Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Le Shack de Jérôme Dreyfuss et Isabel Marant

There’s no address — the road has no name . . . it’s not even really a road . . . it seems like it’s in the middle of nowhere,” says the French accessories designer Jérôme Dreyfuss, explaining how to (possibly never) find the rustic country retreat he shares with his wife, the fashion designer Isabel Marant, and their 8-year-old son, Tal.
Surrounded by acacia trees on the banks of the Loing River in Fontainebleau, the tiny clapboard cottage is only 35 miles southeast of central Paris, but it feels worlds away, thanks to its untamed, verdant surroundings and lack of mod cons like electricity, heat and plumbing. (You flush the loo the old-fashioned way — with buckets of water hand-pumped from a spring.) The spartan setting suits the family just fine. “It’s surprising how little you really need,” Dreyfuss says. “The expression ‘less is more’ takes on real meaning here.”
There’s a strict no-fashion-talk policy in effect at the cottage, which is strewn with colorful old kilims, flea market finds and stacks of thick wool blankets for use in the winter months. “We barely have time to speak to each other at all during the week, so the last thing we want to discuss when we’re here is work,” says Dreyfuss, whose handbags are hot commodities on both sides of the Atlantic. Adds Marant, whose namesake cool-girl label enjoys bona fide cult status: “We don’t see friends in Paris anymore. We invite them to Fontainebleau. Especially the ones with children; it’s truly a kid’s paradise.” As if on cue, Tal takes aim at a nearby tree with a crude slingshot, using chestnuts as ammunition, and then attempts to vanquish an imaginary foe with a bow and arrow made from branches. “Our petit sauvage — that’s what we call him,” Dreyfuss says affectionately, as his son drags a kayak down to the water. “Half the time, we can’t even get him to wear clothes. And he never, ever wants to go back to Paris on Sunday nights.”
Looking around, it’s easy to see why. In addition to the kayak, a canoe and a surfboard for paddle boarding, Tal has a nifty treehouse, a tree swing, ropes for Tarzan re-enactments, a trampoline, fishing poles, water guns and numerous pup tents, which double as guest accommodations for his friends. A few minutes later, the youngster can be heard challenging a group of hapless kayakers, demanding a toll before they can pass. “He thinks he’s the boatman on the river Styx,” Dreyfuss quips.
Serendipity led the couple to their piece of paradise seven years ago. “We happened to see an ad in a free paper we picked up outside a bakery and called the broker immediately,” Dreyfuss says. “The first thing we noticed when we got here was the air — it’s pristine.” And blissfully free of the usual sounds of civilization. “Aside from people paddling on the river, you hear only nature,” Marant says.
Sometimes, nature can be a little loud. “I came here with Tal right after we bought the place and woke up in the middle of the night to hear someone breathing heavily right outside the bedroom,” Dreyfuss recounts. “I was terrified and began plotting how I would make a run for the car with the baby. I fell asleep with him in my arms and a giant kitchen knife next to the bed.” In the morning, Dreyfuss discovered (rather sheepishly) that the nocturnal intruder had been a wild boar.
These days, most of the couple’s visitors are of the two-legged variety, and besides child’s play, much of the activity centers around food and drink. “I love to cook,” Marant says, “but never have time to do it in Paris.” She spends Saturday mornings at the market in the nearby village of Bourron-Marlotte, buying fresh bread, croissants, beautiful cheeses, meat, fish, eggs and produce. Perishables are stored in a little fisherman’s cabin embedded in the riverbank that is equipped with a vintage icebox. “I buy tons of food, because we never know if we’re serving 5, 10 or 25,” Marant says, as she prepares a platter of locally made saucissons, rillettes, cornichons and olives in the minuscule kitchen area. “Jérôme’s in charge of the barbecue, and I try to balance all the meat he makes with lots of fresh salads and seasonal vegetables.”
Lunches are always long, laid-back affairs that melt into convivial evenings lit by candles and kerosene lanterns and fueled by lots of good French wine. After the kids retire to their tents, the adults take out the tarot cards and sip brandy.
Dreyfuss surveys the darkening compound contentedly, pointing out his latest gardening feats (“I’m quite proud of my roses — they add that English garden touch”) and the sun beds he just finished making for the deck. “I’m always trying to build things out of wood,” he says. “It’s so much more inspiring than shopping for them in Paris.” Next up: a new treehouse for Tal. “He says the one he has is too low, that it’s for babies. He wants a big duplex. Now we just have to find the right tree.”
source {T magazine, written By Sandra Ballentine NY TIMES}
A rustic cabin in Fontainebleau serves as a retreat for designers Jérôme Dreyfuss and Isabel Marant. Photographs by Adrian Gaut
Dreyfuss and Marant at their cabin.
Dreyfuss built the treehouse for his 8-year-old son, Tal.
The designer entertains Zephyr, a friend's son, with a bonfire.
Lunch consists of local baby lamb chops with quinoa and lentil salads.
Tal takes his friends for a ride.
    •                    The porch is perfect for reading and napping.
      Marant prepares lunch.
      Tal paddles around on the river.
      Zephyr considers an afternoon repast.
      Dreyfuss gave this military sink to Marant for her birthday last year. He found it at Merci, in Paris.

