these resorts – white pants, black t-shirt, and maxi glasses. But it is another couturier who made Capri his land of choice.

Emilio Pucci never hid it – he drew from its crystal-clear waters, divine rocks and the colors of its landscape the lines and patterns of his iconic style. It was there that in 1957 he founded his first Haute Couture salon. In Capri too, there is the Grand Hotel Quisisana – a must-see place on the island where poets, aristocrats and rockstars have taken up residence since 1845. Since there is little to do in Capri, you let your imagination run wild. Like Tod’s, which each season gives its legendary Gommino the hues of a summer in Capri. A summer full of prose and beauty, which you can savor in good company at the Conca Del Sogno, the island’s iconic restaurant set in an out of this world setting!

The Hermès Anchor Chain

An iconic design since transformed into a bracelet, ring, hoop earrings and other watches, the Anchor Chain in the last century marked Hermès’ entry into modernity.

Hermès and Normandy

At the dawn of the 1940s, the saddler Hermès has long been known and recognized for embodying the quintessence of chic and refinement, particularly in terms of sports and travel equipment.

Largely inspired by the equestrian environment, Hermès pieces are not yet the ones we know today. But then in 1937, Robert Dumas, son-in-law of the son of founder Thierry Hermès, brought the house into modernity. And it is during a trip to the Normandy coast that it will all start.

Hermès, as we know, likes to reproduce in its lines the purity and elegance of elements that are often little appreciated.

When Robert Dumas spots the singularity and the tangle of the links of the chain connecting a boat to its anchor, he surely suspects the impact of such inspiration.

The idea for the legendary Anchor Chain Bracelet does come from this chic and complex tangle. But now, if Robert Dumas wanted to transform this idea into jewelry, no jeweler of the time wants to work on its realization. None were ready to follow.

It must be said that Robert Dumas insisted that his bracelet be designed in silver. While the era swears by gold and platinum. Finally, it is a certain Monsieur De Perçin who accepts to work this metal a bit folkloric for his time.

The Anchor Chain Icon, A Hermès Signature

In 1938, therefore, the Chaîne d’Ancre bracelet was born. Jewel with a natural balance, with a chic and easy look. The Anchor Chain is not long in becoming the jewel to own.

And like many icons of the house, Hermès liked to make them reappear where we do not expect them.

We then find the Anchor Chain declined in pattern. Here and there, lines of porcelain plates with the Nantucket timepiece. Printed on the silk square. Serving as a cut-out pattern on sandals. This game of shapes and volumes embellishes and magnifies a number of Hermès objects. Besides, deposited in 1970, this design is a signature belonged to the only house!

In 2011, it was from the Chaîne d’Ancre links that Henri d’Origny created the Hermès Cape Cod watch.

The same year, Pierre Hardy was inspired by the clasp of the Chaîne d’Ancre bracelet to design hanging earrings. Gold, silver and paved with diamonds. Pierre Hardy even worked on a whole collection of fine jewelry around the Anchor Chain and its links – for him “a permanent creative anchor”. Among these pieces, this bag made of a total of 1,160 diamonds, or 33.94 carats.

Yes, the pattern is both versatile and ultimately refined. Robert Dumas was right!

To the point that the Anchor Chain is more current than ever. Seen on a men’s jacket from the Hermès Spring/Summer 2018 collection, or showcased for Spring/Summer 2020, around a punk-inspired Chaîne d’Ancre necklace. The design embodies the poetic and facetious spirit of the Hermès house!

The Saddles Of Hermès

Crafted since the foundation of the company, the saddles are still made in the pure Hermès tradition, still nestled at the heart of 24 Faubourg Saint-Honoré.

At the Origin of Hermès, is the love of Horses

When Thierry Hermès founded his house in 1837, he actually opened a boutique specializing in saddlery and horse harnessing. The era was in equestrian transport and quickly, Hermès became a master in the field.

From the second half of the 19th century, now located at 24 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Hermès possessed a flawless reputation. Having won in 1867 the first class medal at the Paris World Fair, the house made exceptional saddles that adapted to all types of horses and riders.

So when the car superseded the horse, Hermès certainly diversified its production, but never abandoned the know-how of the saddles. And still today, between 400 and 500 saddles come out of 24 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré each year. This is where we always find workshops rich in expertise as luxurious as it is effective.

“Our first client is the horse; the second, the rider” declared Jean-Louis Dumas. Because if the horse is no longer so common, the house drew from its roots aesthetic codes that were quick to inspire its logo or its mythical square. Above all, Hermès drew from its archives the ideal techniques for innovating in the field of saddles.

And in this area, the Hermès registers trace all the saddles produced since 1909 – each of them are numbered.

The Design Of Hermès Saddles

Minimalist and efficient. As Laurent Goblet, master saddler at Hermès for over 40 years, and responsible for horse riding development, put it: “I’m not a saddler for making museum pieces! My job is to produce saddles adapted to the needs of riders with materials and technologies that best meet their expectations.”

At the heart of Hermès creations since its origins, the saddlery profession is indeed of considerable importance in the production of exceptional pieces. Among these, Hermès saddles hold the upper hand.

The time and passion invested in research and development on the ergonomics of saddles has led Hermès to not only improve the comfort of the horse and that of the rider, but also to offer modular saddles, simple to upgrade.

In the workshops of 24 Faubourg Saint-Honoré, a small group of 7 artisans work every day. And each of their talents is compiled to lead to the making of exemplary saddles – shaping in turn the sashes, olives, troussequins, or faux-quarters, all cut from the wonderful leathers of the house of Hermès.

“At the beginning we learned to work with tools, then after we have the right to dream, we have the right to reinvent, to transform” – Laurent Goblet initiated the Talaris saddle in 2010.

The Saddles From the Hermès Catalog

In the Hermès catalog, there are around ten saddles. Three for the obstacle: the Cavale, Allegro and Steinkraus saddles. A mixed saddle named Oxer; another outdoor, the Senlis. One cross saddle, another polo saddle. And two more for training the Corlandus and the Arpège saddle. And the Talaris.

When other luxury houses base their success on marketing, Hermès prefers to cultivate excellence – and it is in a product as efficient as the saddle that we read this quest.

In 2010, Laurent Goblet imagined the Talaris saddle. “This skeleton of wood and steel prevented any evolution. We looked at how to take advantage of the new materials to offer a saddle offering better sensations to the rider and the horse,” he explains.

Rigid but flexible, solid but fine, the Talaris offers the ideal lightness for the obstacle. Designed around a carbon and titanium tree, its seamless seat and injected foam panels allow an excellent distribution of the effort on the horse’s back.

In 2013, the Hermès Cavale saddle emerged. The stools follow each other and are not alike.

The Steinkraus saddle, flat and designed for balancing, is intended for show jumping and hunter riders. Designed for sporty, sober and natural riding.

The Oxer is a sporty saddle. Designed for riders who practice several disciplines with one dominant obstacle, it is cut around one of a semi-hollow tree – to instantly regain balance.

Developed with Margit Otto-Crépin, dressage champion, the Corlandus saddle is dedicated to the practice of high level dressage. It offers the rider to accurately perceive the attitudes of the horse.

All these saddles are obviously stamped with the discreet luxury and beauty given by Hermès pieces. They are in themselves true works of art which, although designed to be functional, they carry the art of harnessing high.