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has had before," she says. "But we're also embracing this wonderful culture in Dallas, and we're hoping to put the two together so that someone comes in and says, 'Oh my God, I want to live in here' — instead of 'I'm looking for a sofa.' You know?" Most of Garde's designers have not previously been available in Dallas, including works by a vanguard of Belgians such as Vincent Van Duysen and Michael Verheyden, both celebrated designers whose minimalist serving ware and objects have been featured at Garde since its inception. Rising stars include Armenian-born interior designer Noro Khachatryan of Khachatryan Studio, who began his career in Brussels at age 17. He creates elegantly reductive furniture and objects that emphasize materials, such as a refined suite of geometric side tables in solid brass and marble. A limited-edition solid-brass chair has the low scale and proportions reminiscent of traditional Middle Eastern seating. Also look for objects later this fall by Ben Storms, who designs and makes furniture and sculpture out of his studio in Brussels. In his hands, a heavy marble tabletop is honed so impossibly thin as to appear weightless, and an inflated stainless-steel wall sculpture takes the improbable shape of a soft cushion. Garde is also showcasing lighting by Italy's Giopato & Coombes, which combines contemporary design with master Venetian-glass artistry and bronze and brass elements. And, from France, experimental designer Pauline Esparon has developed her own techniques to rework materials such as oil, wood, berries, leaves, and roots into useable products, including perfumes, tables, and rugs. Her exquisite, fringed ottomans, poufs, and sculptures are made from a weaving technique that highlights the raw, fluffy qualities of the short fibers of flax. Edward Collinson's sophisticated kitchen island — on display at Garde — is handcrafted in his London studio. The piece features a sink, tap, and induction unit of such understated design that it's easy to mistake it for a fine piece of living- room furniture. Sitz is also making a big push to bring in new designers to Dallas from Latin American countries, including installation artist and furniture maker Brian Thoreen. Based in Mexico City and L.A., Thoreen pushes the boundaries of furniture design using materials like rubber. His dramatic 75-inch mixed marble, brass, and steel coffee table swaggers with angles and scale that could easily double as sculpture. A native Angeleno, Scotti Sitz worked as a fashion executive in New York at Calvin Klein and Giorgio Armani before returning to L.A., where she turned her focus to interior design. The neutral, elegant minimalism of Klein and Armani heavily influenced her interiors work, but it was a job redoing a house in the Hollywood Hills for a French director and his wife that changed everything. "The wife only wanted me to use furnishings by European designers, but 10 years ago, you couldn't find anything like that in Los Angeles except vintage," Sitz says. Even in New York, small, under-the-radar European lines were almost nonexistent. "So we went to Europe and started exploring designers who were doing amazing work, and I thought, 'Why aren't these people here?'" A lightbulb went off, and the idea for Garde took shape. Sitz convinced rising designers such as Faye Toogood in London and Vincent Van Duysen in Belgium to give her one piece to sell. "I started very small, with mostly accessories and gift items and tabletop and textiles. And then it snowballed." Van Duysen introduced Garde co-owners Scotti Sitz, John Davidson. 134

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