Vintage Queen no 117: Meryl from France We’ve already featured her as a vintage business owner, but we loved Meryl’s style so much we just had to crown her a Vintage Queen too. I’m Meryl, I’m 27 and I live in Paris. I’ve been doing high fashion embroidery for eight years, I worked for Chanel, Dior, Gaultier – and now I’ve started my own business. I restore (and sometimes copy) vintage and antique garments with a focus on embroidery, and I’m starting my own repro clothing and jewellery line. My boyfriend describes my style as “Barbara Cartland meets Siouxie”, which isn’t completely wrong, but this is an awkward mix, isn’t it? I focus on shapes, cuts, volumes and colours rather than on a specific era. I’m inspired by everything but fashion. I don’t follow rules. I don’t care about being overdressed (you’re never overdressed, really), casual is not an option, even at home, even when gardening, even in bed. I’m a bit of a Little Edie maybe, minus the cats. I think I like bits and pieces from every possible era, from Elizabethan jewellery to Georgian dainty flowery prints, Victorian corsets, Arts & Crafts pre-raphaelite designs – but on a more “wearable” basis, I love the Thirties for the severe and neat cuts, yet feminine garments. I really love the Bauhaus, Art Deco, I like geometrical shapes, angles, straight lines. I like the Forties because the women were so creative during wartime, oh and I love turbans, I’m obsessed with them – I feel naked without one! And, of course, the New Look, which is wonderful to look at. Again, it’s a question of how the garment is made, the hourglass shape is very geometrical, very “stiff”. I like this idea of wearing something that holds the body in a certain shape. So obviously, I like a bit of the Eighties , because of Mugler, Gaultier, and the like. Corsets, big shoulders, pointy bras, tribal jewellery, all these things have been used in the past, yet they look very modern. I wouldn’t wear such clothes but I’m impressed. My parents used to take me to museums and exhibitions from a young age, so I grew very fond of art. Architecture, photography, painting, typography, I’m curious about everything. Fashion is very related to artistic currents/movements, so it came logically, I think. I love surrealism for example, so I got hooked on Schiaparelli’s work. The Bauhaus, especially Oskar Schelmmer’s work, inspired Klaus Nomi’s iconic style, and I love both, I guess this isn’t a coincidence. I have my favorite shops, like everybody. In Paris, I love Mam’zelleSwing, it’s centered on the Forties and Fifties mostly, the owner is absolutely charming. I love Vintage Galerie as well, there is no shop, it’s by appointment only, it feels very exclusive. It’s one of my clients, so I kinda get to see what’s in store before everyone, as many garments are restored by me before they’re sold. But still, I pay them full price and I insist on that. I also go a lot to the flea markets, and garage sales. Even if a garment is stained/torn or in pieces, I can do something with it ! My favorites are Falbalas, at the St Ouen market, they have pretty much anything from the XIXth century to late Fifties couture. My favourite vintage finds are a sequined Thirties bias cut gown my mother-in-law gave me, it’s ironic because I don’t go out much, so evening dresses are useless for me, but it’s a sentimental gift. And a XVIIIth century Pierrot (it’s a kind of jacket/bodice), my friend Elisabeth gave it to me as a study piece, saying it was a theatre costume from the early XXth century, but after some cleaning and closer inspection it turned out it is a real XVIIIth century piece, and in very good condition. It’s my favorite little rag!” 7 Responses Bunny Moreno May 28th, 2013 Omg I love her look and the photos with her baby-just dreamy! This is a fantastic queen of vintage!!! Just love! xox Reply Meryl May 28th, 2013 Aww thanks Bunny !!! I loved your style as well ! Yay for vintage mommies ! I’ve added your blog to my reading list, I’ve just discovered it and it’s great ! xo Reply Helga May 29th, 2013 Crikey! Gorgeousness! Reply Frances June 1st, 2013 Oh what style! Love it. Her business sounds fascinating too, very inspirational. Reply Kathryn June 17th, 2013 I love your description of your involvement in fashion and the creative vision you have for yourself. You look terrific in the turbans and vintage style! Reply Rebecka June 27th, 2013 You look so wonderful – I love turbans, and you can really pull them off! Reminds me of some of the fashion illustrations I’ve seen from Paris around 1943 with women wearing huge turbans. Love the knitted jumpers as well…I wonder if you knitted them yourself… Reply Meryl November 18th, 2013 Some are hand made by me, and some are vintage. I love everything knitted, suits, dresses, jumpers etc … Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.