At a time when fashion is more inspired than ever by the past, the belt is making a comeback and is displayed with a hell of a dose of style. And there are 1001 ways to wear it to shine!
How to stand out with your belt?
A belt is an accessory that enhances your style. Take a coat that is flexible or less flexible but straight, and your belt, worn over your clothing, will do the rest. Because it makes it possible to highlight the volumes and the cut.
Even more stylish: sport your belt over a cape and do so just above waist level. In this case, elegance is the order of the day.
On a dress or a tunic, your belt dresses you. Wear it low or looser to showcase your hips. On a tunic it also reminds us of a wind of 70s looks that we love. In addition, it highlights your outfit. Also, on a gandoura or sari, it works wonders and makes you shine in the blink of an eye.
Even simpler, wearing a belt over a long shirt is a big tip. Again, it is better to put it at the level of your stomach or lower at the beginning of the hips.
More classic but just as sublime in the loops of your pants, high waist or low waist, making sure to tuck your top or shirt into the pants, the belt gives you the look you want.
All styles of belts are allowed!
Straight, tied, rigid or flexible, stretchy, with knots, without knot, to each his own style.
Useful, the belt becomes an attractive fashion item. It charms the garment and our feminine forms.
In Japan, you can wear it over an Obi-style kimono. In the US, it’s stiffer with a touch of Texan styling and a Mexican-inspired metal buckle.
Whereas in Europe, the belt mixes and mixes with all our outfits. No doubt because it has become indispensable in our wardrobe. Moreover, Yves Saint Laurent liked to tie it, in soft leather or silk around our waist. This is still so true today.
Iconic examples of feminine belts
Do you know the looks of Brigitte Bardot dressed by the stylist Jean Bouquin in the 70s? Here, the belt dresses BB in a low waist over cotton veil tunics. she also wears it over her ultra-short denim shorts. More obvious are also the large belts of Brigitte Bardot, worn high waist on a gingham skirt in “Et Dieu Créa la Femme!”
At the extremes, or the antipodes, there are also the futuristic large belts of Jane Fonda in Barbarella in addition to the ones she wears every day from the 60s until today.
More recently, Mindy and Emily in the legendary Netflix series, Emily in Paris are lovers of belts!
And even more in season 2 of the American series which features a very French fashion, deliberately colorful.
With Emily in Paris, it is a parade of feminine and ultra-trendy belts.
Watch for example how Mindy, alias @ashleyparklady reveals a beige patent leather jewel belt with a very graphic oval buckle. It comes from a pretty French brand, @buttonsparadiseparis, which mixes pop buckles, colorful and adorned with patent leather. A beautiful example of a belt that dresses a dress close to the body, in a solid color and which is highlighted with this hype accessory.
The secrets of a beautiful belt
There are belts that are worth a look. Because they are worn with our most refined outfits to better showcase our figure.
The Mixi is a jewel. On top of that, it is innovative and lightweight. Its buckle is in ABS resin. ABS is a polymer resin, a French invention of a fighter pilot at the end of the 1960s. At the time, it was not a question of buckles and even less of a belt for women but of a car since this material was chosen to produce the body of the Méhari Citroën. A car for the beach, light and very resistant to impact. It is also a material that thermoforms easily. What is less known is that this resin is 100% recyclable. From this unusual material for the time, belt buckles like those that make up the Mixi are from 1968 were born.
In addition to being rare and original, the Mixi buckles can be changed to suit our outfits if desired.
And if it is a jewel, it is because it hugs the waist thanks to its leather ribbon, also recycled, without hole or barb but with magnets. A limited series and a fashion accessory which is also handmade in Paris!
Good to know for a perfect fit
Do not wear your belt too low if your hips are generous but rather high to emphasize your figure.
When you want to highlight a loose sweater or mesh, don’t hesitate to wear your high waist belt!
The subject is debated and the trend is strong. But then, what is a sustainable or eco-responsible jewelry? So in this article, I explain to you my vision of the feminine ornaments of tomorrow that we love so much that they draw their roots in the past!
1. From vintage to eco-responsible
Who never said that an old object like a sewing button or a belt buckle had no future? Often the old and the past are mistakenly considered old-fashioned and obsolete. Except that, by dint of unbridled overconsumption, I take a new and respectful look at these details of the past. Because a garment button tells a story, that of the craftsman who made it. Because its material can be noble if the button is in horn, Corozo or Galalith.
The same goes for a belt buckle in stamped metal which reveals the art of the copper maker who created it. In fact this buckle, as in the photo comes from the South of France. She is over 100 years old. So with her, we imagine a life. The woman who carried it: a washerwoman from the fields or a woman of the young bourgeoisie?
And there begins the charm of vintage and the eco-responsible in fashion and in the world of jewelry! This is why, by vintage, I mean the best of age since it is a vintage, a beautiful vintage, unique, tasty.
2. Respect from heritage
At the beginning, it is a question of preserving an object, an accessory, which tells me its story, to give it a new breath. And there, I must tell you about the jewelry and buttons of BUTTONS PARADISE.
There is also this muse bracelet, too, in leather from the short and Parisian circuit. And its rectangular 50s mother-of-pearl buckle that captures the light and dresses you in the blink of an eye: jeans and a black jacket on a white T-shirt or a small white sweater? You will gain followers, and I assure you, you will get a lot of compliments in return. I guess this is the magic of sustainable jewelry!
3. Vintage + Sustainable = Fashion Responsible
Well, yeah ! Here is the magic equation for a future worthy of the fashion enthusiasts that we are! This is why I revere the detail of the dress. Perfecto revisited with a big button as a brooch or for your mom’s coat or the one found in a secret place enhanced with round buttons in gold or silver metal chain! Everything then becomes sustainable and eco-responsible by giving them a second life.
