At the head of her eponymous studio, Marianne Guély’s work is a visual delight that reveals the infinite poetry of paper
Marianne Guély’s world is familiar to connoisseurs of luxury, although they may not know it. She is the one who transforms paper for the creation of all sorts of decor for the most prestigious maisons: dinner parties, window dressings, invitations, scenography and also packaging, and for private customers, she even creates fairytale wedding decors.
Nature is the common thread that runs throughout most of her work. Trained in industrial design, Guély began her career at Baccarat’s “Designer Days” show, for which she created a decor paying tribute to the tale of Beauty and the Beast made entirely of black paper. “This was the project that gave me a springboard into the world of luxury as very quickly after I got special orders from Cartier and Roger Vivier. With Baccarat, those houses were my three foundations,” explains the artist.
Why paper as her material of choice? “I love starting from a sheet of A4, cutting and exploring... Paper is infinitely soft and is also perfectly adapted to fashion and all its whims and fantasies: it creases, tears, pleats, can be perforated, cut...” But Guély has also ventured into other materials: metal, alabaster, fabric, and most recently bisque porcelain. For Claespsidra, a new brand of premium scented candles, she created the visual identity from the delicately engraved jar to the secondary packaging. Although the studio bears her name, Guély is adamant about the fact that her creations are a team effort, for which she plays the role of “orchestra conductor”. Vincent Blot, her righthand man and soul mate in the creative process, runs the workshop in Paris suburb Aubervilliers where the works come to life.
For each project, Guély selects artist and craftsman partners that bring their specific expertise. “It’s a true pleasure to source talents and bring them together to tell a story. Gold plating, silkscreening, digital cutting, microperforation... Each project is a common construction.” The Studio’s motto, “design and build” aptly describes its dual competence: “We don’t execute others’ design: we go from the conception phase all the way to production,” she adds. During our visit to the workshop, the team was putting the finishing touches on a vast series of suspended sculptures. Made of elements of pleated fabric dyed in varying shades of blue, they evoked waves from the sea blowing into the ether.
This article originally appeared in our sister publication Formes de Luxe.