Artisans of Provence

Ghislaine Garcin: Artisan of Provence

September 11, 2018

I had the pleasure of meeting this season’s featured Artisan of Provence in her welcoming oasis of an atelier space in Marseille recently. As the evenings begin to take on a distinct chill, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about texture and warmth for your interiors.

Discover the delicate and intricate creations of Ghislaine Garcin featured inside our Autumn V13: Cocooning Curation (on pre-sale now). Ghislaine’s “slow textile” approach is achieved by using only natural methods and results in the creation of a stunning range of wool felt objects in a sophisticated color palette. We chose a Mediterranean and neutral landscape inspired palette to be featured inside our Luxe Provence Blush curation this season.

Ghislaine creates each piece by hand in her atelier in Marseille using artisanal production methods in limited editions. The eco-responsible materials meet the requirements of respect for the environment and of animals: yarns and fibers 100% wool (renewable, biodegradable) and are of French origin (Creuse) and European (Tyrol) origins.

Ghislaine’s Maille & Feutre collection features a range of: carpets, cushions, organic shaped pots, and hanging baskets which serve functionally as the ideal ally for creating a space of intimacy and relaxation. The wool felt objects are not only beautiful but also offer many natural benefits for your indoor space, as they are: insulating, antistatic, hypoallergenic, a humidity regulator and a pollutant absorber. Her pieces brings a refined touch of cozy and organic natural beauty to any space. Her rugs are simply divine!

Discover Ghislaine’s beautiful, functional art for your home inside our V13:  Autumn Cocooning Curation featuring a curation of handmade objects Made in Provence on pre-sale now, while supplies last. Shipping begins September 28, 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learn more about Ghislaine Garcin (pictured above) on her website here or visit her atelier by appointment. Curated and written by: Tarik Koivisto, Founder/Creative Director, Luxe Provence.

 

Artisans of Provence

Meet Marianne… Jamie Beck for Luxe Provence

June 1, 2018

Meet Marianne… the first-piece in our long awaited collaboration with Jamie Beck for Luxe Provence Lifestyle.

What’s in a name?…

Jamie named the dress “Marianne” after the French national icon who is a champion of freedom and democracy against all forms of oppression, a freedom she discovered for myself as a woman and a creator in Provence. You see her profile in all forms in France from official government documents to artistic masterpieces like Eugène Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People, and many of the statues around Provence and all of France, for that matter. She could think of nothing more fitting for this moment than to name the dress after the goddess of liberty leading the way through…

We hope that you enjoy this first piece of our collaboration, proudly designed and made in Provence.

 


 

UPDATE – THIS LINEN PROVENCE DRESS WAS SOLD OUT IMMEDIATELY, upon its launch on June 1st!  We will be releasing a second round of limited quantity pre-orders on Monday, June 18th here for shipping scheduled for August 28, 2019.

Please stay tuned for more on our upcoming collaboration pieces and new releases by popular demand… 

#jamiebeck for #luxeprovence #soldout #artisansofprovence #collaboration #whatsnext

Video by Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg of Ann Street Studio.

Gastronomy & Wine, Luxe Provence Hotels, Luxe Provence Travel Guides

Baumanière, Iconic Gastronomy Retreat

May 18, 2018

It at all started in 1945, when Raymond Thuilier purchased an abandoned and relatively, isolated provençal mas tucked into the protected hillside called the Baumanière. At the time, this area of Provence was considered “Le Val d’Enfer” or the valley of hell, due to the rugged shape of the surrounding limestone rocks and difficult to access location.

Raymond was taken with the majestic property setting at the foot of the fortified hilltop village of Les Baux de Provence (read more about the region in our wine travel guide here) years prior, and set out with the mission to carve out a gastronomic inn and haven of peace in this dramatic setting.

As it turns out, it was a visionary idea. The L’Oustau de Baumanière became the first Relais & Chateaux property achieving a coveted 5-star status with its luxury hotel and 3-star Michelin cuisine. Raymond’s grandson, Jean-André Charial, a young 24-year old rising Michelin starred chef in his own right, decided to join in the family business. The two worked together hand-in-hand to perfect their legendary gastronomic cuisine for over 15 years. Today, Jean-André and his wife Geneviève, continue the family tradition of running the property and are constantly refining the gastronomy of their two restaurants, the hotel design, activities and spa experience bringing over 75 years of heritage and passion for the site. The original mas has since expanded to include five traditional Provence-style buildings with 54 bedrooms, and prestige luxury suites.

You can still feel a sense of history and air of secret refuge as your gently pull into the valley and first discover the property’s magnificent surroundings. This mythical place is where many French and international royalty have retreated to and celebrated their milestone events for over 70 years.

Its first rooms were inaugurated by Georges Pompidou in 1945 at a moment when France was ready to embrace and celebrate a new era after years of upheaval and trauma from World War II. This hideaway resort quickly became a preferred stop for famous writers, royals such as Queen Elizabeth, gifted painters as Picasso, and international politicians and celebrities of every kind. Jean Cocteau spent three months here in 1958; while more recently, your could bump into the likes of Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis.

I was delighted to discover that the property also boasts France’s second largest wine cellar, or cave. The selection of French fine wines is extremely impressive, including priceless bottles dating back to 1883 from Chateau Lafite Rothschild. Sommelier, Gilles Ozzello, gave us a private cellar tour of their fine wine collection started in 1945 featuring over 60,000 bottles, which are stored in perfect temperature by the surrounding natural stone hillside in two locations.  Their selection is therefore, quite incredible and the Baumanière offers its own wine-tasting courses, or Cours d’Oenologie by reservation.

It’s worth noting, that not only is Jean-André (pictured above) a highly accomplished chef who currently presides over not one, but two, Michelin starred restaurants (L’Oustau de Baumanière and Baumanière 1850 at the Hotel le Strato Courchevel during the winter months), but was also the original winemaker at Chateau Romanin. He was an early pioneer adopting biodynamic farming methods in winemaking back in 1987.

