Just as a great accessory can transform an entire outfit, a stellar piece of furniture can set the tone for not only one room, but an entire home. Now, consider the brilliant work of sculptors François-Xavier and Claude Lalanne – which include fanciful pieces such as gilded rhinoceros desks and bronze sheep – and enter a whole new dimension of cool.
Truly objects for be desired, the Lalannes are beloved by A-list collectors as Marc Jacobs, Peter Marino and Reed Krakoff who paid a record $380,000-plus for a 1968 set of sheep by Francois-Xavier and four bronze garden armchairs by Claude. Yves Saint Laurent also had a mirrored room adorned with tendril-like bronze ”moldings” that Claude designed for him, which we would die to see in-person. And while all of the pieces are truly breathtaking (yes, we would love a pair of sheep too, Reed), we've got our heart set on the gilded rhinoceros desk. Can you image a more inspiring place to work?
What is it? Rhinoceros Desk by Lalanne
Who to blame for this obsession of ours? We're just going to be honest and blame Lauren Santo Domingo for this one. The Vogue editor and fashion 'it' girl recently opened up her home to Vogue in launching the new online series APT with LSD (which our dear friend, designer Laura Poretzky has also been featured on). While we love practically everything in her home, Lauren's Lalanne hippo bar (see below) had us craving much more than a cocktail and got us going through all of Lalanne's work.
Why are we so obsessed with it? While we really love all of the couple's work, François-Xavier’s sculpted animal cabinets and desks are functional while lending any space a high surrealist drama. The couple's London dealer, Ben Brown, once said that "they live in an artistic world that is full of living organisms," which we'd sort of like to live in as well – at least in theory.
Just as with the hippo bar, the rhino desk completely opens up to reveals inner chambers designed for hiding all sort of things of your choosing. And while a Lalanne desk might be much harder to get (through auctions like Christie's and Sotheby's) and will cost about a million times more than something you might find at Restoration Hardware or West Elm, it will never cease to spark conversation or imagination - indeed an object to desire for generations to come.
What say you? Loving Lalanne as much as we are?