Earlier this week I was looking at New York City base photographer Emily Johnston Anderson Instagram photo's and saw this.
It is such a dreamy photograph, as are all of her interior shots, and made me a little sad that Surge Mouille is just not in my price range, not even a little. When I emailed her to see if she minded I used her image she gave me the news that is light is from West Elm (insert grin here, West Elm is in my budget).
I’m loving the resurgence of Serge Mouille. He is a brilliant french lighting designer from the 50’s that got his start at 15 while studying with Gabriel Lacroix . By the age of 30 he was already the director of silversmithing at the School of Applied Arts in Paris. Brilliant.
His simple lines, truth in materials, and focus on craftsmanship was revolutionary. Seeing his lighting in current homes is such a reminder that great design is timeless. I try to imagine him working in Paris in the 50’s (in my mind he is day drinking, smoking cigarettes and is wearing a very dapper suit) designing something in response to the overly fussy lighting of the time and if at that time he could imagine his lights being sold in 2012 and looking so current.
I would love to show you images of my home with these beautiful lights but at this point they are out of my price range, sigh. As a want to be collector I believe that buying the licensed versions of things is a good investment and for the most part you get what you pay for and worth saving for. You can buy vintage Serge Mouille pieces through many antiques dealers. A search on 1st Dibs will bring up around 50 beautiful lights.
You could buy this pair of stunning wall sconces from the 50’s for $12,000 from Modern Times in Chicago .
If that is out of your budget perhaps buying the licensed edition from Gueridon in Brooklyn. They carry the same design as the original but they are being made current day and a pair will only run $4,100.
That brings us to knock offs. This grey area is a bit of an ethical slippery slope. My personal thoughts, at this point even the $4100 price tag is out of my budget so I am in the market for lighting that is MUCH less but perhaps the designers were influenced by Serge Mouille. I will continue to save my pennies for a stunning vintage piece or save a few less pennies for a licensed re-edition. My line is in the naming, if a company that is not selling a vintage piece or is not selling a licensed re-edition but still is calling it a Serge Mouille then this is not a company that I want to give my money to. I am not in the market for a Prado purse or a Surge Moille light.
So these lights remind me of the designs of Serge Mouille and are perhaps a little more in my current budget.
West Elm Finn Chandelier - on sale for $199.99
Design Public- &Tradition BH2 Spinning Pendant Lamp in Black $590
Design House Stockholm Manana Lamp $229
I recommend reading the Serge Mouille site for a more in depth look into his life and his work and double recommend looking at Emily's photography. Her photographs speak for themselves as to how talented she is and to really add insult to injury she could not be any kinder.