Sometimes a mirror isn't enough. Sometimes you want to see yourself as if looking through a darkened window on a sunny day, or from a lit room when it's dark outside.

French designer Claire Lavabre has made a magic mirror, of sorts, that only works when it's placed in front of a dark shape painted on a wall. You get a partial reflection if it's placed in front of a white surface, but the image becomes clear when in front of dark matte paint.

Lavabre states she wanted to explore surfaces that are both reflective and transparent, creating new perspectives from overlapping images. The project was developed during her studies at École Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle (ENSCI) in Paris, where she graduated in December last year. It will be shown at the Design Parade 8 festival as part of an exhibition of work by ten young designers at Villa Noailles in Hyères, France, from 5-7 July. Lavabre has proposed a series of six different geometric shapes and colours to be used with the frame. In a short project description from the designer herself:

"In this project I had a particular interest in reflections. Reflections appear on surfaces that are transparent and reflective at the same time. A tree reflects in a lake, in a train window. I like the overlaying of different images. When we look through the surface it is transparent. The surface tends to disappear like glass. On the contrary, when we look at a reflection on glass, this surface exists. It finds a presence by sending us our own image. "A geometric shape is drawn on a wall with paint. The frame of the reflective surface is leant on the wall. When this geometric shape and the reflective surface intersect, the reflection increases and this installation finds use. The geometric shape's colours and shapes are numerous. Reflection system: wood frame, glass, paint. Variable shape and size."