A Wedding in Gascogne
Two globe-trotters finally settle down. Armand Limnander bears witness.
Forty-eight hours before their wedding in the South of France, Victoire de Taillac and Ramdane Touhami were dealing with a bit of drama. Accessories designer Corto Moltedo was stuck in Mexico, but at least his father would attend. Artist Philippe Parreno couldn’t make it, but he promised to stop by the day before. And Lola Schnabel was on the phone from Charles de Gaulle, where she had a three-hour layover: Was that enough time to cab it into Paris and collect a pair of shoes from Azzedine? Or should she go barefoot? Was it a “grassy” château?
Luxeube, the de Taillac family home where the celebrations took place, is indeed grassy—and lovely. So is Loubersan, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac’s retreat. The designer’s son Louis-Marie hosted a dinner there the night before, as guests—including Victoire’s sister, jewelry designer Marie-Hélène de Taillac; artists Carsten Höller and Anri Sala; and fashion insiders like Sarah Lerfel of the Paris boutique Colette—started pouring into the tiny town of Auch, in the region of Gascogne.
If the affair felt like a casual get-together, it’s because the bride’s and groom’s friends have had plenty of time to get acquainted. The couple met in Paris in the late Nineties, when de Taillac ran a public relations firm. Touhami, whose family is originally from Morocco, was jetting back and forth to Tokyo, working with a department store. He then launched a multibrand store in Paris called L’Epicerie; was men’s fashion director for Liberty; and started RT and Resistance, two fashion lines inspired by—among other movements—the Black Panthers and the Zapatistas in Mexico. That’s when he wasn’t touring around the Mediterranean in a vintage Lotus, or racing in the notoriously chaotic Gumball 3000 with his friend Mourad Mazouz, owner of the London restaurant Sketch.
During the past 11 years, Touhami and de Taillac had three children—Scheherazade, seven, Adam, five, and Noor, two—and have lived in Tokyo, London, Paris, Jaipur, and Tangier. The family’s next stop is New York: Touhami recently became CEO of Cire Trudon, the 17th-century French candlemakers, and is overseeing the launch of the company’s first American store. (He is also thinking about opening a restaurant in New York, though for now all he has is the name: either Kouskous Klan or Hummus Sexual.) The gang arrived this summer and plans to stay, as always, just a year or two.
The wedding was, as Touhami put it, a great excuse to throw a big party before embarking on a new adventure. After a casual ceremony at the local mayor’s office and a quick toast, the newlyweds fled by helicopter—a humorous reenactment of a scene from the French film The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob, in which a foreigner dashes off with a good French Catholic girl—and were delivered to Luxeube for the party, which lasted until dawn. Then, after a short nap, everyone reassembled for a lakeside picnic.
Not everything, however, went exactly as planned. Iffy winds convinced Touhami to cancel having a parachutist hand-deliver his speech during the reception dinner; rain (and generalized hangovers) forced him to forgo the donkey polo match the next day. But never mind. His bride, who has thrown a fete or two in her lifetime, put it best: “It doesn’t matter if something doesn’t work out, because people don’t know what you had planned. Over the years I’ve realized that the party always goes on.”