Given all the questions and emails I received about yesterday's post, it seems obvious that I should have provided a little more information about Ecole Lesage.
Ecole Lesage, the embroidery school, is open to anyone. Classes for all levels, from beginner to professional, are offered throughout the year (except for August and the last week of December). Advance registration is required including a 30% deposit. The web-link to the school (which can be read in French, English or Japanese) provides more details about the courses available.
Instruction is available in both French and English. I sat at a table with a French instructor and was able to understand almost everything she said. When I had a question or problem that could not be solved with a demonstration, the English-speaking instructor intervened. (I understand French better than I can speak it.)
To see my flower brooch in more detail, please double-click on the photo in yesterday's post.
I can hardly wait to return to Ecole Lesage and would like to take the Silk ribbon Rococo pillow class or the Level 1 Flower Vase class. Next time I will also remember to pick up the two instructional books on embroidery that I somehow overlooked while I was at the school (the website does not indicate that the books can be shipped).
For those of you who have no interest in learning haute couture embroidery and would prefer to admire beautiful images of Lesage embroidery, there is an Assouline book by Lydia Kamitsis called "Lesage" published in 1999 and 2003.
This exquisite Balenciaga dress from 1961 is one of the photos in the book and is from the Lesage archives.
P.S. I counted 20 flowers on the front of this beautiful dress. Assuming the back has the same number of flowers, there would be approximately 40 flowers on the dress. If each flower takes between 3-6 hours to embroider, that is 120-240 hours of embroidery work!!! No wonder haute couture dresses are so expensive!
1e rue de la Grange Bateliere
75009 Paris, France
01 44 79 00 88