It was my birthday. I am superstitious about them, childishly so. If they aren't slam-dunk amazing does that mean that I will be doomed to a year ahead of offness? So it was with a nearing whininess that I wandered through the crowded streets of high season Uzes, a town that I usually adore, after a late and frankly so-so lunch with my honey on the Place des Herbes. I held his hand tighter when I saw that the shop that we had come here to visit was closed for Monday. Things were not going according to plan.
But then Remi made a swift turn and entered into a boutique that I had never seen before. If I have learned anything after living nearly thirteen years with this handsome photographer, it is that the man has pif, he has instinct. Where he goes, I will follow or regret it later.
Those of you that have been reading for any length of time know that I am fascinated by patina. I don't just find it "pretty" or "fashionable" I also find it...quite meaningful. So perhaps you can imagine my inner leap of joy upon discovering that I was in the Ali Baba Cavern of Yee Olde Beautiful Things. And it is run by a wonderful curator.
Bénédicte Leuwers-Mohr was previously a fashion editor for various European magazines before turning towards l'art de la décoration and we were in immediate agreement on the importance of both respecting creative rights and that of taking time to do things well. I saw first hand how her shaped eye had lead her to make such pieces as a giant suspension lamp built around a vintage industrial flour shifter or folding chairs recovered in fabric that bread had been baked in. Inventive, textural, grounded and quietly stunning. My heart went pit a pat.
She also showcases some of the bright lights of the region - literally in the case of the work of Vox Populi, a personal favorite - and beyond, including the most sumptuous cashmere and yak (yak!) blankets that I have ever seen, which were handmade by a pair of brothers in Nepal.
I believe that I have found a new favorite antiques store in Provence. That Bénédicte is such an interesting host only makes the visit all the more worthwhile. It was a birthday gift for the eyes, one to delight a certain aesthetic and longing for the past, all while opening the door to confidently looking towards the year ahead.
I will take everything, please.
I love the name of this boutique. Sans doute, when you take one of these lovely pieces home, you will feel as if you have had it "since always."
13 rue Pélisserie
Tel. +33 (0)7 87 14 41 21
I know for many of you in the Northern Hemisphere this might feel like the last weekend of summer. Courage! Autumn is wonderful too. Please know that I am sending my best wishes that you enjoy it thoroughly wherever you are. And to my newest readers/friends, bienvenue! I am truly delighted to have you here at Lost in Arles...