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Inspiring Me

Raphael and I went on a ‘date’ a few months ago.  It wasn’t meant to be a date, it started out with me wanting to catch the incredible ‘Les chafarcanis’ exhibition before it closed and in my fervour I think it must have rubbed off on him. “We’ll go together” he announced, “and book somewhere nice for lunch”…. Gorgeous antique textiles AND lunch out – I’m there!

Toile de Beautiran Guido Reni "le char de l'Aurore"

I was blown away by the Hotel d’Agar. I went there with a fair idea of what we would see as I’d had a glorious sneak peek of the exhibition and had seen and touched many of the precious chafarcanis in my friend Moniques home when we took our French Musettes there in May. However the Hotel d’Agar is the most incredible space, and you are (on appointment) assigned a guide who talks you through the exhibitions.

We were very fortunate to have Olivier Morand, the son of the founders, and a Louvre graduate, as our chaperon. I have never experienced a more intimate, personable, entertaining, charming introduction to a collection. It was pure joy! He doesn’t just repeat information as much as he weaves a tale around each object. He has grown up with many of these objets d’art and his passion is contagious.

I will share more images from the beautiful Chafarcanis show but before I do….

One of the fab Hotel d’Agar learning experiences for me was on how to identify an authentic Indiennes toiles.

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In the image above you can see numbers, these are the printers ‘reference numbers’ which would have been made by the draftsman to assist in the archival process.

Therefore if we know the number of a certain design we can trace the original ‘designer’ of the toile.
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Hand carved wooden stamps for each toile pattern, labelled with a number which reference each particular design.

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This photograph shows the ‘chef de pièce’. This is the stamp of the pattern printer.

Worth noting is the distinctive ‘Red band’, much like a watermark or a hologram today – this is also a sign of authenticity – however it is extremely rare to find a toile today with an original red band. As this band was created with Garance (madder root) purposely without mordançage,  it would have been either destroyed after the purchase (trimmed) or it would disappear after the first wash.

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In this image you can see the ‘Red band’ and also the stamp of the India Company

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The image above shows the original ‘sales label’. It is incredibly rare to find this element still intact. According to the Hotel d’Agar,  this is the only one ever found to the best of their knowledge.

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This summer I happened across a trunk of beautiful Toile de Nantes remnants at a brocante just outside Bordeaux. After much searching in archives and asking the advice of my textile collecting community – I discovered I found some real treasures.

Sections from a very rare 1815, toile de Nantes called CINCINNATUS, created by the highly celebrated Atelier Petitpierre.

Toile de Nantes 'CINCINNATUS' 1815 Detail : quote “On annonce a Cincinnatus qu’il est elu Dictateur.” Atelier Petitpierre.

I also discovered another very special piece, a remnant of the rare and celebrated Toile de Beautiran inspired by Guido Reni and his work “le char de l’Aurore”. It is one of the most celebrated Toile de Beautiran – inspired by Guido Reni and his work “le char de l’Aurore”

 

Toile de Beautiran Guido Reni "le char de l'Aurore"

18th Century. Toile de Beautiran  “le char de l’Aurore”

This particular design is one of the most celebrated designs created by Beautiran, a Bordelais Indiennes manufacturers. Copper plated print on cotton, garance dye for the beautiful red colour of the print.

The motif of Char was inspired by the famous work of Guido Reni which is in the Palais Pallavicini in Rome. We can recognise the subjects of Greek Gods Apollo & Daphne in the scene.

Toile de Beautiran Guido Reni "le char de l'Aurore"

You can find some of these treasures for sale in Exquisite Threads now

Guido Reni, L'Aurora

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Toile de Beautiran Guido Reni "le char de l'Aurore"

Toile de Beautiran Guido Reni "le char de l'Aurore"

Toile de Beautiran Guido Reni "le char de l'Aurore"

Some of the panels I found have exquisite mendings, some are so seamless that you only realise there are mends when you turn the fabric over.

When a textile is cherished so… every tiny mend is a love letter.

Toile de Nantes 'CINCINNATUS' 1815

Toile de Nantes 'CINCINNATUS' 1815

The tool-whisperer and the ‘carottier’

One of my New Year resolutions is to try to let go of a few things… beautiful things that I’ve been collecting over the years.

My friend Corey once told me, when you walk past something and you don’t ‘see’ it anymore then it’s time to let it go… it’s easier said than done.

