In my post about home bars this past winter, I featured a number of bar carts that I would have happily set up in my home, but nothing, and I do mean nothing, can compare to the amazingness that is this bronze hippo bar by Claude Lalanne and her late husband Francois-Xavier Lalanne.
The hippo is but one piece in a collection of luxurious animal-inspired whimsy that combines function and form. Most of the animals in the “Les Lalanne” portfolio hide a quirky little secret, from a seated ape protecting the safe built into his chest to a larger than life fly whose back lifts to reveal a toilet. The Lalanne’s most famous creations are their signature curly haired sheep chairs, whose fans include fashion darlings Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs and Valentino. Google tells me that Lalanne looked at art as a “fun house” and that his functional sculptures were intended to help eliminate the superfluous reverence of art.
While I personally find the fly toilet frightening and can’t imagine a living room full of sheep, if I had a half million dollars just kicking around (and the time to track down one of these rare pieces at auction), I would gladly welcome Lalanne’s gilded rhino desk into my home.