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Posts Tagged ‘Independent Brand’

WARMI: Handmade Knits from the Homeland

WARMI-jaguar-sweater

Snugly stylish sweaters are the most wanted items in a wardrobe. Without them, you may as well spend the winter in bed. That’s why I dream not of sparkly jewels or wads of cash but of owning an army of grannies who send me a steady supply of gorgeous handmade knits from November through March (yes, it’s that cold in Paris).

Turns out my fantasy isn’t all my own. Sylvia Toth, a Columbian designer who moved to Paris eight years ago, dreamed up a way to battle the bitter winter months by hiring a gang of knitters from her homeland. Lucky for us, she shares the handcrafted gems through WARMI, her artisanal fashion label.

Red-sweater
Launched in 2008, WARMI is a Franco-Columbian brand that blends contemporary style with indigenous craftsmanship. Each collection is designed by Toth in Paris then produced in a remote mountainous village in Northern Columbia by a cooperative of women weavers. Though you’d think the name was just a funky new diminutive for “warm,” WARMI means “woman” in Quechua, one of the last living indigenous languages of the Andean region.

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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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Meet Maïa: Your Personal Porcelain Painter in Paris

portrait-maiai-piano1

Photos by Fabrice Fortin and Nicholas Calcott for Paris By Appointment Only™

It’s funny how a deep childhood frustration can become a creative manifesto later in life. Case in point: Maïa, the Paris-based porcelain painter. As a kid, she tried every night to decorate the table with her family’s finest, only to be told to return it to the cupboard for the everyday stuff.

Now, not only does Maïa set the table with beautiful, eye-popping designs whenever she likes, she’s made it her business to make sure that others do too!

porcelain-tea-set

“It’s a democratic way of bringing art into the home and a touch of fantasy to the table,” says the first-name-only artist who found a way to bridge the dishware divide between fabulous and functional by fusing the two in one.

Maïa started ten years ago with a teacup, and now hand paints everything from jars and dishes to bowls, vases and tea sets on porcelain made by one of the last remaining artisanal factories in Limoges, France.

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