Denim has certainly been claimed here in the USA but the fabric originated in France. 'Serge de Nîmes' ('fabric of Nîmes’) remains the sturdy textile adopted by businessman Levi Strauss and tailor Jacob Davis to create the classic 'blue jean’. (’Genes’ was a term the French used to describe the people of Genoa, Italy where the first trousers were made.) The ‘Born in the USA’, never-go-out-of-style, always chic, universally adapted 'uniform' of today is definitely the blue jean. In the current fashion climate multitudes of styles abound and jeans are worn all over the world.
Jeans are an important part of the French casual ‘uniform’ of scarf (winter and summer), t-shirt, jacket (leather, denim or a puffy one as soon as the temperature drops below 50∘), jeans (in many colors and iterations) and shoes (optional boot, flat or heel).
It was exciting to hear about a new shop in the Bon Marché, Atelier Notify, devoted exclusively to denim and all the ways it can be enhanced. (Thanks to ParisTilton tour participants Robyn and Paula for the heads up about this.)
Katherine with Ken. Photo by Marcy Tilton.
Ken, a graduate of Esmod, Paris, was a great help, a font of information and his English was excellent (always a plus for me whose French is quite limited). Atelier Notify will happily customize anything for you. The perfect way to make your wardrobe uniquely your own.
Choose your fabric.
Choose your finish, your style and fit to order.
Watch them at work.
Enjoying their work.
Discussing the work.
Working at the embroidery machine.
The French sense of humor injected into their style.
Each seam has been ripped open.
Whimsical drawings of Paris.
Photo by Marcy Tilton.
Embroidered words and images.
Hand made. Made by hand. Anything touched by the hand -- recognized as being special, unique, one-of-a-kind. Occupying a space in some pretty high end real-estate. About time.
Typically work done by women. I noted only one woman in the space...
After talking with Ken and seeing all the possibilities they offer, I realized that I had done all of these things on fabric myself -- paint, embroider, add ge-gaws, applique, rip, tear, fringe, stitch. On denim, on leather, on pants, purses, shoes, jackets, coats, tops, skirts, scarves, bracelets, pins and more.
I could work there. I'd probably have to speak French though...
I hope you can join one of our ParisTilton Tours in 2017 where we can see what we will discover together!
All photos by Katherine Tilton unless noted.