After the death of Chateau Romanin partner, Jean-Pierre Peyraud, in 2001, Jean André suffered a disappointing loss with the change of ownership of the domaine. He went on to create his very own wine with another Les Baux de Provence AOP, Domaine de Lauzieres. He emotionally and aptly, called it l’Affectif, a truly delicious local wine available in rosé or red on-site, in which he employed the same sustainable growing methods he pioneered early on. This story of its name was inspired by conversations with his close friend and frequent hotel visitor, Georges Wolinski (the French cartoonist and Charlie Hebdo comics writer tragically killed on 7 January 2015) in which he referred to Jean-Pierre Raffarin as a “carburait a l’affectif”. Eleven years later, the ex-Prime Minister entitled his latest memoir “Je marcherai toujours a l’affectif…” and mentioned in the preface that he found that title on the terrace of the Baumanière.

The hotel, restaurants and rooms have recently gone through numerous design upgrades, led by Geneviève (pictured below) and her interior designer daughter in-law, integrating a mix of modern amenities and high design lighting fixtures with local artisanal pieces, historic touches, and carefully selected art. I particularly appreciate the integration of local and artisanal products in their restaurant’s own ceramics and beautifully curated boutique.

Geneviève’s role is to be the guardian of the spirit and Baumanière heritage of the hotel and property. For instance, I was delighted to discover a cookbook dedicated to Jean-André from Oliver Baussan, passionate Provence resident and founder of L’Occitane, in my suite, which was a lovely touch.

Their spacious suites have been beautifully renovated and feature thoughtful private terraces overlooking the property’s beautifully manicured gardens and swimming basins.

luxe provence hotel les baux

During my stay, I awoke gently to the birds chirping and magnificent, dramatic views of the beautifully landscaped gardens and village of Les Baux…truly heaven, an authentic, secret luxury Provence. It is a pleasure to wander and get lost on the property. There’s also direct access to several trails leading including up directly to the breathtaking village of Les Baux de Provence. And there are many intentional quaint corners, tables and poolside areas to relax in throughout the property to enjoy the dramatic setting… you may not want to leave.

hotel luxe provence cabro d'or restaurant

Being a bit of a foodie, I was thrilled to experience a fantastic culinary class taught by Cabro d’Or Chef, Michel Hulin.  Each spring and summer, Jean-André and Michel Hulin, offer private cooking classes in small groups up to 12 people (from 145 euros per person with lunch included) in each of the restaurants. The Cabro d’Or, Michel’s restaurant, draws its inspiration from the property’s organic vegetable garden, market fresh fish and lighter dishes, which I adored.

Michel’s passion and precision for perfecting each vegetable and ingredient in our spring lunch was truly impressive to witness. His fish dishes were truly divine and combines special techniques to maintain the integrity and flavor to his vegetables, which can sometimes be lost in traditional, heavier French cuisine.

The Cabro d’Or offers a new La Table d’hote relaxed summer lunch experience, featuring a market fresh menu that changes each week (from 33 euros per person) enjoyed in the gardens and fountain of the restaurant.  It’s a great way to get a taste of the property and cuisine on a sunny afternoon, if you’re visiting for the day. You may even get a peek at their adorable baby goats.

Along with a spring cooking course, the hotel has recently launched a new spa retreat concept with zen thursday and weekend events, which include guided meditation and rejuvenating 3-hour spa packages, complete with an on-site meditation expert and relaxing massage options.

What I find rare, is to experience this sense that you are staying as part of their extended family, rather than at a hotel. They truly care about each painstaking detail of your stay and noticed there’s a special, quaintness and family ambiance within the staff as well. If you’re looking for an authentic, gastronomic luxury retreat in Provence… look no further.

To discover more about the region, check out our 36 Hours of Wine Tasting in Les Alpilles or our Les Alpilles Travel Guide including travel tips for Les Baux de Provence and Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.

 

Article and Photography by: Tarik Koivisto, Founder, Luxe Provence

Learn More:
Hôtel 5* Relais & Châteaux – restaurant 2 étoiles Michelin – Spa
Address: D27, Mas de Baumanière, 13520 Les Baux-de-Provence
Phone: 04 90 54 33 07

 

Artisans of Provence, Luxe Provence Travel Guides

36 Hours in Arles… Art Capital of Provence

May 17, 2018
travel guide to arles by luxe provence

Arles is truly experiencing a renaissance. The first, visual clue is the rising height of Frank Gehry’s latest metal-clad museum masterpiece that is in the works at the site of LUMA Arles.

Luma Arles is a grand project driven by art patron and cultural maven, Maja Hoffman, the mastermind re-shaping the city’s landscape, culture and art scene of this ancient roman city of Provence. I felt the exciting energy everywhere, from the construction sites throughout the city, to the local artisan ateliers and chic boutiques where everyone I met with is talking about the renaissance of Arles… finally arriving.

Maja Hoffman (pictured above left) is an avid Swiss art collector, art patron, filmmaker and visionary entrepreneur passionate about Arles, who brings with her a rich family heritage for preserving and collecting the world’s finest artists. Her grandmother, for example, Maja Stehlin (1896–1989), collected Pablo Picasso, Jean Arp, Fernand Léger, Jean Tinguely and Georges Braque. The city of  Vincent Van Gogh is officially blossoming into the art capital of Provence grâce à elle.

As part of this major initiative to transform Arles into an art city, Hoffmann founded LUMA Arles in 2014, breaking ground on the cultural complex designed by Frank Gehry for the production of: art exhibitions, research, education and archives, scheduled for completion later this year. Architect Annabelle Selldorf is currently renovating five 19th century industrial train stations, two of which are currently open for visitors, into working atelier spaces. The Luma Ateliers are focused on making and showing art, which includes the Le Réflectoire des Ateliers, a lovely cantine and bookstore space at the entry within the foundation.