Like these haute couture buttons from Paco Rabanne. These are clothing jewelry in themselves! Full crush <3 and once again, everything is a question of metamorphosis with a zest of imagination when you love design!
So have you become eco-responsible or sustainable fashion or both ?? !! If you want to know more, go to BUTTONS PARADISE PARIS or 15 rue Saint Guillaume, Paris 7. You will discover a whole world where the past and the present know no borders. And finally, you can choose eco-responsible and sustainable jewelry or fashion accessories.
There are too (little) known crafts! So discover three art crafts where passion dominates, including one dedicated to sewing buttons around a round table discussion hosted by the Chamber of Arts and Crafts of Paris. Let’s go. And look, listen, you won’t believe your ears!
Carousel of Crafts
Initially, Sarah, Eric and I were to exhibit at the Carrousel des Métiers d’Art et de la Création at the Louvre. But in December 2020, due to the health crisis the biennial had been canceled. Except that we were able to express ourselves through digital round tables during the period of the show. So many encounters and passion between visitors and artisans around sculpture and sewing!
So watch it in replay !!! During this exchange, you will discover Sarah Leroy, feather worker, Éric Nadeau, Statuaire, and me, Sandrine Mettetal, button maker. Throughout our discussions, you will discover three rare crafts.
1. Eric, the Moulder-Statuary
First with Eric, who took over the only moulder-statuary workshop in France ten years ago. What is surprising is that Eric, before taking over this workshop and its artisans, was a client of Atelier Lorenzi. He was then a landscape architect for large amusement parks, in France and around the world. And to realize his decorative works such as castles for example, he had to call on the services of Atelier Lorenzi. But the core business of a sculptor is above all to make three-dimensional molds from works of art, old or contemporary. And did you know that the Lorenzi workshop holds the largest heritage of statues molds after the Louvre museum?
2. Sarah, the Feather Master
Then it’s Sarah and her enthusiasm that comes on stage with a voice as soft as the feathers she is working on. Like Eric, Sarah before becoming a craftsman, worked as a makeup artist for Haute Couture. The funny thing is that she often picked up feathers that had fallen from the dresses or headdresses of the models she was putting on makeup. From there came the idea to convert and train in the profession of feather worker because she adored these beautiful aerial feathers that she crossed from fashion shows to fashion shows.
And since then, Sarah has accomplished beautiful creations such as feather ceilings and walls for large hotels, feather inlays for jewelers. She is also passionate about the feather jewelry she makes. But above all, did you know that being a featherweight is above all handling the feathers of the moults of birds (roosters, chickens, guinea fowl, pheasants …)? Because since the Washington convention in 1975, the feather trade has been highly regulated to protect birds. And as Sarah adores them, she explains very well the respect she has with these moulting feathers that she works.
3. Sandrine, the love of couture buttons
Finally, I am talking about the job of button-maker! At the beginning, it is about my passion for the styling, and the sculpture of the garment since I wanted to become a designer and designed all my clothes. Then two years of break in my studies where I had the chance to be a costume designer in London allowed me to realize the first part of my dream. But absorbed by my studies, which I had resumed on the advice of my parents, made me become a marketing director.
Despite everything, this craze for the dress and its garment sculptures of buttons and buckles was the strongest. So I decided to put myself at a positive risk! I gave up everything to realize my dream and passion: to become a button maker! And the backbone of this craft is in two words: the buckle and the sewing button.
But these two mischievous accessories have plenty of stories to tell you. In addition, I transform them into jewelry and fashion accessorieswhen I find vintage nuggets. Besides, do you know what Galalith is, my favorite material? Well to find out, watch the video on these three rare and little-known crafts!
4. Galalith lover
In short, Galalith is a new kind of bioplastic. Because this material is made from milk protein, hence its natural creamy white color. It is a resin with beautiful virtues that we admire. Indeed, Galalith is anti-static, anti-allergic and biodegradable! It is also extremely soft to the touch. That’s why I love it. This is probably also why Galalith, at the beginning of the 20th century, was the number 1 material for jewelers and adorners.
So that’s why BUTTONS PARADISE has a boundless passion for vintage buttons in addition to contemporary buttons. Because it is benevolent to bring back to light sublime sewing buttons from another time and give them a new life. Because it is good to pay attention to our planet by manufacturing just what you need and with the least possible pollution, hence the promotion and love of Galalith!
It is by creating more responsible fashion that we participate in building the world of tomorrow. A world of sewing and clothing that is even more respectful of fine crafts as opposed to fast fashion. An understatement, but it’s good to write it down and claim it, over and over again!
And if not, I’ll meet you immediately behind the scenes of the show around my buttons and sewing buckles made in France!
The Sewing Button Call
In early December 2019, while I am in my workshop-showroom, I receive a call from Misa. Japanese in Paris, she is the production coordinator of a Japanese television channel: NHK. I listen to her voice. She is gentle and calm, attentive too. Misa gives me the name of a director: Kazumasa Takigawa-san.
And from the program of this famous director of NHK, she tells me wonders! The NHK program has also a mystery guest. And this guest saw saw my site and my jewelry creations made from rare buttons and buckles. She told the NHK she wants to visit my workshop.
Because yes, BUTTONS PARADISE is all about them! A universe composed of design buttons, haute couture, and colorful buckles. My product offer, button side, is vintage or contemporary. For contemporary models, I design some of them and have them made in France for sewing enthusiasts.
If I don’t know this director, I know the NHK TV channel. Its professionalism is no longer to be demonstrated as this channel excels by the quality of its programs. Not for nothing either if I always nicknamed it the Japanese BBC!
