Joseph Dirand is living proof that timeless elegance comes naturally to the French. The French interior designer/architect has a penchant for minimalism, cool monochrome color palettes, and clean-lined furniture. Thanks to his creative eye, Dirand has been taken under the wing of the fashion industry and commissioned to design several high-end stores including Balenciaga in Tokyo, Pucci in New York and Balmain in Paris. With his meticulous attention to light and proportions, he’s also a firm favorite with luxurious hotels and restaurants. Joseph Dirand has secured a place in the Business of Fashion’s esteemed Top 500 list of people shaping the global fashion industry.
Joseph Dirand sees the space and perspective of a place. His sense for composition comes from his creative family background, he has a scenographer’s eye and frames volume with extreme precision. He is sensitive to the way light plays on relief and flat surfaces, he analyses structure, notices the tiniest of details, observes a material’s abundance of features and appreciates the rightness of a color.
“My work has evolved from minimalism to much more narrative,” says the designer, who is the subject of a new book that proves that statement. Joseph Dirand Interior (Rizzoli)—with photos by his brother, Adrien—opens with an accessory-free Paris flat that Dirand describes as an early experiment in “the radicalism of emptiness and contrast.” Today, though, his projects feel like movie sets awaiting their casts.
“I want people to disappear into the rooms, to become immersed rather than just to contemplate them”
Dirand’s precise commitment has borne fruit. He works constantly, on projects of varying sizes. Architecture and interiors have confirmed his signature style. The quality of his design and his masterful space management have made him stand out from the crowd in France and abroad. His “French touch” is highly appreciated in places where an “art de vivre” is of the utmost importance. A number of hotels and restaurants, luxury fashion houses and private residences have been marked with the seal of his incomparable elegance.
At the restaurant Monsieur Bleu in Paris, Dirand wrapped the banquettes in greenish Connemara marble, his ode to the lush trees seen through the eatery’s verdant garden. (Marble is one of Dirand’s favored materials, though rounded and honed rather than flashy.) And a ’70s-inspired table for a Pucci boutique is made of the same stone that he spotted in the aristocratic fashion family’s 18th-century Florentine palazzo.
Most of all, Dirand notes, his projects, rich with craftsmanship, feel grounded rather than fleeting. “Ours is a period of consumption, but we want to create things that last.”
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