Couture Cushions: Jean-François Lesage

Couture Cushions: Jean-François Lesage

Jean-François Lesage is descended from three generations of embroiderers and his father is the legendary haute couture brodeur François Lesage. Rather than following in his father’s footsteps, embellishing extravagant gowns for Paris fashion houses, the young Lesage headed off to India in 1993 and set up his own workshop in Madras for embroidering home furnishings. Collaborating with an expert team of local craftsmen, Lesage revitalized ancient Indian techniques such as the elaborate zardozi stitch and began working on specially commissioned pieces for the Opéra de Monaco and the king’s private chambers at the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte outside of Paris. He also helped re-create early 20th-century French fashion designer Jeanne Lanvin’s bedroom for the reopening of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. Now there’s good news for those of us whose salaries do not run to installing royal tapestries in the home. Lesage’s elegant new Left Bank boutique offers exquisite pillows, throws, cushions, curtains and other fabulous home accessories all hand-embroidered by his team in Madras. Highlights of the current collection include sumptuous velvet cushions emblazoned with beetles, dragonflies and Napoleonic bees; satin throws beaded with dew-encrusted spider webs; and curtains shimmering with intricately-stitched patterns of metallic wire that resemble reflections on the surface of a lake. These objects of rare beauty, requiring up to a hundred hours of work each, are not too extravagantly priced, starting at about €250.

7 bis rue des Saints-Pères, 6th, website

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