Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Chic World of Guy Hervais

French photographer Guy Hervais travels the world — and captures remarkable interiors, dramatic chateaus and palaces, along with romantic houses and sexy and stylish people. There’s a chic perfection to his work, and a glorious sensuality that is rare and to be celebrated.

You’ve seen his richly colored and beautifully composed images in all the top French style magazines, as well as travel publications and Vogue and The World of Interiors. They are always joyful, capturing a sense of love for people and the world.

He lives in Provence with his wife, Bibi, and photographs the most beautiful gardens there.

Come and meet Guy — and enjoy my picks of ‘The Best of Guy Hervais: India, Paris, Provence, Africa, and every divine corner of the world.’

Portrait of Guy Hervais:  Guy is a very private person—he says he distrusts self-portraits by photographers—so these are the only portraits I could drag out of him. You'll have to use your imagination. He's handsome, he's French, and he's a rather private person. And he takes wonderful photos.

Great photography is essential to my work. Dedicated and genius photographers are important collaborators in all my books and magazine features.

I research, find and write about the best interiors and style and travel and architecture. Photography captures and distill and hyperventilate the story, the concept and the ideas I am writing about.

Photographer Guy Hervais is one of the great photographers. His work has a natural elegance. His styling and approach to tech, and his understanding of his subjects are evident in the heightened colors, the intelligent composition, and the vibrating sense of being ‘in’ the picture.

My features — and THE STYLE SALONISTE — always include the best photography I can find in the world. Guy Hervais is among the top of the top.

My ideal: accompanying photography must exaggerate and enhance the story. Images that print themselves indelibly on the most refined and hypersensitive parts of your eyes and brain are my dream.

In the following selection of the photography of Guy Hervais—‘Diane’s Picks’—you will see why Provence-based Hervais works for all the international editions of Vogue, as well as Town & Country and Taschen and the European and international editions of AD. He shoots all the palace hotels for Taj, and you’ll see these images below.

He travels the world — and returns with luxuriant images photographed at the perfect time of day, and with a beauty that stops you in your tracks. Bravo, Guy!

The legendary Taj Mahal Palace, Bombay

Guy Hervais first came into my orbit a few years when I was working on "Seaside Interiors" for Taschen in Paris and Cologne.

As I researched a hidden world of private coastal houses and exceptional beach houses around the world, I found the portfolio of Guy Hervais.

Here were the dreamiest and most stylish photographs, each with a sense of wonder and ecstasy. But I was given a jolt by a series of impromptu traditional Tahitian houses on remote islands — driftwood lashed together and palm fronds and so glorious. I contacted Guy, who had captured the rare beauty of the Tahitian dwellings. Sensual, languid and delicious, they were far from glossy or overlit or commercial. I published his images in the book, which was a worldwide best-seller.

I did not hear from Guy for some years — until earlier this year when I received the first release of images of the Taj Falaknuma Palace hotel in Hyderabad (see last week’s feature on this remarkable hotel below, for the Hervais images and my report).

The work of Guy Hervais, they were technically complex and highly detailed. I saw these elegant images Guy had created at this historic palace — and I knew I had to go there. I went. 
Too, too divine.

Then, out of the blue last week came the following message:

Chere Diane,

I'm an "adorator" of your blog that I received regularly for years.

This morning, as I was working on my images from Falaknuma,
What a shock to receive and see my own picture of the palace's dancing hall!!

I do travel and work in India pretty often.

I do actually live in the Luberon / Provence and always look for exclusive productions on design, interiors, patrimony and gardens worldwide 

I would be very glad to get some words from you.


He sent me some recent images from his work—and as I swooned I decided I must share this beauty with you.

Lake Palace Hotel, Udaipur

The Maharajah of Jodhpur is one of the great characters in India—owner of the grand Umaid Bhawan Palace hotel that is now superbly managed by the Taj Hotels group.

The hotel was built in the thirties—and still reflects European Art Deco interiors and furniture that was all the rage in India in that period.

This palace hotel — situated in the Rajasthan desert in a region that is still very traditional and where women wear traditional saris and men on special occasions wear jodhpurs and turbans. It’s very popular for weddings — Liz Hurley celebrated her marriage there, and prosperous Indian families take over the whole hotel so that the diaspora of their families (London, New York, Paris, Dubai) will come and celebrate.

Guy is fortunate to live in Provence—and then is sent to work in Africa, Sri Lanka (Serendip), and green parts of Africa. Paris! He’s shooting models and designers and talent in vibrant rooms in Paris and London.

It’s a wonderful life, well-lived, and he captures and presents them to us through his lens and his sensibility.

Guy Hervais and his wife Bibi created the glorious Pavillon de Galon near Curcuron, in the Luberon region of Provence

The gardens have been named ‘national treasure of French patrimony’, a high honor.

