Vincent Darré photographed by David Atlan.

Vincent Darré has designed for Yves Saint Laurent, Fendi and, now, the LSU Museum of Art

The next time you set foot in the LSU Museum of Art, you might find yourself in the presence of a certain … je ne sais quoi. Or at least that’s the extent our French can go to describe the three new ceramic works on view at the museum, each one crafted by LSU MFA candidate Matt Jones and ceramics professors Michaelene Walsh and Andy Shaw. These weren’t your average end-table conversation starters, though. They came, instead, from visionary designer Vincent Darré, who before his appearance at the museum stopped by the LSU College of Art and Design to finish off the vases’ design with a few artistic touches of his own—a privilege usually reserved for little ol’ names like Yves Saint Laurent, Fendi and Moschino.

As part of the H. Parrot Bacot Distinguished Visiting Scholar Series, Darré—coiffed and tailored to a degree fitting one of the Paris art scene’s most eccentric personalities—visited the packed Shaw Center venue on April 5 to talk about the pieces plus his journey from fashion designer to master of surrealist furniture, décor and interiors, detailing his early days at Le Palace nightclub before his launch into the world of French fashion.

Rising from assistantships with his eventual long-time friend Karl Lagerfeld to designing positions with the aforementioned fashion houses (plus the likes of Claude Montana, Chloé and Emanuel Ungaro), Darré says he reveled in the playfulness of the collections he involved himself with, but ultimately decided that he had become too unhappy to carry on in the career. Soon after leaving his position as artistic director of Emanuel Ungaro in 2004, Darré paid a visit to a Paris art museum’s exhibition on surrealist artists—a chance decision that would change the course of his creative life.

Darré’s designs can also be found in the public spaces and suites of the Parisian hotel La Montana, located in Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Inspired by Christian Bérard, Jean Cocteau, Pierre Le-Tan and Le Corbusier, the designer took on the literal theme of a “conversation piece” for this particular color-popped room with furniture and wall coverings designed by Darré himself. Photo courtesy La Montana.

“I finally had some to think,” he said to the Shaw Center crowd. “I realized that these artists were free.”

After designing his first furniture collection—a skeleton-inspired line called “Ossobucco”—Darré eventually began his own brand, Maison Vincent Darré, in 2006. Since then, his furniture, hand-painted wallpaper, rugs, décor items and interior design have become renowned as some of the most innovative in the industry, inspired by an unexpected mixture of Baroque architecture and Dalí-esque whimsy.

Want a more up-close-and-personal look at Darré’s visit to Baton Rouge? Stay tuned for an announcement from LSU MOA to find out when the pieces will be fired and finished so you can take your own glimpse into a one-of-a-kind imagination. Be quick, though! Only one piece will stay with the LSU MOA’s permanent collection, with the other two finding new homes with the LSU College of Art and Design and the French consulate, respectively.

For more information on Darré and his designs, follow him on Instagram @vincent_darre. To stay updated about upcoming visitors for the LSU MOA’s Bacot Distinguished Visiting Scholar Series, visit