When asked to create a piece for Dior's Esprit - Miss Dior exhibition, Nika Zupanc used Modernist writer Virginia Woolf's 1929 essay A Room Of One's Own as a starting point for a small pavilion that a wearer of the Miss Dior fragrance could use to write in.
"The text has come to symbolise women's emancipation, which detailed the material conditions that restricted women's access to writing," Zupanc told Dezeen. "It conveyed the idea that a woman capable of writing always needed money and space for herself."
With this in mind, she designed a small sanctuary that a woman could use for writing books, poems and letters, or simply reflecting.
"I set out to transpose extremely feminine codes to another scale, taking things into a more serious sphere that was gigantic and impressive," she explained. "This spawned the idea of a pavilion designed like a solitary bubble, the ideal place for dreaming, for escape, for creation."
Raised up on pointy legs at each corner, the wooden lattice structure extends up to five and a half metres above the ground and over the space to create a small room accessed from a small set of steps.
"The simple structure in hand-extruded black meshed wood required 1400 hours of joinery work alone," said Zupanc. "The idea was to get as close as possible to the imagery of caned furniture."
The designer integrated Miss Dior motifs such as the bow, the pale pink colour and lattice pattern into the elements of the project. Translucent pink curtains that veil the entrance are the same colour as the perfume liquid.
These match the pink metal legs of a chair, which extend up and curve around to form the shape of a bow. A scaled-down version of the wooden lattice is used for the seat.
The chair and a simple writing desk furnish the space, with a version of Zupanc's bell-shpaed Lolita lamp for Dutch brand Moooi in a cooper pink edition suspended above.
Zupanc was one of 15 designers and artists asked by curator Herve Mikaeloff to contribute to the exhibition celebrating the perfume, which will be shown in the Galerie Courbe at the Grand Palais in Paris from 13 to 15 November.
Read on for more information from the designer:
Room of One's Own
Nika Zupanc for Miss Dior
"That heady feeling when you encounter a fragrance, blown up into a larger-than-love object. An homage to Virginia Woolf, it has just enough space for the very fabulous but utterly basic tools needed for heart searching – a table, chair and lamp. A metaphysical sanctuary with emancipatory potential" - Nika Zupanc.
All women long for a room of their own where they can write happy endings to gloomy affairs or short messages full of emoticons, a very private place indeed. It seems all of this room searching ended in a splash of perfume, creating that heady feeling of being in a bubble. By blowing it up a fairytale-like pavilion materialises. An invitation to hide and seek.
As an homage to Virginia Woolf, there is just enough space for the very fabulous but utterly basic tools needed for heart searching – a shiny table, chair and lamp. However, it is the staggering height taking a cue from the Venetian piano nobile that needs to be filled up with cravings and whispers. The wooden wall carved in the signature Miss Dior quilting brings transparency and a hint of a doubt. The realness of this larger-than-love object becomes questionable. Much alike that of a fragrance, the presence, depth and dimensions of which are merely in your oh so captivated head.
Miss Dior Chair
There is something daring in this object of controlled prettiness. The connotations that a bow has to live up to – that of a surprise, a gift, of immaculacy – are all but forgotten here. Taking it back to its simplicity and plain knotted shape a bow is a bow is a bow. Its odd pink frivolity is counterbalanced by the reserved metal frame and its brave new function, that of a sitting tool for those heroic enough to wear their heart on their sleeve.
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