Its goal is to stimulate creativity by giving fashion brands and designers who are looking for unique products and specific expertise an opportunity to meet craftsmen and ateliers focused on traditional artisanal techniques, or technological innovations.
The space has been fully redesigned for February 2015.
Discover at the bottom of this page the complete list of the ateliers exhibiting in February 2015
Accessible by invitation only, Maison d’Exceptions brings together workshops and companies with a unique mastery of ancestral, folk or contemporary techniques. With its specific approach targeting expertise, it is a window onto a world of rare know-hows, and rounds out the offer of the weavers and knitters, who are selected on the basis of collections. As of February 2015, the space will also showcase artisans specialised in leather and fur.
Maison d’Exceptions prolongs the show experience and provides a permanent and evolving showcase onto all the activities promoting exceptional craftsmanship and expertise through its online magazine: maisondexceptions.com.
Daily, this unique platform of information brings together, through the lens of specific know-hows, the activities of various international players in the fashion industry: artisans, producers, luxury houses, designers, institutions, foundations, museums, schools, artists, media and more.
Join the international circle of exceptional textile know-hows.
This Belgian-based atelier is specialized in the treatment of different types of polymers and composites for textile finishings and the development of structural effects for the most delicate fabrics. Research is the strong point of A+Z design who, since their earliest developments, brought a polymer chemist to work alongside the creative studio. The atelier combines an alphabet of inventive processes that juxtapose manual painting, transfers and laser-cutting to offer a made-to-measure production service for fashion and interior designers. For the creation of materials and unexpected color pairings, always rich with visual and tactile surprise, A+Z Design combines the best of leading technology with the artisanal.
Aidai produces in Bichkek, Kyrgyzstan, offering artisanal felting designed by Aidai Asangulova and according to the age-old practices of Kyrgyz nomads. These works are the result of the fusion of silk and muslin weavings, generally from Uzbekistan, with wool fibers via manual felting techniques. Some pieces have also been embellished with wool and pearl embroidery. Aidai has worked with felt since childhood, and as an expert and teacher she possesses a thorough knowledge of traditional Central Asian textile work. Her grandmother excelled in the production of Shyrdaks, applique felt carpets, while her father was a felt yurt-maker whose work was used by Kyrgyz sheperds in the high mountain pastures during summer months. A product of the first generation of artists who emigrated following the Soviet Era (during which regional customs were strongly repressed), Aidai is now determined to contribute to the preservation and growth of the textile traditions of her people, and has dedicated herself to the creative adaptation of these traditions to the contemporary world.
In 1992, painter and textile designer Aissa Dione created the eponymous Aissa Dione Fabrics company with the objective of relaunching the textile production chain in Senegal by combining art and industry while encouraging the sustainability and development of traditional skills threatened with dissipation. The business focuses on mandjaques processes of cotton transformation in order to develop a long chain of value-adding steps to the initial act of local raw material cultivation. Today in Dakar the company employs 100 people largely specialized in weaving but also skilling in dyeing, wood carving and embroidery. Aissa Dione not only offers lines of cotton ennobled with raffia, viscose, silk and lurex but also an organic collection that uses only natural fibers and dyes.
Made from an ultrafine, nearly invisible polyester yarn, Amaike Textile Industry produces ≪Super-Organza≫, the finest and lightest clothing fabric in the world. The weaver’s technological developments draw above all from its own heritage. Since 1956, the company has been specialised in woven polyester textiles with a broad range of applications, including fashion, electronic components, industry, sports and home interiors. It was thanks to these years of experience and our diverse expertise that we were able to create ≪Super Organza≫ in 2006. In its workshops, new textiles are developed by the most skilled craftsmen working in conjunction with young researchers, who bring a real vitality to the projects. Their common goal is to always achieve the most advanced technology in the world.
