I am pretty excited to reveal what I’ve been working on the last two months but there are just one or two details to finalise… I’ve been clocking 15 hour days (and weekends – sorry kids) to create our new website  so I haven’t been as present as I would like here. Mea culpa!


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What I can divulge is that I am working with a really wonderful and gifted collaborator and starting May 2015 and after many requests we will be offering intimate gatherings and retreats in Provence.

We have created an itinerary of activities including:

  • Guiding you through our favourite French flea markets;
  • Visits to our favourite artists ateliers including potters, textile artists, weavers, painters, photographers, printmakers and collectors;
  • Access to exclusive antique textile & brocante sales;
  • Beautifully styled and thoughtful gatherings including a luxury picnic, a secret (surprise) dinner event, a farm to table dining experience and a chic cocktail dinatoire under the stars.

….and plenty of time in between to become inspired anew & connect—with others, yourself, and the world around you.

If this sounds like something you would like to know more about then you can sign up for news on our website.

P.S. we are pulling together some wonderful cadeaux for our subscribers including giveaways, downloadables and private brocante sales.

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The French Muse, launches March 2015  www.thefrenchmuse.com


Porcelain. It seems my inspiration this week echoes the pureness of the landscape around me, everything blanketed in snow, clean, blinding, beautiful.

First up, this video of Sergei Polunin’s improvised dance to “Take Me To Church” by Hozier (directed by David LaChapelle) just blew me away, it is incredibly beautiful – wow!

I also loved the beautiful floral detailing on the Alexander McQueen SS15 collection,  the collection borrowed from the attire of geishas and samurai warriors, obviously reinvented in a typical McQueen way to allow traditions and history to mix and combine with sensual, erotic and disturbing moods pointing towards the horror in beauty/beauty in horror dichotomy.

delicate flowers blooming on the bodices of Sarah Burton's Spring Summer 2015 collection for Alexander McQueen.


The McQueen team also drew on inspiration from Victorian Floral Still Life for the Alexander McQueen Pre-SS15 Menswear

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I read so much about Weiwei’s Alcatraz exhibition, there was so much beauty in this exhibition but I found these images of his ‘blossom’ series the most moving.


Marc Quinn Etymology of Desire, 2010. Alexander McQueen SS15 showByzCKEVCUAAwgMc

Ai Weiwei’s used porcelain in his “Blossom” pieces which he displayed in the hospital ward of Golden Gate National Recreation Area’s Alcatraz Island. Weiwei placed these beautiful and delicate porcelain blossoms in the sinks, toilet and bathtubs inside each cell.


“The misconception of totalitarianism is that freedom can be imprisoned. This is not the case. When you constrain freedom, freedom will take flight and land on a windowsill.”
— Ai Weiwei

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So it snowed overnight….30cm of snow. Of course we were totally unprepared, the car was parked behind the house as far away as possible from the main road, the fridge is empty (thankfully we have a larder full of pasta and canned tomatoes!).

looking out at snow

I captured this moment when my two little ones woke up to discover the magical scene outside, still bleary eyed and in their pyjamas.


This is a door on one of my favourite streets in Lacoste.


(L) In the distance the Mont Ventoux is covered in snow, creating a wonderful pink ombre skyline.


When everything is in black & white it makes the beautiful symmetry in the cherry orchards and vineyards more apparent, sculptures created by the paysans of Lacoste.


  This street is simply beautiful, in the snow and in the heat of summer


I lose my heart to this little secret garden every time I pass


Across the valley, the white of the snowy rooftops only serves to highlight the village scape


Our village ‘Temple’ looks majestic surrounded by the snow backdrop



Ama means literally “women of the sea” or “people of the sea.”

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I just adore these beautiful, strong, women.


I discovered this series from photographer Iwase Yoshiyuki (born in 1904 in Onjuku in eastern Japan) he documented a 2000 year old tradition that has sadly disappeared since the 1960s, the female Ama divers of the Iwawada coast (from villages (Kohaduki, Oohaduki, Futamata, Konado, Tajiri, Koura and Nagahama). The women would dive three times a day, and Yoshiuki has so beautifully captured their daily rituals, the dives, the eating to fuel their physically draining work and the communal aspect of warming themselves by the fire.
P6 Ama with SeaweedThese women would earn enormous salaries ” often making more a few week season than the men of the village made in a year”, as the work required “long, cold dives, up to four minutes of hard underwater work on a single lungful of air.”

Grounding a LongboatI find these images hynotic and seductive. These women are powerful, they are a tribe, they are more than capable, they are free.

konbu-harvest-45-x-55Strength, friendship, community and happiness.

yoshiyuki-iwase-e5b2a9e780ace7a68ee4b98b-12An Ama collapses with tiredness still smiles after a days hard work

10 Shellfish for the FireTextilesYou can view more of this wonderful series here



Les Petits Bonheurs – Brenda Colling

by Ruth January 30, 2015
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I don’t know why it took me so long to get into Instagram but now that I am, it has opened up this entire world of creativity, collectors and artists.  I get such a kick when I find a ribbon without documentation and now know enough to take a stab at the epoque and ribbon […]

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The story of a dress, by Visionnaire & Refinery 29

by Ruth January 28, 2015

Just on foot of the beautiful images from Raf Simon’s Christian Dior show featuring our familys haute couture grosgrain ribbons, I discovered this wonderful film which gives us a delicious glimpse into the making of one dress, “Look #53″. I loved discovering the haute couture ateliers, from the dyers (teinturiers) to the ateliers Gérard Lognon (plissers […]

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Raf Simons’s couture for Christian Dior collection, embellished with Julien Faure ribbons

by Ruth January 27, 2015
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Wow I am just swelling with pride for our family ribbon company. Suzy Menkes just wrote a wonderful review of his show which featured ribbons from Julien Faure. Suzi Menkes writes “…As the models walked down the scaffolding ramp set, you could tell that each stripe, each decoration –  were works of art.” Here are […]

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Travel back in time to the Rome of Piero Tosis youth

by Ruth January 26, 2015
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Just love the romance of this era of film-making, oh to have a time machine to travel back to the Rome of Piero Tosi, Visconti’s Costumier. andiamo….

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The Rescued Film Project

by Ruth January 22, 2015
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I’ve gotten myself bogged down into web developing and designing a new website for my new business, The French Muse, so I am conscious that I’ve been less present here and on instagram. I can’t wait to unroll my new project for you, it is really really exciting! Meanwhile, it’s not all CSS coding, sometimes […]

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This & that, the call of the deep blue ocean

by Ruth January 19, 2015

I think you know how much I love glimpsing inside creative spaces, where do they make, how do they make, what do they surround themselves with for inspiration, is their desk as messy as mine? yes – it’s fine so I’m not outside the norm kind of thing. So when my friend Kathleen Hackett forwarded […]

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