Studio Space: Isabel Marant

It is so secret obsession of mine, that of my favourite designer; Isabel Marant. Ever since discovering the iconic French and super sexy, chic label living in Paris more than 5 years ago I have saved my pennies and swooned over every single collection gathering bits and pieces if not entire ranges of the brand. 
She truly epitomises what is is to be a French girl, effortless, sexy and simple. The world over now knows her, and where her clothes because that is exactly how they make you feel! The It girls of today all are seen in her key pieces not to mention that famous embellished Julliet jacket. 

Kate Moss, Victoria Beckham, Rachel Bilson, Sienna Miller, Heidi Klum, Elle Macpherson, Karolina Kurkova, Katie Holmes, Blake Lively, Anja Rubbrick, Gwyneth Paltrow, Meagan Fox, Jessica Simpson, Hillary Duff, Zoe Saldana and her biggest fan Kate Bosworth are all seen season after season head to toe in her much desired pieces, I am no exception!

Isabel Marant in her studio

 flowers by fleurette, a little something I created taking cue from Marant's studio & style.

Isabel Marant told us she was planning her first New York store way back in March of last year at her Fall 2009 show, and local fans of the French designer’s casual-cool sensibility have been waiting with credit cards at the ready ever since. We couldn’t get an official count on just how many pairs of her fringed and cuffed pirate boots will be waiting when the charming Mr. Hatman window signs (see below) disguising the construction site within come down and the doors finally open at 469 Broome Street this weekend. But on a transatlantic phone call, Marant did tell us that she’s planning to stock the label’s strongest pieces. No doubt her followers will like the sound of that.

Who did you work with on the project?
A French architect named Nicolas Andre. He did my three shops in Paris; it’s been quite a long time that we’ve been working together.

Will the new shop feel like the stores in Paris?
No, not at all. I quite hate doing the same store over and over again. I like to work around the space I’ve found, and generally I choose a space because it has a soul that I like. In Soho, I fell in love with this building on the corner of Broome and Greene; it represents what I had in my head about New York, the huge spaces. We have columns and a really great ceiling with embossed metal panels. As the space was really big, we constructed a kind of wooden cabin. It’s quite hard to explain, but it’s between a sculpture and a tree house. It’s a space within a space.

That sounds similar to what your husband, Jérôme [Dreyfuss, the bag designer], did in his store next door.
No, it’s very different. Of course, we love the same things and we have the same inspirations, living together for 15 years now. Of course there are similarities between us. But we never speak together about what we’re doing [at work] because we have really separate [design] universes. Neither of us was quite used to having such huge spaces, because in Paris it’s very rare to have this kind of space. We both had the same idea of reducing the space, having a smaller space within a big space. Yes, we share the same architect, but we really worked separately with Nicolas.

Will you stock the same merchandise here as in your Paris shops?
Seeing so many American girls in my Paris shops, I can more or less figure out that what they buy is almost the same as what we sell in Paris, so I think it will be the same merchandise. Until now, my collection in New York City was bought [by department stores and boutiques] in a quite conservative way. I think American women are looking for the strongest pieces, so I will put more strong pieces in the store. It will really represent the essence of the Isabel Marant collection.

Do you anticipate New York influencing the way you design at all?
I don’t think so; I always work very spontaneously. I hate working with records because I always say if the record was good, they already have it and they don’t need it another time. You don’t need to redo something that’s already a success.

What has Jérôme told you about the first few weeks his store has been open for business?
He was quite surprised that he sold a lot of python bags, which are the most expensive bags he does, so he was super-happy.

Have you spent a lot of time in New York? Any favorite places?
I was there the first time 20 years ago, but only for two days. After that, I went back 10 years ago, and hadn’t been there again until I started looking for a space for my store. But I did spend five days there last month for Jérôme’s opening. It was the end of the shows, and I wanted to check and see how my shop was doing. I came incognito; I had no schedule at all. I could take some time for me and visit all the museums, and most of all, the art galleries in Chelsea. I love this area, all the modern art you have in the galleries. It’s really amazing.

source { style.com written by —Nicole Phelps}

The Isabel Marant New York City boutique

Friday, August 19, 2011

floral food for thought

A little look in the world where food meets flowers, a match made in heaven in any home if you ask me and so simple to do no matter the space, place or budget.

The two feed off each other beautifully, both based on similar trends and focused on quality of produce and seasons. So next dinner party, if you're cooking at home just for one, whatever the occasion - pick up a bunch of flowers that compliment your dish, your mood or season - you will thank yourself for the little pleasure you have brought in to brighten your home.
images & styling {fleurette for the Sydney Magazine} 
dishes by Jonathan Barthelmess
ceramics MUD Australia, napkins by Missoni Home, glass wear Riedel Glas Austria

Thursday, August 18, 2011

By Malene Birger | Summer Preview 2011

With Spring just around the corner these final winter days are drenched in sunshine and to mark the launch of Danish designer By Malene Birger's new Spring/Summer collections I was asked to help style the brunch launch of the label in store at Manly boutique Mrs & Mrs Smith for any queries about the brand be sure to call into see the girls at Rialto Square, Manly or on 02 8966 9555.

I drew on inspiration and the colour palette of her designs and created a romantic and earthy range of arrangement to accent the quality of fabric and fluidity of the beautiful garments.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

KATE et JAMIE picture perfect

It is all just way too beautiful not to share and get swept away with, what more could a girl want?.... 
Read the entire story here in Kiss Me, Kateexclusively on VOGUE.COM. As experienced by by Hamish Bowles and captured by legendary photographer Mario Testino.