Straw marquetry and wood marquetry have been booming in Europe since the 17th century, and the two crafts are based on similar skill sets. For more than fifteen years, Valerie Colas des Francs has shaped rye straw in order to restore objects and furniture. The experience has given her a perfect knowledge of the various qualities of the craft and a sense of the durability of its noble, simple and adaptable material. Composed of numerous mineral elements, straw naturally catches light and reflects it in a surprising way. Easy to dye, it is an inexhaustible source for polychromatic fantasy. Since 2007, Art de Paille has gone beyond the classic modes of straw marquetry in furniture and wall decoration and moved into the realm of fashion jewelry and accessories, through which Valerie Colas des Francs hopes to show the dynamic, radiant qualities of the material.
A spectacular feat of volume is the hallmark of Atelier Bizet, who offer traditional and unconventional embroideries alike for couture and luxury houses. From patterning and samples, sketches and original ideas, to prototype and product embroidery, everything is done on site in Levallois-Perret, not far from the center of Paris. From needlework to Luneville crochet, the workshop has expertise in various embroidery techniques that are adaptable to the desired effects for specific projects. The creation of these works is done on frame, or sometimes directly on a constructed piece, with precise attention to detail. With a technical prowess that blurs the boundary between embroidery and sculpture, Atelier Bizet and their refined vision are an invitation into a world of beauty. Since 2005, season after season, Corinne Bizet and team have embroidered the most delicate and intricate of fashion stories with taste and passion.
Since 1988, Atelier Caraco has studied and created made-to-measure clothing, historical and contemporary garments for Parisian haute couture, cinema, theater, dance and museums. Working from a rich archive, the atelier is a true creative tool and technique permitting a large range of applications, running from special orders for runway presentations to historical reconstructions for the stage, moving beyond faithful historical replicas to authentic models adapted to the 21st-century body. Corsetry, hand-pleating, and 3D textile research: a multitude of manual know-hows – the legacy of the observation and analysis of period costuming – aligned with the mastery of contemporary tools in the service of high-end ready-to-wear equips the atelier with strong research methods, creation, and unique textile developments.
Since resuming production in the family workshop, Celine and Alexandre collaborate with the largest Parisian couture houses. The use of traditional techniques such as handpainting, flat screen printing, devorage, and gradient techniques is combined with their constant search for novel processes. Workshop services are divided into three segments: consulting and development of samples, production of unique pieces for decor and couture, and small serial production particularly suited to ready-to-wear. In their workshop-laboratory in Vanves, just outside of Paris, their feverish excitement over materials leads them to constantly offer a breath of fresh air to the worlds of fashion and interior design. Halfway between art and artisanship, Atelier Dynale has mastered rare expertise and can boast an indomitable will to excellence.
Ateliers Courtin were founded in 2011 on the southeast coast of India, in Chennai. Their reputation has been based on their mastery of artisanal leatherwork. Relying on traditional know-how and the detailed handwork of local craftspeople, Ateliers Courtin has developed a range of techniques both in-house and in collaboration with neighboring workshops. Beyond simple leather techniques such as skiving and embossing, Ateliers Courtin are able to sheath any type of surface, leather-case or form with leather via leather ribbons, to handmake pompons and braids, or to weave and cane with multiple types of material. The variety of leathers (lamb, mutton, calf, goat, cow, python, ostrich, etc.) along with rare and noble materials such as feathers, wood, silver, gold, precious stones, combined with plastic resins, makes for an endless creative source for the workshops.
The expertise of Cecile Feilchenfeldt lies primarily in combining traditional knit techniques with new fibres to create unexpected and sometimes even playful effects. She enjoys juxtaposing colours. With a background in costume and set designing – most notably at the Comedie Francaise in Paris and the Zurich Opera – her expressivity is funnelled through a heightened attention to volume proportions, and to the motion created by fabric. Experimentation is the basis of creativity in her workshop. Above all she believes in letting the yarn express itself, and her work then feeds on shifts and variations brought about by analysis and chance observations.
