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‘Les Calades Provençales’

France artisans

Hand-painted scarves in Aix-en-Provence

Renowned for its extraordinary fountains and talented favorite son, Cezanne; Aix-en-Provence manages a lovely blend of enchanting culture, vibrant youth and stimulating history.  But wait – the marketplace alone adds a huge dimension to the city, and the restaurants entice you at every bend in the road!  We arrived in Aix during the artisan craft fair, “Les Calades Provencales” and were able to meander along the stunning, tree-lined Cours Mirabeau to take in the original works of dozens and dozens of craftsmen and women.   

A quiet, personable potter demonstrated ease with his wheel.  Bright, hand-painted scarves drifted from canvas awnings.  With every turn of the head, we immersed ourselves in this treasury of talent – exotic jewelry, perfumes and ceramics, intricate wood creations and handsome textiles.

We stopped to chat – yes, in halting French but quite adequate – with a lovely young woman with a trés chic array of hand-crafted shoes and sandals.  The talented designer, Veronique Baron, epitomized the charming, soft-spoken French woman.

artisan fairs in france

The talented potter in Aixx

Born in la Drome, Veronique carries on the proud traditions of her father and grandfather.  Early on, she designed shoes in her father’s workshop.  After earning her degree in shoe design and practicing her talent with freelance work, Veronique realized her dream with the birth of  “Dans la garrigue”.  In the heart of a sunny pine forest, she creates each shoe and purse, piece by piece in her atelier (workshop).

Isn’t that kind of chance encounter one of the priceless rewards of travel?  In the midst of one of the most beautiful cities of France, we made this small connection that added immeasurably to our enjoyment of the artisan fair and the city itself.

Naturally, we needed some time to absorb our experiences and stopped at one of Aix’s many canopied cafes.  We capped our lovely adventure with delicious ham and cheese gallettes, salad and pichet of wine with a strolling guitarist to perfect our Aixoise moment.

Aix en Provence

Veronique’s hand-crafted shoes

We’d love to hear from you!

Copyright © 2005-2017, LuxeEuro, LLC.  All rights reserved.

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Italy, France – Travel Early and Often!

Duomo, Florence Italy

Charming cafes overlooking the magnificent Duomo

“Travel changes people. It broadens perspectives and teaches new ways to measure quality of life.”  Rick Steves

Florence, Italy.  The Duomo bells ring, at 7:45 a.m. –an unusual alarm clock that follows a warm evening with family in a room filled with vibrant students.  Through Jacksonville University in Florida, Leo’s sister and brother-in-law offer summer programs of art history, photography and painting in France and Italy.  We were fortunate to be included in the farewell dinner celebration for the end of their studies.

The student group of 15 young people, aglow with new experiences and the kind of relationships forged through sharing all things new, trade group photos and insider memories.  They may have an ever-so-small idea of the imprint they will carry with them from their sojourn in Italy.  The molecules of imagination have been stimulated.

The students gathered from Maine and Ohio, West Virginia and Florida.  They seem to recognize the unique privilege of participating in a life-changing program and summer.  Their families and friends will welcome home students who are different, who are better equipped and more motivated to dive off the board into the pool of possibilities life offers.

Florence Italy

“David” watches over the bustling Piazza della Signoria – the original David is in the Galleria dell’Accademia

We-are well beyond the clear-eyed face of youth but our ventures have been similar.  It IS never too late to learn, to set aside old fears and needs for security to pursue new roads of travel, learning, and culture.

Our mature eyes absorb the naked truth of Alpine ridges against the sky and the fickle faces of sunflowers turned away from the sun.  We exchange bonjours and ciaos with kind and interesting people. We see the pride enmeshed in each fine craft that has evolved from generations of artisan development.  Each adventure renews our feeling that we’ve just begun.

All of us feel the tumult in the world these days with so much suffering and displacement, adversarial politics, economic fears and ongoing security threats.  How easy it is to focus on the negative and even to let your fears guide your decisions about travel.

Annecy, France

Mountainous peaks hover over Lake Annecy

We can attest that travel so broadens your horizons that you re-gain your perspective and refresh your spirit to address challenges that lie ahead.

We’d love to hear from you!

Copyright © 2005-2017, LuxeEuro, LLC.  All rights reserved.

