PAUL DUPRÉ-LAFON (1900-1971)
Descendant of a family of industrialists and merchants from Marseille, Paul Dupré-Lafon entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts of his native city where he studied until 1923. In 1924, he demonstrated an early talent by realizing the headquarters of the apparel company Weill. However, it is in the year 1929 that the young Dupré-Lafon definitively imposed himself on the Parisian scene when he conceived the entire furnishing of a four storeys private mansion near the Monceau park. This set also sealed the beginning of a long and fruitful collaboration with the house Hermès, which height was reached in the 1950-1960 with the edition of numerous office accessories and the commercialisation of night valet. Discreet and solitary, Dupré-Lafon only exhibited a few pieces and never took part in any group.
In 1938, he reiterated a tremendous coup by designing a second private mansion in the avenue Foch in Paris, strongly celebrated by Michel Dufet in an article in Le Décor d’aujourd’hui in 1948, saying that : « from the beginning, Dupré-Lafon understood the profound essence of luxury ». Paul Dupré-Lafon differed from his contemporaries by his application of a wise and angular geometry, by a measured use of the curved lines and by his shades reminding of the original nature. Realizing most of his pieces on commission, he became the most virtuous of the figures of the functionalist side of Art Deco. His mastering of the alliance of metal elements, of noble and exotic woods, to subtil and colorful leathers, soon resulted in the advent of a sophisticated and elegant modernism.