Opulent yet playful, Book of Dreams Volume 2 shows Swarovski crystals in a way that takes us by surprise, and with a level of artistry that’s simply unforgettable.
It takes a lot to upstage a masterpiece of classical Parisian architecture on its own doorstep, but the launch of the sensual, surreal, and intensely artistic Book of Dreams Volume 2 at Hôtel d’Évreux provided stiff competition on February 28.
The brainchild of Markus Langes-Swarovski and Creative Director Giovanna Engelbert, and art directed by Italian décor title Cabana magazine, Book of Dreams Volume 2 is a masterpiece in its own right. With only 1,000 copies in existence, it’s designed to resemble an artist’s portfolio—an inspirational tool that can be used to stimulate new ways of looking at the creative possibilities of Swarovski crystal. Each of its 55 loose-leaf pages can be removed from the silk-covered folder and used, perhaps, as an element in a mood board, or hung on a wall to spark ideas.
But Book of Dreams is not just about seeing, it’s also about feeling—it invites us to enjoy the art within its covers in a sensual way, with each of the 10 chapters aiming to create a haptic experience. There are lavish collages—which were also on show at Hôtel d’Évreux—by Argentinian artist Grillo Demo using pieces from the Swarovski archive, magazines and Swarovski advertisements—all vintage. Borrowed from the book and displayed at the hotel, too, were startlingly surreal works by Chilean artist Jose Romussi: by embroidering patterns and words over photographs with multicolored threads, he takes them into another dimension.
Plants and gardens are a leitmotif: bejeweled floral bouquets glitter with multicolored crystals; towering cacti sprout sparkling crystal flowers; and magical flower gardens are interwoven with exotic imagery from the Orient. Italian photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari deploys his famously provocative imagination in a magnificent mid-century private residence in Milan. In a series of jaw-dropping images, he shows flame-haired fashion icon Mariacarla Boscono clad in extraordinarily glamorous garments that rival the sumptuousness of the rooms. Larger-than-life versions of the vividly colorful, eccentric photographs were used as murals at the Hôtel d’Évreux cocktail reception. Mariacarla Boscono herself was in attendance, delightedly posing in a crystallized orange gown in front of her portraits.
To create a haptic experience one needs texture, and lots of it. Tactility came in the shape of raw crystal blocks stacked like totem sculptures; vibrant plumage made from lighter-than-air feathers; crystals in every imaginable permutation of color and shape; and rich, rainbow-hued silk swatches from Taroni, the Italian silk weavers whose beautiful fabrics provided covers for the books in nine different shades.
Built by architect Pierre Bullet towards the end of the reign of Louis XIV, Hôtel d’Évreux proved to be a spectacular venue for the Book of Dreams cocktail reception on February 28. Guests included designers Giambattista Valli, Mary Katrantzou, Julie de Libran, and Michelle Elie; models Caroline de Maigret; and Cindy Bruna jewelry designers Elie Top, Ana Khouri, and jewelry & accessories designer Stéphane d’heygere; Managing Director of ANDAM Nathalie Dufour; Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Hommes and Deputy Editor of Vogue Paris Olivier Lalanne; as well as Cabana magazine’s editor-in-chief Martina Mondadori Sartogo; co-founder of System magazine Alexia Niedzielski; and JJ Martin from La DoubleJ fashion brand, accompanied by Pepper, her pug, who seemed to enjoy the party just as much as the human celebrities.