So I ask my questions. Misa tells me about a filming project in gestation that particularly intrigues me. Indeed, when she announced the title of the show to me, I found it more than promising: “Sekai wa Hoshii Mono ni Afuretery” which means, “the world is full of desirable things”. How not to be seduced by this evocative title, when I also consider that the button is a “POCC” (Smallest Common Cultural Object for Plus Petit Objet Culturel Commun in French) so desirable and unique!
We obviously share the same vision and the same love for buttons and buckles since he wishes to present my creations during his broadcast. More specifically, Kazamasa Takigawa-san and his team wish to arrive on January 7 in France, and this for 3 days, in order to shoot their report.
The proposition is therefore simple. They absolutely want to make a day of shooting in my workshop-showroom in Paris, and that I can present my creations, my artisanal know-how, share my passion for buttons and buckles with my French Touch.
Of course, my answer was not long in coming. It was with great enthusiasm that I accepted. An opportunity for my brand, BUTTONS PARADISE to have caught the eye of the director and his renowned program!
Because as an entrepreneur and designer, I often have requests but many are flash in the pan. And if I abandoned everything, 5 years ago to create my brand, it is anything but NOT to waste my time.
On the contrary, I look for more meanings in my work, and I need to create with my hands. A vital desire to return to some true sources: the know-how of the button and the sewing buckle. And never, for nothing in the world will I give up my dreams!!!! Like all the craftsmen that we are!
Finally this call came when I am about to be an exhibitor at the Maison & Objet trade fair in January 2020. This means that the timing is tight. But hey, that’s what it means to be an entrepreneur-craftsman. We juggle between all the caps, we run everywhere and that’s what I love!
Then, once Misa’s email has been received about the shooting, I contacted Claudia, my agent. Outstanding communicator, Claudia is also a strategy guru, her job. German by birth, French at heart, she always amazes me with her pragmatism and her acute sense of analysis. She exposes you a diagnosis in right words and sentences just like nobody. But above all, Claudia is full of passion … Besides; she is a true lover of design, style and creativity!
So with Claudia we share the tasks between us to prepare the shooting:
– First make an appointment with Misa for the location
– Imagine also with NHK a discovery scenario of the button and jewelry in Parisian style
– Explain above all the DNA of my brand and my creative profession (natural materials that I work like Galalith or Corozo for my buttons or my jewelry …)
– Finally find three or four exclusively French subjects for the shooting
– My post-broadcast image rights, which I must ensure
Backstage in fashion runway mode
Because contrary to appearances, participating in a TV show requires anticipation.
Besides, I have the impression of seeing myself again at The Royal Shakespeare Company, the day before a general when I was a costume assistant!
Because the staging and the script are loaded ☺
– Present rare, original, unusual and 100% haute couture buttons
– Explain the creation of button and buckle models made in France
– Also create a necklace or bracelet during the shooting
– Staging my jewelry on a Parisian model
– Tell anecdotes but not necessarily my manufacturing secrets…
– And finally, welcome the mystery guest of NHK: THE button specialist in Japan!
In fact, you have to think of EVERYTHING as before a fashion show so that EVERYTHING goes perfectly. And the smallest details make the difference!
D-Day: I put on my jacket dress, leggings and … my Georgia cuff. To tell you the truth, Georgia is my lucky bracelet and one of my favorite creations: a grained red leather strap (in recycled leather) adorned with two superb black and silver Sèvres porcelain buttons from the 80s! Then, head to my workshop-showroom by bike …
8:00 am: arrival of Claudia, my agent and Shinta, model
9:00 am: reception of the director, the cameraman, the sound engineer, the technicians
10:00 am: Shinta goes to Flore’s cafe for a fashion shoot with some of the staff
11:00 am: Meeting the NHK mystery guest …
4:00 p.m .: end of clap after many interviews
The mystery guest, Naoko K.
In summary, what I can say is that I loved this moment. The director and his cameraman’s eye on my buttons and jewelry: their moments of extreme concentration and our giggles too.
Particularly with Naoko Kozaka, the mystery guest on the NHK program. Because with Naoko, it was a very nice meeting.
Besides, we have to believe that we both had a lucky star for becoming accomplices as soon as we met! Besides the fact that we both have short hair (!), we really see that Naoko is passionate about the world of buttons. She considers, like me, that this small fashion accessory is a work of art: varied and timeless styles over the years (and centuries!), limitless creativity, past steeped in history, multiple skills, the grail of Arts and crafts.
Naoko created her brand Co- in the early 2000s in Tokyo. She has also written books on the button.
And if I don’t tell you more about her, it’s that I will talk to you about Naoko soon around a BUTTONS PARADISE event in Tokyo. But that’s another story …
In the meantime, NHK’s flagship show, “Sekai wa Hoshii Mono ni Afureteru” in French, “The world is full of desirable things” will air on April 9 at 10:30 p.m. local time.
Singer JuJu, adorned with a bracelet, an exclusive creation from BUTTONS PARADISE, will present it. So if you are in Japan, on your screens for 45 minutes to discover the most beautiful buttons in France!
More to discover on the #FEELGOOD BUTTONS PARADISE
Because of the lockdown, at BUTTONS PARADISE, we adapt our editorial line to offer you articles that allows you to get away or keep busy! So, let’s take advantage of it together to make it a positive moment! You may have said to yourself, “Well, I wish I could read such a book, but I never have time.” Well, it is time 🙂 Because we know that you are in love with fashion as much as we are, we have decided to offer you our top 10 fashion books that you should definitely read.
PS: We even found the links to find them in physics or digital if necessary.
THE ILLUSTRATED BOOKS –
1. Vintage Fashion by Nicky Albrechtsen
A mine of gold and information, this illustrated book retraces the history of fashion. As a guideline it shows how the ideas and creations of the past continue to inspire or even influence those of today.