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Artisans in Aix-en-Provence

France artisans

Hand-painted scarves in Aix-en-Provence

During a delightful 3-day visit to Aix-en-Provence, we enjoyed the added benefit of the artisan craft fair, “Les Calades Provencales.” Aix is famous for its many fountains and talented favorite son Cezanne, so it’s not surprising that artisans are celebrated here.

At any moment Cours Mirabeau offers an enchanting, tree-lined boulevard; but the fair magnified the magic. Elegant hand-painted scarves danced in the breeze, while artisans warmly greeted visitors explaining their crafts, demonstrating the potter’s wheel and generally serving as welcoming ambassadors in this dynamic city.

Hand-crafted shoes and sandals, exotic jewelry, perfumes and pottery spread all along the boulevard. The cobbler followed generations of the art of shoemaking; the silk scarves were painted by hand.

French dining

Greoux-les-Bains

After a pleasant stroll to examine the many gorgeous crafts, we stopped at one of Aix’s many canopied cafes.  Ummm – delicious ham and cheese galette, a pichet of wine and a strolling guitarist made for a relaxing Aixoise experience.

We would offer a hearty thumbs up to any planning a trip to this lovely area. An easy drive from Avignon, Aix-en-Provence and the surrounding area immerse you in an enchanting landscape, exceptional architecture and abundant dining choices.

You might wander through Cezanne’s landscape and stop for dinner in Greoux-les-Bains or take in the grand Pont du Gard aqueduct; but parking yourself at a café along the boulevard provides plenty of enjoyment!

We’d love to hear from you!

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Wandering the Loire Valley

Travel the Loire Valley

Sunset over the Loire River

I suppose everyone has a different approach to travel, some probing the history and points of interest of a given area and others taking a more laissez-faire, let-it-unfold approach.  Whichever method appeals to you, discovering different areas of France offers abundant delights!  We have found it quite interesting to go back and research about an area you have experienced first hand.

I came across a nicely written and very thorough article that profiled the city of Bourges in the Loire Valley.  While reading of historic churches and age-old customs, my mind whisked backward to a remarkably hospitable weekend in the area.

A former Parisian invited our friends and us to visit with him in a tiny hamlet about 30 minutes from Bourges.  We managed to pack a ton of discoveries into that one weekend.

En route from our host’s country home to Bourges, we stopped in the quaint artist hamlet – La Borne – for a delightful slice of culture in a petite community.  We walked the streets of Bourges at night during the Lumiere extravaganza, when mystical lights cast their glow upon church courtyards and centuries-old, timbered houses.  On the steps of the renowned St. Stephan’s Cathedral, I picked up a couple of tiny red and pink tissue hearts, the sweet mementos of a wedding held earlier in the day.  We have the deepest respect for the city and its’ storied past.

Loire Valley

La Borne artist hamlet

But now I move on past the sophisticated travel to our deepest memories –

…. Of golden wheat fields stretching, stretching for miles up soft hills capped here and there with a couple of trees, standing as sentries, it seemed, overlooking this ‘bread basket’ of France.

…. Of steaming bowls of coffee enjoyed in the morning in the front yard, as we heard the plans for the day

…. Of an enormous, rhinestone blanket of stars setting the blackest of black nights ablaze with light

…. Of a whimsical house with all sorts of glass art – now, I see, named La Cathédrale de Jean Linard

…. Of narrow country lanes winding through the country, and shuttered homes built inches from the road – they always, always cloak their windows in delicate French lace

…. Of our little trek to La Borne, where 88 village artists give birth to imaginative ceramic  works of art

Loire Valley

The wheat fields, cows – the bread basket of France

And so we traveled in the footsteps of the Gaulouis and years from now will still enjoy this warm quilt of Loire countryside memories.

 

We’d love to hear from you!

Copyright © 2005-2016, LuxeEuro, LLC.  All rights reserved.

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Top French Textile Designers

French textiles

One of the lovely tablecloths offered by My French Neighbor

I was walking through the local park with a friend in our oh-so-upscale little ‘village’ in Florida, when a woman walked toward us.  My friend commented to her, “Oh, I like your purse.”  She paused a half step and responded “Dior”, before stepping her way on down the walkway.

Now that’s what I call name-dropping, particularly in the face of an innocent compliment and about as boorish as it is ill-mannered.  So why am I going on about ‘name-dropping’?  Because that is precisely what I intend to do in discussing one of my favorite topics – sumptuous, breathtaking, lovely-to-touch French fabrics.