The current Luma Atelier exhibitions break from its buildings’ past to a sustainable future by selectively showcasing its designers-in-residence creations featuring innovative use of natural materials. From converting algae into a viable 3-D printed form for beautiful household objects, to transforming seashells to sturdy beautiful countertops; I found the atelier experience to be a welcome modern “makerlab” space with something for the whole family to enjoy. These converted industrial spaces were also designed to house photography as part of the city’s annual international photography festival, Rencontres d’Arles (which takes over the city each summer).  In addition, Hoffman recently purchased Martin Parr’s 12,000-strong photobook collection, in partnership with Tate London, plus the archives of celebrated photographer, Annie Leibovitz (one of my all-time favorite American photographers) which will be available to view in Arles. 

arlatan luxury 5 star hotel arles maja hoffman

Ms. Hoffmann is also behind many cultural projects in the area, including the Michelin-starred organic restaurant, La Chassagnette (more info below). This organic, farm-to-table restaurant concept is in the Camargue, just outside of Arles, and has quickly become a must-visit gastronomic destination. She is also behind the renovations and expansion of  L’Hotel Arlatan, a former hôtel particulier being expanded in the center’s oldest neighborhood as a new luxury hotel experience which is part of the Maison d’Arles group.

So, if Arles didn’t already impress you with its Vincent Van Gogh history, impressive list of museums, Roman Amphitheatre and Saint-Trophime, Camargue personality or classic 18th century architecture… perhaps it’s time to give it a second look. To help you discover the new Art Capital of Provence, we have prepared a guide over the last few months featuring our own insider’s travel tips to the city of Arles.

 

36 Hours in Arles – Luxe Provence Insider’s Travel Guide

Friday: Visit the new Atelier Arles at Luma and check out the Frank Gehry designed museum underway, followed by a fabulous dinner and wine pairings at the hip restaurant, Chardon. Be sure to reserve in advance and communicate any food allergies, or restrictions via their website.

chardon arles restaurant guide to arles

Chardon is a hip spot featuring an exciting concept of pop-in, chefs-in-residence from around the globe who create innovative menus featuring Arles’ organic, local ingredients. Our travel team dined here in April and were very pleased with each dish that brought together unique and innovative flavor combinations. Choose from either the a la carte options (from 2 to 20 euros), or the discovery ‘Feed Me’ Menu (at 39 euros) designed to be shared.

Saturday: Start your day at Arles’ Saturday market.  It is one of Provence’s finest and known for its organically grown Camargue rice and vegetables, local cheeses, taureau saucisson, olives and anchoaïade. Pick up some colorful ‘les indiennes’, the traditional Provence fabric for your table, and walk the pretty shaded stall-lined city streets for a variety of color and endless photo options. Lunch at the charming Le Galoubet (16 to 35 euros plates; 18 Rue du Dr Fanton) with its gorgeous, vine-covered terrace for fresh, Mediterranean dishes to experience the local produce sourced from the market. It’s located just down the street from the Foundation Van Gogh, if you fancy to add in a visit.

After lunch, try a bit of local artisanal shopping, or simple cafe life in Arles’ historic, old town (see our recommendations below), then reserve your dinner with Jean Luc Rabanel, the 2-star Michelin chef who runs two restaurant experiences here.  Choose between the more formal restaurant, L’Atelier (55 to 145 euro menus of 7, 9 or 12 courses) for a surprise sensorial experience you won’t forget, or sample his Le Bistro À Coté located nearby for your first foray (32 euro retour de la marché menu).

Sunday: Visit to the Camargue’s charming citadel Aigues Mortes (pictured above, Camargue guide coming next!) in the morning for a glipse at the pink hued salines and charming village. Then stop off at Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer for a long, Michelin-star organic lunch at the charming, Chassagnette.

arles restaurant guide michelin star restaurants chassagnette

Alternatively, if you prefer staying in town, be sure to try Le Gibolin (13 rue des porcelets) a lovely locals’ favorite for delicious, fresh and simple, organic dishes and an excellent cave à vin (28 to 50 euros). Find traditional local dishes from pieds et paquets à la Provençale, and calf’s liver with persillade paired with market fresh vegetables.

 

Where to Stay

tarik koivisto luxe provence founder hotel particulier arles

Hôtel Particulier: This stunning néo-classique manor and les ecuries (a stunning converted stable) is one of the last remaining architecture gems of Baron de Chartrouse. The Hôtel Particulier Arles has been converted into a 5-star luxury hotel perfectly located in the center of Arles on a quiet street. The architecture of the property and suites are very beautifully designed, tastefully mixing its classic eighteenth century bones and high ceilings with a soft, modern touch. Unfortunately, we had a difficult time actually confirming our reservation with the staff and were a bit disappointed by the spa services and general amenities that are normally associated with a 5-star property, but the private retreat aspect and décor are divine.

hotel particulier 5 star luxury hotel provenceThe garden, terrace and heated pool are delightful offering a picturesque place to cool off and relax. Or, simply enjoy the charming setting for a private breakfast or lunch during your stay.

Suites from 245 – 425 euros; 4 rue de la monnaie, 13200 Arles. Tel. +33 4 90 52 51 40 

Hôtel du Cloître: This is a charming, small boutique hotel with modern touches just near the arena and antique theater featuring its own market-fresh restaurant, L’Ouvre Boite, set in a lovely side street courtyard in the warm summer months. A great value option and dining during warm summer nights under the twinkling lights of the bistro is perfectly charming.

8 Rue du Cloître, 13200 Arles, Tel: 04 88 09 10 00

arlatan luxury 5 star hotel arles maja hoffman

L’hôtel d’Arlatan: Currently closed for a complete renovation and expansion, but look to stay at this Hotel Particulier as they re-open this autumn (2018). This Hotel Particulier is being expanded to several renovating buildings located in in the historic area of Arles and looks very promising.

Hôtel Jules César M Gallery by Sofitel
If bold is your preference, the former 17th century Carmelite Convent now houses, 5-star Hôtel Jules César and features bright colorful décor and pattern designed by Christian Lacroix, the reigning fashion king of Arles. This larger boutique hotel offers 5-star amenities and is located in the Boulevard des Lices for convenient access to the morning markets and centre ville.
9 Boulevard des Lices, 13200 Arles. Tel: +33 4 90 52 52 52 

Where to Shop – Artisanal & Boutiques

While you’re in the city, here are a few of our personal favorite boutiques, artisans, ateliers and local concept shops to visit.

