Wanders brings his elegance and star power to bear whenever he is in the company of the great and lesser-known lights of the design world. He doesn’t need the clown nose; his height and thick head of hair, along with his talisman, the ever-present bead necklace, are enough to silence, then bring to a hushed whisper, a room full of people. He is an eminent design pro, a complex mix of confidence and well-concealed timidity, of depth and excess, of generosity and exuberant talent; a larger-than life figure, in keeping with his dreams and his plans, much like his prestigious projects: the Kameha Grand Hotel in Bonn, the Mondrian South Beach Hotel in Miami, the Villa Moda boutique in Bahrein, among other exceptional projects. He is both Wanders, a international design star and jetsetter with a brutal work load, traveling first class—to accommodate those long legs—to the four corners of the world; and Marcel, entrenched in the provincial rhythm of Amsterdam, getting around the city on foot or by bike, unless he is in his vintage, ageless Mercedes. Marcel Wanders, hedonist designer and poet, imbued from childhood with his Dutch roots, linked directly to Vermeer’s light, the blue of Delft porcelain (the Delft blue pieces from the MOOOI 2008 collection), lace (the Crochet Chair, 2006) and macramé (the Knotted Chair, 1996). Wanders has been the high priest of the brazen and offbeat style of early 21st-century design ever since the Dutch school emerged as a seminal influence. His sense of humor, his romantic extravagance and his poetic and whimsical approach to all archetypes first appeared in the Droog design projects, then in the collections of the company he co-founded, MOOOI, where he is also the current art director. And he’s everywhere, showing up as a model for GAP’s international ad campaign and working for nearly every major design label for whom he designs one bestseller after another, year after year. Baccarat has also joined in, claiming Marcel Wanders as one of its own, for his whimsical inspiration drawn straight from the Arts Décoratifs. Channeling the natural world, Marcel Wanders dreamed up “United Crystal Woods” for Baccarat, a collection bringing together several facets of the company: “La Fôret des Songes,” multipurpose candle jars decorated with a lace pattern etched to various thickness; “Les Rois de la Fôret,” monumental cut vases of polished metal or marble bases (the latter available as a limited edition only); “L’Ivresse des Bois,” a set of utterly elegant wine glasses and carafes. And finally, the pinnacle of this imaginary forest, “L’Esprit des Bois,” an improbable family of deer and stags, made of polished stainless steel and wood encased in etched crystal; in candlelight, these poetic, graceful shapes look like dreams come to life.