You simply can’t cover the topic properly without a touch of D. Porthault here and Frey there.  There now.  Please accept my rather limp apology for this transgression.

French textiles

Sun-swept colors of Provence by Valdrome

Naturally you can discover fine French linens and fabrics in a number of boutiques and high-end department stores in the United States, but I have discovered a very nice, comprehensive on-line store with an impressive offering of table linens, towels, kitchen and bedroom textiles and fabric by the yard (or meter).  French-brand.com offers what may be the widest selection of Designer Luxury Bedding anywhere on the Internet.  Imagine the wealth of choices – over 45 brands from France and elsewhere and up to 50 designs per brand in silk, pure linen, cotton mixes, Egyptian and Organic Cotton.

French textiles

Intricate Pierre Frey pillow

Let’s just introduce a small sampling …. Like The Company Olivier Thévenon Sélection, created in 1908 and specializing in upholstery fabrics, coordinating net and jacquards.  Moutet is another from the French Basque country with very traditional stripes as well as crisp and colorful contemporary designs.  Pierre Frey is synonymous with luxury in home décor and fabulous fabric and wallpaper designs.  In the wonderful French tradition, Pierre Frey brings a sumptuous look and feel to any room with a blend of touch, sight and harmony among patterns.

I love to shop at the base of Montmartre in Paris, where textile shops fill the streets from multi-story department stores to barely-large-enough-to-walk-around-in boutiques.  It is one of my favorite pastimes.  Perhaps, I have now discovered ‘the next best thing’ to shopping there.

We’d love to hear from you!

Copyright © 2005-2017, LuxeEuro, LLC. Photo and text, all rights reserved

 

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French Artisans, French Luxury

French luxury houses, Delisle bronzier

Elegant lantern, Delisle Paris

As the holidays approach, my mind turns to excellence in craftsmanship. Bien sur, French artisans rise to the top! At gift-giving time, I am inclined toward somewhat impractical gifts that bestow history, beauty and superb craftsmanship. That ‘one fine thing’ I might find for a friend or family member can transport the recipient well away from mundane, everyday concerns to a world apart. I hasten to add that searching for bargains on ebay and elsewhere helps considerably in underwriting my quirky habits!

I made quite an interesting discovery in my search for gifts – an organization devoted to French luxury houses and cultural institutions. Founded in 1954, the Comité Colbert gathers those prestigious members with the goal of working together to promote French ‘art de vivre’ in the international marketplace. Today numbering 78 luxury houses and 14 cultural institutions, the committee is bound by founding values that mirror exactly what I was espousing at the beginning of this post – “…the dignity of hand crafts, respect, high standards and innovations….”

I’m sure you can imagine many on the prestigious roster – from Chanel and Christian Dior, Dalloyau and Christofle to Pierre Frey, Hermés and Hôtel Ritz. One member epitomizes the group’s vision and values – Delisle Paris. Founded in 1895, the prominent bronzier d’art celebrates 120 years of astounding craftsmanship that enhances sites not only throughout France but across the globe.

Delisle projects cover a fascinating array of revered historic locales. The 350-plus lanterns that illuminate the Paris Royal galleries of Paris have been under the tender care of the luxury house for over 40 years. Nesting pigeons and ball-playing children can play havoc with these masterpieces! When the city of Paris decided to bring forth the magnificent rostral columns of Place de la Concorde that were stored in the Grand Palais cellars, Delisle was the natural choice for the large-scale restoration of the cast-iron rostra and top-set lanterns.

Paris Place de la Concorde

Lantern-topped rostra, Place de la Concorde

Now, I readily admit to you that I won’t be commissioning a $142,000 chandelier, such as the one created for a Moscow customer; and I haven’t been able to even locate, much less purchase, a Delisle candlestick. But I love knowing that when we visit the Grand Trianon in Versailles or wander into the Shangri-La hotel in Paris, we will be well aware of the creators of their gorgeous lighting.

We’d love to hear from you!

