Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Rémy Lemoine


Can you guess what this is? If you said a piece of jewelry, you would not be entirely wrong. It is made of precious materials and it does serve to embellish ...

and domesticate the billows and folds of fabric.

Pygmalion and Galatea by Jean-Léon Gérôme

Like so many of us who are interested in art and decoration, I am fascinated by transformations and the final touches that make a scene come alive. I'm not the only one to believe that the best decorators embrace their work fully with talent and training but also with instinct and heart. One of the best ways to express personality and warmth in a home is the right stuff  - that is, beautiful fabric treated well.

 collection d'embrasses Maison Louvet et Mauny

It amuses me to stop and think of the word used in French for the practical term "tie-backs" -
embrasseEmbrasse expresses it prettily. Like the English word embrace, it means to hold but more commonly today in French, to kiss. Now some curtains are fine left hanging straight, but the fact of draping them, aside from being practical, can often be another way to draw out their beauty - just like a loving embrace? The most traditional way to secure the drape is with a tasselled tie-back of passementerie or a band of the
self-same fabric as the curtains. 

Embrace by Paul Klee

But there are other ways to give a finishing touch which holds the curtain in place
and give it the sweet kiss of style. Sometimes there is nothing like going back to the simplist of shapes to achieve the most luxurious sophistication. 

French designer, Rémy Lemoine has dedicated himself to the creation of what may be the most finely crafted accesories for curtains to be found today.  Doubtless, his years of professional experience in fabric design and decorative installations guided his choice. His embrasses are made in limited series or custom-made in a multitude of materials: raphia, wicker, rye straw, patinated wood, Murano glass, gold or silver-plated wood. The possibilities seem endless and he is constantly exploring further techniques and materials.

photo: Le style et la matière

Lemoine's innovation was to rethink the ordinary tie-back as something precious to coordinate with the
style of curtains, not as an after thought, but with just as much care as you would use to select
a piece of jewelry for a particular outfit. A sculptural finishing touch....

"I want to make very simple things with a great deal of range."

His idea is to give the originality of the materials full play in a simple shape that is easy to use.
Only very high standards of  fabrication can permit such simplicity.

Most of the designer's models are made in France. The raphia models are made in Madagascar and
the glass versions in Murano, Italy. The level of craftsmanship is evident.

Rémy Lemoine teamed up with Lison de Caunes to produce one of my favorite models made of straw marquetry, a decorative art tradition that goes back to the 17th century in France when this ordinary material was used to make intricate designs for boxes and furniture. Lison de Caunes is a Meilleur Ouvrier de France, an honor equivalent to Japan's National Treasure designation. This very particular technique is a family tradition; her grandfather, André Grout, worked in straw marquetry as a decorator in the 1920s.

There are quite a few different shapes already in the range and Rémy Lemoine enjoys
working on individual projects to create custom pieces. 

These more ornamental designs embroidered on velvet are the fruit of a colaboration 
between R. Lemoine and Serge Olivarès.

a metal version of Sogni

Luciole (Firefly) is a playful model that lights up. It's really pretty spectacular!

Poram is a tree form made of wrought iron. The fact that it is free-standing
permits it to fit in a room as a sort of sculpture.

A simple plexiglass version of the signature shape, Songi, contrasts with classic silk damask.

 Contact Rémy Lemoine directly at: remylemoine@wanadoo.fr


  1. I love some of these; very different. Makes me think about crafting something myself. Thank you.

  2. what an outstanding post!@!!
    i can never drive into my installers heads hard enough....
    that they are 'draperies' and need to be 'draped' beautifully.
    love it!

  3. lalalovely, beyond, especially the plexiglass and all the toggle like ones, truly sculpture for the curtain.pgt

  4. Love the eye candy that embraces fabric.

  5. Glad you all agree! Keep your eyes peeled, we'll all be seeing more of these around...

  6. this is a charming post. i particularly liked the ones of embroidered velvet. but what a whole other world of possibilities when you think of it.

    i have a set of pressed glass "embrasses" that are just for tucking the curtains behind. I have been carrying them around with me through 3 houses and still haven't found quite the perfect window for them.

    should i also mention that they attach to the wall with a giant screw that my husband is terrified to imagine securing without destroying same said wall?

    mr. lemoine's pieces also remind me of hawaiian bone jewelry (link to etsy site here:


    which are the kinds of things one imagines wearing after having a couple of drinks and getting hawaiian tattooes! some are quite beautiful.....

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  8. I'm not normally a fan of tie backs, but these are indeed very pretty.

  9. This is axactly what blogs can do so well: focus on a detail and investigate it with all sorts of lateral excursions. You have truly 'embraced' the subject :)