Text by Robert Thiemann
Wandering into this Paris boutique feels like stumbling upon an unexpected treasure. It breathes the raw yet sophisticated air of Damir Doma’s collection and the post-crisis spirit of the times. The boutique is located in an upmarket area of the city, which doesn’t necessarily match the brand’s image but is emblematic of the way in which it plays with the rough and the smooth.
The interior is a collaboration between Damir Doma and architect and designer Rodney Eggleston of Melbourne-based March Studio. Although not the most obvious match – the flamboyant fashion designer and the sober architect – both parties share a passion for honest materials and simple detailing.
After entering through a courtyard and climbing the stairs that lead to the boutique, you find yourself in an open, welcoming space where merchandise and interior exist in perfect harmony. It looks effortlessly put together but has been designed with scrupulous attention to detail. The principal element of the shop is a staircase featuring stacked slabs of travertine supported by a steel frame weighing a ponderous 23 tonnes (25 tons). The way in which travertine is cut and stored at the marble yard – with raw natural edges rather than straight, cleanly finished lines – became this retail project’s design feature. The marble slabs’ untreated edges form a compelling contrast with the fine, black steel balustrade that cuts graphic lines through the store’s three levels.
Keen to retain some of the existing building’s rudimentary elements, Eggleston left the plaster walls’ rough patina in their original state, coupling rawness and purity with intimacy and sophistication. Throughout the store, the play on levels and layers distinguishes both the environment and the merchandise. The overall effect can be compared to the pieces of a garment pattern, meticulously laid out and assembled with the same precision found in Damir Doma’s clothes.