Copyright © 2005, LuxeEuro, LLC. Photo and text, all rights reserved

 

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Hôtel de Crillon Reimagined

Paris luxury hotels

Overlooking Place de la Concorde – ©Atout France/Hôtel de Crillon

Two years into the renovation of the renowned Hôtel de Crillon in Paris, we still can only imagine the changes taking place. Many of us would wonder at any change to this veritable institution directly across the street from the American Embassy. Yet, in 2013 came the announcement about the closure for renovations and the forthcoming change in management to Rosewood Hotels & Resorts.

Beyond tantalizing mentions of the auctioning of an abundant number of hotel accents, furnishings … and wine; the fate and future of the hotel has been cloaked in mystery. Now, though, we learn that no other than Karl Lagerfeld has been commissioned to apply his creative genius to the design of two suites.

luxury hotels of Paris

Junior suite – ©Atout France/Hôtel de Crillon

Acclaimed not only for fine craftsmanship but for blending history ‘with an edge’, perhaps even Mr. Lagerfeld feels a slight hesitation in tackling this Parisian landmark. Of course I am wrong about that – what designer wouldn’t jump at the chance to create a signature suite in one of the world’s finest hotels?

Under Rosewood’s core philosophy – A Sense of Place® – Mr. Lagerfeld will apply his unparalleled talent in the marriage of 18th century heritage with 2015 ‘je ne sais pas’.   Overlooking Place de la Concorde, the Hôtel de Crillon has witnessed abundant history from the reign of French Kings to the fall of Napoleon’s Empire and the birth of the League of Nations.

I hope that Karl Lagerfeld and the myriad designers involved in this renovation find the ideal balance of respect for heritage with light touches of the contemporary world in which we live. While my personal prejudice sways away from ultra-modern treatments of grand old buildings, I recognize that some might lean in the opposite direction.

Some describe the magnificent hotel as “…a living testament to the very best way of life France has to offer.” Alas, we all simply must wait and see for the unveiling of this monumental project in 2016.

We’d love to hear from you!

Copyright © 2005-2017, LuxeEuro, LLC.  All rights reserved.

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Carrier-Belleuse Exhibit – Paris

art in Paris Francce

Paris Exhibits

If you plan to visit Paris between now and the end of October, you should take advantage of a special exhibition at the magnificent Château de Compiègne Museum just north of the capital.  For the next five months, the works of one of the most renowned French sculptors will be on display, that of Albert Ernest Carrier-Belleuse (1824-1887).

One of the premiere sculptors of the Second Empire, Carrier-Belleuse is positioned as Rodin’s Master, as Auguste Rodin was a student in the sculptor’s workshop. Seemingly no artistic genre attracts me more than sculpture, where the materials under masterful  hands deliver beauty and energy, brute force and quiet repose.

Carrier-Belleuse was tireless in his sculpting, turning out busts and statues, bronzes and figurines.  No material seemed indifferent  under his piercing talent.

While he began his training as the apprentice of a goldsmith and later studied at École des Beaux-Arts and Petite École, the sculptor spent over five years designing ceramics and metalwork models for  companies like Wedgwood in England.  When he began to exhibit large sculptures at the Salon in Paris, he attracted important patrons and significant commissions.

Emperor Napoléon III tapped his considerable talents in numerous public projects during the rebuilding of Paris between 1851 and 1870 – from the torchères for the Paris Opéra to the marble Bacchante purchased by the emperor for the Jardins des Tuileries.  Later the State awarded a Medal of Honor and the cross of the Légion d’Honneur for his marble Messiah that was allotted to Saint-Vincent-de-Paul in Paris.

Though continuously producing abundant pieces for international patrons, Carrier-Belleuse was highly visible and commercially successful in the applied arts.  Appointed director of works at the state Manufacture de Sèvres, he significantly elevated the stature of applied arts and impacted the careers of younger sculptors – like Auguste Rodin – who apprenticed with him.

Might I be among the first to recommend you take a little time from you enjoyment of Paris to take in this remarkable exhibition?  For less than the cost of a movie in the United States, you will enjoy the energy, humor and unrivalled imagination of Albert Ernest Carrier-Belleuse.  .

We’d love to hear from you!

Copyright © 2005-2017, LuxeEuro, LLC.  All rights reserved.

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The French “Stradivarius of the Kitchen”

How could you not be drawn to a company so devoted to excellent craftsmanship that they see themselves as “the Stradivarius of the Kitchen”?   That is exactly how Lacanche views the production of their exquisite French stoves, those stunning works of art that combine beautiful decoration with technological precision to elevate the realm of cooking.