Stop into Atelier Sophie Lassagne  (12 Rue de la Liberté) to purchase one of her beautiful matte ceramic vases (picture above left), or sign-up for one of her hands-on classes or workshops to experience the artists life in Arles, if even for a few hours.

Visit the workshop and atelier of Marie Hélène Desort, Le Métier d’Art (6,rue Docteur Fanton), to discover her handwoven wool creations. Marie-Hélène weaves her pieces on a large antique loom and creates her own original, colorful range of clothing and accessories made from natural materials. All creations are unique pieces. Also, I discovered some beautiful wool scarves from another textile artist, Cécile Tabet, also present in the boutique, who fashions felt for her creations from the Cévennes into beautiful, dyed organic colors and forms.

Be sure to visit Fabienne Brando at the Arlesienne Perfumer (26 rue de la liberté), who has exquisite taste and creates her own niche line of perfumes. The fragrances are unique and fantastically Arles, presented in gorgeous artistic packaging. Bring home her latest home fragrance release, A Cloud of Flamingos as a wonderful olfactive souvenir of your trip.

Stop in to Dou Bochi (16 rue Réattu) for a mix of global and locally created artisanal objects chosen by founders, Eric Bergère et Antoine Rambourg. The boutique carries Eric’s private label clothing line produced in high quality natural, fabrics and has worked for such luxury fashion houses as, Lanvin and Inès de la Fressange.

Moustique Arles (2 rue Jouvène) is a lovely concept store where we found this fun, Arles tray (pictured above left) and offers an excellent selection of housewares, artisanal pieces, jewelry and gift items.

We hope you enjoyed our well-researched selections and you may just need more than 36-hours to visit. Let us know what your favorite places are below!

 

On-location photography and article by: Tarik Koivisto, Founder & Creative Director, Luxe Provence. Special thanks to my travel team: Vanessa and Laura.

 

#travelguide #36hoursinarles #luxeprovence #artisansofprovence

Artisans of Provence

Jamie Beck for Luxe Provence Collaboration

May 10, 2018

The ultimate Luxe Provence dream collaboration is underway… and I think you’re going to be blown away to discover who we’ve teamed up with next.

artisan of provence jamie beck luxe provence

We are thrilled to announce Artisan of Provence, Jamie Beck is joining us for two exciting seasons of Luxe Provence design. Jamie is the uber talented artist and photographer behind Ann Street Studio, who since moving to Provence nearly two years ago, has been creating portrait masterpieces from her stunning, 18th century apartment in Apt.

jamie beck collaboration luxe provence

Jamie Beck is collaborating with us to create and design her Provence dream linen dress as a part of our Luxe Provence SS18 Lifestyle Collection.  And that’s not all, she’ll also be designing a three piece capsule collection for Luxe Provence AW18! I first discovered Jamie’s stunning and gorgeous work via her #Provenceselfportraitseries on Instagram where she brings confidence, skill, and beauty to convey her artistic and cultural perspective as an American in Provence with raw, and beautiful emotion. Through her self-portrait work, she often explores current societal, media and fashion industry’s impact on body image, noting differences between American and French cultures. I’d say since moving to Provence, Jamie has truly grown comfortable in her own skin. It was so refreshing to discover her work and a feed filled with such poetic beauty. Jamie is a true artist in every sense.

I approached Jamie for this collaboration, because I believe she embodies the authentic, effortless chic, Provence style we strive for in our LP Lifestyle Collection, while also bringing her own unique romantic sensibility to the line. And it’s not just her style I admire, but her work, values, beliefs and the way she chooses to live life. I am thrilled to integrate Jamie’s Provence and her ethereal style and boundless creative energy into this magical collaboration between two passionate Americans in Provence.

We officially kicked off the collaboration via Instagram together last week (learn more below) and the Jamie Beck for Luxe Provence linen dress will go on pre-sale early May available in limited edition. Be sure to follow along behind-the-scenes of the design progress from our Provence atelier via Instagram each week as we bring Jamie’s dream dress to reality! #madeinprovence #jamiebeckforluxeprovence #ss18

In the meantime, read on below to learn more about Jamie and her life in Provence and inspiration behind our exciting design collaboration in the works…


 

(TK) When did you start working as a photographer?

(JB)  I started my lifelong passion for photography at the age of 13 when my mother gave me her old film camera to play with. All the sudden, I had a place to create my dreams and for my imagination to roam. It is all I have done since.

jamie beck in provence luxeprovence dress collaboration

(TK) Why did you choose a move to Provence?

(JB) I was spiritually drawn to Provence since my first visit years ago. The light, the colors of the landscape, the way of life all spoke to my soul. There is an ease and a fluidity between nature, art, ideas, seasons, and food that I find comfort and inspiration in.

luxe provence jamie beck artisan of provence collaboration linen dress

(TK) What was your inspiration or idea behind your recent Provence still life and self portrait series?

(JB) After years of working in the commercial space with our creative agency in New York, Ann Street Studio, I wanted to step away from products and focus on natural beauty. I go to the market in my village and buy my produce almost daily based on what is in season from the local farmers. The beauty of the food and it’s relationship to the seasons is what first inspired me to start working with still lives. To bring in what I see, experience, the essence of the terroir into my studio space where I can draw down the focus and emotion into the subject matter.

“My self portraits were a way to rediscover who I was. To literally strip away the branding I was accustomed to and just feel myself in my skin. See how unwinding from American culture was effecting my interior being and the changes it had on me mentally, emotionally and physically.”

(TK) What is your favorite aspect of your work?

(JB) That it is never really finished.

(TK) How does your life differ now today, from your life in New York?

(JB) It’s completely different in every aspect! The conveniences of New York are gone (laundry service, dishwasher, seamless, high speed internet, uber, 24 hour food options) but what I traded it in for was calm. Using my hands. Making time to actually live, meaning, making all my meals, building fires at night and adhering to the French way of life with their set boundaries of work time and personal time. There is so much less noise in my day to day life I can focus on my art and a deeper connection to each day.

luxe provence jamie beck collaboration

(TK) What are you inspired by each day?

(JB) The earth, the sky, the air, the light, the skin. What happens around us everyday is nothing short of a miracle to me.

(TK) What advise would you give your 20 year old self?

