With the launch of Atelier MVM, acclaimed photographer and creative director Matthias Vriens-McGrath returns to his earliest passion—decorative arts. Atelier MVM encompasses a kaleidoscopic range of Vriens-McGrath’s designs for furnishings, lighting, and objets de vertu. The sensibility that informs the entire collection is grounded in his life-long passion for antiquities, naturalia, and vintage textiles of far-flung pedigree, all of which he recombines and recontextualizes to create modern objects of wonder. African masks, coral, bronze, trade beads, seashells, antique mirror, Uzbek fabrics, Tuareg weavings—these are the elements of Atelier MVM’s alchemy.
Born in Amsterdam, Vriens-McGrath opened his first shop, Matthias Vriens Antiques & Eccentricities, in the Spiegelkwartier, the city’s antiques and arts district, when he was 23 years old. Connoisseurs and collectors were immediately drawn to the shop’s adventurous mix and the progressive taste of its owner. In the late 1990s, Vriens-McGrath became the editor and creative director of Dutch, the influential journal of avant-garde fashion and design.
Following his tenure at Dutch, Vriens-McGrath moved squarely into the fashion arena as a creative director at Giorgio Armani and the Gucci Group. He also built a career as one the industry’s most in-demand photographers, shooting provocative editorial images for the world’s leading fashion magazines and crafting landmark campaigns for the likes of Jil Sander and Tom Ford. His signature mix of sex, beauty, and humor made his work unmistakable.
Today, Vriens-McGrath funnels his passions into the design of one-of-a-kind shell-encrusted mirrors and lighting, antique lamps with shades of rare vintage textiles, sculptural bronze urns and candelabra, and outdoor furniture with a slightly surreal, Picasso-esque flavor. All of these are on view, by appointment, at the Atelier MVM workshop, located within the former home of decorator Billy Haines, a Hollywood landmark.