A little village in the hills above Beaune is home to Lacanche factories.  Bearing the name of that village; the famous Lacanche stoves literally rose from the iron and timber of the land in the 18th century, when artisan skills were devoted to the manufacture of stoves for stately homes and the professional trade.  Today those traditional values and exceptional products generate considerable demand from the top chefs and the general public who want authentic stoves.  And adding further appeal is the Lancanche owners’ devotion to rural traditions, country life and the value of fine craftsmanship over mass production.

French bath fixtures

Elegant Herbeau powder room

In a similar manner, Herbeau devotes fine craftsmanship to the manufacture of sinks and faucetry for kitchens, bath and powder rooms.  Herbeau’s delightful designs range from rustic Provencal to elegant Chateau creations with hand-painted finishes.  Started in 1857 by Louis Herbeau, five generations have created beautiful baths and kitchens for great homes and establishments.

Staub applies the same type of exacting standards to the creation of fine enameled cast-iron cookware.   For over 40 years, Staub has merged exceptional craftsmanship with attention to performance detail.  From tight-fitting lids with self-basting spikes and heatproof nickel-plated steel knobs to the textured cooking surface of matte-black enamel,  Staub has elevated kitchenware to unprecedented function and design.

For anyone who appreciates creations that enjoy the “touch of the master’s hand”, these fine products celebrate the French art de vivre and become treasured heirlooms at the heart of your home.

We’d love to hear from you! swsheridan@luxeeuro.com
Copyright © 2014, LuxeEuro, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Elegant Gifts from France

French silk scarf gifts

Paris Je T’aime silk scarf – Anne Touraine

There’s a certain irony to the fact, that I fully applaud ABC News’ “Made in America” segments, while I search through this season for ‘just the right’ gift from France for my loved ones.  Perhaps, it is part of my dual nature that I support job-creating American enterprises and artisan-supporting French products.

And so it is that I recommend another delightful shopping site for those, who are not fortunate to be combing the shops of French villages and cities for holiday gifts.  The Boutiques de musées offers a wide variety of French-oriented products directly from the many national museums they represent.  Whether your budget is large or small, you can find a simple magnet or an elaborate piece of jewelry that reproduces some of the finest art in the world.

Sculpture of Etienne Meurice The Bather of Falconet Paris Museum

The Bather of Falconet – reproduction of Étienne Meurice sculpture

How about a refined replica of “The Bather of Falconet” by Étienne Meurice?  Exquisite choices range from handsome coffee-table art books to an enchanting fresco reproduction of Raphael’s “La Belle Jardiniére” or a set of Arabesque dessert plates.

Children are not forgotten in the boutique offerings either with a variety of calendars, puzzles, model kits and books – even an “Animals of the World” game for the entire family.

Family game from Boutiques de musees France

Boutique games for the family

Closer to home and without the burden of international postage Anne Touraine offers a beguiling collection of exquisite hand-rolled, silk scarves in designs that perfectly capture the mood Anne seeks.  My favorite – naturally – is Paris Je T’aime! 

Whether you shop abroad or in your local or on-line French shop, we hope you round out your Christmas list with memorable gifts that evoke the spirit of France.

We’d love to hear from you!

swsheridan@luxeeuro.com

Copyright © 2005-2012, LuxeEuro, LLC. All rights reserved.

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RealReal – Interesting Online Luxury Resale

Upscale Luxury Resales

RealReal Luxury Bargains

Found a new site that might be of interest – www.therealreal.com.  Their niche is completely upscale with a well-defined list of designer label offerings.

The concept is the self-acclaimed “world’s premier online luxury resale store” and offers some real advantages for upscale buyers and sellers.  Savvy buyers and sellers know that fine designer goods are often timeless in design and enduring in craftsmanship.

With an eye to authentic, pre-owned men’s and women’s designer brands, RealReal provides a convenient outlet for amazing values up to 90 percent off retail prices.  The site eliminates the uncertainty of purchasing luxury brands online and allows buyers to step through the veil to a world of luxury.

French luxury

Chanel, what else?

Two Types of Sales

New sales are launched every morning in two forms: the RealReal’s 72-hour sale and the ongoing Contemporary Designers Sales.  The first features seasonally-focused premier designers, while the ongoing sales feature designers like Tory Burch, Catherine Malandrino and other more casual wear, designer diffusion lines, denim, and gently-worn accessories for mere fractions of their original cost.