(JB) Don’t buy so much stuff.

(TK) What is your favorite beauty product?

(JB) Vintner’s Daughter, like nature’s vitamins for your face. Buly 1803 Dry Rose Body Oil to make my skin shine for my self portraits like an oil painting.

Chantecaille Liquid Lumière for highlights on the face. Tata Harper Lip and Cheek tints for a little color on my lips and cheeks.

Do you have a ritual for keeping your skin so gorgeous?

(JB) Of course my skin is a result of how much water I drink, sleep I get, hormones and veggies I consume. When I went back to the US my skin went crazy which I think was a result of the change of food or food quality. When all is balanced I’m really happy washing my face (at night only) with EmerginC blue poppy enzyme polish. In the morning when I wake up and at night after I wash my face I dampen my skin with water followed by EmerginC scientific organics phytocell serum, a few drops of Vintner’s Daughter, then either day or night Restorsea face cream.

life in provence linen dress made in france

(TK) Give us an idea of your perfect day…

(JB) Wake up to the bell tolls in my village, have french press coffee in bed. Go for a walk in the country and find inspiration. Pick up groceries for lunch and dinner. Prepare a healthy homemade lunch, typically a salad with some hot, honey, lemon water. Spend the afternoon and early evening making photographs, which I then edit fireside with some wine before making a home cooked dinner.

(TK) Your favorite escape or weekend destination in Provence?

(JB) Really, I love going on long bike rides through the countryside and having a picnic at the base of Lacoste. As far as towns, I love going to Arles! The art and photography culture there is so strong and they have a great food scene.

visit arles

 

(TK) What is your definition of true happiness?
(JB) Freedom and a creative life.

(TK) Inspiration behind this season’s dress design collaboration?

(JB) I wanted the dress to be a true interpretation of all the references of Provence. The creamy warm tan color of the stones taken so many hundreds or thousands of years ago to build the towns and bridges and aqueducts of this region. The goddess like statues you find at the entrances of most towns with her full, sweeping skirt and warrior like leg dynamically striding through. The linen fabric, which is the perfect thing to live in here, earthy and cool and easy, and that line the brocantes with monogrammed table cloths, sheets and antique dressing. The ruching on the waist line was inspired by the cuffs and necklines of men’s French antique linen dressing shirts. The true Provence is dusty, so I wanted the kind of dress you could wear in the garden picking vegetables, or at a beautiful bastide lunch with the summer sun shinning through the trees. The wrap of the dress was inspired to be reminiscent to the linen aprons and life in a kitchen cooking with love to be shared. Practical pockets for carrying coins to the market or to run out to buy a hot baguette.

jamie beck provence design luxe provence

 


Jamie’s first dress design for Luxe Provence will be on pre-sale in limited edition only, starting with pre-sales mid-May. This collaboration will be sold exclusively on www.luxe-provence.shop.

Stay tuned on Instagram and here on the blog for more details on her “French Art of Dressing” with behind the scenes footage and inspiration about this collaboration. The first linen dress design will be included in our SS18 collection, revealed soon!

linen dress made in provence france jamie beck luxe provence

 

Images copyright of Jamie Beck. Learn more about Jamie’s work and life as an Artist in Provence here: annstreetstudio.com, or discover her photographs and work live in an exhibition on the female form along with her Cinemagraphs this month created together with her creative partner and husband, Kevin Burg, at the International Center of Photography in NY.

 

Blog Article, Arles photo and Interview by Luxe Provence Founder/Creative Director, Tarik Koivisto

Scents of Provence

Iris Growers of Provence by Rebecca Amer

March 29, 2018

Iris is of prime importance in perfumery. Some describe the iris note as “the smell of cash” as it is expensive to produce. Or perhaps that’s said because the iris note has a papery facet? In either case it is found in many many perfumes and Chanel particularly are known for their use of this high quality ingredient. It lends a velvety texture to a composition, for example in Chanel no 5.

In Trets there is a producer called COPAMIVAR, they are one of the biggest iris growers in the world. They kindly allowed me to take photos and gave me a private tour of their factory (which smelled sublime I might add).

These beautiful purple flowers bloom for two to three weeks or so depending on the weather. It is not the blooms that are used in perfume however, it is the rhizomes. They must be grown for at least three years before harvesting. Once gathered the rhizomes are carefully washed and then spread out to dry for several days after which, further drying takes place for several years, so that the inimitable iris smell develops. When the rhizome is mature it’s ground to a fine powder then processed in a special steam distillery. The next stage is a product known as iris butter or orris butter. The iris butter is gently heated to liquefy it and then it’s separated out into various fractions. Experts re-assemble the fractions to make a high quality iris absolute. It takes 40,000 tons of rhizomes to make 1 kg of iris absolute.

artisans of provence iris growers

In terms of smell, I would describe iris as cool, elegant, earthy, rooty, powdery, papery… depending what is paired with it the effect will be different. Here is a little round up of what is one of my most very favourite notes in perfume. I am an unashamed iris worshipper.

iris-perfumes

  • Vampy iris – Tom Ford’s Violet Blonde, a really fun and lively violet iris. It always perks me up.
  • Glamourous iris – Frederic Malle’s Iris Poudre * this one is at the very top of my personal “to buy” list.
  • Cool headed iris – Prada’s Infusion d’Iris, please wear this for magical powers of concentration and cool calm collectedness.
  • Sexy man’s iris – Dior’s l’Homme it can also definitely be worn by a woman, one of the best masculines of all time in my opinion.
  • Romantic iris – Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger’s Rose Irisee, completely enchanting, it takes you on a gentle journey from iris to rose.
  • Dark and dangerous iris – Serge Lutens’ Iris Silver Mist – a complete iris overdose. Not easy to wear and has that carrot vibe going on.
  • Leathery light iris – Anne Gerard’s Cuir de Nacre, I could drown myself in this one.
  • Power iris – Hermes’ Hiris. Great quality and wearability. Not too powdery nor too rooty. Just right.
  • Bargain iris – Yardley’s Iris, which you can buy online easily; it’s great for hot days and for layering with other perfumes.
  • Luxurious and easy to wear iris – Aqua di Parma Iris Nobile, it has a gentle creamy quality to it. Totally Luxe.

