DICTIONARY OF PRODUCTS’ NAMES
PARIS FESTIVE COLLECTION
A key iconographic feature of the western repertoire, the palm has been present in the arts from ancient times to the 20th century. After the Empire period, which used it intensively and extensively, the Art Deco period then took it up again. The palm appeared embossed on textile designs and on gilded bronze and wood on a wide variety of pieces of furniture: cupboards, console tables, armchairs and other small pedestal tables.
A recurrent theme in the work of Matisse, the highest award at the Cannes Film Festival and a visual emblem that is characteristic of our French coastline, the palm has managed to stay in the spotlight. The “Palmette Art” printed velvet reinterprets it with a stylized version that symbolises exoticism and hedonism.
Behind the first Closerie des Lilas was one man, François Bullier, who in 1847, bought the Bal du Prado d’Eté which was in the Montparnasse district of Paris. In order to be able to rename it the Closerie des Lilas, which it was called when it first opened in 1804, he had over one thousand lilac bushes planted. Set in the middle of a lilac garden worthy of a scene from the Arabian Nights, with its cotillions, gas lamps and multi-colored garlands of lights, the Bal Bullier(meaning Bullier’s dance hall) became a regular and unavoidable event of the Parisian scene.
The atmosphere was there sometimes very controversial: besides the quadrille, the polka and the waltz, one of the fashionable dances, the cancan, caused a scandal because it involved the women pulling their skirts up to mid-calf level.
LUMIERES DE VILLE
The lights of Paris at night, a theme that captivated and still captivates writers, poets and painters. A theme they portray in their poems, their prose or on their canvasses. During the Roaring Twenties, the authors of the Lost Generation, such as Hemingway, made this simple, genuine panorama the basis for their inspiration. Because, as Ernest said, when you lack imagination, « what you should do is write one true sentence. The truest you know. »
In these shiny jade or amber copper laminations, the laminated velvet “Lumières de ville” (meaning “city lights”) tells of the halo cast by an old lamp post on to the paving stones, the brightness of the shop signs along the streets, the blaze from a historic building, the flagship Eiffel Tower, which sparkles with a thousand lights, or the flame of the Arc de Triomphe, burning under the famous arch. It celebrates the beauty of the city of light.
MARDI DE POESIE
“Poets and artists of every country, unite! » After this call from Paul Fort, the prince of poets, it was customary at La Closerie des Lilas, the famous café in Montparnasse in Paris, for poetry readings to be organized there every Tuesday. Writers and artists from all over the world juxtaposed their opinions and recited their verses before the assembled audience. At their height, the famous literary Tuesdays had an attendance of no less than two hundred men and women in the great hall on the ground floor.
LA CLOSERIE DES LILAS
From the early 20th century, the Closerie des Lilas café in the Montparnasse district, became the artistic epicentre for fashionable Paris high society, and the « black market of ideas », to use the Léon Paul’s allegory. This is where the champions of classicism, the lovers of surrealism, and the princes of cubism gave the Closerie its aristocratic credentials – a status that it still boasts today: Paul Fort, Modigliani, Beckett, Picasso, Jean-Paul Sartre, Paul Eluard, Lenin, Oscar Wilde, Man Ray, Josephine Baker (and her panther), and some two hundred others. There, between two absinthes, this swarm of artists leaning on the bistro’s bar or tables challenged everything and anything, discoursing in many different languages, exchanging absurd or grandiose verses and confidences about their improbable techniques, and rebuilding the world to match their excesses.
ESQUISSE AU MUR
Leading the bohemian lifestyle imposed on them by their art, the penniless early 19th century artists nevertheless assiduously frequented the famous cafés of Montparnasse. Fortunately for these unsuccessful poets and painters, if they could not pay their bill some bars accepted poems or sketches in payment. Consequently covered with a large collection of works, sometimes from floor to ceiling, the cafés in the neighbourhood gradually became fabulous improvised art galleries.
AU MONT DES MUSES
In the seventeenth century the Montparnasse district was an artificial hill where literary students were wont to go to recite their poetry. They called this mound « Mount Parnassus », referring to the mountain of the same name that overlooks the Greek city of Delphi, dedicated to the god Apollo and the nine Muses. The mound in Paris was finally razed a century later to make way for the current Boulevard Montparnasse.
The tourist invasion of Montmartre in the early 1900s, as well as the increase in prices that followed, was behind the rising popularity of the Montparnasse district. Pushed from the north to the south, the extension of the number 12 line from Pigalle in 1911 helped the penniless artists reach the new and promising district of Montparnasse. It offered studios at low rents and cheap cafés which encouraged sociability, emulation and support. Nicknamed the « Montparnos »(meaning the people from Montparnasse)they rapidly prospered there andintroduced their own particular creative and libertarian atmosphere.