Luxury FranceHighly-Selective Consignment

The Consignment feature is ideal for those who regularly clear their closets for the season’s latest styles.  In RealReal’s consignment program, their team of tastemakers hand-select inventory of timeless wears to insure each piece represents the highest quality of brands authenticated by professionals. They constantly are in search of timeless designer pieces and facilitate the consignment process with ease.

You can simply call RealReal stylists at (855) 435-5893 (9am-5pm PT, M-F) to discuss your items, e-mail your questions to stylist@TheRealReal.com … or fill out the online form. Shipping is free with online tracking of your sales an attractive feature.

Take a moment to browse The RealReal site to learn more about their Membership features that offer customized experiences and style profiles.  Perhaps, RealReal will add benefits to your particular closet or wardrobe needs!

Chanel  *  Hermès  *   Manolo Blahnik  * Gucci  * Cartier

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A la Mere de Famille, Paris

Paris chocolates

Appealing French chocolate collection!

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a taste must be worth several hundred thousand!  And so it is, indeed, at the oldest chocolate shop in Paris – the fine confiserie and epicerie by the name of A la Mere de Famille.

Tucked away in Montmartre on rue du Faubourg-Montmartre, the store was founded in 1761 and still occupies the original building.  Antique cases and cashier station, displays and vintage tiles simply enhance your visit; where the family  perfected the savoir-faire artisanale to the delight of generations of confectionary … and ice cream lovers.

The marrons and glaces are equally delicious, but the chocolates are definitive works of art.  Superb ingredients, deft artisan skill and the subtle mix of citron and pistache, truffles and caramels –  all contribute to the sublime offerings of A La Mere de Famille.

Paris ice cream

A la mere de famile, Paris

As you can easily imagine, a family (and the addition of  talented Julien Merceron), that takes so much pride in excellence does the same in delivering personal service.  We were residents of Montmartre for several weeks and found the epicerie to be one of our favorites, where widow displays tantalize the palate and lure the heart – perhaps a fresh macarron or truffettes savoyardes today and candied fruit or calissons tomorrow.

A La Famille is the perfect place to pick up assorted chocolates for your ‘hostess’ gift on the way to dinner.  It would seem that excellence has its just rewards because several other Paris locations are available:

rue Montorgueil, 75002
rue du Cherche-Midi, 75006
rue Cler, 75007
rue de la Pompe, 75016
rue Jouffroy d’Abbans, 75017
rue Legendre, 75017

Paris shops

Calissons, marrons – delectable treats of Paris

By all means enjoy shopping at any of their locations, but a visit to the original A La Maison de Mere is de rigueur.

We’d love to hear from you!

Copyright © 2005-2017, LuxeEuro, LLC.  All rights reserved.

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Hermès – Never Out of Fashion!

Paris luxury shopping

Magnificent Hermes bag

A saddlery? Yes. Way back in 1837 Thierry Hermès founded the family-named saddlery business. That’s certainly a touch of irony, in that the Hermès name is synonymous with French luxury products. After first manufacturing silk scarves in the late 1920s, Hermès rapid ascent to haute couture prompted their establishment of a special scarf factory in Lyons.

Today two special scarf collections make their debut every year, adding to the more than 25,000 scarf designs that are so treasured by women throughout the world. In France, tenderly coddled scarves are passed from generation to generation, and even rare scarves from yesteryear command increasingly high prices in the marketplace.

Paris shopping

Sterling bracelet by Hermes

Iconic Hermès wearers like Grace Kelly and Jackie Onassis no doubt contributed to their esteemed fashion position, further enhanced by Hermès additional fashion niches, as well. Uniquely-stitched leather goods like the Birkin and Kelly bags are signature ‘heirlooms’, and refined jewelry pieces are every bit as reverd and collectible as the spectacular scarves.Despite otherwise sluggish worldwide economic woes, Hermès continues to attract elite clients with an ever-expanding luxury product line, timeless and elegant designs and exacting standards of production.

“In her 2007 book, Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster, journalist Dana Thomas called Hermès bags ‘the antithesis of an It bag: Most of the designs have been around for almost a century and are coveted not because they are in fashion but because they never go out of fashion.’”

