Surreal Delvaux - Exclusive visit to the Delvaux museum (1/2)
Updated: Apr 17
It was a true privilege to receive a personalised invitation from Delvaux for an exclusive visit of their museum, located at the brand’s headquarters in Arsenal.
The old military barracks which houses Delvaux’s HQ, Design Studio and Atelier since 1994 was drowned in radiant sunlight and upon entry the natural light filtered through the atrium across its supporting steel beams to illuminate the prototypes of the new collection displayed here.
The Lingot in all colours greeted us warmly, as did some Brillants and Tempêtes dressed in pink alligator porosus that take the breath away.
Stepping into the Delvaux offices is very much like stepping into one of their stores – a welcoming experience, where the customer is an integral part of a big family – the atrium gives view to the office and meeting spaces and on our way in Monsieur Loubier was just leaving the building and Ermanno Piraes was conducting a meeting.
Hence the first impression we got when entering this magnificent architecture was one of openness, simplicity mixed with a subtle understated hint of high class.
Welcomed by Anne Dubuisson, corporate business manager of Delvaux and safekeeper of their heritage, we embark on our journey through the Maison’s archives. Sporting a beautiful limited edition Brillant wallet chain bag, issued uniquely for the 2019 Chinese New Year, Anne first took us to the installation celebrating the heritage of Delvaux’s timeless creations.
Dissimulated in the stitched gold lettered dustbags which we love and just out of reach behind a huge glass wall, they sit here needly, like pupils in front of their design masters, on their shelves eagerly whispering to the passer-by ideas and interpretations of timeless elegance, inspiring the new generation of designs.
The selected creations of their archive displayed here, all possess an etiquette celebrating their birthyear, their baptised name and design sketch right out of the golden book. Beautiful and mysterious at the same time. Intrigued we move on.
Anne then guided us up to the museum. To get here, we pass through the Atelier. - This is where the magic happens, and we enjoy witnessing the real-life conditions of the work made by the hands of skilled artisans. Workbenches with work in progress, artisans stitching, polishing the semi-finished products. A bit of dust. Some leather ready to cut.
We see happy, friendly, and concentrated faces – there must be no more than 30 to 40 people working here, it is immediately evident that this helps securing the highest level of quality the Maison stands for.
Arrived on the first floor, we have the total view over the Atelier and once more the architecture of the building melts greatly with the mission eagerly pursued by the artisans below. We feel beauty and respect for the work done.
Upon entry to the museum, we are greeted by the well-known seven times lacquered epoxy resin Brillant, which Bob Vehelst imagined as an entry piece and that gives the museum a real surreal touch. You really do think that’s leather. It could fit the two of us inside, - but it’s not the piece de resistance – what then follows is equally impressive...
Discover the remainder of our visit in our next blog! Stay tuned ...