LES BIJOUX DE MISTINGUETT
By the 20s the music hall had permanently replaced the café-concerts. People went to the Casino de Parisas they would go to the theatre. From 1918 and succeeding the great Gaby Deslis, Mistinguett, born Jeanne Bourgeois, became the new queen and forever marked the tradition of the French stage. Appearing on the covers of all the great Parisian journals, Mistinguett had Paris high society flocking to see her. Her songs “Ça c’est Paris” and “Mon Homme” (« That’s Paris » and « My Man ») became popular abroad enabling her to pursue a career in the United States, where she became Josephine Baker’s great rival. In 1925, she became the artistic director of the Moulin Rouge. A woman with inexhaustible energy, she continued to perform until she was 75. The satin “Les bijoux de Mistinguett” (meaning “Mistinguett’s jewellery”) draws on her exuberance. Mistinguett was known for her love of beautiful things, the thick fur collars she wore, the rows of shoes, beside which she enjoyed being photographed, and also the numerous pieces of jewellery with which she adorned her neck and arms.
The “Music-Hall” wall panel version of its counterpart fabric, “Les Bijoux de Mistinguett”. It depicts the rich and festive world of the music halls. Its jewellery design is a reference to the muse Mistinguett’s love of beautiful things: shoes, fur collars, and especially the many pieces of jewellery she wore.
From the Folies Bergères to the Casino de Paris, via the Moulin Rouge, Olympia, Alhambra and the Bobino, between 1890and1930 music halls were openingone after theother,primarily in what are now the 9th, 10th and 18tharrondissements of Paris. All neighbourhoods witha vibrantnightlife.Completelyreplacing thecafé-concerts, people starting going to theCasino deParisas they would to the theatre. In 1918and succeedingthe greatGabyDeslis, Mistinguett, born JeanneBourgeois, became the new queenof Paris society, forever markingthetraditionof theFrenchstage.
The “Music-Hall” panorama is the wallcovering version ofitscounterpart fabric, “Bijoux de Mistinguett”. It depictstherichand festiveworld of the musichalls.Itsjewellerydesignis a reference to the muse Mistinguett’s love ofbeautiful things: shoes, furcollars, and especially the many pieces of jewellery with which sheadorned herneck and arms.
REVE DE ROTONDE
The famous brasserie La Rotonde (meaning “the rotunda or roundhouse” at 105 Boulevard du Montparnasse in Paris was established in 1911 and quickly became an alternative to the very fashionable Closerie des Lilas. In its turn, it became one of the rallying points frequented by budding or famous painters, sculptors, writers, poets, models, art lovers, and Paris high society.
On 20 December 1927 an opening took place that the Montparnos could certainly not miss: the opening of the restaurant La Coupole (meaning “The Cupola”). With its huge room and thirty-three marble pillars, each decorated by an artist, its aim was to become the top restaurant in Montparnasse, and the new symbol of the Art Deco period, which at the time Paris society was fully embracing.
That day, the one thousand two hundred bottles of Mumm champagne were not enough to quench the thirst of some three thousand guests: the beautiful world of arts and letters, the fauna of the Paris nightlife and all the others, came to be amongst those that shine for a night.
CLES DE L’ARCHIPEL COLLECTION
Ocean Drive, the famous avenue in Miami, has been constantly talked about not only for having appeared in many films, but also and in particular for its large complex of hotels, built in the early twenties, in perfect Art Deco style. The road winds along the beaches of Miami Beach, offering those lucky enough to stay there a breathtaking view of the ocean.
The letter O in Ocean Drive has been printed in the silk to make this precious fabric a tribute to the iconic curves of the Art Deco period. The range is available in a pop arty color palette, revealing the heart and soul of the city’s historic architecture.
The Dry Tortugas are a small chain of islands, located a hundred kilometres to the west of the island of Key West. The eleven islands with their fine sandy beaches are just barely above sea level. The Dry Tortugas, contrary to what the name might suggest, has very few giant tortoises, but is in the spotlight because of its treasure trove – the coral reefs caused many shipwrecks during centuries past and so are famous for their legendary sunken treasure.
The “Dry Tortugas” jacquard with its textured yarn, the very tight weave and natural shades is reminiscent of the shells and octagonal scales of these old turtles that inhabit the coastlines of the equator and the Caribbean.
LE VOILE DE PAULINE
Pauline Hemingway, her maiden name being Pauline Pfeiffer, was the second wife of the very tumultuous Ernest Hemingway. The American author and leader of the Lost Generation married four times during his short life. However, Pauline symbolized the twelve years of his exotic interlude in his secret hideaway on the island of Key West, a key part of the tableau Ernest created for himself. She was a refined, gentle and discreet woman.
