Tue 27
Sep 2016

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Posts Tagged ‘Artisanal’

The House of Haute Couture Sound

Fabrice-Fortin-Speaker-Illustration

Text by Alison Culliford*, illustration & photos by Fabrice Fortin

In a world of crashing bottle-banks and traffic noise, where we cocoon ourselves in our i-Pod bubbles, the revelation of superior sound can be a doors-of-perception experience.

When a stereo-buff friend took me to La Maison du Haut Parleur promising an extra-sensory treat, a visit to an opium den would not have had a more profound effect. We sat in the sweet spot on two directors’ chairs, and Monsieur Gest delicately placed the needle on a record. An oboe began its plaintive song; a cello answered and as the orchestra swelled the music resonated in our very bones.

Luxury-speakers

Closing your eyes, you are not just in the best concert hall in the world, but in the instrument itself.

Bruno Gest is a self-deprecating man, so much so that he would not be photographed for our feature. He has run La Maison du Haut Parleur for 34 years and is soon to retire, handing the business over to his associate Christian Robert and young employee Romain Aubry.

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Paris Umbrella Artisan Makes Showery Chic

Gold-rim-umbrella

I write about some pretty unusual talents on this blog, but couture umbrella maker just might be my rarest find yet. That’s why I’m letting Michel Heurtault, owner of the fabulous umbrella shop, Parasolerie Heurtault, tell the story behind his flabbergasting art.
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“I’ve been obsessed with umbrellas from the time I was three. I have no idea why, but I could spend hours breaking them apart and studying how they opened and closed. I collected all of the umbrellas I could find, and by the time I was eight I was repairing them for people in my neighborhood. Needless to say, my parents thought I was nuts.

Portrait-Heurtault
I moved from Toulon to Paris when I was eighteen and began working as a costume designer. I eventually opened my own company, Art ‘Scene, where I made costumes and corsets for film shoots, theatre productions as well as fashion houses such as Dior. I poured the most luxurious elements into my costumes.

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Intaglio: Artisan Printer Adds Twist to Tradition

Intaglio-Red-Card

Photos by Fabrice Fortin for Paris By Appointment Only™

You’d think that gorgeous paper goods would be extinct by now. But one of the amazing side effects of our plugged-in lifestyle is a renewed craving for objects that are pleasantly tactile and reassuringly permanent.

No better sign o’ the times is the rising success of Intaglio, an independent printing press based in Paris.

Printing-press-Paris

A couture paper company with the friendly appeal of a neighborhood candy store, Intaglio (which means ‘engraving’ in Italian) is owned by Stephan Le Sauter and his wife, Anne. Together the affable duo has turned the rare art of foil stamping (an inkless printing process that permanently presses pigment into paper using weight and heat) into stationery so sophisticated and stylish you wonder how you’ve ever lived without it!

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Valerie Sloan’s Sculpted Artisanal Jewels

Artisan-jewelry-display

Photos by Fabrice Fortin for Paris By Appointment Only™

Just like her distinct, handmade jewels, Valerie Sloan’s shoebox of a boutique is striking despite its diminutive size. Maybe it’s because there’s usually no one in it.

When she’s not upstairs with her slowly growing clientele, the former sculptor can be found downstairs in her atelier handcrafting new pieces for her couture bijoux collection.

Portrait-Valerie-Sloan

Looking for a way to transform her love of volumes and textures to a smaller, more manageable format, Sloan switched from sculpture to jewelry in 2000.

“Sculptors are often burdened by the weight and size of the objects. I quickly realized that I could continue making sculpted objects that were precious to me through jewelry,” says Sloan who opened her shop, Valslo, in early 2009.

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