This ‘carottier’, an apple corer is a beautiful piece of ‘Art Populaire’, a handmade tool from the 18th Century. What makes it extra special is that it’s owner carved ‘his’ initials into the wooden handle, it reads ‘MFX’.

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Normally I’m drawn to threads; silk, tattered, torn, mended, much-loved and lived in threads.

But something about this tool was incredibly comforting.

Simplicity. Childhood. Nourishment

This was his tool.

His initials held me spellbound… I imagined the tart taste of apple. It was so peculiar.

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It also didn’t help that my friend, who was selling the tools – is a major ‘art populaire’ devotee. A very shy man by nature,  I love to pick something up and ask him, “what is this for” (“ça sert a quoi“) just to watch his face light up in a smile. He takes the beloved tool from you, turns it over in his hand lovingly and he takes a deep breath. Every story he weaves is a love story.

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He doesn’t do it on purpose. He just sweeps you up with his passion – he makes the big soft fabric-loving, feminine you, LOVE tools. Cold metal, chisels, hammers, keys, locks, sculpted wood … you suddenly need it in your life!

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And so this is how I adopted the ‘Carottier’. I decided it had to come home so that I could adore it.

Over the years, I would take it out of the drawer, hold it in my hand, feel the weight of the cold metal and let the wood caress my palm.

The powerful feeling of connection never failed but I just couldn’t bring myself to use it as it was intended, it sadly never saw the inside of an apple….and so back it would go into the drawer of antique treasures.

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As I accumulated more brocante treasures, I thought of MFX’s apple corer less and less. .. and then earlier this week I found it hidden at the back of the drawer under a jumble of cupcake holders – oh the shame!

I thought back to Coreys words and realised that my time as its guardian is up and it needs to be passed on!

And so the clear out begins…lots of goodies to be found in the Etsy boutique, thread, tools, paper, silk, treasures galore.

But first I wanted to show you a glimpse into his beautiful world… so you can see it for yourself

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At the entranceway to their home

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Enamelware, rolling pins, handmade cutting boards… so many gorgeous antique homewares

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Gorgeous textures everywhere

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He has priced every single piece with a tiny ticket… aren’t these enamelled whisks beautiful?!

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I had to ‘adopt’ this pichet too… just saying!

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His wife collects Provencal pottery and every piece is incredible. The only complaint we ever hear from our French Musettes when we bring them to visit these dealers is that they wish they were filling a container and not simply a suitcase.

A bientôt

Ruth

x

 

The threads that bind us

The French Muse Ruth Ribeaucourt

1700s silk – embellished with tiny hand stitched darns.

The dealer laughed when I started taking photographs – she turned the textile over to show me the other side, the ‘real’ side, an incredible Indienne print.

This is the ‘vrai coté” she informed me with a smile.

I was photographing the silk and wool underside of the bed cover, which had been worn threadbare with wear and age.

The French Muse Ruth Ribeaucourt

I can appreciate a beautiful intact antique textile but I’ll choose to fall hard for something worn and darned and falling apart every time.

The French Muse Ruth Ribeaucourt

Perhaps it is in seeing these tiny little stitches – either to embellish or repair something  – that binds me to its maker.

The French Muse Ruth Ribeaucourt

Rather than buy a new designer dress to wear to a party – I will fall hard for a crumbling remnant of a forgotten dream. Fragments plagued by “inherent vice” and “glass-bead disease” ….intrigued you must read more here.

The French Muse Ruth Ribeaucourt

The further down this rabbit hole of antique textile discovery I delve – the more intrinsically connected I become to the humanity behind the textile; to the hands that once sewed; embroidered; mended; dyed; worked the loom; and darned.

The French Muse Ruth Ribeaucourt1800s workers trousers… Turn them inside out and behold a tapestry of mending stitches.

And woven into the fabric is life itself, the makers dreams; love stories; layers of history; frivolity; a story of colour, heritage and knowledge….a tangible link to the human story behind a garment

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A time machine.

A love letter.

An accidental work of art.

The French Muse Ruth Ribeaucourt

An embroidered indigo cape worn by a Vendean Rebel in 1700s

A vessel for lost dreams, for battles fought and won and lost again.

The French Muse Ruth Ribeaucourt

Best of all – I’m not alone, I’ve met so many wonderful kindred spirits – some are even more nuts about the tiny stitches than I.

