Fabric Safari In Montmarte…

Montmarte is a fascinating area of Paris and it also is a major fabric shopping center and so we were naturally attracted to the area. Montmarte is a bit of a hike from where we were staying in the 8 ème Arrondissement but we were able to easily travel there via the Paris Metro.

Our first stop was Les Coupons de Saint Pierre, a stop that was purely by chance- yep, we were taken in by the window displays. 🙂 A note about fabric shopping in France- much of the fabric is sold in the form of coupons which are 3-meter pieces (usually) and in fact, this seems to be the predominant method of selling and many stores only sell fabric this way. However, one can find places that sell by the meter. Les Coupons is one of those places that only sell by the coupon; for our purposes this can be an issue since we usually need dress lengths for our fabric.

Next, we took a look at Marché Saint Pierre, one of the largest fabric stores in Montmarte. Featuring six floors of fabrics and notions, this is a good place to start your fabric search. Unfortunately for us, there was really nothing that stood out as a “must-have” but if we lived locally, this would definitely be a “go-to” fabric store.

Image result for marche saint pierre fabric

We then found these interesting fabrics in red, copper/bronze, and blue-green at La Folie des Tissues:

Finally, we found this exquisite silk lampas at Karin Sajo Collection:

This store is small but features an exquisite selection of specialty fabrics that will work for a variety of projects. It’s not cheap but it’s definitely worth it. 🙂 Finally, just for completeness, we also visited several specialty shops outside of Montmarte but they had nothing that was practical for what we do.

So how’s the fabric shopping in Paris? Overall, from our brief visit, it seemed that there wasn’t as great a selection as we found in London and what we did come across had a limited selection outside of the more common fabrics that one can find anywhere in the world. I suspect that there’s probably a lot of specialty shops that we missed and so we’ll certainly be more alert on our next trip- there has to be more out there, especially given that Paris is the center of haute couture.  🙂 Au revoir!

Back From Paris!

After an 11-hour flight, we’ve finally arrived home from Paris. It was a magical time but like all such things, they must come to an end and so we’re back in LA. Ironically, we purposely scheduled this trip for February figuring that all the winter weather would minimize the number of tourists but it seemed that the weather was far more pleasant in Paris than LA, believe it or not! In fact, while we were gone, it was threatening to snow in LA, something that is almost completely unheard of. Go figure…

Just some of the swag….

The food and the shopping were magnificent, along with all the museums- Paris is definitely one of the cultural centers of the world. We had created a long list of places that we wanted to visit but unfortunately, as with all such things, our reach exceeded our grasp so we weren’t able to see it all and that only means that we’ll have to come back again. And just to whet your appetites, below is a small preview of some of the fabulous fabrics that we brought back- we look forward to transforming them into various confections for our clients. 🙂

Stay tuned for more!

Our Latest Visit to the V&A Museum

One of the high points of any trip to London is spending a little time visiting the V&A Museum and this past visit was no exception. What was a real stand-out for us this time was viewing some textiles and garments from South Asia. Here’s just a few examples:

This one is a chintz dating from the 18th Century which was essentially a glazed cotton print fabric that was originally made in India. This fabric was exported to England in quantity and it quickly caught on as a fashion fabric to the point where manufacturers in England was producing cheap knock-offs. The fabric was used to make this waistcoat from circa 1770-1775:

Waistcoat, c. 1770-1775; V&A Museum (IS.20-1976)

And here’s a close-up of one of the buttonholes:

This mantle/cape was also interesting:

Unfortunately, we were unable to find out more about it- there wasn’t any sort of card explaining it (or we might have just missed it). Here’s another interesting dress:

Unfortunately, all I could get was the side profile. Here are some other views I obtained from the V&A Museum website:

Gown, c. 1770s, reworked 1790s; V&A Museum (IS.3-1948)

Most of these fabrics were prints, although there was also a few that were embroidered such as this one:

And of course, we visited the regular costume collection… 🙂 In particular, the this Salvador Dali-inspired dress by Schiaparelli caught our eye:

And of course, we had to hit the bookstore:

This barely scratched the surface of what’s there at the V&A and we learn something new every time we go. For a little more, check out this post and this post.  If you’re in London, the V&A is definitely worth a visit. 🙂