Designer Emilie speaks about her close relation to her grandmother who sparked her interest for design at a very early age.
Her name was Alice and she was my grandmother. She was one of those women who had to take care of herself from a very early age, stitch her and her family clothes from the age of 12 and that made her somehow into a rather tough person. I cant say she was a soft woman, yet she was someone you could always count on. She loved the regular and basic things in life such as home cooked extraordinary good food, the simplicity of a fabric made by hand, a good walk in the forest with the dog and lunch served at the same time every day. From the deepest place in my being I thank her quietly every day for giving me and my brother this stability in our childhood.
Being a designer she taught me a lot in terms of taste and craftsmanship. She exposed me to a world of artists, designers and craftsmen. She took me to exhibitions, discussed what we saw and made me draw the same when we came home for tea and cake afterwards.
When I became older we would read French Elle together that she received every week by post. She introduced me to Issey Miyake, her favourite Japanese designer and my brother would adore the Irving Penn photography showing all the fantastic shapes, giving him the intense desire to master photography on the same level.
The fact that her house was designed and made by my grandfather was always something we had great respect for. All the furnitures has their own story and my grandmother would always tell those stories in between all the random stuff we would discuss as well. It somehow gave me a natural and innate understanding and feeling for what it means to really burn intensely for craftsmanship and creation and was always sure I had to go that way in life as school was never my favourite cup of tea.
So many times when I find that perfect fabric or capture the perfect look, I think of my grandmother. I pray that she looks down and that she feels happy. I know it would have made her extraordinary happy to see that I live out my dream. Firstly because she was a textile lover herself but mostly because she always told me how sad she was not to have been born a man. In those days I guess this mattered a lot, she was at home and preparing dinner for all the fantastic network of my grandfather and always wanted to do more but never really got the chance as she had to support his work and his relations.
So in the name of deepfelt respect and gratitude I wish you all to remember that every time we see a succesful person, you have a handful of loving and sharp souls behind making it possible for this person to succeed. I know who my handful is and I thank them as often as I can because I dont want to feel I never got to express my gratitude. Is it not powerful to be grateful!?
Enjoy my grandmothers house all designed by my grandfather. His "laboratory" as he called it.
Emilie - Designer and owner