It looks like the Fitzgeralds have been round for dinner. But they’ve commandeered the soirée, taken the hostess hostage and disappeared with her into the Parisian underworld. A trail of half-empty champagne glasses have been left on almost every surface, a copious feast abandoned mid-meal, entertainment flyers and calling cards are strewn around on a desk that could give us a clue as to where they might have vanished so suddenly.
Door ajar, we’ve stumbled into the mysteriously empty apartment of our old friend Magdelena Woll at number 28 Rue Petrelle, in the heart of Pigalle. Have we missed the party? It’s just after 9.30pm and we telephoned earlier to mention we would be a little late. Did Magdelena forget about us?
Lights on, even the candles have been left burning and the radio is still playing Edith Piaf as we wander through Magdelena’s Parisian pied-à-terre, adorned with eclectic antiques, exotic fabrics, art deco trinkets and gifts from her lovers. Our absent femme fatale has always had impeccable taste and in this hastily deserted scene, there’s an overwhelming temptation to “borrow” one of her many personal treasures; a souvenir from the life of a bohemian performer, a darling of the Parisian night.
Will you give into temptation?
This fantasy portal into the past, a phantom dinner party frozen in time is in fact part of an extraordinary installation at the transformed Galerie 28 in Paris. As the theatrical display enters it’s final week, everything in the apartment of our imaginary hostess is up for sale. Dreamt up by design duo Catherine and Lisa Jarrier Ternon of 2 Soi (or as they poetically call themselves in French, the “scénographes”), if the price is right, you can take home anything from a rouge-stained wine glass or an art deco pill-box, to the avant-garde prints covering the walls.
The imaginative installation was created to uniquely showcase the collections of participating antique dealers and interior designers by framing them inside the story of a mysterious dinner party in this Parisian apartment from the past.
P.S. That wallpaper is by one of the participating interior designers, Au Fils des Couleurs.
The whimsical concept is not entirely implausible, evoking the story of a real Paris Time Capsule Apartment, discovered streets away in Pigalle in 2010– an article you might recall from the archives that first lured so many of you here to Messy Nessy Chic.
Standing in the empty parlour, one last “Hello? Anybody here?“, but on our way out, we trip over something and almost take an almighty tumble into the mahogany bar. What’s this? A hidden trap door? You go first…
If you couldn’t make it to Magdelena’s apartment at Galerie 28, don’t despair. The owner of the gallery is also the head of the neighbouring restaurant, Petrelle, an equally theatrical time-traveling eaterie where you can imagine our Magdelena often wined and dined with her eccentric friends (and so often ‘forgot’ to settle the bill).
Discover the work of “scénographes”, 2 Soi / Photography by Nathalie Blanc and Alexandre Chevillard