It’s a mark of his work that François Tamarin has been named this year’s Best Artisan in France in the category of haute couture, pret-a-porter and corsetry. By trade though, Tamarin falls into the latter part of the classification, a corsetier in a world where very few skilled traditionalists remain. His distinctive, labor-intensive, decorative approach caught the eye of couturier Jean Paul Gaultier for whom he has worked magic with his 18th-century corset construction. Ranking high on the insider’s ladder, Tamarin operates a private client service and only sells through one retail outlet in Paris. Shadé, owner of the eponymous boutique, describes herself as his publicist, and, in that French way that defies translation, his godmother. A relative newcomer to the business, Tamarin, who’s only in his 30s, moved to corsetry only five years ago after working in and being passionate about various fields of couture-like craftsmanship.
A Berliner by birth with a French name dating back to centuries of exile in Germany, René Talmon L’Armée makes jewelry — and we don’t mean twinkly little bits of nothing in gaudy colors, we mean chunky, authoritative pieces for men and women that show innovation and handicraft. With the 32-year-old jeweler doing most of that work himself, including many private orders, it could be no other way. Based opposite an old church in a former jewelry foundry on the fringes of the Marais district, the space, with a soaring ceiling and its original drawer cabinets and rooted-to-the-floor safe, reflects Talmon L’Armée’s design aesthetic of matte silver and buffed metal bracelets in the form of plaited leather, thick rectangular links, black shark and stingray insets, polished onyx, and a stash of old ivory and coral reworked into pendants and unruly cuffs. The designer, who would like to have a store in Berlin soon, currently sells in numerous outlets in Japan and at Destination in New York. At his only other Paris outlet, Shimji, Jean Paul Gaultier and Christian Lacroix have recently snapped up some items for themselves.
Photos: François Tamarin
René Talmon L’Armée