As a culture, the French have some of the most infamous and recognizable images in the world. Who doesn’t picture Paris as a city filled with suave mustachioed gentleman and cheese? A new exhibit from French design studio 5.5 examines some of these well-known tropes of the French heritage and gives it a whole new Technicolor spin.
The collection, called simply ‘So French,’ is on display at the well-loved Parisian store Atelier Renault, located amongst the glistening lights of the Champs d’Elysees. Renault is a store that is host to a variety of design pieces, but it is also something of a miniature car dealership that features a restaurant on the upper level.
It is here, in a space exclusive to Renault, that the creative minds at Studio 5.5 let loose. Combining a variety of iconic French images with ordinary household items, the results are quite imaginative and undeniably hilarious. Highlights of the collection include hand mirrors adorned with mustaches and shoes designed as cars. There are real cars in the collection as well, including one that sports a beret-shaped steering wheel and an Eiffel Tower radiator cap.
Every piece of the exhibit is beautifully vibrant in the colors of the traditional French Tricolore, lending an aesthetic quality that would not feel out of place in a Wes Anderson film. Studio 5.5 also mentioned that some of these items would be for sale throughout the duration of the exhibit being held at Atelier Renault.
Not only is the execution of these pieces immaculate, but the idea behind them is one of the most freshly original satires on culture I have ever seen. One can only hope that Studio 5.5 will turn these same sensibilities to lampoon other cultural tropes as well.
Photography by Renault