This year, diptyque is celebrating its 60th anniversary. Originally founded in Paris by three friends—interior designer Christiane Gautrot, painter Desmond Knox-Leet, and theater director and set designer Yves Coueslant—the brand’s first shop at 34 Boulevard St.-Germain sold fabrics and wallpaper the trio created. Soon after, diptyque began to offer unique items from around the world.
Today, diptyque is known for its fragrances created to capture memories, transporting us to a special time or place, alongside home goods and accessories. In celebration of this year’s milestone, diptyque is launching this week “Entertaining Geometry”—the first of many new decorative collections to come that infuse the home with a touch of art de vivre.
Beautifully crafted porcelain tableware, Murano glassware, vases, trays, candle accessories, hand-painted stands, and more, boast an artist’s touch. Kinetic lines in black and white hues play with diptyque’s original oval logo. Geometric textiles are pulled from the brand’s archives and reimagined to enhance interior spaces. For the new collection, diptyque collaborated with artist Gianpaolo Pagni, continuing its dedication to partnering with artists and artisans.
For the launch of “Entertaining Geometry,” Whitewall spoke with diptyque’s senior vice president of decoration and lifestyle, Myriam Badault.
WHITEWALL: This year, diptyque is celebrating its 60h anniversary. How are you celebrating this milestone?
MYRIAM BADAULT: All year long we will celebrate what makes diptyque special: our passion for graphism that embellishes all of our offerings, diptyque’s birthplace at 34 boulevard saint Germain in Paris, the culture, fragrances and artisans of the ever-inspiring Mediterranean, our sources of discovery—travels real or imaginary, curiosity through exclusive collections of perfumes, and objects that tell our fantastical brand heritage in a contemporary way.
WW: The brand has a deep relationship with artists, and recently collaborated with Gianpaolo Pagni for the “Entertaining Geometry.” Can you tell us a bit about working with him, and why he was an artist the house wanted to feature designs from?
MB: Collaborating with artists and artisans is at the heart of diptyque’s creative process. Our founders’ backgrounds were in the Beaux Arts and les Arts Decoratifs, and curation and the serendipity of encounters are at the heart of the brand’s inspiration for each collection.
An example is our work with Gianpaolo Pagni for “Entertaining Geometry.” He is an Italian artist based in Paris and designed the collection of oval patterns that we have printed on our coasters and lanterns. I selected him for this collaboration because he has a very particular way of creating patterns. He uses ink and stamps which create subtility in the shade and imperfection which is the mark of hand-made objects.
WW: What does diptyque’s expansion of its Decoration collections say about where the brand is heading?
MB: Diptyque’s expansion into the Decoration pilar is both a celebration of our heritage and a brand-new adventure. When diptyque was founded in 1961 its first location was a collector’s paradise, a curation of upholstery and decorative objects. The offerings reflected the founders’ visions of beauty and les Arts Décoratifs. As we are celebrating 60 years, we feel that it’s the perfect time to reconnect with our brand heritage and develop even more of diptyque’s art de vivre.
WW: At the 34 Boulevard St.-Germain shop, we explored the archives of Gautrot, Knox-Leet, and Coueslant, and noticed the many decorative wallpapers, trinkets, and memorabilia they kept and were inspired by. Is the house incorporating any of the original founders’ past designs, as we’ve seen on previous pillows, for example?
MB: Our archives are a wonderful treasure, full of patterns, colors and objects. The decoration and art de vivre collections will dive deep into the archives, but with a contemporary sensibility. We accomplish this by playing with different archival patterns, scales, colors. For example, a detail can become the centerpiece of a project such as with the heritage Basile pattern seen throughout some of our Entertaining Geometry designs.
WW: What is your must-have item?
MB: I love the Basile tableware. I like to play with the geometrical patterns across the different pieces and mix them with colorful tumblers and vintage carafes to set an entertaining and playful table. Basile is a wonderful pattern created by diptyque in the ‘60s, but it still very modern.
WW: During such a difficult time amid COVID-19, how are you staying inspired?
MB: By staying in touch with talented artisans and artists! If we do not continue to prioritize them, we will lose their extraordinary craftsmanship and knowledge.