PortraitShowman, gifted, prolific… since the 1980s, the Frenchman ended up embodying his own discipline, design. But what legacy does his work represent today, when the era is no longer a celebration of consumption?
” You have seen Don’t Look Up ? Awesome, this movie! It’s brilliant, this metaphor on global warming. » Barely got off his motorcycle taxi on the arm of his wife, Jasmine, Philippe Starck starts the conversation on the hit green comedy produced by Netflix. And tells us, without seeming to care about the paradox, his incredible arrival the day before, by private jet, from Portugal, where he now lives. Because of the fog, his plane could not land in Paris and had to reach Reims. “We experienced the same situation a few days ago. Instead of Lisbon, we landed in Faro. » Small problems without gravity, he agrees.
If things on the planet were to go really badly, the designer reassures us, he has already planned his fallback destination. At this very moment, he is designing the training complex for the preparation for space flights of the space tourism company Orbite. This will take the form of a city planted in the desert in a place kept secret. Starck has developed a reversible wooden construction system capable, he says, of being assembled and then disassembled without leaving a trace.
The same cannot be said of the French designer who, at 73, continues to hold first place among the world’s celebrities in the discipline. No name means the word “design” as much as his. He embodies this creative field as much as Karl Lagerfeld and Jean-Paul Gaultier remain the media faces of fashion.
He is the one that the general public has seen in the newspapers, on television sets, speaking on the most diverse subjects, the one around whom anecdotes have always circulated, from his lightning passage to the Parisian school Camondo, where he was already a genius, until the recent legal dispute between him and the heirs of Steve Jobs for whom he had created a 78-meter-long mega-yacht that remained unpaid. He is the designer who, as soon as you hand him the microphone, launches into endless stories about the Big Bang, dematerialization, dreams of houses perched on a tower, the evolution of man or love. as an endangered species.
Star losing influence
More than his colleagues, Philippe Starck embodies the peak of 1980s aesthetics, at least in France. The Café Costes, in the Halles district of Paris, has remained one of its most emblematic expressions. He who hates presenting his work in museums will be honored at the Museum of Decorative Arts next fall, in an exhibition devoted to the 1980s.
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