Hence, Vintage Fashion takes us on a journey through more than a thousand iconic pieces, photographed exclusively for the book. They reproduce the creations of yesterday worn by icons of today’s style.
From the 1920s to the 1980s, the book illustrates 60 years of creations chronologically and thematically. Filled with practical explanations, anecdotes and … Vintage Fashion. This is why this book is undoubtedly a fashion bible. Finally, mixing shapes and materials, this fashion book confirms that style is timeless.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION Vintage Fashion – Nicky Albrechtsen – Citadelles & Mazenod Edition – € 89 Fnac: https://bit.ly/39lyfJY or Amazon: https://amzn.to/2xt0j0A
2. Why is it a masterpiece? by Marnie Fogg
Do not trust the size of this book! It is a small format (surprising isn’t it?), but very complete. Why is it a masterpiece? This is precisely what this book explains to us through an unprecedented analysis of 80 creations that have hit the mark in the history of fashion. In the form of a notice, he presents each work as a whole, starting with its context and going into the details of what made it famous, exceptional or even emblematic.
To put your mouth watering, you can easily find the story of the White Shirt by Yohji Yamamoto, the Corset by Jean-Paul Gaultier worn by Madonna, or the Little Black Dress signed Chanel. In short, a superb invitation behind the scenes of fashion creation explained by style, materials and creators. This book offers a concise, precise and lively rendering that will delight you!
PRACTICAL INFORMATION Why is it a masterpiece? Marnie Fogg – Eyrolles Edition € 12.90
Eyrolles Edition: https://bit.ly/33P2at2
3. Yves Saint Laurent,
the madness of the accessory by Patrick Mauriès
Notice to lovers of beautiful books, Yves Saint Laurent: The madness of the accessory, is a work that traces the boundless creativity of one of the greatest French designers for accessories. An anthology compiling all the Yves Saint Laurent accessories since the creation of the haute couture house. An illustrated and explanatory book which makes it possible to better decipher the accessories manufactured between 1962 and 2002.
It combines photographs of jewelry, belts, gloves or bridal adornments and buttons! A big blue pavement, a clever mix of preparatory drawings and photos taken behind the scenes of the parades. Through this book, one is immediately taken into his universe, and made aware of his love for accessories. As he liked to say, “The importance of accessories cannot be overstated. They are the ones who transform a dress. I like a dress to be sober and a crazy accessory. ” You will understand, we absolutely love this book!
A great source of inspiration for us every day, and a shared vision of the importance of accessories.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION Yves Saint Laurent, the madness of the accessory – Patrick Mauriès
Éditions Phaidon € 49.95 Fnac: https://bit.ly/3dxGjdM
4. Mode Anvers L’Académie 50 by Flammarion Publisher
Creator of the greatest fashion designers, the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp celebrates its 50th anniversary with a book published by Flammarion. He presents through photographs and stories, the story of a school that “has proven that creativity was the only way even in times of crisis!” “, As Jean-Paul Gaultier says in the preface. Statement which is de rigueur you tell us! 🙂
Travel and transcription of the best years of this school which is one of the most prestigious fashion design schools in the world. It is notably thanks to the generation of Martin Margiela and Six of Antwerp (Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Noten, Dirk Van Saene, Dirk Bikkembergs, Walter Van Beirendonck and Marina Yee), who largely contributed to this renown.
This book is therefore a real invitation to explore the fifty years of history of the fashion section, following behind the scenes the specific teaching methodologies, the legendary annual fashion show, all while following the journey of several generations of students. In short, a sublime book, which is filled with new archives giving voice to the creators themselves with exclusive interviews. Happy birthday to the Academy of Antwerp :)!
Beautiful People, subtitled “Saint Laurent, Lagerfeld: splendors and miseries of fashion”, is a story that crosses paths with the two monuments of creation that revolutionized fashion in the 70s and 80s. It all started in 1954. The International Wool Secretariat Competition crowned two young strangers (at the time): Yves Saint Laurent, who was 18, and Karl Lagerfeld, who was 21. Both have turned the fashion industry upside down in their own way: one serving brands he will transform and the other in his own home.
This is what journalist Alicia Drake highlights in her novel by retracing their meteoric rise. Also an exceptional investigation, which makes it possible to define the cross portrait of two charismatic personalities. Furthermore, between the story of friendship and rivalry, neuroses and obsessions, passing by fear their ambitions. Finally, the journalist draws the parallel of these two stories that are linked and untied by highlighting the excesses of the time: drugs, AIDS, industrialization of fashion, search for money …
So this is why Beautiful People is a book to read absolutely! Especially if you want to decipher this unique moment in our history: in the hustle and bustle of fashion Paris and the most fantastic decades.
Beautiful People – Alicia Drake – Éditions Folio Gallimard € 10
Fnac: https://bit.ly/3dC3gwK or Amazon: https://amzn.to/2vSIyaF
6. And Dior created Victoire – Victoire Doutreleau
“She walks towards him. The stranger has the insolent grace of Saint-Germain-des-Prés; he is the master of fashion. Head down, Christian Dior observes at length: You will be a model, he says, and names you Victoire. – Excerpt from Et Dior created Victoire.
So, this is how the career of the woman begins! Similarly, she will become the most famous model of her time (the 1950s): Victory. But above all, through the largest fashion house in Paris, this stranger will become a true icon. Dior created Victoire is therefore a biography of the life of Victoire Doutreleau. She shares her story with us in complete privacy. From its beginnings to its glory through the after model. Indeed, Victoire will know glory and learn to face it. Not Surprisingly either, she will have to juggle between fighting against the jealousy of women, appetites of men, Paris traps … Victory will especially have to accompany a lot of celebrities (Princess Margaret, the Empress of Japan…).
