One reason I enjoy going to events like the recent Swiss Fashion Point is to discover the work of up-and-coming Swiss designers, but equally it’s to reconnect with my favourite and already established fashion brands to find out what they’ve been getting up to.
Switzerland — renowned for holding on to its traditions and supposedly being slow to change — breaks with that moldy generalization at the very least when it comes to its up-and-coming young fashion designers. Proof of this will be as crystal clear as a fresh Alpine stream at the 4th Swiss Fashion Point 2017, starting tomorrow the 28 September and continuing through the 1 October at the Pavillon Sicli in the Acacias suburb of Geneva.
Have you ever wished that you could sit down with a mentor and talk about the challenges of making your way in your profession? Or how to trailblaze your own unique path? Be true to your own sense of self and fulfil your own creative potential regardless of how others might react? Someone honest and direct but also supportive and gracious.
Some shopowners sell to make a living. Others care about their merchandise but keep the relationship strictly professional. Then there are those who embrace the individuality and provenance of each article as if it were a child, valuing its uniqueness while creating a harmony in the family of merchandise as a whole. “There isn’t one thing here I don’t love. I can only sell what I love.” It’s obvious that Isabelle Giovenni is just such a proprietor as she introduces me to each of the product lines at her boutique Capricieuse, which opened its doors on 11 April in a luminous corner property at the intersection of rue des Eaux-Vives and rue des Vollandes in the Eaux-Vives neighborhood of Geneva.
In the eight years since Boréal Coffee opened its first outlet the business has seen many changes, but one thing remains the same: an underlying commitment to serve the best espresso-based coffee drinks in Geneva…and now in Zurich, too. In the Spring of 2013, I met Julian Caron-Lys, co-founder and partner with Fabien Decroux of the most popular independent coffee shop in Geneva — Boréal Coffee. In the interview and blog post that followed: Cappucino gets star treatment at Geneva’s Boréal Coffee Shops, Julian explained how the quality of their coffee beans was at the root of their success. Directly sourced from small cooperatives in Latin America, Africa and Asia to ensure their provenance and quality, the coffee beans were freshly roasted using artisanal methods at Boréal’s own micro-roasting atelier in Carouge. Prepared with skill and no small measure of flair by Boréal’s own trained baristas, the resulting espresso-based coffee drinks (including my favorite cappuccino) were simply the tastiest in town.
To meet Serena Dignola-Russignan, founder and talented artisan behind La Lumière du Temps, you soon understand where the warmth and playfulness emanating from her elegant, handmade “photophores” (wax candle holders) come from. Inviting me into the kitchen of her home in Eysins, just above Nyon, Lugano-born Serena insists on preparing me a cup of coffee. Not the instant kind, of course, but the real kind that bubbles away in a stove-top espresso maker until it announces its readiness with — a musical rendition of the Italian national anthem. A first for me and admittedly, the most original introduction to an interview that I’ve ever had, but it speaks of the way in which its maker approaches her life and her métier … with joy and enthusiasm.
From 3-6 November, 100 talented artisans from across Europe will gather at the magical Château de la Sarraz above Lausanne for the 22nd ed. of the UNIcréa Salon for Art, Fashion & Decor. This ‘must do’ biannual event attracted more than 6,000 arts and crafts lovers to its Spring edition at the Château de Morges last May, many of whom were returning clientele eager to enjoy four-days of original creations, fashion shows, children’s workshops, and a uniquely welcoming and upbeat atmosphere that celebrates artisanal craftsmanship at its best. The success of UNIcréa stems from one woman’s determined efforts starting eleven years ago to shine a flattering spotlight on artisans and their creations, which she felt were being underserved at the typical arts and crafts fairs of the day. With a business degree and ten years experience as an interior designer and a travelling artisan, French-born Céline Dreveton, 38, had the training and personal experience to bring together the necessary elements for success.