Month: February 2015

woman sitting

Isabelle Jeangros knits the world warm, bright and beautiful

Among the many talented artisans that I’ve encountered selling their lovingly made creations at Christmas markets in December, the work of Isabelle Jeangros, created for her own brand Creation Maille, is to me a standout. From adorable woolen children’s bonnets to ladies’ chic cotton shoulder shrugs made for cool Spring or Summer evenings, her clothes and accessories reveal a hand trained for perfect stitching, a talented eye for detail, and a natural affinity for combining color, texture and design to achieve a feminine and flattering finish. Isabelle’s knitted scarves, shrugs, hats, wrist warmers, and accessories including delicate flowers perfect for adorning a coat, sweater or hat are made almost entirely of natural fibres: wool, alpaca, cotton and occasionally linen, so they are as appealing to the touch as they are to the eye. A talented eye for pattern, color and texture To execute her designs, Isabelle uses three knitting machines, the first a versatile Passap Electronic 6000 (with motor) that holds pride of place in her workroom; the second a mechanical knitting machine dating from 1945; and the …

jacket sewing project

Beating the winter blahs with a new sewing project

Nothing gets me through the colder weather blahs better than a creative push through to Spring and this time round that means a new sewing project. I really like this Very Easy Vogue pattern I ordered online (from US) for a laid-back, but still semi-structured bohemian-style jacket that strikes me as something I wouldn’t be able to find in Swiss shops…making it just that little bit unique. It can be made to suit both indoor and outdoor wear depending on the length of the bodice and sleeves, as well as the collar style you choose to use. And of course, your choice of fabric will determine whether it suits outdoor temperatures or not (it’s unlined). I plan on making it to wear on crisp Spring or Autumn days and I’ve found a thick 100% pure wool material at Modessa, at Rue Saint-François 4, CH-1003 in Lausanne. It’s reversible, in a lovely deep blue flecked with grey on one side and on the other, deep grey flecked with blue. I’ll be making it in style B (medium length with long sleeves) but with collar A. And to make the most of the two-tone fabric, I’ll make the bodice in …

vintage poster art

Winter fun for everyone in vintage posters of Swiss alpine sports

Whenever I visit the the Eaux Vives suburb of Geneva, where I lived some eleven years ago, I always take in the display windows of Galerie Un Deux Trois, the only dealers in Switzerland and — after 37 years in business — the oldest in Europe, to trade in the collection, restoration and sale of vintage poster art. There are over 15,000 posters in the collection of owner and renowned vintage-poster expert Jean-Daniel Clerc, some of which date back to the late 1880s and include gems by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Alphonse Mucha. The Galerie has just launched a selling exhibition displaying 25 of its wonderful collection of 260 vintage posters. These are dedicated to winter sports and their associated pastimes, products, and industries (rail and air travel, for example), all of which grew in popularity as the middle classes became more affluent, joining their wealthier counterparts on the slopes. Vintage posters as historical documents The posters chronicle the development of wintertime sports, sports facilities, and the advent of luxury hotels and world-famous resorts over a hundred years. They also mirror changing artistic …

blues singer

Get set to swing at Jazz & Co. in the cellars of the Château de Coppet

Boogie Woogie, Swing and Blues in the 2015 lineup The schedule of concerts organized last year by “Jazz and Co.” for its annual jazz season in the caves at the Château de Coppet was a stellar one. We went along for two of the four events — the first, with superb Swedish jazz guitarist Gustav Lundgren, backed by The Swingstation Trio, and the last, with award-winning Canadian Steve Strongman — were both outstanding, offering musicianship of the highest quality. The lineup for 2015 has just been announced and the emphasis this year is heavy on old-fashioned Swing jazz and Boogie Woogie (with dashes of the Blues mixed in). On 13 February, the Swing Project Quartet takes the stage to pay homage in their usual improvisational style to the great American composers Gershwin, Berlin, Porter, and Rodgers. Then on 24 April the “Swiss Ambassador of Boogie-Woogie”, Silvan Zingg (who has accompanied Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, as well as both B.B. King and Carlos Santana at the 2011 Montreux Jazz Festival) will bring his jazz and Blues piano classics to the cave. On 2 October the Fats Boys trio will play classics originated by …