Decoration and Dogs

After years of reading other
people's great blogs here I am making my own. My name is Stephanie Murray and I
am highland Scottish. Although my roots are very important to me in everything
I do in daily life I have chosen to live in France since leaving St. Martin's
school of art in London some hundred years ago ! After more than thirty years
of working in Haute Couture in Paris France I moved to Brazil where I created
my own label and then to China to design embroideries and purses and then back
'home' to France. I settled in the south of France before moving once more
inevitably back to Paris and back to fashion. In the south of France I took a
huge step back and tried to live a bit. I visited dozens of junk shops and flea
markets with my great friend and artist Britt Erlanson who has since created
her own label called Haekel Haus Company producing high end scarves and
fabrics. Both of us have Jack Russells which was initially the way we met and quickly
became inseparable. After some months in the sun I headed back to Paris I fell
once more into the world of high end fashion working with the Libanese designer
Rabih Kayrouz whose talent knows no bounds such is his gift for simplicity and
cut. He trusted me with his tailoring and his exclusive haute couture allowing
me to travel to Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and around Europe following royalty wherever
their whims took them. In 2016 I received an invitation to work with Ines de la
Fressange again and create the ready to wear department for her reborn label
before transferring to a newly refurbished store on the rue de Grenelle. I was
sorry to leave Rabih who had become a friend but he totally understood and even
gave me a diamond necklace which has never left me since. Working with Ines de
la Fressange is easy; she has such an amazing eye for mixing up styles and
having fun through the process. I had the joy of working with her in the 1990’s
before her name was pulled from under her feet. Britt produced our prints and
exclusive buttons for Ines to coordinate the fabrics I sourced from a dealer in
end stock from such famous houses as Vuitton, Lanvin and Yves Saint Laurent. I
met this wonderful young woman called Florence Barrett who did all the knitwear
working alongside Fleur Demery in the design studio. Florence in one of the
most charming girls I have ever had the pleasure to work with in the fashion
As I write this I have again
stepped back from the fast fashion world and am unofficially retired although
very much active creatively. I live in a huge old house where I can finally
surround myself with furniture, books, art and the most desirable of things, a
WORKSHOP !! In Paris space is at a premium but here in deep Pays de Loire space
is abundant albeit slightly isolated! The other attraction being a terrace, a
huge garden for my three dogs and a garage and outbuilding for storage. Those
who know me know about that! So enough written, I hope that you reader enjoy
these few posts.

jeudi 26 mai 2011

More little women

After a pause and some more trials I decided that it was all about the clothes and so now I am happy to dress my faceless dolls and concentrate on the detailing.

In case I didn't mention it before I have called her Oona and although she remains 'faceless' she does have a definate personality. Here she sits patiently all decked out and ready to 'face' the world at large.
I lined her coat with the same print as the dress. It came from a 1920's photo of an English school in São Paulo, Brazil which I found in a market over there and had printed digitally onto 320 point pure egytian coton.
I think that I could have made myself a coat in less time it took to make this one ! All the buttonholes work !
A fancy chain to hang it up in a chic restaurant ! and of course the label !! Murray.
This is more or less a copy of a full scale dress I had previously made myself, I just love this print and the coton is wonderful next to the skin.
Here is her 'It bag' complete with extra shopping tote folding up into a neat little key chain pouch and a large document case full of French postcards !!
Underneath the rough surface lies these sexy silk undies finished with antique black lace. In the first doll I didn't trim and thought that it was ultimately missing. Error repaired this time round. It not because you can't see it that it doens't exist. Makes her feel special too.
Here you can see all the detailing of the coat with the tiny buttons and top stitching.
Here is a detail of the bag lining. I used a pretty vintage coton and of course added the label for extra authenticity.
Finally after a harrowing day out on the town Oona sits and enjoys a 'real' cup of Scottish tea, freshly sent by my mum from the highlands !!! AND I am not joking, its real tea with a dot of milk.

I hope that you enjoy looking as much as I enjoyed making. In the beginning it began as a commercial venture but the hours involved cannot be used to calculate the price so now I jsut make them for my own pleasure and as we all know there are pleasures that simply cannot be bought.

7 commentaires:

  1. absolument magnifique. Avez-vous pensé de la vente de modèles? Je l'aime ..

  2. Vendez-vous le tissu portrait de l'école?

  3. Hello there, thanks for commenting on this post. I am preparing another blog about 'Haute Couture' at the moment and setting up my own small business. The school fabric I still have some and just today found someone who can redo it here in France on my fabric. Many companies use their own base fabrics which are not so nice as I use egyptian coton. If I start making some i will let you know, it comes in panels. As for tatting, I haven't tatted in many years, I learnt it in Scotland when I was ten and was passionate about it back then ,,, water has flowed under the bridge since then my dear !!!! best wishes for Chritmas x Stephanie

  4. Forgot to say that today I wore the same dress, bigger of course !!! as I had a meeting in Paris with a designer. I wore it with a similar cashmere cardigan and some antique marcasite brooches,,,,,, the weather here in France is so clement at the moment ,,,,, xx

  5. I bet you looked awesome! I hope your meeting went well.
    I was so inspired by your creations, I had another idea. Your dolls would make wonderful photographic illustrations for a children's book. It could have a paper doll section at the end of the book that the children could cut out and play with.
    Thanks for the good wishes. Happy holidays back at you!

  6. Well ,,,, I did sort of stand out ,, but in the world of haute couture anything goes !! I did think of doing a book on the doll and giving the patterns for the body and clothes and lots of details of how to miniaturise things ,,, then I got swept up in other things, you know how it is. There are always so many things to do and time flies quickly. I have amassed lots of bits to make her some new outfits, in the book there was to be 'hommage à' pages, with such icons as Frida Khalo, Audrey Hepburn, Lucille Ball, Jacky Kennedy, Grace Kelly etc ,,maybe when I find a home again and a sewing machine. At present I am working on a couture collection for Qatar and staying in a small town called Laval for four months. Spending Xmas alone here with my doggies ,,thank god for canine friendship !! best wishes for xmas to you and yours, Stephanie

  7. Thank you for your wishes. You are so right about the doggies. I hope your Christmas was lovely as well. Sounds like you are working on something very interesting. I'd love to see that book published! :)