It was then that she discovered the excitement and decadence of the Parisian nights of the time accompanied by her two friends, still unknown: Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld. In short, Victoire Doutreleau opens us in this biography, behind the scenes of the collections and shows us behind the scenes.
In short, a roughly well written and intimate story in which we discover a rebellious model. Yes yes you heard right … She always refused to wear a sheath! (An outrage at that time :))
And Dior created Victoire – Victoire Doutreleau – Éditions Robert Laffon € 8
Book available in E-book (Kindle / Kobo / Epub / Google Play)
7. Sonya Rykiel: When she has no Red, she puts on Black by Carmen Castillo and Evelyne Pisier
Indeed, what about a true story of a lifetime? Amazing because this book is at the perfect cross between a biography and a novel: The true story of Sonya Rykiel’s life. Carmen Castillo and Evelyne Pisier followed the career of this great lady, Sonya Rykiel, for a year. They take up in this book, all its history, and especially, all its life.
Indeed, she was the oldest of five girls from a family of Jewish emigrants from Russia and Romania, she has no diploma in her pocket.
In contrast, Sonya Rykiel is part of this avant-garde of women who have excelled through their double hats: Designer and Company Manager. Back on this woman who invented a style that liberates women and their gestures, while founding a family empire so she defends independence at all costs. A book that subtly combines humor and provocation with the image of the designer, in order to bring us into the interlacing of her destiny, her private life, her secrets, her intimate dramas but also her loves and her successes.
Sonya Rykiel: When she has no Red, she puts on Black – Carmen Castillo and Evelyne Pisier – Éditions Fayard € 21.90
8. The Panther by Stéphanie des Horts
The Panther is a biography of the famous Jeanne Toussaint.
This book, written by journalist Stéphanie de Horts, traces her life entirely. It all started at the end of the 19th century, when Jeanne Toussaint was born in Flanders of embroiderers. Also endowed with a desire for steel, she set out very quickly to conquer Paris accompanied by her very sure and very pronounced taste for fashion. It was then that she met Louis Cartier, the famous jeweler, who fell in love with him from the first moment. As a result, she quickly becomes his muse, and he teaches her precious stones and mysterious alloys.
A few years later, their symbiosis will give birth to absolutely extraordinary and iconic jewelry: Birds of Paradise, Egrets and Chiseled Tiaras, but above all and not least, the mythical Panther which will become the emblem of the label. It was at this very precise moment that a new style was born, hers, that of Jeanne Toussaint.
Thus, Stéphanie de Horts highlights the surprising destiny and the flamboyant personality of the one who was the greatest jeweler of her time. Moreover, through reading this book, you will come to meet the key figures of the century who were an integral part of Jeanne Toussaint’s life. For example, Proust, Cocteau, Hemingway, Scott and Zelda, Coco Chanel or the Duchess of Windsor.
La Panthère – Stéphanie des Ports – Le Livre de Poche Publisher € 8 Book available in E-book (Kindle / Kobo / Epub / Google Play)
9. The Irregular by Edmonde Charles-Roux
The book L’irrégulière, subtitled “Coco Chanel’s itinerary” is THE reference biographical book on the life of Gabrielle Chanel.
So in this book, the writer traces the journey of the first 70 years of this century. Taking up the journey of the most famous seamstress in the world. Because everything is there: her childhood spent in an orphanage with her sister. Then her young years in Moulins where she learned sewing, passing by her arrival in Paris where she created the house Chanel.
What is even more surprising is that it is a veritable collection of minute details. But also, it is for the first time lifted the veil on the history and psychology of Coco Chanel. In fact, it is portrait of a famous stranger who, throughout her life, has been marginal, “irregular”.
As a matter of fact, the writer Edmonde Charles-Roux was president of the Académie Goncourt from 2002 to 2014.
As a result, her famous book, L’irrégulière, was adapted for cinema by Anne Fontaine “Coco avant Chanel” interpreted by Audrey Tautou and with the actors Benoît Poelvoorde and Marie Gillain. If you want to know more, we talked about it in our previous article – Top 10 Fashion Movies.
The Irregular – Edmonde Charles-Roux – Le Livre de Poche Editions € 9
Book available in E-book (Kindle / Kobo / Epub / Google Play)
Fnac: https://bit.ly/39tAyuJ or Amazon: https://amzn.to/33NTwe6
10. How should we dress? by Adolf Loos
Adolf Loos (1870-1933) is a famous Austrian architect. He is revolutionary and an advocate of total stripping in modern architecture. But not only !
He was also a brilliant chronicler who was in favor of waking up Austria in the 20th century by inculcating in it the principles of modernity.
A true collection. Therefore, the book How should we dress, brings together all the texts he wrote on the subject of clothing and fashion. An intellectual, spiritual and somewhat mad work, in which nothing escapes the author.
Thus, from hats to shoes via underwear … it decrypts everything! He also does not pride himself on answering the question of his own novel: How should we dress? The book is then classified according to several questions such as: According to what criteria to choose your coat? How do you look like a gentleman when you ride a bike? Should women wear short hair? In short, a lesson in style!
Aldolf is also the author of another book, “Paroles dans le vide”. Book that we love at BUTTONS PARADISE, since it contains, according to our founder, the most beautiful of the quotes on the button:
“If nothing else were to remain of a disappeared people than a single button, it would be possible for me, from the shape of this button, to deduce the clothing and the uses of this people, its mores and its religion, its art and its intellectual life. So great is the importance of this button. […]. But the way is this: God creates the artist, the artist creates the era, the era creates the artisan, the artisan creates the button. ” LOOS Adolf, Paroles dans le vide, 1897-1900, Ivrea, 1994 Answers to questions from the audience (1919) p.270
How should we dress? – Adolf Loos – Editions Les Cahiers Rouges Grasset € 8
Book available in E-book (Kindle / Kobo / Epub / Google Play)
Fnac: https://bit.ly/2wG6cYo or Amazon: https://amzn.to/2WObsnm
Now tell us! What are your favorite fashion books? 🙂
Do not hesitate to tell us in the comments, we will be happy to discuss with you your favorites and discover new nuggets together!
