Pretty fifties

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I’ve been quite angry at Galliera Museum (sorry, Palace) lately. Its last exhibitions, Paris Haute Couture and Alaïa, albeit beautiful, were also rather badly explained. And the very last one, Papier glacé was just plain advertising for Condé Nast (nice to look at, but I’d rather not pay for that). I felt really disappointed by the museum and it director, Olivier Saillard, who had given me some of my very favorite fashion exhibitions. Luckily, I went back to the palace to have a look at the latest exhibition, Les années cinquante (the fifties), and I feel much better now. Continue reading “Pretty fifties”

Stylish movie: Paris when it sizzles – 1964

Paris when it sizzles - Carlotta Stermaria title

Paris when it sizzles - Carlotta Stermaria opening credits

I was pretty sure I had seen every single one of fashion icon Audrey Hepburn “parisian” movies, but as it happens I had failed to watch Paris when it sizzles until now. Now I can see why it’s not her most famous : even Hepburn has shot in “so-so” movies. OK, maybe I’m exagerating there, but with its sketch-like scenes _ a writer and his secretary attempt to write a film scenario in three days _ and hectic plot, I found the movie pretty forgettable (plus, what with Hepburn always falling for much older men? annoying). Anyway, it doesn’t matter at all! The stylish movies section is not so much about cinema than it is about the outfits, and here especially those designed for Hepburn by Hubert de Givenchy. Now let’s see… Continue reading “Stylish movie: Paris when it sizzles – 1964”

Why do I sew?

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“Handmade clothes increase the feeling that they blend in with us, with our flesh, but also with them who, patiently, made them to fit us”

I’m currently reading Dressing, by Jane Sautière, and this sentence made me finally write this post. That’s it. That’s the reason why I sew. To find, beyond ready-to-wear’s anonymous clothes, something that would make one with me. That’s also the reason why I’m so fascinated by the notion of style (which is not all about clothes). To me, style is the material, clothing, litterary, or cinematographic signature of a personality. I’m not foolish enough to believe that elegant people are better than the others, but I’m nonetheless fascinated by the matter. I love the fact that a movie character’s wardrobe tells me so much about them that the scenario doesn’t even mention. It’s simply part of them.

While I’m not a fictional character, I always dreamt to have a costume that would tell everybody who I am. And to prove my uniqueness (and to satisfy my clothing demands), what’s better than sewing? Preferring the fit of a high-waisted skirt or, on the contrary, the ease of a flowing blouse, a flared skirt rather than a straight one… Beyond the notion of style, I think that sewing is paying attention to your body : looking at it, measuring it, adorning it, sometimes repairing it. Taking the time to think , to make, stitch by stitch (I enjoy the hand finishing), at our own pace, what will fit one’s body and one’s soul. A very special way to pay attention.