We’d love to hear from you!

Copyright © 2005-2017, LuxeEuro, LLC.  All rights reserved.

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D. Porthault – Luxury Linens & Service

Whispers of style and luxury – exactly what comes to mind, when I think of D. Porthault linens.  Nearly a century ago, the linens came to life with traditional screen-printing by hand and couture designs inspired by artists.  Soft finishes, delicate embroidery and appliqué details define the signature luxury linens.

Fine designs spring each year from the 5,000-plus archival varieties that issue forth on percale linens or towels, porcelain dinnerware and patio tablecloths.  Even children’s wear – little robes, baby quilts and delicately-smocked dresses – are a treasured part of the elite D. Porthault offerings.

What makes D. Porthault products so unique, so appealing in luxury shopping?  Early in the 20th century, Daniel and Madeleine Porthault launched their luxury house linen business, setting out to produce superb bed linens in traditional whites and off-whites with hand embroidery and elaborate edging.  But they went a bold step further by introducing vivid touches of color with an impressionist aura.  In the previous traditional white world of linens, they revolutionized the industry of luxury bed dressing.

Through the years, they have continued to satisfy their premium customers from their historic workshops in northern France and artisan frame-printing facility in Normandy.  Three key steps are involved in the delivery of their tailor-made products:

Fine materials – long Cotton Fiber, cotton voile, silk, linen, Chinese crepe, sateen, and organzaEmbroidery – by hand or machine with more than 60 shades of thread

Premium orders – responding to special, custom requests for exceptional events … in other words, luxury service.

 

In Paris, be sure to visit Maison D.Porthault’s Boutique Show Room in the 8th Arrondisement or fine their prestigious products at Printemps in the 9th.   And New Yorkers are fortunate to have their very own store on Park Avenue at 58th Street in Manhattan.

We welcome your comments and suggestions.

swsheridan@luxeeuro.com

Copyright © 2005-2013, LuxeEuro, LLC.  All rights reserved.

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Emilio Robba – Paris to Miami Florals

Paris floral designs

Red roses from Emilio Robba

Seemingly nothing can bring a room to life like flowers – large or small bouquets or even a simple, single rose or orchid stem.  Today I share an exceptional resource for beautiful floral accents that are works of art in themselves.

Renowned floral designer Emilio Robba was born to Italian artists residing in Paris – how could you lose with that mix of culture?  Early on Emilio discovered his own artistic roots.  After studying form and color at the prestigious Beaux-Arts school, he instinctively focused on floral design.  The orchid and nature are his favorite treasures – 

“I always knew that nature would be the guide in my life…”

Today, Robba’s creations grace the Galerie Vivienne, Parisian Department Stores and his own Paris and Miami boutiques.  When you choose Emilio Robba’s refined works of art, the permanent floral accents of this exquisite calibre add life … and conversation … to any room.

Miami and Paris florals

enduring glass floral designs

And they make elegant gifts for family and friends, who might enjoy a hint of color and a designer vision.

We welcome your comments and suggestions!

swsheridan@luxeeuro.com

Copyright © 2005-2012, LuxeEuro, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Bernardaud French Porcelain

Paris porcelain

Bernardaud Paris votive light

Graduation and wedding gifts may well be on your horizon, so today we introduce one of our favorite gifts – a lovely wedding present from a dear friend.  Understanding our profound love of France and in keeping with our French-themed wedding, she presented us with an incredibly delicate Bernardaud votive light candle themed with scenes of the Seine in Paris.

The Bernardaud mystique extends back to the birth of French porcelain in 1768.  A villager from  Saint-Yrieix La Perche near Limoges discovered a soft, white clay that later would be identified as kaolin.

This magnificent substance is critical to fine china for its resiliency, durability and flawless iridescent translucency.  Voila!  The villager’s discovery gave birth to French – particularly Limoges – porcelain.

French porcelain

Elegant Bernardaud porcelain

Toward the end of the 19th century, a workshop apprentice, Léonard Bernardaud, so distinguished himself among fellow porcelain workers, that he would become a partner in the company, as would his sons.  Today we owe the exceptional beauty and craftsmanship of their products to the tenacious resolve and creativity of the Bernardauds. 

