Form-follows-function never gets old. It simply gets better. Laurent Soulet founded Cap d'Arsène to bring his ideas of restrained sustainable luxury to a deluxe range of everything from bathrobes to cushions and bedspreads. The notion is to bring artisanal pieces into your everyday life. Now Cap d'Arsène has combined with Paris-based cutting edge architects Les Beaux Jours Architectures to create a capsule collection of quietly brilliant furniture.
For Cap d'Arsène, the how and why of each piece is just as important as the end product. For every cosseting dressing gown there is a backstory of meticulous creation and craft, always sustainably delivered. For the initial three pieces in the furniture collaboration with Les Beaux Jours Architectures, that ethos is turned up to the maximum, both with the people involved in their creation and in the choice of materials for each item.
Here, the ordinary is made extraordinary. Cap d'Arsène describes this collection as "round, authentic and timeless". The discreet excellence of the Dune Stool, for example, creates a tripod that can also be used as a side table or sofa end. Construction is from solid Burgundy oak and the craftwork in this piece speaks of another age, even as its design draws on the very essence of modernism. This is the stool, totally reinvented.
An extraordinary table is the star of the collection, perfect paired with the Dune Stool. The Dune Table is, like the stool, meticulously made from solid Burgundy oak in a two-piece form that challenges the eye in terms of its apparent balancing act. The balance is of course about the unflashiness of this piece, of both materials and design that will last for generations. Like the other pieces in Cap d'Arsène's collections, the Dune Table is beyond mere seasonal fashion.
To complement table and stool, the final piece in this initial release is the sublime Yell Wall Lamp. Red sandstone from Treigny in Burgundy is used to create what amounts to a wall-mounted sculpture, in three geometric shapes. The Yell Wall Lamp adds presence even when it's not switched on.
Cap d'Arsène have been careful to advance their vision in slow, clear steps. This is no mass brand owned by some international conglomerate, but a small French company offering an individual vision of luxury. In this collaboration with Les Beaux Jours Architectures, that vision has taken several steps forward. These are present - and future - classics, make no mistake.