Jacques Grange talks personal taste: Part One

Interior designer Jacques Grange combines tradition with art deco to elegantly eclectic effect for clients from François Pinault to Madison Avenue’s The Mark hotel

Image: Lea Crespi

My personal style signifiers are dark-navy – almost black – trousers by Dior, light-blue linen shirts and grey cashmere pullovers by Loro Piana, and a very relaxed, unstructured Armani jacket. I think sticking to one look that works is very chic, especially for men. www.armani.com. www.dior.com. www.loropiana.com.

Grange’s photograph of Colette by Irving Penn
Grange’s photograph of Colette by Irving Penn | Image: Lea Crespi

The last thing I bought and loved was a photograph of Colette in repose by Irving Penn, which I bought at auction at Christie’s. I am fortunate to live in her former apartment in the Palais-Royal, and this image from the 1930s captures the years she spent as an actress. www.christies.com.


And the thing I’m eyeing next is one of three rare pieces of art-deco furniture by Eileen Gray, which have recently come up for sale at the Galerie Jacques de Vos in Paris. I adore her designs and would love to add one of her chairs, a console or a library table to my collection. 7 Rue Bonaparte, 75006 Paris (+331-4329 8894; www.galerie-devos.com).

Canvas Bibendum armchairs by Eileen Gray, c1930, available at the Galerie Jacques de Vos
Canvas Bibendum armchairs by Eileen Gray, c1930, available at the Galerie Jacques de Vos | Image: Courtesy of Galerie Jacques de Vos

The best souvenir I’ve brought home is a brilliant blue tile from Marrakech. It was given to me on my first trip there, in the 1970s, by longtime client and friend Yves Saint Laurent, and will forever remind me of a special time and a great friendship.

Grange’s tile from Marrakech, given to him by Yves Saint Laurent
Grange’s tile from Marrakech, given to him by Yves Saint Laurent | Image: Lea Crespi

The last meal that truly impressed me was at El Mercado in Lima. The garden setting was the perfect place to sample spicy Peruvian ceviche, roast scallops with pisco and decadent deep-fried pumpkin and sweet potato doughnuts. Hipólito Unanue 203, Miraflores, Lima 18 (+511-221 1322).

The Road to Mandalay cruising the Ayeyarwady River near Bagan, in Myanmar
The Road to Mandalay cruising the Ayeyarwady River near Bagan, in Myanmar | Image: Belmond/Zaw Min Yu

An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is Myanmar. It is still so unspoilt that it felt like stepping back into the 19th century. We sailed along the scenic Ayeyarwady aboard Belmond’s Road to Mandalay, stopping at villages, Bagan, Mingun and the pagoda of King Bodawpaya. The hundreds of temples lining the river valley resemble a necklace of many gems. A balloon trip at sunrise was a magical highlight. www.belmond.com.

Frédéric Malle’s Cologne Bigarade
Frédéric Malle’s Cologne Bigarade

An indulgence I would never forego is a very comfortable bed with luxurious sheets. A proper night’s rest is the foundation of everything – including a productive day. I like a very good, firm Simmons mattress with plain, white Egyptian cotton sheets from Noël and down pillows. www.noel-paris.com. www.simmons.com.


The grooming staples I’m never without are the Crème de la Mer moisturiser I use every day and Frédéric Malle’s Cologne Bigarade, which has slight citrus notes and feels very fresh. I also like the unfussy and pure shampoo by French brand Klorane. Crème de la Mer moisturiser, £105 for 30ml; www.cremedelamer.com. Frédéric Malle Cologne Bigarade, £110 for 100ml; www.fredericmalle.com. Klorane shampoo, £5 for 200ml; www.laboratoires-klorane.fr.

The best gift I’ve given recently was a spectacular 40-year-old plane tree to a friend for his bastide in the Loire Valley. It was 10m tall and he was quite surprised when it arrived. It has been planted in an expansive field that can be viewed from the house and casts some lovely shadows. I bought it at a wonderful garden centre in Amboise. Pépinières Paysages Petitbon et Fils, Route d’Amboise D 81, La Noue Drouin, 37150 Civray de Touraine (+3324-723 8282; www.pepinieres-petitbon.com).

And the best one I’ve received recently was a very personal letter from my dear friend Pierre Bergé. I recently celebrated a milestone birthday and received many beautiful gifts, but this heartfelt note was the most touching of all, particularly as he’s not an easy-going man. I was given a beautiful gouache by Francis Ford Coppola too, which shows the two of us together at his hotel, Palazzo Margherita in Bernalda.

My favourite websites are interiors related. I research 20th-century furniture and objets on Galerie du Passage; I like Galerie L’Arc en Seine for art-deco furnishings and the Gladstone Gallery site for contemporary art; and The Salon: Art + Design offers a comprehensive collection of fine and decorative art dealers from all over the world. www.arcenseine.com. www.galeriedupassage.com. www.gladstonegallery.com. www.thesalonny.com.

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