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Crystal Evolves | The Cadence Collection by Saint-Louis

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Crystal Evolves | The Cadence Collection by Saint-Louis

Photography by Maxime Tétard

Crystal
Known for its ephemeral crystal ware, Saint-Louis introduces a new, modern design—the Cadence Collection.

For the first time in nearly five years, French crystal company Saint-Louis has introduced a new, comprehensive collection that challenges the ICONIC brand’s traditional aesthetic. The Cadence collection, designed by French visual artist Pierre Charpin, leads Saint-Louis into the everyday with a markedly modern design that is translated across barware, tableware, lighting and décor.

Established in 1586 in the French forest of Moselle, Saint-Louis is known for its ephemeral  mouth-blown, hand-cut formal crystal ware. With Cadence, Saint-Louis embraces simpler lines in modern pieces, each of which explore the meeting of horizontal and vertical cuts. Cadence translates Saint-Louis’s exceptional craftsmanship into items for everyday use while continuing to capture the fundamental beauty of the material. Cadence features a regularity and repetition that enhances the brilliance and clarity of the crystal, offering hints of the skill implicit in its design by Charpin, and in its creation by Saint-Louis’ skilled artisans, master glass blowers and cutters considered to be among the very best in France (“Meilleurs Ouvriers de France”).

Saint Louis

Charpin has long devoted himself to designing objects, furniture and set design. In addition to his work with Saint-Louis, he leads design projects for internationally renowned brands such as Alessi, Hermès and the National Manufacture of Sèvres (France). He has received numerous prizes for his work. 

Several of his designs are held in the collections of the MNAM – Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris, France). He first conceived the Cadence collection through drawing, sketching a regular pattern of lines in the crystal that has been expertly adapted to the constraints of the material. The collection includes: water glass, wine glass, champagne flute, wine carafe, tumbler, highball, decanter, medium and large bowl, small and large vase, candlestick, hurricane and box, as well as a series of table lamps and pendant lighting. 

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Cadence

Translated to lighting, the manufacturer inspired Charpin to create both paper versions and crystal versions of lampshades, the crystal version of which allows the lampshade to appear as a continuation of the crystal base. The paper shades are produced by hand in eastern France, a region known for its history of stationery and printing. The paper’s specific composition allows the horizontal lines created from hot stamping to appear translucent when the light is on.

“Over the course of its long history, the Saint-Louis manufacturer has cultivated a rich language of shapes,’ Charpin says. “I had to find my place within that language. After several sketches, going back and forth with my assistants, who translate and concretize my drawings in 3D, we decided to shorten the glass stems, which are traditionally high at Saint-Louis, emphatic for today’s everyday use. The lampshades were born from this same desire, to make crystal a part of everyday life. I wanted to create beautiful light, soft and diffused. Hence, the idea of using the lampshade, which has already proven its worth, and the idea of pairing translucent crystal and opaque paper.” 

The lampshades were born from this same desire, to make crystal a part of everyday life. I wanted to create beautiful light, soft and diffused. Hence, the idea of using the lampshade, which has already proven its worth, and the idea of pairing translucent crystal and opaque paper.

In creating Cadence, Charpin was inspired by simplicity and function with a goal of appealing to a contemporary audience. His designs are meant for everyday use, despite the formality of the material. The Cadence line designs suggest the function and use of each design: horizontal lines contain liquids; vertical lines suggest elevation (for example glass stems and lighting stands). For this vocabulary of simple lines and forms, Charpin invoked multiple influences, from the Viennese Secession to the Memphis movement.

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With 360 stores in 65 countries, Saint-Louis continues to nurture its most ICONIC creations while inspiring with modern and fragile collections, daring collaborations and dramatic masterpieces.

Cadence

In the wave of creativity that swept through the early 20th century, between Art Nouveau and Art Deco, “external designers” brought their talents to bear at Saint-Louis, such as Paul Nicolas, Jean Sala, Jean Luce, Michel Colle and Maurice Dufrêne. Today, the company continues to call on the imagination and skills of designers who open the door to new uses for crystal, including Eric Gizard, Hervé van der Straeten, Ionna Vautrin, José Lévy, Kiki van Eijk, Noé Duchaufour Lawrance, Paola Navone, and Charpin, the collaborations of which serve to promote Saint-Louis as a global Art de Vivre brand.

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