My iris list goes on and on but there I will stop for today. Enjoy those pretty blooms and now you know: it’s the rhizomes that are precious.

– Rebecca

 

Guest blog post courtesy of Rebecca Amer,of Irridessence, who is a talented Perfume Consultant who also offers Fragrance Discovery Tours in Aix-en-Provence.

Irises in Provence photography by: Tarik Koivisto, Founder, Luxe Provence

Gastronomy & Wine, Luxe Provence Travel Guides

36 Hours of Wine Tasting in Les Alpilles

March 7, 2018
travel wineguide provence les baux de provence

(Hotel Château des Alpilles in Saint Remy)

There is a spot of mystique and natural beauty that must be experienced to be understood: the Provençal wine region of Les Baux-de-Provence Appellation d’origine controlee (AOP).

The Alpilles Mountains run a ridge through the north-western corner of the Bouches du Rhône department of Provence. Alpilles means little Alps, but visitors to the area are moved by the largess of the wildly rugged, authentic and mysterious setting. It’s here that a small group of winemakers produce red, rosé and white wines in the shadow of Les Baux-de-Provence village, a 13th century fortification that lends its name to this AOP.

Vineyards can be found on either side of the Alpilles Mountains, cresting into the quite dry, fascinatingly hot oven where the grapes thrive and the Mistral wind blows. This region is unique for production of a larger percent (over 50%) of red wine, rather than the traditionally Provençal output of primarily rosé. Most estates also grow olives and mill olive oil, established under an agricultural AOP as well.

While the AOP is young (celebrating 21 years this summer), the practice of making wine is ancient, often conducted as part of general family farming in recent history, but dating back to Roman times when this area of Provence was on the road from Rome to Spain. Roman and Greek ruins can still be viewed in the area. The AOP leans heavily on biodynamique and organic farming and movements are in process to include these practices as an AOP mandate. It is also a small settlement of only twelve estates; a unique opportunity to taste and purchase a full portfolio from the area.

provence wine chateau estoublon

36 Hours in Les Baux de-Provence AOP

Locals and visitors can enjoy a summer exploration of each of these estates. Many of them do not export greatly, or at all, outside of Provence. Les Baux-de-Provence wines are found in local hotels, restaurants and for sale on site, with a small portion available for export. Taking time to explore and discover the region is the best and perhaps only way to experience the richness of this distinct space.

 

Friday

cheese-ofprovenceStart out early on Friday morning with a visit to the Eygalières market. Here you’ll find gorgeous produce (and a scarf or dress in colors to match), plump roasted chickens, aromatic herbs, colorful baskets and lots of families out doing their shopping. Local vignerons are often at the market, increasing one’s chances of getting an inside conversation with a local winemaker. Gather picnic essentials: cheese, a couple of baguettes, a chicken and some tomatoes. These can be eaten on a sunny stone wall, or under a tree along the summit, where château ruins offer a view of the Alpilles. After lunch, pace the afternoon around time at these neighboring wine estates.

Domaine de la Vallongue

domaine de la vallongue provence aopThe name means Domaine of the Long Valley, signifying the estate’s location on the ancient Roman roadway connecting Rome and Spain. Enjoy a tasting of the domaine’s red, white and rosé wines as well as the AOC olive oils, for sale on premises.

Domaine Lauzières

Taste both estate wine and olive oil in the domaine’s carnotzet, a Swiss word depicting a cellar bar or room where people gather to taste wine in a lively and welcoming setting. Purchase wines in 750ml bottles or an impressive magnum bottle for entertaining.

domaine de la lauzieres provence wine

Mas de Gourgonnier

This family-run estate welcomes visitors to their bio-dynamically farmed estate. They’ve been certified by European and American governing bodies for sustainable growing methods. Guests can taste and purchase wine and olive oil and perhaps meet one of the estate family members.

Mas de la Dame

Vincent Van Gogh once painted Mas de la Dame, in a work once featured at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. The likeness now appears on certain bottles of Mas de la Dame wine. Visit and taste wine and olive oil in this family-run, historic cellar.

Chateau d’Estoublonaop-les-baux-de-provence-wines

Pop into the Chateau’s boutique to purchase wine and tasty gourmet and local treats. A family friendly self-guided walking tour leads through the native habitat as well as the grape and olive growing culture. Enjoy an exquisite dinner at Bistro Mogador (weekday dinner July and August only), the on-site restaurant.

After dinner, spend the evening in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, a town rich with stone, light and history that leaps back many years to Gallo-Roman times. The layout of the town still bears the shape of a protective circle, and the remains of a 14th century wall (including distinctive portes) still welcome residents as they stroll through town. Plane (platane in French) trees line routes leading into town, many planted by Romans to distinguish travel lines.

plane trees of provence

Saint-Rémy-de-Provence is inviting for luxury and appeals to ancient artistic urges. Vincent Van Gogh still lives through nearby environs which exhibit the colors, nature strokes, sky and stone that he painted until the end of his life.

luxe provence hotel de tourrel

Luxury hotels in and around Saint-Rémy-de-Provence are a curated delight. Consider booking at Hotel de Tourrel (recently featured), l’Oustau Baumanière les Baux de Provence, Domaine de Manville or our favorite, Chateau des Alpilles (below). Discover quintessential “Luxe Provence” from its storybook chateau, luxury appointed rooms… to the welcoming staff (read more about my love affair with this fabulous place here) for a truly restful and pampering overnight between vineyard visits. If you cannot nab a room at the chateau, you can also opt for a lovely relaxed lunch poolside featuring fresh fish, grilled local meats and Mediterranean cuisine during the summer months.

chateau-des-alpilles-saint-remy

Saturday

Linger over breakfast at your hotel before packing up the car to head to the village of Les Baux de-Provence. This village welcomes many visitors each year because it is absolutely unique in natural setting as well as its history as a Provençal stronghold dating back to the 10th century. Carved and re-carved out of the bauxite hills, the village is visually stunning and presents a glorious view of the surrounding vineyards and Alpilles Mountains. A stop at the nearby Les Carriere des Lumieres is a stirring and imaginative distinction set aside exclusively for visitors to this area. Nothing else like it exists! Continue the day by tasting wine from the vineyards just observed from above.
les baux de provence wine tasting

Domaine Guilbert

Located on the road out of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Domaine Guilbert is the smallest domaine in the appellation. The domaine’s mas (the southern French term for a country house, typically made of stone) and cellar is situated around lavender, cypress and olive trees; a natural expression of the region.

