March 13 2011
Lucia van der Post
Dior’s flagship store on Paris’s über-chic Avenue Montaigne is like another, parallel universe. Nothing that isn’t cool, beautiful and heartbreakingly desirable is allowed through its portals. But while everybody knows about the clothes and the handbags, not everybody knows that right in the heart of the store is another little gem – a tiny selection of gorgeous tableware ranging from glassware (mostly from Murano) and china (from wherever it’s made best) to silver and exquisitely made table linens. All are personally curated and chosen by Mme Doris Brynner, former wife of the late great Yul, and she clearly has an eye for the sort of elegant, refined Parisian lifestyle that we all dream of leading when we finally grow up.
The department isn’t called Art de la Maison for nothing – here are all the props for a way of life that may have largely vanished but that is still to be found in the elegant apartments on the Avenue Foch, Fifth Avenue, Belgravia and other rarefied enclaves. Much of the porcelain is from the great companies such as Limoges and it is exquisitely pretty, just the thing to lay for an enchanting summer luncheon or a delicious tea; a delicate china teapot embellished with Lily of the Valley (first picture) is €280, a tea cup and saucer (second picture) €180. The glassware is particularly lovely, especially the vases (third picture, around €1,050) that seem like works of art.
And I was particularly taken with the Murano glass – gorgeous milky beakers with a wavy red line through the middle (€135), or blue and white stripes with just the sweetest little daisy at the bottom. I’d have bought them all there and then except that I had no room left in my luggage, so I had to leave them behind. One day, though, I’ll be back.