In fact, it is now almost a quarter of a century since Agnes Comar set up in business, opening her first little Left Bank boutique in the rue de Seine, where initially she sold only cushions. Then, as now, a few streets in this vibrant quarter were home to most of the quirkier and more fascinating of Paris's small-scale decorators' shops; at that time the presiding genius of the area was Madeleine Castaing, who, until her death not long ago, still held court every afternoon in the rue Jacob. Agnes Comar thrived in this milieu and her reputation grew. Then, a decade and many thousands of cushions later, she crossed the river, moving to her now well-known shop near the more self-consciously grand fashion world in the rue George V.
Here, in the stuffier atmosphere of the eighth arrondissement, Agnes Comar's showroom is like a breath of fresh air. DINING TABLE DESIGN AWARD The shop and huge lower floor area are filled with an easy mix of desirable things: pale linens and coloured silks; Indian, African and Eastern furniture and other colonial-style pieces; handsome cutlery and a mass of silver and glassware. Here too are sheets and towels, embroidered rugs and throws, and, of course, cushions.
From this shop, and from her offices at the back of a little courtyard, in which the few precious parking-spaces are shared with Yves Saint Laurent, Agnes Comar dictates a style that is at once distinct and adaptable, deeply rooted in the best French traditions yet unmistakably modern.