This week, Tino Zervudachi’s book A Portfolio is being launched in Paris. And before anyone squeaks and squawks – I am the author of the handsome tome. True, not very Inner Chic to blow my own trumpet. But if I can paraphrase my favourite rhetorical speech from Shakespeare for a mo… I come to bury NFC and praise TZ.
Tino is an interior designer who’s reputed for his exclusive elegance and lived-in style. Of course, he has a roster of stylish clients like Nat Rothschild, Marie-Chantal of Greece, Monsoon’s Peter Simon and art dealer Ivor Braka and he has conjured up enviable pads, which span from Tokyo to Rio and Mykonos. Still, it’s his commitment to artisans and how he creates couture for the home which particularly impresses. Through Tino, I discovered a hidden, meticulously layered world, which is nineteenth century-like in appeal. I refer to chairs upholstered by Remy Brazet, fabrics especially woven by Maison Georges Le Manach and Prelle, embroideries dreamt up by Jean-François Lesage, verre églomisé or reverse glass painting created by the Florence Girette, walls either craftily aged with seemingly peeling paint or sumptuously glazed by the muralist Laurent Chwast as well as custom-made carpets by Galerie Diurne’s Marcel Zelmanovitch. Then there’s Tino’s work with sculptors Philippe Anthonioz and Manuela Zervudachi (his twin sister) as well as landscape designers like Louis Benech and Miranda Brooks.
Naturally, I interviewed most of the characters for A Portfolio. And what kept on coming through was the excitement of working with Tino – he encourages everyone to go beyond and be artistically courageous – and how he remains wonderfully polite. Certain clients have hired Tino for fifteen different projects. I completely understand why. Indeed, if I possessed millions, I’d do the same.
Text by Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni
Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni is a Paris-based British writer who covers fashion and lifestyle as well as being the author of Sam Spiegel – The Biography of A Hollywood Legend, Understanding Chic, an essay from the Paris Was Ours anthology, the soon-to-be released Tino Zervudachi – A Portfolio – as well as the Chanel book, for Assouline's fashion series.
Robert Beck is former New Yorker currently based in Paris. Also known as C.J. Rabbitt, he is the author and illustrator of several children's books, including The Tale of Rabbitt in Paradis, Un Lapin à Paris and the soon-to-be-published A Bunny in the Ballet.