We share a joyful secret. We are all connected by these threads.

I always like to ask my favourite dealers, women who have been collecting for 30-40 years, what makes their heart flutter. Their answers always differ and fascinate me. For some it is embellishment, beading and lace, for others white-on-white intricate boutis and then there is Francoise who loses her mind over workers garments (socks, long-johns, shirts) – turned inside out they reveal their true selves, each year a different mend, using a different colour of thread until they all fuse to create a symphony of stitches.

Here is to making 2016 a wonderful journey of discovery. A year of  beauty, friendship, passion,  kindness and love.

I have so much more to share with you here and on Instagram – so do follow along on our journey in 2016

xx

Textile style in Provence

The French Muse, Textile Brocante

Michel Biehn artwork

Imagine one day you strike up conversation with a stranger and happily discover you share an addiction to collecting antique textiles – kinship over old threads – love it!.

This new friend, Anna, confides that she is in the process of downsizing and is building her very first ‘new-build’ home.  It turns out she just so happens to have boxes upon boxes of antique textiles; ticking; linens; tapestries; 1800s fabric, antique Provencal piqué and boutis in storage and would love to find a way to sell them without having to drag them around from one antique fair to another.

I mention I have a group of kindred spirits coming to Provence for the French Muse experience and the idea for a private textile brocante sale is hatched.

The French Muse, Textile Brocante

I went to visit her a few weeks before our retreat and as I stepped over scaffolding and into her beautiful home it became very obvious that Anna has an incredible eye, even in its unfinished state, there was a delicious marriage of pattern, texture and light, I was ready to move in if she invited me to!

….Somehow she had forgotten to mention she has been featured in many quintessential books about Provence and interior design…. I remember the heat of a blush forming when I realised my new friend was a pretty big deal…. and I was literally stepping inside the pages of one of my favourite interior design books – ‘Textile Style’.

The French Muse, Textile Brocante

Anna brought me to a little sideroom and started to open up random cardboard boxes to show me what she had put aside for sale for our private French Muse brocante…. my textile taste buds salivated and I lost a good part of my heart in that little room pouring over the contents of these boxes.  For nights afterwards, I dreamed of the patterns, of the little rips in the timeworn fabrics lovingly repaired with delicate tiny handstitching, the tattered silks, even the smallest most throwaway cuttings whispered to me to make, to create, to take them home.

I would wake in the morning and write to Anna to tell her so – I’m sure she thought I was a crackpot…

The French Muse, Textile Brocante

One of Annas creations, a miniature iron day bed with antique textile upholstery

We saved our visit to chez Anna to our last full day of the French Muse experience. The morning of our visit, I rose earlier than planned, too excited to sleep with all that we had planned and I couldn’t wait to share Annas vision and creativity with our guests.

The French Muse, Textile Brocante

An incredible textile artwork caught my eye, a one of a kind creation made by my hero, the inimitable Michel Biehn – whose book, La Conversation des Objets, is my go-to book for inspiration.

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Just off the living room, Anna brought us into a beautiful guest bedroom with William Morris wallpaper and a family heirloom portrait.

The French Muse, Textile Brocante

Annas home has textiles and art from all over the world, an ancient African tribal ceremonial skirt hangs opposite an antique Swedish gold leaf mirror. A side table covered with a patterned Provençal antique piqué sits beneath a very contemporary sculptural artwork. It is beautiful, understated and intuitive.

The French Muse, Textile Brocante

An 1800s portrait of Annas mother as a child, the background is gold leaf and absolutely mesmerising.

The French Muse, Textile Brocante

Antique tapestry with original tag handsewn…be still my heart!

 The French Muse, Textile Brocante

Morning light streamed in through the living room illuminating one of the stacks of antique French ticking that Anna had chosen to part with.

The French Muse, Textile Brocante

Michel Biehn detail

The French Muse, Textile Brocante

A once in a lifetime experience that I am so grateful for.

Thank god for the Irish gift of the gab!

Now to start planning our September French Muse experience!

 

 

Une petite façon de faire

I just realised I had never shared this wonderful short film that was made in 2013 by two filmmaking students, Kendall Kiesewetter & Jen Hancock during their term in Lacoste. It features Louis in his first film role and (I know I’m his mother so potentially bias) but I do think he plays a blinder.

