métiers d'art

Something magic is happening this weekend throughout Europe: The European Days of Artistic Crafts. Every year, the first weekend in April is dedicated to the art of fine crafts in Europe. 

Porcelain, paper, lace, glass, perfume, chocolate, violins...you name it - if it's a material or tradition of fine craft, it's being shared and celebrated this weekend in Europe!

Viaduc des Arts, Paris

Viaduc des Arts, Paris

I was lucky to be in Paris this past week to get a preview and small taste of what's happening across the continent. My friend and I spent the better part of a day wandering in and out of the ateliers along the Viaduc des Arts, a four-kilometer stretch of working studios. 

Tzuri Gueta, Viaduc des Arts (image: Maison d'Exceptions)

Tzuri Gueta, Viaduc des Arts (image: Maison d'Exceptions)

Le Bonheur des Dames, Viaduc des Arts, Paris

Le Bonheur des Dames, Viaduc des Arts, Paris

Tzuri Gueta creates patented silicon-infused lace that graces the runway designs of Givenchy, Lacroix, and Gaultier; Creanog has revived the dying arts of gold-stamping and embossing in packaging for Chanel; Maison Fey is a master guilder and upholsterer; Le Bonheur des Dames is heaven for all things embroidery; Atelier du Temps Passé restores paintings and objects d'art. The list goes on.

My current obsession is Métiers d'Art de la Mode, a 5-pound tome packed with photographic eye candy that reveals a bit of the process and technique behind the handcrafts of the couture fashion industry. Even if you don't understand French, the images are worth the <2 minutes it takes to watch this interview with the editor, Hélène Farnault: