Matter and Shape, Paris’s New Design Salon for a Fashion-Adjacent Crowd

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Courtesy of Griegst

Led by Dan Thawley and Matthieu Pinet, Matter and Shape is set to inject fresh energy into Paris’s art and design scene

With creative director Dan Thawley and director Matthieu Pinet at the helm, Matter and Shape is a new design salon debuting among the unmissable vibrations of Paris Fashion Week. Armed with an agenda to reinvigorate and reimagine the slightly weary energy of the traditional art or design fair, the A Magazine Curated By, Vogue and Business of Fashion alumnus Thawley brings with him a keen curatorial eye and a fashion-world black book. “I’ve seen so many fashion shows, and so many happenings and exhibitions, that I feel like I can be quite critical of existing projects and also what happens in Paris. I want to try to challenge some of those norms that design art and fashion events have,” he says.”

Partnering with the likes of Jil Sander on a talks series, while cultivating a superlative line-up of exhibitors as the result of his friendships with iconic aesthetes Rick Owens and Michéle Lamy, Thawley’s fresh foray into the gate-kept world of design fairs hopes to democratise this corner of the creative landscape. The show’s director, Pinet, states, “The world of design has changed considerably in recent times and for us, there has been a separation between what we have seen flourish and existing projects in France which have not evolved with the times. As such, we have taken this as an opportunity to write a new story.”

Below, see our guide to what to see at Matter and Shape, which opens at the Tuileries Gardens on March 1.

Rick Owens

Defined by his clear-sighted curation and rich spacial poetry, Rick Owens’ signature minimalism has become the calling card of those with a slightly gothic bent, and those with nothing or everything to prove when it comes to personal style. At Matter and Shape, Owens will be showcasing his step-daughter Scarlett Rouge’s painting and drawings alongside his own objects – but promises to appease the curiosity of fashion week frequenters exploring the salon. “I've seen his [Owens’] world grow and flourish with Michéle [Lamy]’s enormous dedication,” says Thawley. “When this project came up, he immediately suggested showing Michéle’s daughter Scarlett’s artworks. She has been collaborating on projects with the pair for many years, including murals in their home and projects for art events all over the world.”

Verre d’Onge

Thawley’s promise to demystify the often steeply hierarchical world of collectible design is apparent in the exhibiting of giants like Owens next to relative newcomers such as Montréal-based glass studio Verre d’Onge. Greeting the Paris salon’s visitors with feather-light lines that articulate a visual language of lucid dreaming, the softness of Jérémie St-Onge’s hand-blown objects challenges the viewer’s fundamental understanding of the uncompromising hardness of glass. Depicted as a broad collection, rather than an ongoing production, St-Onge’s ensemble of unique and spontaneously formed objects is reviving the weeping romance of artistic craftsmanship in the city of love.


Feeding creative Europe’s hunger for unapologetic newness, London-based Vogue columnist and rogue-tongued design connoisseur Jermaine Gallacher will deliver a debut Paris presentation from TON to Matter and Shape. Joyfully formed by Gallacher’s love of the everyday avant-garde and extrovert taste, TON will be showcasing must-see works from friends and collaborators Andu Masebo, Barnaby Lewis, Ben Burgis, LS GOMMA, Madeline Thornalley, Miranda Keyes, and Ralph Parks. Look out for lyrical metalwork, seductive eccentricity and psychedelic takes on tradition.

Read AnOther’s feature on TON here.

Umberto Bellardi Ricci

Investigating the “spatial aspects of sculpture and social sciences through the medium of architecture”, New York-based Italian sculptor and architect Umberto Bellardi Ricci’s presence at the salon is set to remind visitors that when it comes to classical creative practices and enlivening the richness of natural materials, Italians do it best. Ricci’s visibly academic exploration of form is unsurprising considering his years spent teaching Architecture at the Architectural Association in London and Cornell University in New York. Elegant in their exactness, and a perfect antidote to consumerist hegemony, Ricci’s rigid upholstery and knife-edge finishes say sit down and enjoy the view, but don’t get comfortable.

GSL Gallery

From Georgia Merritt’s coquettish Making Out Under the Colonnade, to the Patrick Bateman-standard preciseness of EJR Barnes’ candlesticks, France’s own GSL Gallery is a Matter and Shape must-visit for those with a MUBI subscription and a phone full of saved Brenda Hashtag posts. While its aesthetics align with contemporary design trends, the timelessness of GSL Gallery’s collective offering (a new project from the award-winning design studio the Guild of Saint Luke) is undeniable. The gallery’s guiding principle is “remastering the past” – bringing together contemporary artists and designers whose work argues that time-honoured techniques are alive and well, with fresh perspectives in production and presentation sustaining tradition.


Favoured by the recently abdicated HM Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, and founded in Copenhagen in 1963 by the Danish goldsmith and artist Arje Griegst, Griegst is a household name in its native Scandinavian home – known for its Baroque and Orient-inspired fine jewellery. Proffering hints of National Romantic style (an architectural movement rooted in Scandinavia and affiliated with Art Nouveau), Matter and Shape’s debut salon will see Griegst showcase the Spira Cutlery collection. According to the brand, Griegst had been contemplating and experimenting with cutlery since before the 1970s, completing a prototype in 1980. 22 years later, the cutlery was put into production by Georg Jensen, but only from 2002 until 2003. The cutlery – which takes its name from the Danish word for sprout, a symbol for growth and creation – was re-issued exclusively by Georg Jensen in December 2021.

Register now to guarantee your entry to Matter and Shape, which runs from 1 – 4 March 2024 at Jardin des Tuileries, Paris.