The Future of A French Lace Factory

A staff member at Sophie Hallette factory, working on some lace: Dmitry Kostyukov for The New York Times

A staff member at Sophie Hallette factory, working on some lace: Credit Dmitry Kostyukov for The New York Times

Credit Dmitry Kostyukov for The New York Times

A staff member at Sophie Hallette factory, working on some lace: Credit Dmitry Kostyukov for The New York Times

How ironic that clunky industrial machines of the Sophie Hallette factory turn out the most delicate lace – Chantilly lace, Leavers lace, and silk tulle. It has been this way since its was founded in the late 1800s at the height of the industrial revolution. In the small town of Caudry, France, sits this factory, a favorite supplier for luxury fashion houses such as Chanel, Gucci, and Erdem. And now, thanks to financial support from Chanel, Sophie Hallette factory will be able to continue to make lace well into the future. Says Chanel fashion president, Bruno Pavlovsky: “We want to guarantee they will stay in business and keep doing what they do.” Because Sophie Hallette is now a member of Chanel’s Métiers d’Art, a consortium of artisan suppliers that the fashion company either owns or has invested in. To that point, Pavlovsky concedes: “Deals like this nourish the progress of product development. We are constructing something not only for today but also for tomorrow.” Lacemaking is handed down from generation to generation and for the artists and craftsmen their extensive training is rewarded with a great sense of pride in their work. Joining this consortium guarantees the merging of the traditions of yesterday with the technology of today, and a chance for lace to continue to beautify the fashion world.

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More of Ashley at Anna Sui

Ashley wears a quintessential Anna Sui dress and holds various fabrics from The Anna Sui Collection

Ashley wears a quintessential Anna Sui dress and holds various fabrics from The Anna Sui Collection. Ashley says, “Anna likes her leopard!”

The lace detail

The intricate lace detail

August means the end of Ashley’s internship at Anna Sui – and preparing for her senior year of high school. Working in the pattern-making department as the head intern to manage the weekly ‘fit’ process was very special for Ashley and something she will cherish. When we met today, Ashley was wearing a black, lace Anna Sui dress, that “I wanted to represent Anna’s singular aesthetic so that I will always think of her when I wear it.” Continue reading

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Trend spotting: lace

Photo courtesy of Bill Cunnigham, The New York Times - "Just a peek" May 24, 2013

Photos courtesy of Bill Cunningham, The New York Times – “Just a peek” May 24, 2013

New York Times photographer, Bill Cunningham, is a fashion favorite. He recently captured an on-the-street style trend in his May 24th New York Times video feature called, Just a Peek. The warm-weather preview? Splashes of lace: “The strongest story had to do … with lace … this was young people taking bits and pieces of lace and mixing them in with tops made of other material … It’s so unusual to have a trend appear so quickly.” ~ Bill Cunningham

What do you think? Ready for lace?

 

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