Interview with Chantal Thomass in “Maison à Part”

Chantal Thomass

Boulevard Haussmann, Paris. All windows are plunged into darkness except for one: that of the JCD showroom. Inside, cocktails are prepared, the spotlight shines, and the flash of the camera is on fashion designer Chantal Thomass; unveiling her new line of bathroom fittings and accessories for THG Paris. The collection features products that are chic and glamorous, like Thomass’ world.

On hand to present the new additions that complement her existing line of bathroom accessories launched a year ago by THG, Thomass’ emerging presence creates a liveliness in the room. For the occasion, the showroom has been completely transformed: the THG bathroom, as imagined by Chantal Thomass, has been installed prominently in the middle of the showroom — unveiling a unique universe in which women feel special. Here the elements of the collection are an anchor in pink, showing strength in femininity, yet the softness of a fainting couch… All presented next to a mannequin wearing lingerie designed by Chantal Thomass herself!

In the audience everyone is charmed by the creator, starting with Michel Gosse, General Director of THG: “Chantal Thomass knows women so well that she alone is capable of creating a world in which they feel good.” Given the success of the original bathroom accessories created by the designer, Gosse decided to give Thomass the opportunity to make a complete range of bath fittings; most notably with the addition of the Glamour bathtub.

Suddenly, the star of the evening rises among the crowd. As usual, her hair is flawless and she wears a black suit topped by a pin-shaped flower. For a brief moment, we believe it is an apparition straight out of the Brothers Grimm tale: “her skin white as snow, lips red as blood, eyes and hair black as ebony”… Elegantly sitting on the edge of a bathtub, Maison à Part took the opportunity to learn more about the unique collaboration and Thomass’ personal tastes in decorating, and she bows to the game of questions and answers…

Maison à Part: How did the collaboration with THG emerge?
Chantal Thomass: Contrary to what one may think, I sought out THG and not vice versa. I discovered THG at the show “Maison & Objet,” and I immediately felt close to their world. Since I create intimate women’s clothes, and the bathroom is all about intimacy, the merger made sense.

MAP: In what manner did you approach this project?
CT: The idea was to take all of the styles that are dear to me and adapt them to the bathroom environment. On the faucet handles, for example, there is a quilted pattern; and on the tub there are inspirational words I love, inscribed in English.

MAP: Who uses your bathroom?
CT: Since it is a luxury product, it is primarily for affluent clients, especially women. Of course, men are still welcome!

MAP: The quilted pattern is really your trademark. Why do you like this pattern and when did you encounter it for the first time?
CT: I love that the pattern evokes a cozy and warm side. My primary desire is to touch. To be honest, I do not remember where I saw this pattern for the first time! Perhaps it was on a bed…

MAP: What is important to you for the bathroom?
CT: The bathroom is really the only place in the house where you can be alone. As a woman, the bathroom is an important space where you see yourself from every angle, apply your makeup and prepare yourself for the day. With all of these activities taking place in the bathroom, you need to feel comfortable about yourself — hence the importance of having a beautiful bathroom.

MAP: What does your ideal bathroom look like?
CT: In my mind, a bathroom does not necessarily need to be big to be beautiful. I love the charm of the old and classical. In terms of accessories, I envision a large mirror, sinks with big rims, a vanity, an exposed tub — and especially, pretty things: perfume bottles, small soaps, candles, and even a few cut flowers in a glass. These are the elements necessary to make the bathroom a feminine and sensual place.

MAP: Is this the portrait of your personal bathroom(s)?
CT: Yes, absolutely! The bathroom in my apartment in Paris fits this description. Besides, I must say that if my bathroom did not look this way, I probably never would have purchased my apartment. I allowed myself a few fantasies, especially in the bathroom of my house. For example, the sconces that are above my basin are in the form of a corset.

MAP: Like fashion, is decorating a passion for you?
CT: I am very happy indeed decorating my apartment and my house, as well as designing my creative collaboration with THG. Moreover, as I continue in this decorating direction, why not create a line of linens? But overall, what really pleases me above all is to decorate a place for me that can inspire others.

MAP: What advice would you give to readers to make their bathroom feel more comfortable?
CT: They can start by changing the color of the walls. Warm colors provide an elegant look and create a flattering silhouette. After that, there are much simpler things to do. For example, playing on the lighting, adding nice floor mats, dressing the windows with curtains … All of these tips are tested and approved!

Interview by Celine Chahi (01/25/2010)

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THG Chantal Thomass

THG Chantal Thomass

THG Chantal Thomass Detail

THG Chantal Thomass Detail

THG Chantal Thomass

THG Chantal Thomass