Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Designers of Desire: Laetitia Crahay at Maison Michel

Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Designers of Desire: Laetitia Crahay at Maison Michel

Article excerpt

With handmade pieces in pop styles, like its signature lace- covered Mickey Mouse-style ears -- Maison Michel is making a place for itself in the headwear renaissance.With handmade pieces in pop styles, like its signature lace-covered Mickey Mouse-style ears -- Maison Michel is making a place for itself in the headwear renaissance.With handmade pieces in pop styles, like its signature lace-covered Mickey Mouse-style ears -- Maison Michel is making a place for itself in the headwear renaissance.With handmade pieces in pop styles, like its signature lace-covered Mickey Mouse-style ears - - Maison Michel is making a place for itself in the headwear renaissance.

CORRECTION APPENDED

With handmade pieces in pop styles -- like its signature headband attached to lace-covered Mickey Mouse-style ears -- Maison Michel is carving a place in the headwear renaissance.

But in a market dense with labels selling lifestyles, how does an accessories-only brand make its mark?

"I think it is better to do one thing and to do it well, instead of going into all these different ideas and products when you have no idea what you are even doing," said Laetitia Crahay, the Paris house's creative director. "Most of the time that is done for commercial reasons, but I have no intention of making branded Maison Michel key chains!"

Founded in 1936 by the hatmaker Auguste Michel, Maison Michel earned its reputation by making couture creations for the likes of Christian Dior and Christian Lacroix. In 1996, Chanel bought the house for its Metiers d'Art group of heritage craft workshops and in 2006, the house was well and truly revived when Karl Lagerfeld gave creative direction of the house to Ms. Crahay, then head of accessories at Chanel.

Ms. Crahay continues to use classic materials like feathers, felt and lace but in a playful way, so small silk flowers might pour out from under a boater's ribbon or pearls festoon a headband. …

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