After undergoing a major renovation, the fabled French contemporary design showroom Roche Bobois celebrated the re-opening of its West Hollywood outpost last week with a re-opening party that was equal parts inventive and rooted in tradition. Guests, including actor Dennis Quaid, milled about the space, perusing the retailer’s new pieces—some eclectic, some dramatic and some triumphing in being entirely understated. Others sniffed, swished and sipped on some of the most revered wines cultivated in far-flung locations across the world curated by wineLA, including a 2009 Estate Chardonnay from New Zealand.
In contrast to wineLA’s offerings, Roche Bobois also welcomed cutting-edge cookery into its modern, clean space. Celebrity chef Marcel Vigneron of Wolf LA—known for his appearances on Top Chef and Cutthroat Kitchen as well as a penchant for molecular gastronomy—served up an unlikely culinary repertoire. Take, for example, the liquid black olive spheres topped with a leaf-shaped shred of shimmering gold and served on a Chinese soup spoon; or the black-tea-flavored liquid nitrogen ice cream, which, with a little patience and a lot of arm strength, was whipped up on the spot.
Since its first renovation in 1958, the refreshed version of the store features floor-to-ceiling LED screens and custom wallpaper and the environmentally friendly walls made entirely out of succulents. The 10,000-square-foot showroom also features a whole new spectrum of inspiration as well as some older, iconic staples like the Mah Jong, one of Roche Bobois most recognized and best-selling pieces. It’s a modular, sectional sofa that sits just a few inches off the floor. Although it was created back in 1970s by Hans Hopfer, it’s been “dressed” throughout the years by a slew of designers, all imbuing their vision into the textures, patterns and fabrics that make up the Mah Jong.
The most recent couturier to try his hand at designing it was Kenzo Takada, esteemed designer behind French luxury house, Kenzo. Drawing inspiration from kimonos worn in traditional Noh theater performances, Kenzo came up with three color schemes for different times of the day—morning, midday and evening. Kenzo’s Mah Jong was perhaps the night’s pièce de résistance, but the food, libations and music played by the Gavin Salmon jazz trio were all worth raising a glass to.