As a print specialist, Daniel Henry’s work relies mainly on mastering a cross-section of techniques like coating, devorage or blistering. Combined together with techniques as diverse as embroidery, shibori dyes, airbrushing or needle punching, he can adapt his research to a range of products, whether knits, pleated fabrics or even finished garments. For Daniel Henry, innovation is key. In his atelier based in Tournai, in Belgium, he likes to combine traditional know-hows with current technologies to create new textiles. While his own universe is minimalist, refined and contemporary, the approach he proposes offers a great ability to adapt to the multiple styles of luxury houses or fashion designers.
Born in 1929 from the purchase of Chandelier’s workshop by Georges Desrues, its talented and bold apprentice, Desrues quickly becomes the favorite costume jewelry maker of the biggest couture houses in Paris. In 1984, as the father of the famous Chanel suit’s buttons and a key partner for the luxury house, Desrues is bought by its major client. Desrues’s worskhops produce buttons, belts, brooches, jewels, bags and shoes accessories. Hammered metal, cracked resin, engraved horn, carved wood, handpainted ceramic, dyed ≪galalithe≫, glass, embossed leather, braided fabric…: the artisans leave nothing to be desired. Little by little, the button maker added to its traditional know-how industrial means with a motto:≫ the artisan’s talent, the industrial’s power≫ and deployed the activity on 8000 square meters at Plailly, Oise. It is now more than 200 artisans, model makers, stylists and technicians, trained by Desrues, who dedidate not only their jewelry-making expertise but also rare know how like poured glass, dying of various materials, and resine casting, with the inclusion of synthetic or organic elements, to luxury houses.
Hirose Dyeworks is a house of traditional handdyeing with paper stencils, retaining the Japanese artisan spirit while creating contemporary pieces. All of their textiles and products are dyes in the manner of Edo Komon, a popular garment worn by the samurai class during the Edo period in Japan. Inside the atelier, the air is calm and serene. There is a sense of history and transmission guarded in the over 4000 paper stencils kept inside old wooden drawers in a dark small tatami room. Each is an original; if one is gone, it is gone for good. A stencil is placed on a long solid timber more than 7 meters long. Then, rice-bran is applied on top of the paper so that intricate patterns appear on the fabric. From here, over fifty processes occur before a product reaches the user. This dyeing technology has lasted 400 years, and Hirose Dyeworks hopes to make it last 400 years more.
Originality is in the very nature of Il Borgo: whether hand-knit or machine knit, crochet or macrame, its work is based on ongoing research into knit stitches that make use of a wide range of fine or thick yarns. Deeply attached to tradition, the Italian company based in Borgo San Lorenzo continually strives to reinvent it, to adapt it to the most varied styles, to update it through the use of cutting-edge technology or mixes of materials of very different natures, such as fur, leather, feathers and chains. The company was founded in 1949, and continues to use semi-mechanical knitting machines dating from the 1940s to produce high-end knits, gloves and accessories. With a strong family tradition, it is taking part today in the development and dissemination of know-hows that have been been passed down over generations.
Born from the desire of founder Ilario Tartaglia to preserve Italian handweaving expertise, this workshop was formed in Cartigliano on the banks of the Brenta near Venice. With his experience as a researcher and teacher of textile culture, Ilario has established his workshop of artisanal looms, specially built according to his own patents, to produce unique fabrics. The use of natural materials and the blending of silk and gold connect this workshop to the local heritage. The work is done with Jacquard and dobby looms and often requires the combination of numerous thread feeds to weave the complicated patterns that are the hallmark of Venetian textile decorative arts: damask, brocade and velvet. If Ilario keeps a watchful eye over ancestral knowledge, he uses the other to look towards the future, prizing innovation and research and delighting in personalization and the free interpretation of textiles as art objects connected to art and style.