Our beautiful votive light is but one of an exceptional collection produced by Bernardaud that is available in fine department stores and Bernardaud boutiques.  Head for Neiman-Marcus or Bloomingdale’s or take a look on line to discover where you might purchase that special gift for a friend or family member. 

We’d love to hear from you!  swsheridan@luxeeuro.com
Copyright © 2005-2013, LuxeEuro, LLC.  All rights reserved.

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French Kitchens – Classic & Classy!

Julia Child French kitchen

Julia’s Smithsonian kitchen

Julia Child’s kitchen resurrected at the Smithsonian – now THAT’s a famous cuisine!

I have so many Francophile preferences – for windows and light, for colorful textiles and pottery, for old rush-seat chairs and for ‘imperfect’ touches that underscore the real life lived in that lovely kitchen.

We neither need nor want grand décor – though one of those classic French stoves by Lacanche would be perfectly acceptable! I think I’d settle quite well with a nice square kitchen with big windows. Some open shelves could hold old copper and brightly-colored pottery casserole dishes.

French design

The Cluny French range by Lancanche

As I do now, I’d have space on the counter for my copper basket filled with potatoes; and the coffee-fixin’ area would have everything within easy reach. A colorful Provençal pitcher next to the range would hold my handled kitchen utensils, and a handsome French lamp would shed light over the aged country table and chairs.

Now, doesn’t that sound like the perfect place to fix a lovely French Onion soup….and sweet raspberry and chocolate crepes? There I go back to My French Neighbor for their exceptional Dijon mustard, because savory vinaigrette would be the perfect touch for a salad to go with the soup.

Daydreams are such fun. Enjoy your own today and, who knows? You just might make your way to a bric-a-brac store to find a fresh addition for your kitchen.

We’d love to hear from you! swsheridan@luxeeuro.com
Copyright © 2005-2013, LuxeEuro, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Deco Chaise

Poupee Paris

Deco chair for Poupee dolls

Free Shipping in U.S.    $39.95

“Deco Chaise” is yet another rare and entirely unique Poupee chair, painted by hand and signed on the bottom by St. Illman. In excellent, like-new condition, “Deco Chaise” is an ideal  accent or accessory for your CERRI’Art of Paris porcelain dolls.  Deco Chaise quite honestly is so unique, we would love to have a similar adult chair as a fun accent in our home!

It’s quite large and heavy – 6 ¾ “ wide x 7” deep x 6.5” high – and the hand-painted design is astounding – an eclectic mix of black, white and turquoise squares and squiggly lines and trapezoid-like pink graphics with circles …. And that’s just the front and sides! On the back is an appealing mural with an Asian feel, seemingly a very comfortable poupee doll appreciating her elegant chair. Could Picasso have done better? Definitely a conversation piece!

Paris Poupee Chair

Hand-painted charm

A bit of history – Over the past 20 years, CERRI’Art Creations has continued to delight customers throughout the world with their extraordinary porcelain dolls. Along the way, artists have created delightful accents to set off the dolls…and to give them a comfortable place to lounge, of course.

Free Shipping  in U.S.   $39.95

For international shipping, please e-mail first for postal quote – swsheridan@luxeeuro.com

Paris poupee chairs

Such comfort!

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Jaune Chaise

Paris Poupee accents

Jaune Chaise – Poupee doll chair

Free Shipping  in U.S.      $39.95

“Jaune Chaise” is a rare, fabulous large poupee-style decorative chair from Paris. Painted by hand in intricate, cheerful designs, the chair is signed on the bottom “Taboro and is in excellent like-new condition.

What a perfect accessory for your CERRI’Art of Paris (Poupee Millet) decorative dolls … or an exceptional accent for any room.

A bit of history – Over the past 20 years, CERRI’Art Creations has continued to delight customers throughout the world with their extraordinary porcelain dolls. Along the way, artists have created delightful accents to set off the dolls…and to give them a comfortable place to lounge, of course.

Paris doll chairs

Large and colorful poupee chair

Jaune Chaise is beautifully painted by hand in a colorful yellow floral design. The sturdy wood chair is quite large, measuring 7” wide x 6” deep x 6” – plenty large enough for a “Sandrine” or “Lili” to enjoy or for you to set on your shelf as a whimsical accent piece.

Free Shipping in U.S.       $39.95

For international shipping, please e-mail first for postal quote – swsheridan@luxeeuro.com

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