Lightning visit to Paris October 08 2013, 2 Comments
Astier de Villatte Ceramics
I haven’t been to the fabric show Premiere Vision in Paris for years, as I get Pazuki fabrics specially woven and do all my own prints, but when Camilla Ridley of Milliemanu said, do you want to come for the day? I immediately said yes. We hadn’t had a good chat for ages, so although sleepily getting into the car at 4am, we embarked on an intense chattathon that kept us wide awake from Barnes to Luton and then to the exhibition for a 9am start. First stop is always the forum in Hall 6, where selected fabric swatches from all the manufacturers are grouped in themes. There were large blocks of colour on boards and everyone sat around watching a film. I was encouraged to see many of the inspirational photos were not far from some creative avenues I have been down recently. Amazing how we all tune in to the same stuff.
We popped in to say hello to companies we knew of old, including Bouton Renaud who weave beautiful narrow width jacquard velvet on old looms in Lyon; Johnstons of Elgin from whom Camilla buys tweed and whose cashmere socks I happened to be wearing, (and always am wearing and can’t get enough of as they make your feet feel divine); and lovely to see Jamie, still at Henry Bertrand the London silk supplier. Camilla mainly uses Liberty prints for her childrenswear, so we had a good look at their new designs, as ever beautifully coloured and printed. Although I was an early convert to digital and bought my own printer around 2000, I still love and appreciate the art of screen printing. A new Eastern European supplier for Milliemanu boys’ shirt fabric had the most expertly screen printed geometrics using fine mesh screens. It was a joy to see such high quality fabrics from both these companies.
After a quick wizz around Modamont , that has every zip, button or trim you could possibly wish for, we decided we had got enough ideas and were magnetically pulled to travel down to Paris for a late lunch. “We cannot not go into Paris”, we both wailed. Emerging from the metro at Chatelet we dived into the first appealing brasserie we saw and ate piles of salad. Strolling down the Rue St. Honore we felt quite nostalgic for all the years we both used to show at the accessories show Premiere Classe, in a long tent in the Tuileries gardens. There were some striking shop fronts: Chantal Thomas, Roger et Gallet, Penhaligon and beautiful decorative table-ware store, Astier de Villatte -a shop with décor after my own heart, in its original state with old wallpaper, as if we were back centuries. We trudged around the famous store Colette, totally packed out as it’s one of the destinations for the fashion crowd here for PV, and pawed all the top designer gear.
Back down the metro to St.Paul to meander around the Marais district, we were so tuned in to the trends, we noticed every doorway was painted next season’s Plum, Green, Burgundy, Cobalt and Midnight Blue. Congratulating ourselves on how brilliantly we were doing on 4 hours sleep and how much we had done, we decided dinner at Chez Janou around the corner from Place des Vosges would be nice. Camilla had a large steak and I had moules, then we dashed for the 9.45 plane and just made it, back home at 11pm. What a great day. We’ve decided day trips are the way to go, to have a change of scene and get inspired.
1. Chantal Thomas
2. Roger et Gallet
3. Astier de Vallette
Eclair Shop in Marias
Moules and Steak
Seats on Metro
Jamin Puech bags in Marais