Here at Bastide, we make an effort to incorporate a little bit of the peacefulness of Aix-en-Provence into the every day – whether through meditation, making time for a short walk at lunch, or indulging in a glass of rosé. When retail visionary Brian Bolke invited us to create an experiential room to bring customers into the world of Bastide, we jumped at the opportunity to design a space where the tranquility of Provence could be experienced by all. Inside The Conservatory, a new retail concept at Hudson Yards in New York City, you’ll find La Sieste Bastide. A respite from the chaos of the city, La Sieste invites you into an imaginary room in a bastide where you can be transported by the sounds, scenes and scents of Provence.
Watch below to see how La Sieste came to life, then read on to learn about the artist's inspiration.
How did La Sieste Bastide come to be?
We worked with friends who were familiar with the Provençal lifestyle to bring la douceur de vivre to life. “We wanted to capture the atmosphere of the bastide with La Sieste. We wanted it to reflect the lifestyle of Provence: vibrant, sunny, and spontaneous. This is the Bastide secret that makes women so beautiful and alluring, regardless of their age," our co-founder Shirin describes.
We commissioned French artist Alexandre Benjamin Navet to bring our vision of la vie bastide to reality through his colorful drawings and energetic works. Inspired by his playful wall illustrations for the famous Villa Noaille in Hyères, Provence, Navet combined bright colors, objects and architectural forms to tell the story of Bastide in a simple and playful way.
“La Sieste was inspired by the architecture of la bastide: the arches and the energy when you are in your house and you’re going into your garden. So the arch really tells the story of this: it’s the connection between these two places, the outside and the inside,” explains Navet. “I love primary colors, and I use them as a medium to take something with archival elements and present it in a new abstract language, like a dialogue between the past and the present.”
The illustrations are paired with a short-film directed by Marilou Daubé, inviting you to live and breathe la vie bastide: a gentle morning, the sound of bees harvesting the lavender pollen, the chirping of cicadas, harvesting roses, a stroll through the vegetable market in Aix, an afternoon swim, the hot sun and the crashing waves of the Mediterranean, a drive through the rust-colored mountain and a simple dinner under the stars with family and friends.
Finally, we scented the room with our signature amber scent, a warm and dreamy fragrance reminiscent of late summer evenings spent in the garden. Our Ambre Soir candles give the room a gentle glow, while our Ambre d’Or Potpourri, a signature item that has enchanted homes in Provence for over 25 years, transports you to a moment in the bastide.
"For me, la sieste is not just a word or a moment, it’s a feeling. It’s the feeling you get at the end of the day when you’ve spent it with your friends, and you go to your garden to be by yourself and just relax," Navet says.
As part of our collaboration with Navet, The Conservatory is offering ten hand-painted, extra-large Ambre Soir candles, exclusively available for purchase in-store. “For this project I used primary colors without mixing them because they are strong and intense this way. I also use them because the blues and yellows really tell something about the south of France, the south Riviera, the sunlight, the sunshine that’s everywhere,” explains Navet.
What’s the best way to experience La Sieste Bastide?
Step inside the room and close the door behind you. Look around and notice the bright colors and arch shaped illustrations, evocative of the south of France. Take a seat and breathe in – smell the beautiful scent of Ambre Soir, with notes of patchouli, sandalwood and sweet musk. Exhale as you watch the scenes of Provence transport you to our home – if just for a minute or two.
Visit La Sieste Bastide exclusively at The Conservatory in Hudson Yards, New York City. #LaSiesteBastide