Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Ecole Lesage

I have always wanted to learn to embroider and I decided to learn from the best. While in Paris, I spent a day at the Lesage atelier and ecole. (This over-the-top salute to embroidery was on the staircase outside the atelier.)

The Lesage atelier specializes in hand embroidery for haute couture and ready to wear garments. Now owned by Chanel, the atelier can trace its roots to the middle of the 19th century when Michonet embroidered for the house of Worth.

On a tour of the archives with the charming Monsieur Francois Lesage, I saw breathtakingly beautiful samples of embroidery from Vionnet, Yves Saint Laurent and other legendary designers. I wanted to clap when M. Lesage said "Embroidery is like a piece of art; you put yourself into it."

After seeing the dedication of his staff hunched over their worktables as they created wearable works of art, I could hardly wait for my lesson to begin at Ecole Lesage. Not long after sitting down to work, I realized how difficult this work is.

Although the instructors were highly skilled and extremely patient, I had to be shown some of the steps more than once and had to redo parts over. It was a painstaking 3 hour long effort to make an embroidered, beaded organza flower brooch.

I am now hooked on embroidery. The school offers an array of courses ranging in commitment from 3 to 150 hours. I want to go back!!

Ecole Lesage
13 rue de la Grange Bateliere
75009 Paris, France
01 44 79 00 88
email: ecole-lesage@lesageparis.fr