Inspirational Living: Luxury | A World of Eclecticism

25 MAY 2021 • 6:30 PM BST • LONDON
Join Chief Executive and Director of the Design Museum in London Tim Marlow in conversation with creative director at Repossi Gaia Repossi, Museum Director at Musée des Arts décoratifs de Paris Olivier Gabet and Sotheby's Chairman Mario Tavella, as they explore what luxury is, how the definition of luxury has changed over time, and what new ways of thinking have emerged.

Meet the Panel

Image: Sebastian Nevols

Tim Marlow, Chief Executive and Director, Design Museum, London

Tim Marlow is Chief Executive and Director of the Design Museum in London. Formerly Artistic Director of the Royal Academy of Arts and Director of Exhibitions at White Cube, Marlow has been involved in the contemporary art world for the past thirty years as a curator, writer and broadcaster.

He has worked with many of the most important and influential artists of our time to deliver wide-ranging and popular programmes and brings a commitment to diverse and engaging exhibitions to his new role showcasing the transformational capability of design.

Marlow sits on the Board of Trustees for the Imperial War Museum, Art on the Underground Advisory Board, the Design Age Institute and Cultureshock Media. Marlow was awarded an OBE in 2019.


Image: AZTEK Incorporated

Gaia Repossi, Creative Director, Repossi

Gaia Repossi was born in 1986, in Turin (Italy). She grew up within her father and grandfather’s passion for jewelry and developed very early a taste for visual arts. After studying painting at the Beaux Arts school in Paris, she pursued a course in Archeology.

In 2007, she joined her father to work at the family House and took on the role of Artistic and Creative Director to instill her innovative vision.

Her inspirations reflect her passion for artists like Joseph Beuys, Franz West, Donald Judd, Robert Mappelthorpe, Walter de Maria or Robert Smithson. Her influences are also architectural, including the Bauhaus and Le Corbusier, and the new boutique in Place Vendôme is the result of her encounter with Rem Koohlas.

Her openess to the world also has an influence on her collections inspired by sometimes distant cultures and times, crossing tribal or ancient references to combine simplicity and complexity.

Gaia Repossi’s creative direction is also based on creative dialogues with designers, artists and environmental spokespersons to whom she feels close, such as photographers like Zoe Ghertner, David Sims, Juergen Teller and Glen Luchford. In 2010, the iconic Berbère collection marked the contemporary turn taken by the House. Since then, she has been breaking and developing the codes of jewelry by offering new shapes and ways of wearing a modular design that meets desires and expectations of the contemporary world.


Olivier Gabet, Director, Musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris

Olivier Gabet is a specialist in 19th-century decorative arts and a graduate of the French Ecole Nationale des Chartes and the Ecole Nationale du Patrimoine. He began his career as curator of the furniture and objets d’art collection at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.

In January 2005 he joined the Musée d'Orsay where he was responsible for the 1850-1900 decorative art collections and ran the "Correspondances" contemporary art programme which included the artists Brice Marden, Pierre et Gilles, Jeff Wall, Robert Mangold, and Yannis Kounellis.

In January 2008, he joined Agence France-Muséums which piloted the Louvre Abu Dhabi project, first as curator in charge of decorative arts, then as deputy scientific director: he was instrumental in the design and development of the scientific and cultural project and headed up the acquisitions policy.

In September 2013 Olivier Gabet was appointed Director of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, responsible for the decorative arts, design, fashion, textiles, advertising and graphic arts collections covering the period from the Middle Ages to the present day. His remit also includes managing the collections of the Musée Nissim de Camondo.

At the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, he curated several exhibitions. Among them: Piero Fornasetti (2015), The spirit of Bauhaus (2016), Christian Dior, couturier du rêve (2017) and Luxes (2020).


Micha Patault

Mario Tavella, President, Sotheby's France, Chairman, Europe

An eminent international specialist, Mario Tavella joined Sotheby’s in 1991. He was appointed to the European Board of Directors in 1998 and promoted to Deputy Chairman in 2003. Mario has held the title of Chairman, Europe since 2016. A pivotal figure in the decorative arts domain, Mario has been both the creator and curator of the prestigious Treasures sale which he launched in 2010.

During his tenure at Sotheby’s he has been the mastermind behind over 60 renowned Single Owner collection sales in London, New York, Paris and Milan, many of them breaking new records.

Since his Chairmanship of Sotheby’s France, Sotheby’s Paris has consecutively realised the highest turnover of sales, culminating in €255 million in 2018.

Mario regularly contributes articles of new and exciting discoveries in academic publications. His articles have been featured in Apollo, Country Life, the Furniture History Society, Antologia di Belle Arti, and the Burlington Magazine.


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