Monday, August 29, 2011

A Trip to the Paris Antiques Flea Market

Yesterday morning I woke up early to go to the Marche Puces Porte Vanves, Paris Antiques Flea Market. I was looking forward to going all week and was excited about what treasures I could find for my jewelry. This antique market stretches along two main streets and offers everything from vintage furniture to dishes and silverware.

After strolling along the first strip, I came upon one lady who was selling sewing and jewelry supplies. As I started looking through the boxes of supplies that she was selling, I realized that I had come upon something very special. The lady who owned the stall then explained that the supplies were from Christian Lacroix's atelier. She had bought a bunch of the supplies when the atelier had closed down after going bankrupt. After hearing this, I was in heaven. Christian Lacroix is easily one of my top three favorite Couture designers. As my boyfriend was with me, I couldn't spend hours going through all the boxes so I will be going back next weekend by myself! I did find a magnificent gold filigree round 16mm bead that the lady who owned the stall ended up giving to me for free! I think she realized how excited I was to find her treasures! Can't wait to return this weekend and spend some time going through all her boxes of supplies!

The market is very interesting for browsing and treasure hunting. There were vintage Hermes scarves, Chanel bags, and Lanvin shoes. The fabric stalls with old embroideries were also very interesting, and old textile sample squares that had been matted and framed ready to hang on my wall! If only I could win the lottery!!!

I found some sparkling old chandelier glass drops that would be great for Christmas decorations! There were interesting pieces everywhere I looked, including old stamping blocks and beautiful ribbons.

Overall, this market is a great way to spend your Sunday mornings. Some of the vendors do start packing up as early as 11:30am so make sure you get there early!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Day in Montmartre

Today I went for a little walk around Montmartre. I originally went to have a look in the fabric shops there, but once I got there I saw that they were all shut down and under construction. I am not sure if they are closed for good, or will re-open. As I couldn't get my fabrics I wanted, I decided to take a little walk around the area! I always love going to Montmartre, even though I get harassed by the many guys trying to sell bracelets and bags and get followed by the girls begging for money, it is still worth the trip!

I love walking around the little cobblestone streets behind Sacre Coeur that are full of life! Artists show their paintings and there are many galleries in the area that are also worth seeing. The Dali museum is a great one to see that is full of jewelry!

There are lots of picturesque places to stop for a bite to eat that sell crepes and baguettes. There is also a restaurant tucked away down a little street that has a huge tree growing right through the middle of it! It reminds me of a place that I once went to on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia! I will definitely have to go back for lunch with my boyfriend one day! Overall, today was a good "tourist" day even though I came home without fabric!

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Needle Pulling Thread Article #2

Pick up your copy of "A Needle Pulling Thread Magazine" at your bookstore!! Below is a preview of my article in this month's publication all about couture embroidery. This is the second article in a series of three that I wrote for the magazine. What are you waiting for!?? Go get your copy today!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Secret Lives of Dresses

Just finished reading this great book titled "The Secret Lives of Dresses," by Erin McKean. It is about a girl who goes back to her old town to take over her grandmother's vintage clothing shop while she is taken ill. She trades her boring clothes for vintage glamor sold at the shop, and soon discovers that her grandmother has been writing stories to accompany every dress she sells.

This book is an easy read, perfect to take along on a summer vacation. I loved the idea of each piece of clothing having its own story and memories. If your clothing could tell a story, what would it say???... and do you believe that the right dress could change your life?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Hussein Chalayan- Recits de Mode

This week I decided to go over the the Musee Les Arts Decoratifs in Paris to check out the Hussein Chalayan exhibition. After waiting in a short line to get into the museum, I bought my ticket, climbed the stairs and opened the door into the exhibit. Walking into the space, I needed to take a moment to let my eyes get accustomed to the extremely low lighting. As I wandered into the exhibition, I saw glass boxes attached to the walls which housed the designs behind them.

Personally, I was a little disappointed in the exhibit since all of the garments were behind glass with very little lighting, it was hard to really see the pieces properly. Of course, some of the pieces needed to be in the dark as the patterns were projected onto the white fabrics of the dresses, and some had laser beams shooting out of the designs. The dresses that didn't need the dark should have been in a different space with more lighting! I am usually interested in seeing the textures and stitches in the fabrics, but there was no way I could get close enough to see them.... I should have brought a flashlight!

Born in Nicosia in 1970, Hussein moved to London as a child. He earned his degree from Central Saint Martins College in 1993 and began to develop his distinctive style. Chalayan stood out from the start of his career through his highly inventive uses of various mediums, including sculpture, furniture, video and special effects. He uses these processes in his fashion shows, drawing inspiration directly from the political, social and economic times of his era.

I did enjoy the way he manages to make the clothes transform into things other than what they seem. The clothes are mechanical and are able to move by remote control on the runway. It brings a whole new meaning to the saying "a change of clothes!"

The Hussein Chalayan exhibit is on until November 13. There is more information on the Les Arts Decorative website.

Daphne Guinness Couture

Style icon, Daphne Guinness is set to open an exhibition of her couture collection this September. The museum at FIT will host Daphne's extraordinary collection of pieces from such designers as Alexander McQueen, Chanel and Nina Ricci. I was lucky enough to photograph Daphne a few times at Paris Couture Week, and her outfits never disappoint!

Daphne Gunniess' devotion to wearing couture, and being a muse to Karl Lagerfeld makes her a true style icon. She truly appreciates the work of the couture houses and the craft that goes into each handmade piece. She has famously said, “We need better things, not more. We should not pollute the world with meaningless, unused things when we can make and support things of rare and precious beauty.”

The exhibition will run from September 16 through January 7, 2012. You can find more details at the FIT website. The exhibition will feature approximately 100 garments and accessories from Guinness’s personal collection, plus films, videos, and images, of and by her. This is just yet another reason for me to visit New York! I guess I better go book my ticket... Paris to New York!!!

*photos courtesy of FIT

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Air Raid

In Paris, on the first Wednesday of every month you will hear the sounds of air raid sirens going. The first goes at noon, then another one is followed at 12:10pm They test these sirens every month to make sure they are in working order. France would use these sirens in an event to warn of dangers, like industrial spills, nuclear accidents or terrorist attacks. It is pretty scary to hear these if you don't know what or why they are going! The first time I heard them, I wondered what on earth was going on!! Today, the sirens went at exactly 12 noon, so I grabbed my camera and took a video looking out my window. This is just a small clip to show what the air raids sound like.