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Sep 2016

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Posts Tagged ‘Fabrice Fortin’

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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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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Treat Your Feet to Mr. Ho for the Best Paris Pedicure

Fuzzhead-illustration-fabrice-fortinIllustration by Fabrice Fortin for Paris By Appointment Only™

Monsieur Ho is to feet as Yves Saint Laurent was to fashion—worshiped by his clients and envied by his rivals as a master of his medium.  For the last three decades his name has been passed secretly from one glamorous parisienne to another as the best pedicurist in town. None other than La Deneuve, France’s most famous and demanding diva, is his number one fan.

“Many of my clients, like Madame Deneuve, have followed me since my beginning at Carita 27 years ago,” explains Ho, a discreet and soft-spoken man who cares for his word-of-mouth clientele in his own private salon near the Champs Elysées.

monsieur-ho-portrait

In French,  pedicure means something entirely different from your twenty-buck NYC pedi.  It’s a curative treatment that only a podiatrist can perform, while beauté des pieds refers to the typical scrub and polish you get at your average nail salon. Monsieur Ho is both podiatrist and esthetician, meaning he can cure your feet and make them look divine. In a city where fashionable (read: uncomfortable) shoes are de rigeur at every age, his services bring springs back into steps.

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