Enjoy!

Une Petite Façon de Faire from EndAll Productions on Vimeo.

Les Petits Bonheurs – Humayrah Khan

Humayrah Khan Les Petits Bonheurs portrait The French Muse

I approached Humayrah Khan, having fallen head over heels in love with her instagram gallery. I am always astounded at the detail in the older beaded and embroidered pieces I discover from late 1800s – early 1900s but when I stumbled into Humayrahs gallery her work took my breath away. Her creations are simultaneously  fresh and  timeless, thoughtful, provoking and utterly beautiful. Her work is the antidote to fast fall apart fashion, each creation fills my heart with joy with her unique interpretation of ancient motifs and exquisite techniques and just this month she launched a beautiful Etsy store where she will sell her work, wonderful embroidery kits, specialised Goldwork threads and notions.

How did you start embroidering?

“I began embroidering at the age of 14 after seeing my grandma lovingly make crocheted gifts for friends and family. I have fond memories of spending my school holidays in her home, the duck egg blue walls, hand-dyed silk saris that neatly lined her wardrobe, even the soft floral scent of her saris are still fresh in my mind.
After studying fashion at university, I was blessed with the opportunity to study Hand Embroidery at the Royal School of Needlework, in Hampton Court Palace. During the 2 year course I developed my skills in traditional Hand Embroidery techniques like Goldwork and Silk Shading and it was here that I discovered my love and appreciation for exquisite craftsmanship.”

Humayrah Khan Les Petits Bonheurs portrait The French Muse

Is there anything that you cannot imagine parting with?

“There are very few things that I cannot imagine parting with. They probably are of no monetary value but knowing that these items once belonged to my grandmother and that she had once touched them, means a lot to me. The chiffon scarves she used to crochet for me, her Kohl applicator, her laces and trims, her rusty steel scissors are all very dear to me.”

Humayrah Khan Les Petits Bonheurs portrait The French Muse
How long do you ‘live’ with materials before you start working with them?

“Over the years I have collected many textiles and embroidery materials from my travels to India, Dubai, Tunisia and Thailand. I purchase them thinking that I will use them soon but cherish them for years in their pristine, untouched packaging without using them. But years later I will find a use for it and try to unearth it amongst all the other bits and pieces in my sewing room.

My favourite embroidery technique has to be Goldwork because of the way the metal threads vary in colour when seen in different lights and from different angles.”

Humayrah Khan Les Petits Bonheurs portrait The French Muse

Chatoyant (adj.) Varying in colour when seen in different lights or from different angles.

Who inspires you?

“I’ve always loved discovering beautiful things. My grandparent’s belongings, lost, old objects, things I stumble across on evening walks, all inspire me. I often wander through the woods near my home, where I gather leaves, twigs, feathers and other things I can find to bring back home and preserve. I also like to incorporate the treasures I find into my embroideries and with each piece I feel that a part of me has been embedded into my work. It is this part of me that I would like to share with others.”

Humayrah Khan Les Petits Bonheurs portrait The French Muse

Fuubutsushi (n.) the things-feelings, scents, images – that evoke memories or anticipation of a particular season.

“Unusual words with profound meanings also inspire me. My favourite word at the moment is ‘Kintsukuroi’, (n.) (v.phr.)”to repair with gold’; The art of repairing pottery with gold or silver lacquer and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken – Japanese. Usually the connection between words and embroidery is not apparent to anyone except me.”

Humayrah Khan Les Petits Bonheurs portrait The French Muse

Komorebi (n.) sunlight that filters through the leaves of trees.

Where do you do your making?

“All my work is done in my room which is known by my friends and family as; The Olde Sewing Room. I am currently working on an embroidered piece inspired by calligraphy and a thought provoking word; Sonder (n.).

The realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.”

Humayrah Khan Les Petits Bonheurs portrait The French Muse

Do you ever get creative block, what are your tips on dealing with it? I know for me I have days when nothing seems to work, it’s like I forget how to make…

“I abhor those days! On these days I simply have to step away and seek help through patience and prayer. Chocolate also helps me on days like these!”

Humayrah Khan Les Petits Bonheurs portrait The French Muse

Where are your favourite places (market/online) for sourcing materials?

“I enjoy going to flee markets and local souks when I am travelling where I can be inspired by local textiles and culture.”

