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Design / Portraits / Marie Christine Dorner

Marie Christine Dorner

Passion for a job, a chance

She made the cover of n ° 12 Intramuros, just before Philippe Boisselier, her teacher and even Philippe Starck, her hero. At 26, a graduate of EcoleCamondo, she returned from a year in Tokyo with projects in her pockets. 2020 will not have been a dead year for her. She is releasing new collections for Cinna, Ligne Roset, the Louvre museum with the RMN, Zeus … While talking about her news, Marie Christine Dorner looks back on what shaped her career with modesty… and happiness!

© Young Ah Kim

Marie-Christine Dorner has designed furniture for Idée in Japan, created interiors all over the world, but it is in France that she has excelled since the 2000s with cutting-edge collaborations, in all fields, furniture, architecture. interior, graphics, scenographies. It was she who designed the official 14 July platform, and who every year since 1990, validates its location, with its back to the obelisk on the Place de la Concorde with a breathtaking view of the avenue des Champs-Elysées to admire the exploits of the French armies. Five presidents have voted for it and the 32nd assembly is scheduled for summer 2021. François Mitterrand had chosen this project among others and Frédéric Mitterrand decorated her with the Medal of Arts and Letters. And even if Paris has emptied of its inhabitants, many are waiting for “Bastille Day” to promote the image of France throughout the world.

© Jean Baptise Dorner

160 ans la tête dans les chapeaux

A line of doctors on the paternal side, and hat makers on the maternal side: “CHAPUIS hats in Mâcon -“ When the weather is fine Chapuis hat, and in the rain Chapuis hat! ”-, and FLECHET in Chazelles-sur-Lyon“ Chapeaux Fléchet, perfect hats! ”
We were told that whole trains of magnificent Angora hairs arrived in Chazelles to make bells, then hats … ”. At that time more than 700 workers were employed in the factory. The brand exported all over the world. “My grandfather George and my uncle Jean were commercial there, with the CEO René Fléchet, my great-uncle. Even my teenage mother had fun making hats for her mother. I never saw my grandparents go out without a galurin! The Fléchet factory has now become a very fine hat museum, and the brand has been acquired. Maybe I should have done it with my uncle Robert, a couturier, for a while at Dior. I love this story, this know-how, the hat boxes… ”


“A sort of frozen image was created of the time when I came back from Japan, where I designed the hotel la Villa in St Germain-des-Près and where these achievements went around the world of magazines. Then 1996-2008: my London years. A protected environment, of expatriates who made their fortune; I liked this British island, steep and very eccentric at the same time. After Japan, I curiously found many similarities between these two insularities. Since then, I have been working with these two cultures in mind. “


“My mother was a psychiatrist, an analyst, in constant listening. No doubt thanks to her, I like to listen to my clients in interior architecture. Today more than ever, everyone needs to make their place of life a bubble in their image, a mixture of comfort, personal objects, complicit materials, fair volumes. I arrive in a place, I look at how natural light enters and turns, what volumes we have, and I listen, look at what the owners want to keep, the material I have and with which I can play and create. When Lacaton and Vassal (who have just won the Pritzker Prize, the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in architecture) talk about habitat, I have the feeling that on another scale, my intention is the same. Respect, keep things, support and make people happy; more important than a recognizable style. Besides, I am quite eclectic in my tastes, no doubt thanks to and because of my travels. “

Design d’édition

“My first collection was a set of 16 pieces of furniture for Idée, developed in Japan in 1985. Then the furniture for the hotel La Villa, creations for Artelano, Baccarat, Saint Louis, Montis, Zeus, and now the Ligne Roset adventure and Cinna since 2015. It’s wonderful to collaborate over a long period with an exceptional publisher, Michel Roset, a brand whose DNA has been incorporated over the years, and to crown it all, a French manufacture. For 2021/22, we have just presented at Cinna a seating program, called Wide Angle, whose objective is first and foremost comfort! A typology that was lacking in the Cinna collection, and which allows you to sit down but also to slouch, read, work, raising the files as you wish, and even very high for the older ones: a sofa not for appearing but to be. The designer has a real responsibility on this planet, despite the apparent futility of his activity. First of all, draw lasting objects, rediscover the spirit of transmission. And engage with quality, responsible manufacturers. ”

Zeus, Roma collection, 2021 © Zeus

Cinna, Wide Angle sofa © Cinna

L’Appartement by Ligne Roset

“I created in Lyon, in the old district of rue Auguste Comte, following the idea launched by Antoine and Olivier Roset, a new type of showroom, L’Appartement by Ligne Roset. It is a small place of 120 m2 in which we wanted to show the brand both in its luxury version, and as an experimental place. You can see different finishes, a mixture of vintage objects, sometimes taken from the Roset family house. The rooms of an apartment follow one another: living rooms, study, dining room, winter garden, bedroom.
I treated the color in 3D, in alcoves, with a range of often dark semi-tones, in partnership with the paint editor Mériguet-Carrère. “


“Le Réverbère, a well-known contemporary photo gallery in Lyon and of which I have been a long-time fan, has been a formidable partner with splendid photographs that create interesting neighborhoods: such as William Klein and the sofa by Philippe Nigro, Serge Clément and the furniture of ‘Eric Jourdan, Beatrix von Conta and the Bouroullecs, Philippe Pètremant and Pierre Paulin, Jacques Damez and Inga Sempé, etc… This place evolves with the new collections. “

The apartment by Ligne Roset

Le nom des choses

“I am finishing a collection of gift objects for the Louvre museum with the Réunion des Musées Nationaux, called“ Les Ailes du Louvre ”. This theme is so emblematic of the museum, through its collections of sculptures and drawings from the 15th to the 19th century, with its pleiad of loves, winged Eros, and angels, not to mention the victory of Samothrace, that there is had wonderful material to explore. The vases gave rise to a beautiful collaboration with the earthenware maker Erwan de Rengervé, there are textiles, jewelry. A need for lightness in these hard times.
Another material: bronze with the creation of a small table with apparently fragile legs. I wanted to call him Bambi but Disney having bought the rights to the whole world, it was not possible. It’s “MC2”, a game between my first name and Einstein’s energy / mass relationship. Another brand new product: a Ruflette pendant light, so called because of the element that creates its folds. A desire for couture, a contemporary graphic effect and at the same time slightly outdated. I can say today that my job has always brought me luck. And encourage young designers to bring luck. “

Ligne Roset, MC2 Collection, 2021 © Ligne Roset

Ligne Roset, Ruflette pendant light, 2021 © Ligne Roset

RMN Louvre collection, 2021 © RMNGP

Bénédicte Duhalde