Designed by French interiors firm Studio KO, Folie brings back the era of Yves Saint Laurent and Serge Gainsbourg.
By Claire Butwinick
Photographs courtesy Folie
Walking into London’s latest upscale French eatery, Folie is like stepping into a 1960s time capsule.
Adorned with plush blue velvet chairs, sweeping leather banquettes, and a hypnotizing terrazzo floor that emulates Paris’s luxurious St. Germain shopping district during the midcentury, it’s easy to forget that the restaurant opened only four months ago.
“I love [the 1960s and ‘70s] because there was an inspiring change in design, but also because people were looking to reshape the world,” says Folie’s cofounder Guillaume Depoix, who launched the restaurant last November with Chef Christophe Marleix.
Brought to life by French interior design firm Studio KO—known for designing the Yves Saint Laurent Museum in Marrakesh, Balmain’s New York outpost, and London’s Aesop flagship—Folie’s dining room is outfitted with custom ochre and red glazed lava dining tables with gold trim, and paired with teal velvet Pierre Frey chairs. At the intimate eight-seat bar, teal velvet stools surround the rounded, gold-paneled counter. “It is quite difficult to recreate the décor of the midcentury without being too cliché, and only Studio KO could have done such a good job,” says Depoix. “The result is absolutely amazing.”
While the entire restaurant evokes opulence from top to bottom, Studio KO surprisingly took a minimalist route when it came to artwork. In lieu of photographs or paintings, Folie boasts a custom-designed terrazzo floor inspired by French artist Sonia Delaunay. “It’s the masterpiece of the restaurant,” Depoix says. “When people ask me why there is no art on the walls, I tell them, ‘Look at the floor!’” The floor has not only become Folie’s statement piece, it also appears in the restaurant’s brand’s identity and logo, imagined by legendary designer Yorgo Tloupas.
Although Folie is temporarily closed due COVID-19, it’s slated to resume serving French bites later this spring—and Depoix is looking forward to it. “[Folie] is my first restaurant and I have been dreaming about it for a very long time. I must say that everything was really exciting. It is amazing to see how everything was built and now to see it up and running with a brilliant team and amazing guests.”