Elizabeth Garouste (French, born 1949), a former costume designer, and Mattia Bonetti (Swiss, born 1952), a photographer, together used to form a Paris-based design team specializing in furniture that was at once experimental and elegant. Their work was marked by a use of classically tasteful materials, such as terra-cotta and wrought iron, as well as by the prevalence of sleek shapes and lines.
Their partnership began with the interior décor of the famous Parisian nightclub Le Palace and restaurant Le Privilege. Employing a neo-Baroque language, blended with prehistoric and primitive touches, the terracotta masks were labelled “Barbarian design.” The pair set the pace for cutting edge Parisian design, creating a unique and inventive neo-Baroque language that was to become synonymous with themost sophisticated continental contemporary interior and furniture design.
In 1987 Garouste and Bonetti began work with Christian Lacroix on his couture house interior. Employing cushions and curtains in ochre with rococo swishes of black, French 18th Century chairs were upholstered in electric blue, lilac, orange and raspberry. Hot-red consoles were given branches for legs and stools were designed to look like tree stumps.
The duo separated in the early 2000s, continuing they careers individually.