He was called Slavik

He was called Slavik. It was easier than saying his real name: Wiatcheslav Vassiliev. In 1968, he was entitled to his portrait in Paris Match. He was called Slavik
It was easier than to pronounce the real patronymic: Wiatcheslav Vassiliev.

In 1968, he was entitled to his portrait in Paris Match: he was then – and there was going be him about twenty years -, the fashionable Parisian decorator.
A very wide public, without knowing about it, spent of long hours in decorations and atmospheres by him imagined.

Who has never come in one of the drugstores Publicis? The flashy decoration, with some orange and the purple, intense lights and mirrors, it was him. His work did not limit itself to the Parisian drugstores of the Champs-Elysées, the Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the avenue Matignon, then to those of the Defense and Parly 2


Slavik, died August 29th in Paris, at the age of 94, has other realizations. He has signed more than 400 cafés, hotels, restaurants and shops in Paris and other capitals. The decorations of mirrors, wood, ivory and shell of “English pubs” which he reinterprets the score in Paris, such as Sir Winston and London Tavern, it is still him.

A whole series of Parisian bistros, restaurants and prestigious breweries owe their identity to its efficient style, between Art Nouveau and Art Deco: notably The European, facing the Gare de Lyon, the Dome, Montparnasse, the Zeyer, Place d’Alésia, Chez Georges restaurant, at Porte Maillot …

The fate of any fashion being to go out of fashion, the star of Slavik faded from the late 1980s. Some of his achievements have been dismantled. This was the case of the installation of the panoramic restaurant on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower, the Jules Verne, which he had transfigured in 1983, with a black and white design and steel chairs reproducing the frame of the tower .

Listed in the Inventory of the National Furniture, these chairs, he had made by the founder Jacques Esclasse, were scattered at auction in 2012, like other pieces.


Slavik had also transformed, in 1996, two other restaurants of the tower situated on the first floor, Belle of France and the Parisian, with a decoration being inspired by hot-air balloons, elements of which ended too by auction in 2012.
Other places on which he had worked changed form or affectation, as the Pub Renault in the Champs-Elysées, which had illustrated in 1962 the worship of the automobile and the concept of the “store to be lived”, become the Renault workshop in 1999, either as the drugstore Saint Germain, sold in 1996 to the Italian creator Giorgio Armani.
Nothing predestined Slavik to hold for a while “pope’s” role of the decoration of restaurants and other places Parisian night birds.

Born on January 6th, 1920 in Tallinn, within a family He arrives in France at the age of 9, in the term of a trip in Finland and in Germany.

After studies of medicine given up at the beginning of the war, its artistic aspiration lead him towards the National School of Applied Arts then to the Institute of the high film studies (become Fémis).
But it is at first to the theater that he begins his career.
He creates sets for the Old man-dovecote, the Opera of Lyon, the Festival of Aix-en-Provence and collaborates in the ballets of the dancer and the choreographer Serge Lifar. The national Furniture orders him tapestries for the factories of Aubusson and Tapestries of “Les Gobelins”; the architect Jacques Adnet of furniture and the film-maker Marcel Carné of sets) …


After the war, Galeries Lafayette entrusted him with his windows and displays. There, he has the audacity to point this out by the publicist Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet.

The founder of the Publicis group appointed him in 1954 in charge of the service of industrial aesthetics and entrusted him with the decoration of the first French drugstore, that of the Champs-Elysées, which opened its doors in 1958.

This new store concept, from the United States, open every day until 2 a.m., where you can eat and where you can find everything from tobacco to the press to toothbrushes, razor blades, perfumes, discs, books and other luxury or essential products – will become an emblem of the consumer society. And propel their decorator, Slavik, who liked to compare the “drugstorien” to an electronic billiard ball on the Parisian stage, “catapulted from one plot to another, projected from the bar to the bookstore, from the bookstore to the gift shop…”.

Some cases signed Slavik:
L’Européen, 21 bis, boulevard Diderot, 75012 Paris Le Dôme, 108 Boulevard du Montparnasse, 75014 Paris L’Accent Corse, 123, rue de la Convention, 75015 Paris
Le Zeyer, 62 rue d’Alésia, 75014 Paris