An artisan-designer, Janaina Milheiro primarily works in handmade silks and feather-weavings, but also creates original lace and embroidery designs. Creating a dialogue between feathers and textiles is for her a way of enriching the creative language of fashion by initiating a give-and-take, which is testified to by the veils, velvets, beadings and laces which result from this exchange. Her creative approach is influenced by different techniques: embroidery, lace making and sewing on the one had, with weaving, knitting, printing and braiding on the other. These feather-fabrics speak to Janaina’s polyvalent vision of textiles.
Ligneah is an innovative company born from the shared desire of Marcello Antonelli, businessman and former director of textile companies, and his daughter Marta, fashion designer specialized in accessories, to propose an alternative material for traditional leather goods. The drive to reduce the environmental impact of factory farming and the tanning industry, the ability to innovate, and an innate passion for fashion and design lent Marcello and Marta the impetus to develop an unexpected material that combines the traditional properties of wood and the suppleness of textiles. The surprising treatment, created and patented by Marta and Marcello, consists of adhering fine sheets of wood, micro-engraved by laser, onto a textile support with an environmentally-friendly glue. Various types of wood – varnished, natural, or colored – benefit from the surprising capacities of articulation and suppleness.
In her research workshop in Aubervilliers, Luce Couillet develops textiles ≪madeto-measure≫ from threads and fibers of all sorts destined for various fields of application: fashion, sport, and interior architecture. Her tool of choice is the loom and her artisanal approach grants a large palette of exploratory possibilities that use unconventional materials and fibers, which are still difficult to work with in industrial textile contexts. To produce these fabrics, she chooses from a range spanning the classic to the experimental: metals mixed with wool, synthetics with silk, recycled inner tubes woven with mohair, nylon braids ligated by stainless steel. Preferring blends and contrasts, Luce Couillet reinterprets material characteristics, playing with brilliance and matte, fineness and volume, to compose refined hybrid weaves with often unexpected touches.
At the foot of Mount Fuji, in Yamanashi, one finds the ateliers of Japanese enterprise Muto. This workshop specializes in the manufacture of fabrics from natural fibers such as silk, cashmere, wool, organic cotton, linen and ramie. From spinning to embellishment, their originality springs from their mastery of a range of expertise spanning the textile production chain, most of which takes place within the company. The development of their own fine threads, coupled with the use of traditional slow-shuttle looms, gives a light and airy texture to fabrics that modern looms, with their more rapid weaving, cannot achieve. Thanks to a local network of subcontractors, Muto incorporates numerous artisanal and industrial techniques of needlework, screen printing, inkjet printing and dyeing, including Aizome (an ancestral Japanese indigo tinting method) and Arimatsu Shibori (a tie-dye technique specific to the city of Arimatsu). This range of combinable techniques fosters the creativity of the Muto design process.
It is said that the production techniques of Ushikubi silk were introduced to the Hakusan village in the 12th century. These techniques have been passed down for 800 years and, over time, the quality of the silk has remained intact. Still today, production continues to be based on handcraftsmanship, from creating the silk to weaving, including the yarn production. Using doupion cocoons (cocoons spun by two silkworms) enables the company to obtain yarns with high elasticity. Distinguished as a Product of Traditional Craftsmanship by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Ushikubi silk has been recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage by the Ishikawa Prefecture.
Yuki Tsumugi is a unique silk fabric,woven for nearly two thousand years in the city of Yuki, Japan. Okujun has been helping preserve this technique for more than 100 years, through the close relationships it maintains with highly experienced weavers. Each original design created is subsequently attributed to a particular craftsman. Yuki Tsumugi is made from pure silk fibres spun by hand and then woven on a traditional Japanese loom known as a ≪Jibata≫ or ≪Takahata.≫ These light, soft and warm silks have a unique texture and handle. This unique technique is included on Unesco’s list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The expertise of Parsi is focused on the treatment of abaca fiber, native to the Philippines, and reserve-printed ikat motifs – two techniques essential to the creation of T’nalak fabric. Inspired by ancient Filipino weaving traditions practiced by T’boli tribes, Parsi was founded in 1999 and established their own weaving workshops on the island of Cebu in the Philippines. Some fabrics are sent on to Lyon for ennobling via stamping, calendering and metallic coating, thus benefiting from French savoir-faire. Each piece is handwoven on traditional looms, and variations in color are due to seasonal changes as well as the varying harvest locations of the natural fibers used. These slight differences give each bolt of fabric an artisanal, unique vibe. By incorporating leather, copper, chrome and threads created from recycled plastic bottles, Parsi does not only contribute to the preservation of Filipino heritage and its rarefied crafts but also reinvigorates the weaves, which are traditionally done with fibers such as abaca, buntal (banana), pina (pineapple) and raffia.
