Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Colors please!



Like all ballerinas, I always stock pink satin ribbons, for my pointe shoes. Satin ribbons, tied around the neck, the wrist, the waist (or around a gift...), lend their instantly chic sheen to any outfit, so I like having some on hand ; I keep them in a glass jar (this one used to hold a scented candle), for a little glossy color in my bedroom.




As a little girl in Kenya, I admired the local girls' hairdos, and Jane, my nanny, would indulge me, patiently braiding my sleek blonde hair, bleached by the Indian Ocean and the fierce equator sunshine, into dozens of skinny strands. My collection of tiny candy-colored hairclips was second to none.
After leaving Kenya, my family spent a few months in the French Alps and it seemed natural to ask my mum to reproduce the beloved hairstyle. I stepped into the classroom one morning, my many braids dancing down my back. The children had never seen anything like that; they circled around me silently. Thinking back, I am surprised this shy little girl did not wince in embarrassment. I can only recall my pride.

I outgrew the hairdo but never ceased to marvel at African ladies' style. Seeing them on the métro in traditional prints fills me with joy. (In France, the Malian-born Lamine Badian Kouyaté, whose label Xuly Bët was featured at the V&A in London in 2005, blends such prints with an urban yet feminine sensibility). Inspired by those women, I bought some fabrics (pictured) at the Marché Saint-Pierre, rue Charles Nodier, but now I'm not sure what to do with them... Any suggestions?

15 comments:

Chelsea said...

I love satin ribbons... around the neck or wrist... at you say. I can't really pull off that look but it's fo fun and easy. I love ballet shoes too, even though I am not a dancer! I just love ballet anything!

marie said...

the ribbons look so pretty in the jar! do you dance professionally or just for fun and the love of it? oh and those fabrics are beautiful..i would make some simple bags for carrying groceries or a nice swishy skirt! keep me posted!

Anonymous said...

j'aime la lumiere qui se reflete dans le flacon, la geometrie et les oiseaux des tissus africains.

Mary-Laure said...

Marie, thanks for your suggestion, a bag is a great idea; I hadn't thought of that, silly me.
And to answer your question: I only dance for fun, for joy, for love!

Wendy said...

I miss having ribbons in my hair like during my younger years. I think its a bit too much work nowadays, but sateen headbands are good alternatives.

marie said...

joy and love are the best reasons!
(i'd love to see the bag when its done!)

Esti said...

I like ribbons when you see them in a shop, in a design or in women's clothing; however I never had ribbons in my hair when I was I kid, and don't like my little girls to have them either. And, mary-laure, thanks for sharing your memories of Kenya. I'd love to hear more posted. BTW, Jill of 36 Shea could help ypu with the bag idea. Check with her!

pve design said...

mary-laure- love the satin ribbons, and i danced for 13 years. love the ribbon, tuille, toe shoes, hair-do's and the torture of being malliable. still love to dance.
music maestro!

Mary-Laure said...

Wendy - what a lovely idea, satin headbands... I like that.

Etsi - thanks for the suggestion, I will ask Jill if she has any patterns for tote bags and/or recommendations for a total beginner!

PVE Design - I had no idea you were a dancer! How wonderful! I too, love everything that has to do with ballet (the torture, as you call it, also comes with its share of intense pleasure).

Bitterbetty said...

If you don't do the bag the fabrics will make lovely pillows.

Catching up on your beautiful posts. So glad to find this blog.

kirsten schueler said...

hi! thanks for the comment on my blog! my dog's name is hershey and he is 3 years old next week! he actually has his own blog if you can believe it! there is a very large dog blog community and its fun to read about all the other dogs. check it out.
hersheythedoglet.blogspot.com
i haven't updated it in awhile though!

artycho said...

The fabrics as you could expect me to say would make lovely hats! bags also I admit anyway enjoy your first sewing!

Mary-Laure said...

Dear Artycho and Bitter Betty, thanks for your sweet suggestions!

Kirsten, Benjy sends Hershey (cute name) his regards! I forwarded Hershey's picture to my mum, my sister and a dear friend, all fans of adorable dachshunds.
Maybe Benjy and Hershey can start a transatlantic correspondence...

All - I am thinking of making headbands/headscarves with those African fabrics...

Jill said...

I love the hair memories...it touches my heart...especially since I am combing the snarls out of my daughter's long hair every morning wishing she would go with braids!
As for the fabric, it would make a great bag...I could send you a pattern and instructions if you like.
I think a skirt or a tunic would be nice too!

Taocito said...

Ah those ribbons bring back memories...
I myself was "gifted" to my mistress six years ago, with a lovely red ribbon tied around my neck...