Wednesday, February 8, 2017

TRAVEL | 'Aiguille en Fête' fair in Paris

Textile work by Martine Myrup

Last week I was in Paris to attend the Aiguille en Fête international show . It was taking place at Paris Expo convention center in Porte de Versailles from Feb. 2-5, 2017. The week before I was lucky to win an invitation on Instagram thanks to the talented @zakadit on Instagram, it was perfect! 

First thing first, a coffee + croissant on the terrasse of Maison Pradier in front of the hall 6. It's the first day of the show and the crowd seems huge. Will I have to queue for a long time? Luckily it's not raining outside - not yet!

Did you know Maison Pradier

Merci @zakadit!

This year's exhibition space was dedicated to L'Esprit Scandinave (the Scandinavian spirit) with several textile artists being featured. Here below are my favorite works. The two entrances of the exhibition space was entirely made of paper, a exquisite work by Procédés Chenel who specializes in decorative solutions for all sorts of spaces (exhibition booths, interior architecture, events,...).

My favorite work was by Martine Myrup, a Danish visual artist who proposed an inspiring floral installation made of reclaimed fabrics. I am inspired by the color combination, textures, and of course the flowers!

Martine Myrup

Astrid Skibsted is a designer textile, also from Denmark, who creates woven tapestries. Astrid cares a lot for the quality of the materials she's working with and believes that the process of weaving holds  a meditative function. Astrid collaborates regularly for Illums Bolighus & Georg Jensen Damask and her studio is based in Aarhus in Denmark.

Astrid Skibsted

Third artist invited was Randi Samsonsen, also from Denmark. Randi constantly investigates the possibilities to work with threads, forms and colors. She participates to textile exhibitions and is a teacher and director of the textile department at Tórshavn College in the Faroe Islands. 

Randi Samsonsen

I loved the next project featured at Aiguille en Fête, called PATCH'. The concept is to present 20 x 20cm embroidered squares from all over the world displaying all kinds of techniques and in various colors. The squares were displayed on three walls, by shades. It was spectacular to say the least! You can admire below some of the work I picked... plenty of inspiration to draw from such a huge display.

Malin Lager from Sweden was exhibiting fantastic "embroidered paintings", several portraits and a series of work on the paved streets of Venezia. Can you believed that the work below are all embroidered? That was surreal!!

Malin Lager

By noon, the number of visitors was quite overwhelming (see photo below!) and it was difficult/ impossible to find a space where to sit down, rest and relax. I noticed that many attendees had brought a packed lunch, and I totally understood why when I saw how long was the queue to buy a sandwich! 

I couldn't take pictures of each and every booth, there were too many! I focused on checking out publishing houses (Marabout, Le Temps Apprivoisé, Les Editions de Saxe, Mango-Fleurus Editions,...) as well as magazines (Mollie Makes, Modes & Travaux, Burda,...). They were presenting their publications and had also organized book signing with their authors.

I thought I would be able to purchase new tools or materials but I was a little bit disappointed not to find much booths selling them - or it was very expensive. I was lucky though to find Aarti J. Trims from England, who was presenting and selling trims, sequins and beads from India. I purchased several trim samples for inspiration, the colors are just so pretty!

A Little Mercerie had a lovely booth, with an interactive, giant weaving frame for everyone to create a collaborative tapestry. I was too shy to sit down and contribute to it, but I loved the idea.

A Little Mercerie booth

Etsuko-san creates beautiful handbags and is teaching regularly in Japan. Check her blog here and her post on the show here and here. We first met in Tokyo, and I was happy to catch her up in Paris!

Le Cartonnage au féminin, by Hitomi Inoue

My inspiration wall in front of my desk. Can you spot the trims from Aarti I purchased at the show?

I left the show earlier than I initially thought, and took the time to wander in the streets of Paris. I had heard of Ultramode and wanted to check it for myself. A lovely shop and plenty of trims, ribbons, buttons etc... to buy if you are looking for those.

Then I went to the galerie Vivienne, which still had their Christmas lights on - how beautiful on this rainy, gray day! There are many restaurants, fast-food joints, a cute library, a toy shop, art galleries and more to explore. 

And then there is the Italian restaurant Daroco, which I had heard about. Beautiful decoration and setting, I will try their food on my next trip to Paris!


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