“And another little one, to understand 'my life' a little bit more is a look to my adored place in Provence, which made me quit Paris some years ago, for restoring and creating gardens 'et un petit b&b' magique,” — Guy Hervais

Le Pavillon de Galon: Le Pavillon de Galon, a former hunting lodge, is only a short walk from Cucuron, in the heart of wildly beautiful Luberon Natural Park (scene of many films, including 'Manon of the Spring'. Cucuron is a charming, unspoilt, atmospheric village with plenty of good restaurants.

Day excursions: Within a one hour drive are the Palais des Papes in Avignon, Aix en Provence, the antiques markets at Isle sur Sorgue, the Roman arenas in Arles, and just beyond is the Mediterranean coast.

Exploring: Closer to Cucuron are the hill villages of the Luberon — Lourmarin, Gordes, Bonnieux, Menerbes, Ansouis, Lacoste. Dreamy!

For more information on Guy’s beautiful b&b and divine garden check on www.pavillondegalon.com

To see Guy’s portfolio and contact him: www.guy-hervais.com.  Watch for more of the photography of Guy Hervais…coming soon on THE STYLE SALONISTE.

Guy Hervais with Paloma


The Devoted Classicist said...

These are truly wonderful photographs, beautifully caught in frame and swathed in color. I have the greatest appreciation for architectural & interior photography and I would rate this at the top.

Michael said...

Oh Diane, it is almost too much beauty for one post. I think I might faint. Thank you agin for sharing!

Greet Lefèvre said...

Thank you so much for this post! I love the photography of Guy Hervais! And I added his B&B to my 'must go' list!

*Chic Provence* said...

Diane this is a stunning post, beautiful photographs and as always well written story.

Thanks and welcome home!

honeybeeandme said...

well I forgot where if was and what I was doing while looking at this post!!!!

I was truly there with Guy and his subjects absorbed in the actions and feelings of the world he inhabits...

Imagine being able to be around all that beauty all the time...


Cristin // Simplified Bee said...

Completely enchanting. Masterpieces. Thanks for sharing!

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and joyous 2011!


peggy braswell said...

I use to be a stylist but never got to work with him..too bad for me! great post+xx peggybraswelldesign.com

Lynne Rutter said...

fabulous collection of photos. and that garden with the lavender i am sure i have seen before in my dreams.

Theresa Cheek said...

The lighting, the lighting!!!!!! It is all about the lighting! He masters this completely!!Wonderful point of view in each photo...this is a great post.

Reggie Darling said...

Gorgeous, stunning, jaw-dropping, rendering me speechless. Reggie is all astonishment at the beauty and evocativeness of these superb photographs. Thank you!

Julie Anne Rhodes said...

A visual feast!

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...

Dear Friends-

Just back from chilly New York. Adored late night drinks at the Carlyle bar (fabulous trio playing so joyfully all the Gershwin and Berlin and classic songs...so chic).
Received some fabulous messages via email regarding GUY HERVAIS:

Sandra Sloan from the SF Museum of Modern Art sent the following:

Dear Diane,

Loved this issue! I want to go stay at Guy Hervais’ B and B someday.


Diane Dorrans Saeks said...

Dear Friends-

I hope you are toasty and warm. San Francisco is unusually chilly--snow in the Sierra.

Thought you would love the following comment rec'd today via email. I love love love hearing from you. Just wonderful.

Dear Diane,

This was a wonderful post, as always. I have been following your blog
since you began it and am always so pleasantly surprised by how much I
see and learn each time, and by how well written all your posts are.
It is clear that you are not just dashing them off between other more
important obligations.

I especially like that you do not include pictures of pets, sorority
sisters or cute children, a subject you touched on in the Skirted
Roundtable, which I also very much enjoyed. I have been discouraged
from blogging myself because of the generally trivial nature of so
many of the design blogs I follow, so it is a relief and pleasure
whenever I see you in my Inbox. It is like getting a letter from a
really good friend who values my intelligence and my opinion.

Thank you,

Margot von Muhlendahl

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...

Hello, Dear Friends from Chilly California-

I know you would like to read the following email from GUY HERVAIS: The wonderful and superb photographer (who likes to send mysterious portraits) in Provence!

Bonjour Diane,

Magnifique to live your energy making this so fast, smart and beautiful.
Always the same old story to have great antennas and hyper sensibility to show and understand...

Merci- I'll let you know some interesting returns.
Talk at your return,

Amitiés de Guy

Square with Flair said...

I have been delighted to be introduced to Guy Hervais and his work.

It is fantastic that the French bestow honours on their gifted artists and creators in so many divergent fields. If in North America we did this more consistently, and in a more evident manner, perhaps the arts would be given recognition and significance.

Viewing his photos is to enter a world of exquisite taste and sensitivity of all that is beautiful and stylish.

It is always a joy to read your posts. Best wishes of the season. May the traditions of old bring you new joy. May you be blessed with health and happiness in 2010.

Jamie Herzlinger said...

Fabulous story! Stunning photographs!
Once again you captured the exquisite beauty of luxury!
Thank you so much!
Jamie Herzlinger