“Yes…I’ve always had it,” revealed the French actress in the first episode of “Smoking Le Podcast,” a series launched Friday as part of the Saint Laurent Rive Droite cultural hub.
Throughout a 33-minute conversation with French journalist Pascale Clark, Deneuve shares insight into some of her roles, but also the fact that she was originally drawn to architecture and painting, not cinema.
A lifelong friend of Yves Saint Laurent — she serenaded him alongside then-model Laetitia Casta for his farewell show — Deneuve revealed that meeting Saint Laurent creative director Anthony Vaccarello at a festival in the late couturier’s honor in Marrakesh, she’d appreciated “what he did, what he said, and his shyness, too.”
Asked if all of her roles were a kaleidoscope that describes her as a person, the actress felt it was “more of a zigzag.” But true to her reputation as a notoriously private person, she noted that while it was tantalizing to think about, she wasn’t interested in discussing that.
On being in the public eye, she explained that she’d drawn some advantages but “found it difficult to respond positively to an image that you’ve been given without feeling totally invented.”
Deneuve also said that while being called “the most beautiful woman in the world” created pressure and expectations, it also “forced you to look after yourself, when you could let yourself go when you’re not working, not shooting.”
Other topics include her relationship to the press, how she keeps a certain mystery while in the public eye — “it’s more secret than mystery,” she remarks — or what might make her stop acting: “no more scripts that interest me,” was her reply.
Other episodes of the Smoking podcast will have Charlotte Gainsbourg, Laetitia Casta, filmmaker Gaspar Noé and actor Félix Maritaud as guests. — LILY TEMPLETON
EVERYTHING HAD TO GO: When it comes to striking designs, jeweler Lorenz Bäumer doesn’t just like to make them — he likes the thrill of a good find, too.
“I buy because [an object] is beautiful and then I have to find a spot for it,” he admitted.
The downside to this is that right now, space is at a premium in his Parisian home, as evidenced by frames propped five-deep against a wall.
That is why he was offering around 100 lots in an online auction with the Sotheby’s auction house from Thursday until Sunday, although he joked that the industry rumor mill probably thought he was broke.
Going under the hammer was an eclectic selection that included photographs, Art Deco tea services by 20th-century French silversmith Jean E. Puiforcat, carved ebony figurines by sculptor Alexandre Noll, made-to-measure Hermès briefcases and an intricate ancient Japanese cabinet.
There was also some of his jewelry, such as the “Titane Ile Au Trésor” bracelet with its 55-carat green tourmaline, inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, Bäumer’s favorite childhood book, and a solitaire ring featuring one of his laser-engraved “tattooed” diamonds.
As a guideline to the items he was selling, the jeweler said he wanted to use the sale as a window into his creative universe. “This is a slice of my life… things that inspire my work and represent the dialogue that you can have with other creators,” he said, pointing out how Noll’s abstract shapes had inspired his “Black Magic” collection or the geometric shapes of a cabinet by American sculptor Paul Evans had influenced his “Mikado” line.
That and “show that behind the brand, there’s a guy who isn’t dead yet,” he quipped.
Given his taste for hunting conversation-starters in vintage markets and art fairs — “I love that you can come to my home and not know any of it,” he explained — that’s just scratching the surface of his life as a collector.
“My wife is really disappointed we are only selling 100-or-so items because you can’t really see any space being made,” he said. “I’m very invasive.”
That was another criterion in his selection: things with a large footprint. Like, say, a seat by Brazilian designers Fernando and Humberto Campana and made of crocodile plushies, or a bulbous metal totem taking up a corner of the living room. Originally designed by Greek sculptor Philolaos to house cathode-ray television, it now concealed Bäumer’s bar.
And should its next owner want ideas to fill it, the jeweler also listed a handful of rare whiskeys and bourbons. He said he appreciates these spirits because, like the precious materials he works with, they are “what natures gives us and what human know-how transforms into something extraordinary — or unpalatable,” he noted.
Selling part of his collection was also a cathartic process, and one that Bäumer has been through before, culling his photography collection or letting go of a furniture style that no longer quite fits his taste.
Don’t expect him to have any regrets, either. “Objects have to continue their lives. [Those I sell] brought me much enjoyment, just like those I’m yet to acquire,” he said, admitting the cycle had already started again. He’d visited the PAD Paris art fair earlier in the week and walked away with “a few things, but smaller in scale,” he was quick to add. — L.T.
FIRST LOOK: Tier — the Brooklyn, N.Y., brand launched by Nigeria Ealey, Esaïe Jean-Simon and Victor James — is opening its first brick-and-mortar store at the Beverly Center shopping mall in Los Angeles on Friday.
“Minimalistic and artistic” is how Ealey described his vision for the 975-square-foot shop. He, Simon and James launched the label, which offers men’s and women’s wear, in 2014 while Ealey was an undergrad at Long Island University Brooklyn. It’s “contemporary, luxury streetwear,” he said of Tier.
Often incorporating artwork into their apparel, it’s no surprise this is reflected in the store, which features paintings inspired by New York City and its boroughs, as well as various objects — from Dr. Seuss’ “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” to a New York skyline chess set — creating an intimate in-store experience.
“A lot of the store concept came from a lot of my favorite stores and brands growing up and implementing just those things that I’ve seen in certain retail spaces as a consumer,” said Ealey.
“One thing that I always relate back to is going into the [Billionaire Boys Club] ice cream store in SoHo when I was younger,” he continued. “Instantly when you walk in, it smells like ice cream, literally. And so, with that mind-set — that’s another element of adding vision toward your space, right? Even the way it smells. How do people feel when they walk into this space? I thought about the minimalism of the Apple store and how easy it is to process transactions. I looked at one of my other favorite stores, Uniqlo, and the way that they have so much different product, but the way it’s organized and easy to navigate through.…But creatively, I wanted it to feel welcoming. I wanted it to feel like a blend of New York and L.A.”
Ranging in price from $100 to $800, in-store shoppers will find some L.A. exclusives, with about 15 new pieces. The Tier “Essentials” line, a logoed collection of crewnecks, hoodies, sweatpants, shorts and socks in various colors, has been the bestseller, according to Ealey. Tier hats, too, have been popular with fans of the brand — who include the likes of Rick Ross, Carmelo Anthony and Jimmy Butler.
“I’m excited to see how the T L.A. hats do because our T N.Y. hats did really well over the past couple of years,” he said of the caps, $65 each, which showcase a massive T logo superimposed with the letters N.Y.
Why was L.A. the right move?
“It just felt like the perfect time,” said Easley. “The opportunity presented itself. We have a great community in L.A. as it comes to the brand. It was like, this is now time to not only be in a new market, in a new city, but we already have customers here, people transitioning from New York to L.A. We really want to do a lot of other cities also, but starting here with this, it just made sense for this time.…And now that we’re in the Beverly Center, you know, it’s also a representation stance — being an independent brand for this long and being able to have our brand now on level seven on the luxury shopping retail floor of the Beverly Center, being kids from Brooklyn with that admiration and having it actualized and visualize, that just shows other people coming up that, ‘Hey, like this is also possible for you.’ We want to have that impact, culturally.”
The brand has partnerships in the works, and Tier will unveil its next collection, “Project Five,” in September during New York Fashion Week.
“My mind-set, I’m honestly really in a space of development and growth,” he added. — RYMA CHIKHOUNE