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ruffles spilling over and waterfalling to the ground in a puddle

As most of you know if you have been following my Facebook page, yesterday was the last day for my display at the Marketplace Design Center in Philadelphia.  I featured a year of couture delicacies and chose to highlight some of my inspirations as well as those of Deb Barrett’s in addition to the “belles oeuvres” drapery holdbacks of Rémy Lemoine.  Incorporating a little French flair or what I like to call a certain “je ne sais quoi” was certainly what this space needed! 

As you note by the photo below, this was the window before I took occupancy.  It was a great location next to the coffee shop and was a corner unit so that those eating at the tables outside the shop could look into my display. 

previous window display before

This is my first attempt at getting the draperies strategically placed so that they could be seen from all directions.  See how bland the walls are and the door in the middle of the back wall?  I knew I had to do something about this because I just wasn’t feeling “it.”  As a drapery workroom, my goal for this space was to highlight the quality of my workmanship as well as inspire the designers who came into the design center.  I wanted them to go in directions they might not ever have thought about before when it came to incorporating window treatments and accessories into their designs.

first try. first 6 month display

This is a closeup of the silk interlined panel hanging from a curved mounting board.  I used an 8″ pencil pleat header and hand smocked the entire width.  After smocking, I placed the beads randomly in the folds to add a little surprise detail.  They reflect the lighting very nicely and coordinate with the bead trim on the bottom of the table scarf.  I also used the PORAM by Rémy Lemoine, a wrought iron tree in which the panel lays on a branch and falls gracefully to the floor.

closeup of hand smocked header and beads

I love the story this vignette is telling.  This gal and her husband have just come in from a soirée.  She sits on the chair, removing her gloves and necklace and then kicks off her shoes, while her partner removes his cufflinks and bowtie.  Glass of wine darling, she asks?  Mais oui, he says smiling and winking at her!  All the while, surrounded by a silk contrast pleated table skirt and bead trimmed table round, sipping from wine glasses I got for a wedding present 25 years ago and antique French chairs I got while on a trip to Paris!


lower display

This is a closeup of the gorgeous raw silk from Wesco fabrics in which I incorporated a 4″ banding on the leading edge inserted between 1/4″ cording.  The panel hung from a shaped cornice and is gracefully held in place by the SOGNI Straw Marquetry holdback from Rémy Lemoine.  I did a blog post HERE about straw marquetry and the artist who made it.  Believe it or not, I actually found that paisley fabric at Calico Corners along with the cording! 

closeup of Sogni Straw Marquetry and Wesco silk fabric

These are my Princess Tulle panels.  They are an interlined silk dupioni and each panel is different yet complementary.  Who says both panels have to look the same? 
Inspired by Deb Barrett, the left panel is 1 width wide and has 3 layers to it.  There is tulle peaking out from behind the header as well as gathered and attached to a separate contrast lining.  The top layer of silk graduates from the leading edge and is accented by fabric rosettes as it gets longer at the side.
The right panel is 1 1/2 widths wide and has tulle peaking out from behind the goblet pleat header.  It is gracefully held back by the Murano glass EMBRASSE holdback by Rémy Lemoine. 


side view showing Princess tulle panels

Now we get to the second half of the year’s display.  Marie Antoinette was my theme.  In keeping with Pantone’s color of the year, I kept the same fabric on the wall.  I also wanted to incorporate the table again but add different elements.  These elements being my own line of hardware, La Finial, custom painted mini finials and hardware for tapestries or other small projects.
This photo represents the display before the finishing touches had arrived.  I wanted to display diversity of talent too and the “more is more’ effect is definitely felt.
Notice the blue rhinestone encrusted silk panel on the right.  I used silver lamé as a contrast lining on the back as well as ruching running from the top of the panel all the way down and along the bottom edge.  Then in the center of the ruching, I cut out a strip of the silk with a center bead of rhinestones.  All hand sewn, all in the details! 
I also hung a Mucha tapestry on the right side window of the display to highlight the different ways La Finial can be custom painted.

second display phase 1

I love this shot of my faux petits fours on the crystal plate holder along with my La Finial delicacies!  It was rumored that Marie Antoinette said “Let them eat cake”, so this is my homage to that false account.
You can also see the side wall highlighting a layered treatment consisting of a back panel interlined and French pleated with bead trim on leading edge and tied back.  The next layer has an English Bump interlined right panel with an inverted pleat header, a contrast hand pleated trim on leading edge with contrast welt between panel and trim, and hand sewn.  The left panel is actually a long cascade with contrast ruched welt edge and contrast lining pulled back like a tent panel.  It too is lined with English Bump.
The final layer consists of assymetrical swags and cascades and a center jabot custom monogrammed.

petit fours with La Finial

This side of the vignette features a chair and footstool upholstered in the same fabric as the window treatment on the side wall and a silk pillow with poodle trim, a lace fan reminiscent of Marie Antoinette and the video by Sofia Coppola.  Excellent video and way more eye candy than my display for sure!  The matching footstool is acting as a pillow for the MIROIR Murano glass holdback by Rémy Lemoine.  I even found matching shoes too!
Don’t you just LOVE that ruffled panel?  It incorporates 3 different silks, is interlined with a flannel interlining and has hand sewn side, bottom and top hems.

chair and footstool

Here’s a shot of the lower half of the display.  You see a copper pot full of La Finials resting on a bed of hay in the lower right corner.  This represents the hamlet Marie Antoinette had at Le Petit Trianon with her animals.
Also displayed is a picture of her private apartment at Versailles.  My mother in law gave me this book which details everything about Versailles you could ever want to know.  When I feel like brushing up on my French, I open this book and go to school, enjoying the many pictures along the way and daydreaming about my room in Versailles and what it would look like!

lower display

I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip down memory lane with me as much as I have.  This was absolutely hands down one of the best experiences of my career as a master seamstress and designer of couture draperies.  I continue to be the US rep for Rémy Lemoine so if you have seen something that has caught your attention or want to know more, please feel free to contact me!

I have gained some very good clients as a result and even on the last day, Tuesday, as I was packing up my van, a designer approached me and asked me for my card.  She loved my display and explained that her firm designs hand painted fabrics and hardware and could tell from my display that I do the unique and unusual too.  We exchanged cards and I look forward to working with her firm.

I can’t believe I actually rolled all those drapery panels up in an organized pile and now they sit in a garbage bag!  Ah yes, one day they will come out and play again……..:)