Made In Paris

Dis­cover the fash­ions cre­ated right here in the heart of the French cap­i­tal

Where Paris - - Contents - By Pa­tri­cia Val­i­centi

Bustling bistros, dig­ni­fied bou­tiques, mar­vel­lous mon­u­ments and pic­tureper­fect set­tings are all part of the fa­mil­iar face of Paris that emerges to the eye, but be­hind quite a num­ber of fa­cades an­other story is be­ing played out. Right in the French cap­i­tal metal is be­ing melted, leather is be­ing tooled, gem­stones are be­ing set and sil­ver is be­ing smithed for the French cap­i­tal is stud­ded with work­shops, stu­dios, man­u­fac­tures and even a fac­tory. And in ad­di­tion to the es­tab­lished houses and ar­ti­sans there is room for the new as well with a host of man­u­fac­tures and work­shops and young cre­ators emerg­ing on the Made in Paris land­scape. The old­est of them all is La Mon­naie de Paris, the mint, which was cre­ated in 864 and has been mint­ing coins for the past 1150 years and is to­day con­sid­ered to be the last fac­tory in Paris. It has been lo­cated on the Left Bank right on the Seine in a pala­tial build­ing since the 18th cen­tury and has just re-opened af­ter six years of ex­ten­sive ren­o­va­tions and re­fur­bish­ments and is now known as 11 Conti-Mon­naie de Paris. The site was given the Liv­ing Her­itage la­bel, a mark of recog­ni­tion of the French state es­tab­lished to re­ward French firms for the ex­cel­lence of their tra­di­tions and know-how, in 2011 and here metal is worked, smelted, chased and

gilded. Vis­i­tors can dis­cover the trea­sures in the man­u­fac­ture’s col­lec­tions as well as the work­shops of the mint where some 150 crafts­men are at work mint­ing dec­o­ra­tive, art and col­lec­tor coins, medals and dec­o­ra­tions. The site also hosts tem­po­rary con­tem­po­rary art ex­hi­bi­tions, events and per­for­mances and houses a bou­tique, a café and a gas­tro­nomic res­tau­rant.

Weavers and dye-mak­ers have been en­trenched in Paris since at least the 17th cen­tury and to­day the crafts carry on in their his­toric Go­belins site where the arts and crafts­men of the state-owned Mo­bilier Na­tional and the Man­u­fac­tures des Go­belins, de Beau­vais et de la Savon­nerie con­tinue to weave fine ta­pes­tries and make dyes, mainly for the state and state gifts. It all be­gan back in the 15th cen­tury when Je­han Go­belin cre­ated a dye works in what is now the 13th ar­rondisse­ment of Paris where the un­der­ground Bièvre River flowed, re­puted for its dye­ing and colour­ing prop­er­ties. In the 17th cen­tury King Henry IV es­tab­lished tapestry work­shops in build­ings rented from the de­scen­dants of the Go­belin dy­ers and the man­u­fac­tory would be­come a lead­ing cen­tre of fine tapestry pro­duc­tion. Dur­ing the reign of Louis XIV gold­smiths, metal smiths and cab­i­net­mak­ers were also in­stalled in­side the Go­belins. To­day, the tapestry man­u­fac­ture has a staff of 30 and 15 looms turn­ing out be­tween six and seven pieces an­nu­ally. Guided tours of the tapestry weav­ing work­shops are held on Tues­days, Wed­nes­days and Thurs­days at 1pm for which it is best to book in ad­vance. There is also a gallery on the site host­ing tem­po­rary ex­hi­bi­tions

Known as the jew­eller to the queens, the fam­ily-owned house of Mel­le­rio dits Meller has sup­plied jew­ellery to the Euro­pean courts since the time of Marie de’ Medici. To­day, Lau­rent Mel­le­rio rep­re­sents the youngest of the 14th gen­er­a­tion of the fam­ily at the helm of the house, which is just over 400 years old and is pos­si­bly the old­est jew­ellery house in ac­tiv­ity in the world. Spe­cial­ists in high qual­ity gem­stones and made to mea­sure pieces, the house’s jew­ellery cre­ations, in­clud­ing the high jew­ellery col­lec­tions, are still wrought to­day in their work­shops in the heart of Paris above the bou­tique on Rue de la Paix and where on a daily ba­sis the fash­ion­ing of pieces for the col­lec­tions, for spe­cial or­ders, for unique pieces, re­pairs and trans­for­ma­tions, are un­der­way in much the same way as they have been for gen­er­a­tions.

Sil­ver­smith Ni­co­las Marischael has been cre­at­ing fine pieces in his Parisian stu­dio for over 15 years now. He is the cus­to­dian of a savoir-faire that has been handed down through three gen­er­a­tions. The in­tense knowhow of gold and sil­ver smithing with chas­ing, weld­ing at the forge and en­grav­ing has been per­pet­u­ated by the fam­ily since 1924, with the Marischael Or­fèvre-Paris house pos­sess­ing the EPV la­bel, En­treprise du Pat­ri­moine Vi­vant (Liv­ing Her­itage la­bel). Ni­co­las Marischael joined the fam­ily es­tab­lish­ment in 1981 when the house’s work­shops were still lo­cated in the Marais. To­day, his work­shop and show­room, fre­quented by col­lec­tors, mu­seum rep­re­sen­ta­tives, antique deal­ers and in­di­vid­u­als on a quest for state-of-the-art restora­tions and fine con­tem­po­rary pieces, is found be­neath the lofty arches of the Via­duc des Arts.