Château Dalmeran

Château Dalmeran offers cooking and wine tasting classes at their château where olive groves and vineyards grow. Take home your own bottle of Château Dalmeran Red, a cellar-worthy blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cabernet-Sauvignon aged in oak for 24 months and sold 5 years after harvest.

Mas Sainte Berthe

The stony vineyards and welcoming tasting room of Mas Sainte Berthe rest at the foot of Les Baux de-Provence village. After tasting or purchasing from their set of red, white and rosé wines, Mas Sainte Berte invites visitors for a walk through the property. Get cameras ready for a unique view of the village from the vines.

Domaine des Terres Blanches

Domaine de Terres Blanches is located along a gravel road, which eventually leads to vines and onward to the tasting room. The estate offers promenades around the property, which is directly in the shadow of the Alpilles Mountains. The estate utilizes “BioActive” farming methods, thus leaving much of the surrounding natural, an excellent spot to connect with the native essence of the area. The wines here are lovely, from bright and delightful whites and rosés to fragrant reds.

Château Romanin

Recently completed, the estate’s chai is exquisitely modeled after a cathedral, carved into the native rock. The tasting room is just as beautiful, with soothing wood and metals in custom décor. Taste or buy from their lineup of wines in a luxurious setting.

After a day of walks, wine and sightseeing spend and evening in the hotel’s piscine followed by a late dinner in town. Maison Drouot, Bistrot du Paradou and L’Estagnol make lovely choices for gastronomique, locally-sourced menus. (see earlier article here for more)

Baumanière les Baux-de-Provence

baumeniere

This luxury hotel dramatically set in the valley of Les Baux de Provence embodies the region’s artisanal and gastronomic traditions, which have been passed down from generation to generation for over seven decades. Founded more than 70 years ago by Raymond Thuilier, l‘Oustau de Baumanière has maintained its iconic status as an authentic Provence institution for both dining and luxury relaxation retreats in the area.

The Baumaniere integrates two local wine estates to its gastronomic restaurants and boutique, Domaine Hauvette and L’Affectif, the creation of Jean-André Charial, current founder of l’Oustau Baumanière. Jean-André’s vineyard is located at Domaine de Lauzières where he produces 8 000 bottles of L’Affectif, his own delicious biodynamic wine. This Michelin-starred chef also offers personable cooking classes on Saturday mornings throughout the season and their newly redesigned bistro serves up delightful, fresh seafood each day, combined with local ingredients from the hotel’s own organic gardens.

Another estate of note, Domaine de Trevallon, is an important part of the regional winemaking story. Founder Eloi Dürrbach planted his first vineyard in the Alpilles in 1973. Since then he’s been a groundbreaker for authentic, sustainable and innovative Alpilles winemaking. To preserve his estate’s ability to make wine without appellation restrictions, the estate is not a member of the AOP. Still, these wines reflect the region through landmark methods and flavors and play a significant role Alpilles winemaking.

5 Les Baux de-Provence AOP Wines for Summer Meal Pairings

les-baux-wines-aop

 

With so much lovely wine to choose from, it could be a hard decision when it comes to purchasing wine to enjoy during a Provençal summer. May we suggest a few bottles?

Domaine de Lauziers Equinoxe 2015 Rosé

Powder pink in color, this wine opens with “basil-scented strawberry notes” leading into citrus aromas. Balanced in profile and acidity, the winemaker suggests pairing with Mediterranean Bluefin tuna, small meat-stuffed vegetables or a strawberry, citrus fruit and herb soup. 90% Grenache Noir, 5% Counoise and 5% Mourvèdre.

Chateau Romanin AOP Les Baux-de-Provence 2015 Rosé

Pale pink and delicate, this wine offers a balanced and complex profile to accompany the flavors of meal. The winemaker recommends pairing with mixed summer salads, seafood and fruit salads. Grenache, Counoise, Syrah and Mourvèdre.

Domaine des Terres Blanches Les Baux-de-Provence AOP Blanc 2014

Intense yet clean, crisp and “slightly effervescent” this wine can be enjoyed now or cellared for up to eight years. Pascal Leonetti, Best Sommelier in France 2006, sommelier at the Auberge de l’ill (three Michelin stars) offers the following pairing suggestions: “salad of scampi fried in olive oil, or Japanese cuisine, smoked salmon maki. Provençal goat’s cheeses, such as matured Banon, are also a good match.” Rolle, Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Marsanne, Ugni Blanc, Roussane and Viognier.

Château d’Estoublon 2015 Rosé

Aromatic and expressive of the region, this well-rounded wine with candy jar flavors is perfect to sip by the pool or with a meal. Pair with a plate of almonds, goat cheese and a baguette or with a summer meal of greens and a lightly seasoned roast chicken. 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 20% Mourvèdre.

Domaine de la Vallounge Cuvée Garrigues 2015 AOP Baux de Provence

Lively and fresh, this well-balanced bottle exhibits citrus and white fruit flavors. Lovely as a pre-meal drink or with a menu of grilled fish and vegetables or salads dressed in a local olive oil. 60% Grenache, 40% Cinsault.

 

 

Guest Post written by: Jill Barth

jillbarth

We are very excited to introduce guest author, blogger and Provence wine expert, Jill Barth. Jill is a wine writer and journalist based in the US who frequently travels to Provence. She blogs at L’occasion and is a certified Provence Wine Master. 

Visit her on Instagram and twitter as @jillbarth and on Facebook as L’occasion. (Originally posted June 10, 2016 with updates August 8, 2017.)

