Emanuelle and Quasar Khanh are two designers, two catalysts who slice and weld, blow-up and mould synthetics into a brave and beautiful new world of fashion and furnishings. She is French, once a model for Givenchy, and for the last ten years has run a revolution from Paris to New York, from London to Italy, in everything from spectacles... from ski-clothes to underclothes - those light and natural, satiny sexy bras and knickers - while her latest designs include lovely long knitted sailor pants and cardigans inset with a sailing boat r two. He is Vietnamese, trained as an engineer, his mind continuously bursting with invention and work that varies from moulded golden breasts, to the prototype square city car that you might have seen circling Hyde Park Corner last summer, to blow-ups - his most far-reaching idea so far. First there were clear round and square PVC sofas and chairs clipped with silver, and blow-up white PVC cushion-lights, then rippling pea-green PVC chaise longues like caterpillar tyre treads. Now there are blow-up wall panels, too, and blow-up doors.
The Khanhs' living and wok space is an indefinanable compound of rooms on two floors in an old Montparnasse apartment block. Everything is in a state of inventive chaos. Writers, TV reporters, technicians, film crews, salesmen, pour in and pour out. There are two children, Othello, aged 3 1/2, and Atlantique Venus, aged eighteen months, plus members of the family who help with the work both here and in the atelier. The dining-room is papered in silver foil, the bathroom is pre-moulded in silver, and Quasar Khanh has also moulded several black lacquer furniture units and a curving, Perspex unit for the baby, Atlantique, to sleep in.
Above we show their original, the original, completely blow-up living-room that looks like a heavenly bit of space brought to earth in the rue Leverrier, Paris 6e. Light filters and reflects, is soft-edge, blue and beautiful, all could have changed minutes after this picture was taken. Crystalline blue PVC backed on opaque white cushions the walls with ribs of light skirted in pale silver aluminium. There are buttoned blow-up doors like a chesterfield, the ceiling is paved in silver, blue PVC lights, set with coloured bulbs, all with separate controls so that light patterns can change and lights beam on different parts of the room. All chairs are the same blow-up crystal blue floating on blue nylon carpet, at Christmas there was even a blue blow-p tree.Photos by David Bailey for Vogue UK, February 1969.