Demi Monde is a series of spaces within a larger whole - well-considered level changes and the existing columns and stairwell were used to create a spatially interesting and socially dynamic lounge. Luxurious diamond-tufted banquettes, blood-red high-gloss lacquered panels, the lavish drapes and kinbaku-inspired screens all contribute to the comfort and mischief called for in this project.
French for “half-world”, the term is derived from Alexandre Dumas’s comedy, Le Demi-Monde. Used in Europe from the late 18th to the early 20th century, it refers to a group of people living hedonistic lifestyles in a flagrant and conspicuous manner. This sentiment informed the rich and layered visual identity, for which Dutch East created abundant original artwork ranging from hand scripted lettering to original pattern used in wall paper and the printed menus.
Dutch East Design meticulously drafted up an elaborate and intricate rope screen design, strand by strand, based closely on kibaku, a Japanese style of bondage. Ever the stickler for authenticity, Dutch East invited Midori (美登里), a sexuality writer, speaker, artist, and sex educator, to execute the rope screen installation in-situ.
The walnut bar, back bar, and post and beam system for the rope screen, were all crafted on site. Because of the great tension placed on the rope screen framing, especially high standards were met in design and construction.
Cocktail tables, bar stools, chandelier, banquettes, and chef’s table were all designed custom for the project.
Because of the sheer volume of original artwork created for Demi Monda by Dutch East Design, the menu design adopted a French-fold technique to concealing on the inside of the fold the vibrant work.