Designed In Provence, Lifestyle & Accessories

Luxe Provence SS18

March 1, 2018

We are pleased to present a first look at the Luxe Provence SS18 Lifestyle collection we have been working so hard on. Our spring and summer collection features casual, chic and sophisticated linen dresses and high quality French cotton easy-to-wear pieces inspired by our vision of the South of France Lifestyle.  Each piece is designed to flatter a variety of body shapes and be worn in elegance from day to night… barefoot to heels… simple, chic and elegant. Our first pieces are being released now in the boutique here, and ‘sur mesure’ to our members inside our V4: Mediterranean Gold Subscription in limited edition only.

luxe provence vichy gingham linen dress made in france artisans of provence

About Our Lifestyle Collection: Proudly Made in Provence

Our Lifestyle Collection is proudly designed and produced just outside of Aix-en-Provence in the heart of Provence. Creative Director/Founder, Tarik Koivisto, leads the design and production of each piece and works directly with a talented local couturist.  We are proud to collaborate with the talented Artisan of Provence to create our collections Made in Provence each season, using high quality European linens, luxury French cottons and silk. Each collection is a limited edition series available in 2-3 patterns or prints, so that are collections remain fresh and exclusive. Our Luxe Provence Lifestyle Collection is available online in our boutique, and select pieces ‘sur mesure’ in our Mediterranean Gold Subscription.

Mediterranean Gold Subscription

The Mediterranean Gold Subscription is a tailored, or ‘sur mesure’ experience with the opportunity to experience the style and lifestyle of the Mediterranean. Within this subscription, we feature select pieces from our Luxe Provence Lifestyle collection, along with upcoming Mediterranean designers, luxury and artisanal brands from Italy, Spain, and Morocco. Our team works with each of our clients 1:1 via email correspondence and personalized style questionnaires throughout the subscription experience to develop curations that are custom to each client, yet careful and thoughtful to include an element of surprise. We generally offer a choice between 2-3 design options from our Luxe Provence Lifestyle pieces and members receive these pieces in advance of their online boutique release. For example, the salopette short combi pictured above is only one of three options available for our current, V4: Mediterranean Queen curation. Each subscriber has their owns dossier with measurements, style and color preferences so that the pieces are truly created for you.

This Just In – The Ultimate Provence Collaboration Coming Soon

And we are thrilled to announce that we are collaborating with the multi-talented and brilliantly creative, Jamie Beck (of Ann Street Studio) on her first and limited edition linen dress design for our SS18 Collection. We’ve been inspired by Jamie’s work and creative talents since her move to Provence and are ecstatic to collaborate with her!

Watch this space and be sure to follow her on Instagram to catch behind the scenes footage of our design process as this dream collaboration comes to life… direct from our atelier just outside of Aix-en-Provence. More details coming very soon! 

For now, enjoy this first look… and get ready. We will release only a limited edition collection of this first piece coming this May, you do not want to miss it. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest release dates for this upcoming collaboration.

Artisans of Provence, Behind The Curation

Artisans of Provence: Valérie Casado

January 29, 2018

Each season, we select an Artisan of Provence™ to collaborate with for our Luxe Provence curations and boutique collections. In the spirit of spring and the much-anticipated return of blooms, we have chosen the delicate and beautiful ceramics of Valérie Casado. I had the pleasure of visiting Valérie’s atelier recently just outside the charming Provence village of Isle sur la Sorgue.

Each of Valérie’s pieces is formed organically by hand, working with vintage objects, lace, parsley, buttercups and wildflowers to form beautiful, unique patterns. Created from either unglazed baked porcelain or terre rouge, each of Valérie Casado’s pieces bring a touch of modern whimsy and French charm into your home.

We wanted to take each piece home and her layered blooming place settings are to die for. The thinness she achieves in her small plates and platters, which remain strong and durable, are really quite incredible. Her art de la table brings a balance of tradition and modernity, texture and delicacy to any tablesetting.

Valérie Casado’s ceramic works are lead by instinct and intuition allowing her hands to guide her through the artistic creation of each piece.  Originally from Bordeaux, Valérie studied ceramics at the cultural centre in Pernes-les-Fontaines and now enjoys Provence life from her atelier in the heart of the Vaucluse. Her unique porcelain stamped serving pieces fetch upwards of $495 for a single piece, due to their fine, handcrafted nature.

Her work is appreciated around the world, from Paris, Madrid, London, New York, Tokyo and Hamburg.. and now to the USA inside this season’s Luxe Provence V11: Art de la Table spring curation shipping mid- March, and also in our sold-out Valentine’s Day Mediterranean Gold box.

luxe provence artisans of provence

Don’t miss our limited edition Spring V11: Art de la Table curation, by reserving yours today… we only have a few left. Shipping begins the first day of Spring to your doorstep from Provence.

luxe provence gifts artisans of provence slow luxury

 

Article and Photography by Founder/Creative Director: Tarik Koivisto. All rights reserved. Learn more about the villages of Provence here.

Behind The Curation

Take A Peek Inside our Luxury Subscriptions

December 18, 2017
best luxury subscription gifts from provence

We have just wrapped up another fantastic season of deliveries, from our V10 Luxe Provence Blush – Coquine Curation featuring the luxuries of Provence… to our V2: Mediterranean Gold – Morocco Collection loaded with the best in luxury Mediterranean design.

luxury subscription box
Curious about what was inside our Coquine Curation, take a look at our Mini Magazine with the story behind this season’s Luxe Provence Blush curation below.

And here’s what our clients are saying about both of our Luxury Subscriptions...

“I received my two parcels today. Imagine my surprise opening them to see my gorgeous handbags. I was nervous about the color and style of the bags. Your photos do not do these handbags justice. I own 6 Prada bags and I love these just as much. The color of the gray is so unusual and chic. The python (so glad I took this risk) is TO DIE FOR! —TO DIE FOR! Your attention to detail when choosing the accompanying wallets is much appreciated. Beautiful combinations….Job well done! Thank you.”

– Kathleen

“…I am so happy that I treated myself to both subscriptions as they are both very special… The earrings are perfection. Love your taste and am grateful and appreciate the thought put into each box. Loved everything!!!!!”

– Connie

 

So.. Are you ready to be delighted and indulged, all year long? Subscribe today!