In our view, there is perhaps no greater virtue than restraint. It is so often the case that inaction is more valuable than action. When we first came across the products of Ex Voto Paris, their minimalism and perfect amount of restraint immediately spoke volumes. Their geometry, materials and finishing touches all maintained an incredible balance and we were curious to find out more. Soon after, we were in touch with founder and designer Nathalie Paillarse.
Nathalie Paillarse is a very accomplished Parisienne - holding two masters degrees, an MBA and an endless knowledge of art, interior design and more. Ex Voto Paris has been her passion and creation and you can find the brand's candles, fragrances and other home accessories in stores like Barney's NY, luxury boutiques and 5 star hotels around the world. From the beginning, Ex Voto's aesthetic resonated loudly with The Brvtalist as we are constantly exploring the worlds of minimalism and dark, elegant luxury. Nathalie was gracious enough to answer a few of our questions and you can find the Q&A below.
The Brvtalist: I was instantly drawn to the home goods collection. Sleek black trays that seem to be a great aesthetic compliment to the candles and beauty products. Talk about how these goods came about and what your goal is for them.
Nathalie Paillarse: Thank you! Being so passionate about interior design, I am very happy to present an exclusive, minimalist home collection in addition to my home fragrances and beauty products. I only use plexiglass and acrylic, materials that I find very aesthetically pleasing and ultra-chic due to their high gloss finish and smooth texture. These are all qualities that fit very well with the Ex Voto brand and spirit - pure yet luxurious. The shapes are ultra-minimal while the production process is complex - the bespoke plexiglass trays are cut with a special laser process and then they are discreetly silk-screen printed with our logo. Every single detail matters. The purer the design, the happier I am.
TB: Ex Voto products are minimal and luxurious. I love the use of geometry and nature in your line. Talk about any other influences you may have. This can include art, film, music, architecture or any other discipline you would like to include.
NP: Truly, the brand is restrained luxury, minimalist and very discreet - it must be ‘felt'. I believe this happens thanks to the quality of materials, the pure shapes and the sober elegance from the collections. My design may look almost masculine though it is of course unisex. I love straight, square, rectangular shapes, sharp lines and extremely precise design. Everything might look simple, but minimalism results from an endless creative process constantly trying to eliminate superfluous details.
Regarding the influences, I am very fond of Architecture (Mies van der Rohe, John Pawson), minimalist Interior Design, abstract art - Pierre Soulages and its Outrenoir paintings are definitely my favorites, I love also the grace of the Sleeping Muse by Brancusi, the strength of Christopher Wool or the incredible beauty of Jenny Holzer’s artworks. Typeface, Graphic Design and Abstract videos are a passion too.
TB: How do you envision someone using your home goods? Did you set out to make them as utilitarian as they are decorative?
NP: I think my customers like the minimalist luxury of my home collection. They are timeless decorative objects that are practical and effortlessly chic. There is beauty in simplicity and I suppose they like the aesthetic purity of my collections - they say it conveys an understated elegance. The interesting thing is that, due to the very sober design, Ex Voto products work with ultra-minimal or very classic interiors: from a minimalist private villa to a five-star hotel or palace, the aesthetic ‘feeling' is the same.
TB: Materials play a huge role in Ex Voto. How do you go about choosing everything used?
NP: Ex Voto is about merging Design and Beauty. The quality of the materials is essential (plexiglass, tinted glass, silkscreen printing, glossy presentation boxes etc), the extreme attention to details and the uncompromising scents too. Some fragrances are literally « tracked » by our customers - like our iconic Black Amber candle or perfume, and Ex Voto is really a beautiful adventure to live!
TB: What's next for the brand?
NP: Lots of things! The launch of our international Online Shop, planned for the beginning of December, is a very exciting project. We are also preparing a new version of our website and the launch of a new hotel line with a fantastic bespoke bottle. Many new projects ...
We would like to thank Nathalie Paillarse for her incredibly insightful responses. Her passion for simplicity. luxury and elegance are inspirational and we share her ideas about minimalism, design and aesthetic. We look forward to the new online shop and new website. For more information please visit the Official Website and Facebook.