Maison Martin Margiela Redesigns Paris Hotel

A view of the Essling Bar and a suite at the renovated La Maison Champs Elysées, the first hotel project for Maison Martin Margiela. Below, a hall paneled in aluminum sheets leads to the garden and upper floors. (Photos: Maison Martin Margiela)

Maison Martin Margiela will kick off couture week with a July 4 presentation at La Maison Champs Elysées, the Paris hotel that has just received a stunning makeover by the fashion house. Designed in 1864 by architect Jules Pellechet for the Duchess of Rivoli, Princess D’Essling (grand mistress of fashion maven Empress Eugenie‘s household), the Haussmannian house was completed in 1866. Nearly 150 years (and a few owners and a modern addition) later, Maison Martin Margiela won a competition to redesign the historical part of the 57-room hotel. Team Margiela worked with landscape painters and lighting engineers to deploy materials ranging from wool and paper to Ductal concrete and “gypsum from the Urals” in a new restaurant, smoking room, bar, and reception area, along with 17 jaw-dropping hotel suites. One is papered in black-and-white photographs of the sumptuous salon below, while another drapes everything in Margiela’s signature white cotton covers. Museum fanatics can book the “Closet of Rarities” suite, where the coal black walls and black-stained oak parquet floors are offset by a cabinet of curiosities. “Maison Martin Margiela has created a dramatic world where reality and make-believe seem to blend,” noted the house in a statement. “The decor is like a succession of stage sets where references are mixed so as to create an unusual atmosphere where past and present jostle harmoniously.”