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With the current health crisis, there is a good reason to believe that fashion will open a new era, even more responsible and local. And as in any transition in movement, why not return to the French symbols which participate in the fashion of today and even more that of tomorrow?
Here is a quick and fun look at 5 French symbols that make France one of the leading figures in fashion.
1. The marine style
Initially, it was primarily a style of British naval inspiration. In the 18th century, in fact, King George II has been inspired by his wife’s red and white Amazon clothing, for him and the uniform of the Navy. Very quickly, the Americans followed suit followed by the French who brought a touch of blue. Because the sailor uniform fascinates. It is sober, elegant and above all practical to allow movement and action. With the burgeoning growth of cruises and seaside resorts at the start of the 20th century, the marine style overwhelmed fashion with a very French style.
And it is above all, a great French fashion designer, Coco Chanel who gave a real naval inspiration to the fashion of yesterday and today: the feminine flared pants, it is her and the striped sailor sweater too!
2. The striped sweater
It is especially the striped jersey that most symbolizes, the sailor clothing. Did you know that originally, the striped sweater displayed twenty-one indigo blue lines to illustrate the number of Napoleonic victories? Brittany, meanwhile, made it from the 19th century, the working clothes of shipyard workers and fishermen.
Then in the 1920s, as said above, it was Coco Chanel’s turn to take it. She wears a sailor sweater and a male jacket, a very avant-garde sign for her time. Then it’s Brigitte Bardot’s turn in the 1950s, notably in the film Viva Maria. It must be said that there is something very elegant in this French-style t-shirt. It is undoubtedly for this also that Jean-Paul Gaultier places and revisits, in the 90s, the theme of the striped sweater at the heart of his parades!
3. The emblematic hats
Originating from the Pyrenees and more precisely from Béarn, the beret is THE most used French fashion symbol abroad. Worn by Occitan peasants from the 17th century, the beret is an accessory that is still worn today. In wool, cashmere or covered with pearls or buttons, the beret has its fans. It is also probably because it is the smallest French hat that it inspires the biggest!
From Elsa Schiaparelli through Chanel, Maison Michel or even in 1967, Brigitte Bardot for the video for “Bonnie and Clyde”, the beret is the most French of hats, mythical and inspiring. Without forgetting Jane Powell and her dancing beret with Fred Astaire in the film Royal Wedding!
The Cloche hat
Made inseparable from the boyish style during the roaring 20s, this hat is a true example of a French symbol. Imagined by the talented French milliner Caroline Reboux, it embodies a form of femininity that is still relevant today. The Cloche hat is a timeless best case! Particularly suitable for short hair, as practical and space-saving as the beret, it highlights the face like no one. This is certainly why its shape has become a model of French inspiration. Notice to fans of hats for a guaranteed Parisian style!
4. The gingham
This fabric and its checkered pattern have origins that are not very identifiable. That said, as early as the 14th century, we already find traces of this motif. The checkered canvas was made by Flemings and Burgundians living in Burgundy. A kind of Europe before Europe! Later, it was Napoleon III who brought it to light. While traveling near Vichy he fell in love with this motif by visiting a factory very close to the city. The baptismal name is sealed because the fashion is then in lilac and white, the two favorite colors of gingham!
But still in Europe, this motif would also be a Franco-British mix! Indeed, the gingham fabric before becoming that of the city of Vichy, where it was mass produced, would be that of the checked linen fabric of the city of Guingamp in Brittany. And that’s why in England this fabric is called Gingham, because it was imported from Brittany! Except that in Manchester, where it was copied, the English gingham was primarily blue and white and not pink and white. Queen Victoria adored her as much as Brigitte Bardot in a gingham skirt in and “God created the woman”!
5. Blue white red
Because we cannot evoke the emblems of French style without its colors! First white, universal color even if for France, it is the royal color. Then the blue and red which at the time of the revolution represent the city of Paris, quite a symbol! Finally, let’s admit that these three colors are harmonious and bright. Jean-Paul Gaultier at the risk of over-citing it in use and abuse it for our greatest pleasure. And I especially remember that a fashion that reinvents itself, makes consumers useful, responsible and local must precisely draw from its origins!
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Whether you’re teleworking or babysitting at home, use these rare moments to do what you never have time to do. And this is why we are launching, for the next few weeks, a new series of articles dedicated to offering you little tips that allow you not to be bored, to have fun or even to escape. But you know us, it will be always around fashion for sure!
So we start this series with our top 10 fashion movies you should definitely watch or rediscover. Whether funny, light, poignant or inspired by actual events, they all deserve to be seen. So let’s go !
1. Funny Face – “Drôle de Frimousse” (1957)
Did you like The Devil Wears Prada? Then you will love Funny Face!
At the time of the Paris 50s, worthy of a postcard, Maggie Prescott, editor of the American fashion magazine Quality, is looking for the new model to present the latest creations of the renowned designer Paul Duval. Joëlle Stockton, a Greenwich Village bookseller, will become the new face of the big magazine.
Upon her arrival in Paris, she is accompany by Dick Avery, a star photographer of the time. But the young woman quickly abandons the sirens of fashion in favor of her first passion: philosophical discussions of Saint-Germain-des-Prés… In short, a post-war Paris in full effervescence around Fashion which will make you spend a pleasant moment, with a casting of choice: Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire, Michel Auclair. All of this was staged in a sublime musical by Stanley Donen. Funny Face is truly one of the last films of classic Hollywood music to see and watch again without moderation!