The Overseas Highway, or how mankind dreamed of walking on water. This is indeed the feeling the US route N°1 produces, which since 1912 has connected the Art Deco district of Miami with the Florida Keys. Extremely picturesque, the road offers the fortunate people taking it the possibility of playing leapfrog over the waves, as the road has no less than forty-two bridges that have to be crossed, hopping from island to island, before reaching the journey’s end: Key West.
Bahama Village is not in technically speaking a village, only a district on the island of Key West. As the settlers of European descent had requisitioned the most popular places on the island, such as White Head Street, the settlers of African origin, who arrived later, chose to settle in Bahama Village.
True town within the town, the Bahama Village neighbourhood can be distinguished by its festive atmosphere, its richly colored painted facades and Bahamian fabrics in a swarm of colors, tumbling around the windows and spread out in the marketplaces.
The “Miami Beach Architectural District”, better known under the name of the “Art Deco District”, contains the largest hotel complex dating from the 20s and 30s in the whole of the United States. These brightly colored and characteristically curved buildings are the legacy of the time Miami Beach was being developed and promoted as a Tropical Playground.
The “Miami Playground” printed velvet is dressed in pop colors, like the Art Deco district of Miami, and the small hexagonal design, repeated ad infinitum, symbolizes the tropical playground ready for any folly, in particular as regards architecture.
LA PECHE AUX EPONGES
Sponge fishing… a real athletic feat when swimmers had to dive several tens of meters deep to get their hands on the valuable yellow, spongy crustacean. Ernest Hemingway even tried it himself, and this type of fishing was one of the favourite activities on Key West, particularly in the nineteenth century, allowing the island to thrive for several decades.
“La pêche aux éponges” (meaning “sponge fishing”) is a cotton and viscose velvet flecked with specks of color in relief. Run your fingers over the satin hollows and velvet irregularities. Doesn’t it remind you of the feel of a sponge held in the hand and swollen with water giving a soft, porous feel?
It is not known whether Capucin, the little monkey in the Ernest Hemingway household on the island of Key West, was ever considered a real pet, but the legend continues. What we do know however is that the American author paid close attention to anything that – by making him either laugh or dream – might inspire him.
The printed velvet « Capucin » (meaning “Capuchin”) with its bright, decisive colors, retraces the career of the little thieving monkey in the colonial inspired gardens. A little monkey, sometimes revered, sometimes chased by the servant boys with blows from banana leaves, was certainly never short of humour. Just seeing his scoundrel’s face was enough…
Ernest Hemingway’s colonial house in Key West was also his craziest childhood dream. Up very early in the morning, he wrote from daybreak until lunch, when the sun reached its height. Then, when the atmosphere had become unbearable, he escaped with his clique of landlubbers for a trip to the Dry Tortugas, hunting for wrecks, snakes, or… fishing for sea sponges.
The term Conch, pronounced “conk” like its namesake shell, describes the natives of the Bahamas of European descent. The Conches populated the island of Key West from the early nineteenth century when immigration to America intensified. Today, the term is still used to refer to the natives, whereas newcomers are relegated to the nickname of « Freshwater Conches ».
Paco, the boy, only ever existed in Ernest Hemingway’s imagination. It was during his African safari in 1934, that the American author, leader of the Lost Generation, brought back two Black African statues, with coal black lines and richly colored clothing. Now a museum, the author’s colonial house, at 907 White Street, on the island of Key West, has retained the original decoration, and its two statues still adorn the entrance.
The satin « Paco’s suit » is inspired by the fabrics that decorated the painted statues brought back by the author – fabrics that have a touch of exoticism, are woven with silk yarn and dotted with refined details. It replicates the wealth of detail, the shimmer and vibrancy of the colors and the lustre of their satin texture.
The Calusa, which means « mighty men » in Native American, was a tribe of warrior Indians living along the coast of southwest Florida. This tribe had long inhabited in particular Florida Keys, off the coast of the state. The Spanish explorers led by Ponce de León discovered the islands in 1513, and at the same time met the tribe for the first time. As the Indian population was relatively hairless, it was said that any unusual hair growth was a sign of great power.
« Cayo Hueso » is the Spanish translation of the island of Key West. However, before the Spanish colonization, the island was inhabited by Native American tribes (including the Calusa people). The « Cayo Hueso » pattern is inspired by Indian art and its symbolism. Here is the sign of « Zia », representation of the sun and the four cardinal points. The natural composition, in cotton and linen, remindds of the traditional Indian weaving techniques.