Paris was his­tor­i­cally a per­fume-mak­ing cen­tre with the per­fumers gen­er­ally lo­cated be­tween the Pont des Arts and the Pont Neuf. And nearby right on the Quai du Lou­vre, a small, lux­ury house of per­fume-mak­ing has been es­tab­lished by Chan­tal Sanier, not far from those per­fumers of yore. Her

Odeur de Sain­teté, mean­ing scents of sanc­tity, per­fumes re­new with the tra­di­tions of old-fash­ioned per­fume-mak­ing be­fore syn­thetic mol­e­cules ar­rived on the hori­zon and so she elab­o­rates her per­fumes us­ing only ex­tracts of aro­matic plants harken­ing back to the per­fumes that were pro­duced hun­dreds of years ago. The nine fra­grances of Odeur de Sain­teté have evoca­tive names like Marie Madeleine (Mary Mag­da­lene) or Etat de Grâce (State of Grace) and are bot­tled in blown glass flasks, which are made of am­ber glass that is used for medic­i­nal prepa­ra­tions for the com­po­si­tions must not be ex­posed to light. The house has a ded­i­cated bou­tique in the Palais Royal but you can also make an ap­point­ment at the per­fumer’s work­shop on the Quai du Lou­vre.

Stéphanie Dey­dier has been fash­ion­ing one of a kind jew­els in Paris since 2010. Work­ing with pre­cious ma­te­ri­als in her stu­dio in the heart of the Marais on Rue du Tem­ple, she draws her in­spi­ra­tion from her trav­els around the world, notably to Asia. Af­ter study­ing law, art his­tory and gem­mol­ogy she be­gan her work­ing ca­reer in 2007 in Christie’s jew­ellery de­part­ment. Di­a­monds, ru­bies, tour­ma­lines, sap­phires and aqua­marines seem­ingly come to life in her cre­ations. Among the unique pieces one finds in her Leg­ends of Yazhou col­lec­tion is a neck­lace with 20 strands of fresh wa­ter pearls held to­gether by two Bud­dhas in onyx en­cir­cled with di­a­monds while vi­o­let sap­phires pave a fan brooch en­hanced with a pear-shaped green flu­o­rite, the lu­mi­nous stone that gave its name to the phe­nom­e­non of flu­o­res­cence.

For ul­ti­mate chic, a wed­ding dress made in the heart of Paris can be found in a stu­dio/bou­tique tucked away in the 10th ar­rondisse­ment of the city. The Mai­son Floret has been fash­ion­ing fine wed­ding dresses for a flour­ish­ing three years now and the de­signer, Si­donie Floret works with care­fully se­lected aris­tocratic fab­rics and ma­te­ri­als like Calais lace, jac­quard and Mikado silk. Two ap­point­ments are es­sen­tial for a unique wed­ding dress to emerge with the ini­tial visit an op­por­tu­nity to dis­cover the var­i­ous styles and to de­fine the shapes and fab­rics for the dress, while the sec­ond is for tak­ing mea­sures and de­ter­min­ing the mod­i­fi­ca­tions. These are fol­lowed by two fit­ting ses­sions and you need to al­low six months for a piece that is al­ready in the col­lec­tion and at least 8 months for a unique piece.

The milliner house of Poupard & De­lau­nay has a work­shop and show­room in the el­e­gant Batig­nolles neigh­bour­hood of Paris. The house per­pet­u­ates a unique an­ces­tral know-how dat­ing back to the end of the 18th cen­tury when a cer­tain Napoleon Bon­a­parte pur­chased his fa­mous bi­corn hat fash­ioned by Poupard. Poupard & De­lau­nay was born in 1811 and in 2013 the Lan­glois fam­ily de­cided to give the house a new im­pe­tus while re­main­ing faith­ful to the house’s savoir-faire and craft tra­di­tions. The house’s par­tic­u­lar­ity is that its cre­ations are num­bered and brought out in a lim­ited se­ries of 10 pieces, and for the ul­ti­mate in exclusive, the house does made-to-mea­sure pieces.

A closely guarded and new se­cret is found in north­ern Paris in the shoe­mak­ing work­shop of Ate­lier du Tranchet, tranchet be­ing the French word for a skiv­ing knife, the tool that is es­sen­tial for cut­ting leather. Christophe Corthay sculpts shoes for men while Christophe Al­gans sculpts shoes for women, all made-to-mea­sure. The shoes at Ate­lier du Tranchet are fash­ioned from the finest of ma­te­ri­als, python and croc­o­dile, whose ori­gins are strictly con­trolled and an en­tire skin or hide is used for a sin­gle pair of shoes, and the house’s pati­nas are suave, pow­er­ful and cap­ti­vat­ing. The tak­ing of mea­sure­ments and fit­tings are con­ducted ex­clu­sively by the two crafts­men with a made-to-mea­sure pair tak­ing any­where be­tween 6 to 9 months to be fash­ioned.

The Edgar wed­ding dress from the 2018 col­lec­tion by Mai­son Floret (op­po­site page) and the Charles hat in bordeaux wool felt with a turquoise band from Poupard & De­lau­nay (above)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from France

© PressReader. All rights reserved.