Philippe Clarence, a great fashion designer. He is widely famous in all of Paris, is known and recognized for his creations, but especially for his many feminine conquests. Don Juan in his spare time, it is fever and excitement that drives him.
A serious relationship? No, don’t talk to him about it. For him, outside of work, passion is only a handicap. It was then that he met Micheline (yes… those were the first names of the time:)!), The fiancée of her best friend, both of whom came to Paris to organize their wedding. Philippe falls in love with the beautiful Micheline. And does everything to conquer her. He does not suspect for a moment the depth of the feelings that will resurface. In his third feature film, Jacques Becker introduces us to a passionate character through fashion, although tortured and even rocking, into madness. A masterpiece! Ps: for the anecdote, Falbalas is Jean-Paul Gauthier’s favorite film, so we can only recommend it to you!
3. Saint Laurent (2014)
Saint-Laurent is a film directed by Bertrand Bonello which recalls the 1967-1976 period of the life of the famous French great couturier: Yves Saint Laurent. Instant immersion in the most creative years of the couturier’s career. Gaspard Ulliel, delivers here an intense interpretation of the genius between solitude and the desire to be loved.
A designer torn between passion for his work (haute couture), and morbidity, Bertrand Bonello makes us discover the hidden and no less confrontational faces of a singular man who engages in controversial pastimes like drugs or stories of one night…
Here, the director takes us through a tortured genius, supported by a mind-boggling acting game that is both just and disturbing.
4. The September Issue(2009)
The September Issue is an unreleased documentary film that follows the editorial staff of the famous Vogue magazine, including editor-in-chief: Anna Wintour. A true fashion popess, Anna Wintour is one of the most powerful and fascinating icons in the fashion world. Until now, she had never allowed anyone to interfere in the backstages of her magazine.
Except for R.J Cutler, the director. This documentary film brings us to the discovery of the conception and the manufacturing of the September 2007 issue. This “back to school” issue is one of the most awaited in the Fashion sphere and must set the tone for the fashion season. A nice opportunity to discover behind the scenes with a concrete example the making of the back to school number. But also the opportunity to meet the closest collaborators of Anna Wintour by following her through the different Fashion Weeks.
5. Coco avant Chanel(2009)
Biopic on the pre-glory of Coco Chanel, Coco avant Chanel is a film that focuses on the life of Gabrielle Chanel. Where is she from ? How did she get to the top? This is what director Anne Fontaine and actress Audrey Tautou show us.
To understand the woman behind the fashion figure, Coco avant Chanel takes us through Gabrielle Chanel’s difficult childhood in an orphanage where she is with her sister, Adrienne. A few years later, they will sing in a “bellowing” of the mills, where they will meet two men who will change their lives … A film around a fashion icon, which presents us with elegance and emotion, the first steps of Gabrielle Chanel as a seamstress through the birth of her fashion house.
6. The Eye Has to Travel(2011)
The Eye Has to Travel is at the border between a film and a documentary. It skillfully traces the life and career of the great Diana Vreeland. We are carried away in an introspection of her childhood at the time of fashionable Paris during the Belle Epoque. Going through her beginnings as Editor-in-Chief of the famous magazine Harper’s Bazaar, when she literally revolutionized fashion by popularizing the famous blue denim and the Bikini. A large part of the documentary film also traces the fabulous years of Diana as Editor-in-Chief of Vogue magazine. She brought her very artistic vision, making the magazine an inspirational bible to the unique vision of fashion.
A very beautiful tribute to travel through poignant and exclusive testimonies of Vreeland, as well as interviews of her loved ones, her family and her colleagues. Through this film, we discover an intimate portrait of a woman full of ambition, brilliant, and eccentric who left us a true heritage of fashion. Diana Vreeland, the great popess of fashion, created the fashion of today and tomorrow in the 1920s!
7. The Devil wears Prada(2006)
Cult film … The Devil wears Prada is a timeless one that lets you watch at least once a year! (Yes… We are a fan at BUTTONS PARADISE). A young journalism graduate, Andrea Sachs (embodied by the sublime Anne Hathaway), has just arrived in New York where she gets the job of her dreams: assistant to the editor-in-chief of the prestigious fashion magazine Runway. Dream job … yes but especially on paper!
This is without counting on Miranda Priesley (Mery Streep), her superior. She makes her live a real hell. Tyrannical, the editor-in-chief of the magazine spares nothing at Andrea. The film adapted from Lauren Weisberger’s novel, perfectly combines the dreams of a young journalist full of ambitions upset by the reality of the world’s largest fashion magazines. All with a hint of play on stereotypes, but above all a lot of humor. You will understand: a treat!
8. Confession of a shopaholic(2009)
In the same vein, we advise you to watch Confession of a shopaholic! Becky Bloomwood is a true shopping addict. Passionate about fashion, she runs the shops all day long. And she is literally incapable of reasoning when we talk about the latest and hottest pieces, no matter the price. Pushed by her best friend, Becky has to find a job. Indeed she has to finance her impulse purchases. Ironically, she got a job in a financial magazine. And then, she finds herself explaining to the readers of the magazine how to manage their money and save, while she spends her time squandering hers in the shops: a real pierced basket!