Humayrah Khan Les Petits Bonheurs portrait The French Muse

Kintsukuroi (n.) (v.phr.) “to repair with gold”; the art of repairing pottery with gold or silver lacquer and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken.

Where are you happiest?

“My home is a sanctuary to me. It is where I feel my most authentic self and is where I am happiest…especially when I am alongside Mary my mannequin.”

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How do you sell your embroidery work?

“I supply specialised Goldwork threads to the Royal School Of Needlework and have recently began selling my work on Etsy (The Olde Sewing Room). I also sell my work privately through personal connections and Instagram.”

Humayrah Khan Les Petits Bonheurs portrait The French Muse

What is your favourite corner in your house?

“My room has to be my favourite place in my home. It is where I can escape from the chaotic world, it is my prayer room, a room to get together with family and friends and The Olde Sewing Room.”

Humayrah Khan Les Petits Bonheurs portrait The French Muse

How has social media changed the way you create / connect with other creatives?

“I feel social media has changed me by enabling me to express emotions and thoughts through embroidery. It has also allowed me to make some lifelong connections with artists from across the world. I find it incredible that people who live on opposite sides of the world can be brought together through a mutual love for art.”
Humayrah Khan Les Petits Bonheurs portrait The French Muse

Antiscians (n.) People who live on opposite sides of the world, “whose shadows at noon are cast in opposite directions”

Humayrah Khan Les Petits Bonheurs portrait The French Muse

 For more information you absolutely must check out Humayrahs Instagram and Etsy store The Olde Sewing Room.

Callot Soeurs and la Belle Epoque

I just had to share the most delicious feature from the New Yorker by Jessamyn Hatcher about the discovery of a wonderful cache of twenty one Callot Soeurs dresses which lay forgotten in a pile of Louis Vuitton steamer trunks in a store-room of a fifteenth-century Florentine villa.

This wonderful feature brings to life these exquisite time forgotten dresses, once owned by Hortense Mitchell Acton and created by the belle époque French haute-couture designers Callot Soeurs.

Twenty One dresses, Callot Soeurs New Yorker

“The gowns are in good condition for garments this old. But the diversity of the materials Callot Soeurs employed makes them challenging to preserve. The sequins on two dresses are plagued by “inherent vice”—a degradation of cellulose nitrate. These gowns appear to be melting. Another was stored beneath a dress afflicted with “glass-bead disease.” The chemicals in the beads leached into the mauve fabric of the other dress, ringing it with nebulas faded to magenta. On yet another, tiny satin rosebuds are tearing the tulle hem that they hang from. Most of the gowns are suffering from “memory”—the technical term for wrinkles left in garments by repeated wear.”

Twenty One dresses, Callot Soeurs New Yorker

“Clothing is different from most other kinds of objects in museums. Garments never lose the imprint of the body that was once inside them; indeed, the chemical reactions between the materials of the garments and the wearer’s body are ongoing. Perspiration, even from a long-ago dance in a Tuscan garden, may continue a hundred years later to oxidize metallic thread, to alter the molecular structure of a fabric.”

Twenty One dresses, Callot Soeurs New Yorker

“Madeleine Vionnet, one of the most influential and radical designers of the twentieth century, was the sisters’ head seamstress. She ranked them higher than the self-proclaimed King of Fashion, Paul Poiret. “Without the example of the Callot Soeurs,” Vionnet said, “I would have continued to make Fords. It is because of them that I have been able to make Rolls-Royces.””

Twenty One dresses, Callot Soeurs New Yorker

Read more of the beautiful feature here

I loved her seductive descriptions of the toll that time takes on these beautiful dresses – ‘“inherent vice” and “glass-bead disease” – I’ve finally found a diagnosis for my antique textile affliction.

Callot evening gown

Callot Soeurs, evening gown, circa 1926, France, Gift of Mr. Alexander J. Cassatt. Callot was one of the finest Parisian couture houses of the early 20th century. One of about 50 items that will be on display in an exhibit next fall, thanks to a gift from the Richard C. von Hess Foundation. Photo by Michael J. Shepherd. Read more here. 

Callot Soeurs Met museum

Detail of blouse, 1905-15 | detail of evening dress by Callot Soeurs, 1910-14 both from The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Antique wallpaper

My latest obsession…hand printed antique wallpaper. I blame Corey Amaro, I was visiting her and she uttered the fateful words, “I think I might have something you would like”, and as she unrolled the paper my pulse quickened and I left with four rolls tucked under my arm (I later used them in my pop up shop).

