As a second hand and vintage shopper, I've gotten used to replacing buttons, repairing tears and covering up stains and tears with dye or embroidery, but since meeting Paola and watching her work her shades of magic sous sol in her atelier, I've become obsessed with the transformation natural dyes can make, especially on Paola's own collection of Sencha & Bourbon scarves and capes.
I've messed around a bit with natural dying but am far from having anything close to the conscious communication Paola has with colour.
Paola's shop and atelier acts as an aesthetic community centre for the eco curious here in Paris. Her shop, which transforms each month to feature new local eco and ethical designers, has become a regular drop in spot for likeminded humans, a space to shop, create and share. And Paola, who is always busy but yet always makes time, welcomes everyone with open arms (quite literally).
I made a little video Vlog to give you a taste of the experience. As part of my support of Fashion Revolution's week of #Haulternatives, I wanted to transform a sweater that was stained and unravelling. The idea was that Paola would dye it and I would embroider it as a little collaboration. I have yet to find a moment to embroider it but will add on to it and link in the new additions in an outfit post when I've achieved my goals.
I'm so very grateful to have had her magic worked on my garment. As I write this post I'm wearing it and feel that happy glow, similar to what I feel when I wear my mama's old shirts. By collaborating in the transformation by someone who puts so much love into what she does, a sweater that had no meaning and was stained and falling apart suddenly became a meaningful and much loved part of my wardrobe.
You can take classes with Paola and learn how to dye or develop photographs amongst other amazing things, or just pop in for that open armed greeting to discover what's being shared in that cycle.
Below is the video we made, with the help of another sweet and stunning soul, photographer / videographer, Monique Pantel from Pantel Photo.
Two gals I'm grateful to have in my life.
4 Rue Gérando, 75009 Paris
Sencha & Bourbon
photos: Monique Pantel
Music: DJ Drez