Ah, Paris, one of my most favorite
cites in the world! One of the oldest streets in Paris for couture
fashion and exquisite jewelry is the Rue de la Paix, which is
in the center of the city. This street was first opened in 1806
by a decree from Napoléon I as a part of a program to
open the heart of the Right Bank of Paris. As part of the entrance
onto the street, a grand column, crowned with a statue of the
Emperor, was created, being made from the bronze of 1,200 captured
cannons from the battle of Austerlitz (1805).
Many buildings along this fashionable
street were inspired by the Place Vendôme, which is a square
in the 1st Arrondissemont across from the famous Tuileries Gardens,
and is the starting point to the Rue de la Paix. Considered the
most expensive street in the world, it housed the likes of jewelers
like Cartier (one of my favorites), Lalique and Boucheron. Fashion
designer Charles Frederick Worth was the first to open a couture
house here, later to be joined by the famous fan maker, Duvelleroy
and the Guerlain Family of perfume manufacturers.
The Rue de la Paix was a bastion
for jewelers, couturiers, shirt-makers, hat and glove-makers,
and perfume manufacturers! If you were wealthy and enjoyed being
catered to in the contemporary style and taste of the time, this
was the place to be. Visitors could stay in prestigious hotels,
visit posh cafes and coffee houses, ride through the streets
and gardens in elegant barouches to see and be seen.
My design "Rue de la Paix"
was inspired by the sense of what this famous street would have
looked like in the late 1890's. The streets lined with fashionable
shops, their windows laden with wares of their trade, enticing
the passersby to stroll in to shop. The sights, smells and a
sense that fashion and fine jewelry had found a home here must
have been truly amazing. Watching the likes of Kings and Queens,
Princes and Princesses, Dukes and Duchesses, being escorted to
their favorite shops to purchase something special, must of truly
been a grand spectacle to witness!
of Cartier created torque-style bracelets inspired by animal
bracelets dating from the 8th-7th centuries BC. Traditionally,
these bracelets had animal heads that were facing each other
and were hinged at the underside of the bracelet. This style
is very difficult to create in beadwork as the structure has
to be shaped and rigid, but I have finally figured it out!
Rue de la Paix has two pearl
"heads", each embellished with three 6mm CZ's, that
are bezeled with peyote stitch, along with rings of crystals
for an added sparkle. The body of the bracelet has a brass cuff
blank and a rubber tubing armature that supports two tubes of
peyote stitch that are shaped to curve to the shape of the cuff
blank. Fashion and beadwork come together
along the way!
Workshop: This is a 1-day workshop
Skill level: Intermediate to advanced
Bracelet length: My samples are 7 inches long, so plan