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Je t'aime, Paris

Let me paint you a picture:

It’s 9pm and the sun is just starting to set. You’re sitting on the top floor balcony of an iconic Parisian apartment, the sounds of the street level cafe rise up. The air is warm. You’re sipping a remarkably good and remarkably cheap natural orange wine. A sketchbook is on the table before you, Sigur Rós plays in your ears. The Eiffel Tower glitters in the distance, and the  Sacré Coeur sits high on the hill beside you - watching as you attempt to translate the beauty of the city onto paper.

 

Oh Paris, what a muse you are.

I had travelled there by myself in my early twenties and was completely shocked by the beauty. I’d seen Paris is photos and movies - but I didn’t understand just how beautiful it would actually be. All the sculptures! The gold! The Seine! It was the most romantic place I had ever been, and made a mental note to come back someday with someone I loved.

This past summer was finally the time. For our five year anniversary, Cody and I spent 10 perfect days in the City of Light. I was so excited to share Paris with Cody because he notices and appreciates details like I do, and I knew he would fall in love with it in the same way I had.

 We balanced our days with museums, food, and stillness - taking moments to appreciate everything that was around us. We did bike tours, audio guides, and classes - prioritizing the things we loved and were interested to learn more about.

I had gone into the trip knowing that I wanted to design a collection inspired by Paris, but really didn’t know how it would manifest. As we wandered the city I made note of motifs I saw repeated - ornate flourishes, fleur-de-lis, scalloped shells, and roses are a few among the many. When I found small, interesting details I’d pull out my soft wax and take an impression of it - then safely store in a tin so I could take it back to Los Angeles to cast in metal.

 

One rainy morning we went to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs for their jewelry exhibit. The room was all black, and the walls were lined with rings and things made over the last few centuries. It was a fantastic and inspiring display of jewels. But what I loved most was that each ring was being showcased as a piece of art. There were a few impressive gemstones in the rings, but that’s not why they were enshrined in the museum. It was because of their unique settings, intricate design, and artistic worth.

Beauty that stands the test of time.

Returning to LA, I sat in my studio and took on the daunting task of designing a collection worthy of the name of Paris. There is so much tacky and kitschy product bearing this city’s name, and I wanted my collection to be the opposite of that.

It needed to evoke the romance of the glittering Seine at night.

The opulent ornateness of Versailles.

The feminine beauty of rococo design.

And the enduring value of artistry.

 

So it is with great joy and pride that I share my Paris Collection with you. It’s for any one who has fallen in love with, or in, Paris - or dreams of someday visiting. It is undoubtedly my best work yet, and feels like a turning point for me as a designer. I hope you find the perfect piece for you :)

Je t’aime, Paris. Je t’aime.

xo,

Christine

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