The work of Sarah Radulescu grows out of a conversation between the yarn, embroideries, and her own inspiration. During her childhood in Cameroon, steeped in African culture and its incredibly rich colours, she learned to embroider and sew. ≪In Eastern Europe I was fascinated to discover andcrafted pieces embroidered using ancient techniques found now only in certain villages.≫ she confesses and today, in her atelier of Saint-Mande, in the outskirts of Paris, by combining various techniques, which she embellishes with beads or that she shapes to fashion volumes, Sarah Radulescu’s creations take on many forms. Animal, vegetal, or more abstract; sometimes delicate and precious, sometimes paradoxically thick and contemporary. Today her embroidered collections are the result of deep passion and research: to connect two worlds – the old and the new – while safeguarding their multicultural and unique character.
Shibori is a traditional Japanese textile dyeing technique dating back over 400 years. Portions of the fabric’s surface are tied, sewn and folded through complex and delicate hand manipulations, and then tinted, creating degrades and color contrasts as well as three-dimensional motifs and pleat effects. Before finishing, the fabric is handled by four or five different craftspeople. The manufacturing process – which relies on a rural production chain – has remained virtually unchanged for centuries. Suzusan has its roots in Arimatsu, where the Murase family has ennobled fabric for five generations according to the traditional Shibori methods.Their passion and desire for perfection have led them to consider Shibori as their own cultural heritage to be dutifully protected. In order to combat the decline of this practice, Suzusan uses innovative techniques and has developed contemporary creations to refresh the image of this artisanal craft.
Developed in 1977, the Raden fabric technique (similar to marquetry inlay) derives directly from the local culture of the Tango region. It is the rich encounter between marine life and 300 years of history tied to the making of luxury kimono fabrics. Tamiya Raden inlays gold, silver and genuine motherof-pearl to the surface of washi paper, which is then cut into fine strips and woven on a handloom, Based on ancestral manufacturing techniques, these fabrics are finding uses beyond traditional Japanese costumes, for clothing and accessories.
The London atelier Woven Studio, founded by Laura Miles in 1997, specializes in the design and artisanal weaving of exclusive fabrics resulting from the combination of noble silks, wools, cottons and linens. Following in the English tradition, Woven Studio combines a variety of materials and colors with a sense of whimsy. Grated mohairs, rare threads from Japan, metal chains, ribbons, feathers… the workshop tastefully assembles such materials into complex and unexpected juxtapositions, brilliantly renewing the classic culture of tweed. Woven Studio offers services to work with clients from collection design, through sample production, up to the eventual weaving of unique pieces and small serial manufacture.
Fujifu is a very old fabric, with a soft handle and quiet shine, made from wisteria fibres. Yushisha works it today with the wisdom of their ancestors, using their techniques and know-how. These ancestral techniques are also used to create new, original products. Since 1880, the Yushisha hand-weaving workshop has been producing silk according to the traditional techniques of the Tango region. Some 30 years ago – at a time when it had almost disappeared – the company rediscovered the Fujifu technique. Since 2010 the workshop has been locally cultivating wisteria to return Fujifu to its natural environment. This fabric is recognised today as a ≪material cultural good≫ in Japan.
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