Antique wallpaper

Last week I hung a few of my favourite rolls on the wall of my atelier, adding gorgeous pops of colour and pattern to inspire me and the sneak peek was picked up by Grace Bonney of Design Sponge, as part of her hashtag challenge #DSwallpaper. It seems that wallpaper is on everyones mind!

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Antoinette Poisson

On one particularly fruitful days online scavenge for morsels of antique wallpaper I came across a reference to Antoinette Poisson, a Parisian interiors atelier named after the 18th century courtesan Madame de Pompadour. Located on Place de la Bastille. Their beautiful store specialises in handprinted wallpapers which are sold by the sheet or made to order.I would LOVE to visit their studio and watch them work.

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The story goes that their namesake, Antoinette Poisson Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, the Marquise de Pompadour, mistress of Louis XV, was a patron of the decorative arts and a great lover of wallpaper – then all the rage in the middle of the 18th century.

Antoinette Poisson

“Dominos reached the height of their popularity in the mid-1700s,” notes Jean-Baptiste Martin, one of Antoinette Poisson’s three founders. He and his partners, Vincent Farelly and Julie Stordiau, met as graphic-arts-conservation students in Paris in 2002. After graduating, they joined different preservation studios, and while working on residential projects across Europe, they all reached the same conclusion: Original dominos were an endangered species, and reproductions were in short supply. So in 2012 the friends reunited to form Antoinette Poisson—adopting the middle and maiden names of the 18th-century doyenne of decorative arts Madame de Pompadour.” Read more on Architectural Digest

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“Of the 14 patterns in the firm’s portfolio, four are reproductions and four are reimaginings of historic dominos; the rest are the trio’s own inventions. “The first layer of each design is the outline printed in black,” explains Martin, who, along with Farelly, handles the carving of the blocks. “Then the colors are either hand-stenciled or hand-painted on top.” The results are purposely far from uniform. “You can really see the hand of the painter,” Martin says. “And we welcome the imperfections. They give the papers their charm.” antoinettepoisson.com and johnderian.com”

Antoinette Poisson House & Garden

Antoinette Poisson

antoinette poisson

Jean-Baptiste Martin, Vincent Farelly and Julie Stordiau, the founders of Antoinette Poisson who met as graphic-arts-conservation students in Paris in 2002.

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antoinette poisson

Antoinette Poisson

antoinette poisson

Antoinette Poisson

Image credits:  House & Beautiful, A Gent of Style

Porcelain. It seems my inspiration this week echoes the pureness of the landscape around me, everything blanketed in snow, clean, blinding, beautiful.

First up, this video of Sergei Polunin’s improvised dance to “Take Me To Church” by Hozier (directed by David LaChapelle) just blew me away, it is incredibly beautiful – wow!

I also loved the beautiful floral detailing on the Alexander McQueen SS15 collection,  the collection borrowed from the attire of geishas and samurai warriors, obviously reinvented in a typical McQueen way to allow traditions and history to mix and combine with sensual, erotic and disturbing moods pointing towards the horror in beauty/beauty in horror dichotomy.

delicate flowers blooming on the bodices of Sarah Burton's Spring Summer 2015 collection for Alexander McQueen.

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The McQueen team also drew on inspiration from Victorian Floral Still Life for the Alexander McQueen Pre-SS15 Menswear

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I read so much about Weiwei’s Alcatraz exhibition, there was so much beauty in this exhibition but I found these images of his ‘blossom’ series the most moving.

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Marc Quinn Etymology of Desire, 2010. Alexander McQueen SS15 showByzCKEVCUAAwgMc

Ai Weiwei’s used porcelain in his “Blossom” pieces which he displayed in the hospital ward of Golden Gate National Recreation Area’s Alcatraz Island. Weiwei placed these beautiful and delicate porcelain blossoms in the sinks, toilet and bathtubs inside each cell.

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“The misconception of totalitarianism is that freedom can be imprisoned. This is not the case. When you constrain freedom, freedom will take flight and land on a windowsill.”

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Wow the way their voices connect and resonate is soothing me while I try (and mostly fail) to take photographs on this dark, wet, November day

Lay Low by Shovels & Rope