Becky quickly finds herself in a delicate situation, which she seeks to hide from those around her as well as from her very attractive new boss. She takes us through her adventures, in which we discover a moving protagonist, very funny and surprising of resources. In short, a super entertaining all guilt-free film. With that you are going to tell you that there is much worse than you 🙂
9. The intern(2015)
Yes… okay you exposed us so we admit: We love Anne Hathaway! So if you’re a fan, you can rediscover her in this film without headache and pleasant to watch. Ben Whittaker, 70, lost his wife and feels lonely. The retirement having changed nothing in his feeling of loneliness. He decides to apply for an internship for a fashion site. Against all attention, he gets the job! Jules Ostin, the boss of the company is initially surprised to see him. But he soon realizes that this new and atypical recruit has quickly been accepted by the team. Between fatherly love, friendship, and exchange, the two characters bring us lightly to spend this time with them.
So, we warn you, this one is really totally offbeat! But how to speak of the top 10 films about fashion without mentioning the one adulated by the fashion sphere? And which mostly takes a condensed shots of the fashion world. But attention, humor and self-deprecation are rigors. You can imagine that with the infernal duo Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson, we should not expect melodrama. Derek Zoolander, played by Ben Stiller, is a famous model. At the height of his career, and Top Model of the Year 3 times, he is on the verge of receiving his fourth trophy. Turnaround, this title is finally stolen from him by a game and ambitious model: Hansel.
The catwalk icon therefore decides to abandon the futile world of fashion in order to rejuvenate within his family. This is without counting on the arrival of his agent. Then, he offers him a new job in which he is far from imagining what will happen to him. Nice casting in this film. In brief, completely crossed out but it appears as a scathing, but legitimate parody, of the habits and customs of the fashion world. You will see: David Bowie, Milla Jovovich, Tom Ford as well as Natalie Portman and Lenny Kravitz.
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Our coats are our darlings. We can hardly resolve to part with them but we like to revisit them. Here are 3 tips or unstoppable details to revamp your beloved coat.
Detail n ° 1: style tips
Because few coats have no buttons. So start by observing your pimples. Are they always on trend or in tune? Too often we overlook this important detail. Probably because a button is only considered a fastener. Only think again. The coat button is anything but a way to close your pea coat, frock coat or cape!
This is why it can have a staggering effect on clothing. Design buttons, fancy or haute couture buttons? Contemporary buttons or vintage buttons? There is something for all tastes and styles. And that’s without counting on their materials: galalith (i.e. milk resin), wood essence, molded resin or faceted glass …
In addition, the sewing button is a reasonable budget. So do not deprive yourself of this clever and stylistic accessory.
Detail n ° 2: the crush accessory
Why crush or key accessory? I always say that THE fashion accessory is essential. So, it is above all a question of making a color shock or adding an unstoppable and identifiable one which will transform your appearance and that of your coat.
Because nothing is more sad than a coat without a touch of color or a desirable and creative object, like a magical adornment. Here, the field of possibilities is vast: scarf, scarf, snood or THE bag that will highlight this centerpiece of your ultra feminine wardrobe.
Detail n ° 3: change shape
There, I hear you say: but where does she come from? By changing shape, I mean not running to the touch-up point near you unless you are passionate about sewing!
No, by changing form, I’m still in the trick. And there, the belt comes into play. Because yes, a belt can also transform the style of your coat. And whether it’s an overcoat or, on the contrary, a couture piece … haute couture.
The belt like the button can do a lot. And then, these are fashion details that participate in the current of anti-fashion: consume less by revamping your coat or consume differently: buy vintage, re-use and revamp your adored coats!
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For this post, everything started with an observation and a meeting … Fashion is changing because it has gone too fast, too far. But the next generation is on the move… The new-vintage is resolutely a women’s affair towards a new fashion. Meeting around an original collaboration.
Story of a meeting
Emma came to see me in the workshop in March. When it came to a possible partnership, I went to her Instagram account and there, guess what? Total crush <3
I don’t know why but I imagine her straight out of a Sofia Coppola film. No doubt because she is herself, as if out of time; Emma does not cheat; She loves it or she doesn’t, without half measures. In terms of music, I would say that she is the fashionable side of Weyes Blood in blonde, with a dreamlike style, very colorful.
Question of values
You all know it like I do. The textile industry is the second most polluting activity in the world. It is true that to make 1kg of cotton, 20,000 liters of water are spent, the equivalent of 340 5-minute showers or 110 baths. So, the era of the 50s / 60s of hyper-consumption illustrated by the Madmen series is over.
But above all, with Emma, we share simple values: a new vintage fashion, responsible and made in France when it comes to bringing a touch of novelty. To consume less but better. Because having style is anything but a matter of money. Besides, Yves Saint Laurent was not mistaken when he fell in love with Loulou de la Falaise. Already at the start of the 70s, Loulou only dressed in flea markets, mixing looks and styles, without taboo, without prejudice for a liberated fashion.
New fashion codes
This is why with Emma, we wanted to combine our strengths: – Emma Bonneau, for her vintage OldéParis e-shop and her blog, AllIneedisclothes offering vintage outfits and clothes of beautiful brands from the 60s to the 90s. She deciphers and stages genres like nobody! – Sandrine Mettetal, for ATTELIER by BUTTONS PARADISE’s jewelry, mixing rare, vintage buckles and recycled leathers for design necklaces and unique bracelets or in very limited series. All made in Paris!
New vintage new deal
This is why, in the boom of online thrift stores, this is THE new vintage deal of the season. For the launch of the new oldeparis.com site, BUTTONS PARADISE via its ATTELIER range (with two T’s to highlight craftsmanship with both hands!) is launching two limited series of cuff bracelets: First, the Eden Fauve cuff. Adorned with an acetate buckle, designed by its creator and made in the Jura, mounted on a recycled coral orange patent leather. Eden Fauve is available exclusively in this color on the OldéParis eshop (5 pieces created).
As for the Eden Maggie bracelet, it is made of white recycled patent leather. The Maggie has a tangy daisy loop! In summary, a beautiful trendy cohabitation around new-vintage, at the initiative of two Parisians not quite like the others.
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