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Severine Chauvet

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Severine Chauvet

When something is meant to be, everything falls into place with ease and simplicity and this is how I came to live in the ancient city of Avignon in Provence. In 2009, I left behind my ‘old’ life in Burgundy, and with it my concept store ‘Le fée du bazar,’ which I had launched in 2003. At the beginning I was a stranger in Avignon, an unfamiliar city, but I was drawn to the magic held within its ancient stone walls and felt a compelling feeling of spirituality. It was another designer, Avignon-born Pascale Palun of ‘Vox Populi’ who steered me in the direction to discover what would become my home and atelier.

My ‘studio-nest’ is situated in an extraordinary part of ancient Avignon, in the upper floor of a building which dates back to the 1600s. On the crumbling original façade is a sculpted stone medallion of St. Anthony, which would have been added to the building as a symbol of gratitude for a miraculous healing. It was once part of a grand Franciscan demesne and my home would have been part of the original stable house.

Severine Chauvet

In 2003, at the age of thirty-three, I felt a powerful urge to explore and push my creativity using different and new materials. After a long period of introspection, during which time I undertook many different therapies including kinesiology, creative visualization and the Mezieres method, as well as sessions with shamans, an extraordinary world revealed itself. During this period, when I would sit down to create, whether it was to paint or to work with textiles, I would think of the world of the Steppes and Himalayas, and this was a key driver and inspiration for my work.

Severine Chauvet

During this intensive creative period, I made dozens of prototypes of cushions, comforters, lamps, headdresses, bags, clothes, and scarves. I sought out and went on to collaborate with a wonderful manufacturing partner whose key client is Hermès in France. I had been incredibly fortunate to buy a beautiful lot of woven silk ribbons at an auction in the Hotel Drouot in Paris. All of a sudden I had this remarkable treasury of luxurious ribbons created by the most celebrated French ribbon makers, including Staron and Julien Faure.

Severine Chauvet

Sumptuous ancient silks are a manifestation of overwhelming creativity and an extraordinary and ancient know-how. With these treasures in hand, I couldn’t wait to create with them using metallic thread. I superimposed ribbon on ribbon, associating them with 18th and 19th-century textiles. With these treasured patchworks of ribbons and fabric I created imaginary universes including horses (zingaris), yurts and a character called ‘Nouk of Steppes.’ This was a period when I felt an immense liberty and freedom in my creative expression.

It is a very bohemian style and inspires a nomadic way of living, and for me it is very poetic and wild.

Along the path of this new creativity I discovered the concept of Hozho, which encompasses the Navajo ideal of living in harmony with all that is, of creating a true relationship with nature and the world. It is about balance of personal and communal beauty and all these connections contribute to a sense of peace and harmony.

Severine Chauvet

My arrival in Provence in 2009 greatly changed the way I work. In my concept store in Burgundy, I would sit at my huge worktable, painting and sewing in front of customers, exchanging energy and stories all day long. When I moved to Avignon into a small, intimate, private studio space it definitely made me become more introspective, which I truly believe is what I needed at that period of my life.

The one piece of my old store that followed me to Avignon is my large wooden worktable, made with rustic planks, which I have sanded and painted. My Avignon atelier feels like a nest, my very personal creative universe. It is bathed in soft natural light and highlighted by the raspberry, faded pink, and blue-gray patterns of my favourite antique textiles. On my walls, I layer faded antique wallpapers and gigantic feathers and zingaris. Hanging mobiles accent the walls, and I soften my furnishings with moire velvet cushions.

Severine Chauvet

I find my studio space immensely inspiring; when I am making, time stands still and the peace found within these four walls is embellished by my favourite music that I listen to as I work. Music is truly paramount to my creative process.

Severine Chauvet

When I sit down to create I do like a certain amount of order. For me, harmony can be found in order and when I create, I usually will start my day by doing some spring cleaning, organising and sorting through my fabrics. In clearing and emptying my big worktable, it represents making a ‘clean slate’ for me. With music playing in the background and a clean work table, I enter into a cycle which is intensely intuitive.

My very personal creative universe is one of charm, old worn quilts, poetry and a certain savagery.

Severine Chauvet

When I am painting, I choose the colours that speak to me at that moment and then I assemble all of my paint pots to see how the colours come together. I don’t sketch beforehand; for me it is the colour that is key and I use colour to build the composition. I also love to work with Sennelier pastels, which I feel enrich the depth of colours of my work, and then I finish with gilding in gold leaf.

The creation of a collection always begins with an assembly of colours and materials in an intuitive connection—I don’t create a mood board.

At the moment, I am painting large circle forms in the spirit of mandalas, a series that I call Venus in Taurus, which are large unframed canvas paintings. For me it is not simply decorative work but more a study of energy; an invitation to contemplation, meditation, healing, and joy. I would love to see this body of work in spaces which are used to restore energy, such as medical practices and healthcare facilities.

With regard to sewing, I collect my raw materials, sometimes for years, by collaborating with antique textile dealers and I order special materials through craftsmen in the north of France and the Lyon region. For one-of-a-kind pieces and my prototypes, I put the materials, on my large table and I assemble them one by one without sewing them, as the sewing is the final step that brings together colour and materials.

Every piece that I create is made well and made to last. I don’t follow the latest fashion trends, but instead prefer to create something that will be timeless. I really feel very strongly about using ecological and sustainable raw materials. For example, I create my cushion padding using spelt sourced from the Mont Ventoux in France, which is only a few kilometres from my studio.

Severine Chauvet

I became pregnant with my first child at 44, and it was an absolutely unexpected miracle. I prayed that he would be safe and that my body could do everything to bring him into the world. When Nils was born, he became my everything and I gave every ounce of my energy to my most majestic creation. The arrival of this little miracle totally and absolutely revolutionised my life and my creative energy.

Severine Chauvet

In order to accommodate the arrival of a baby, who is now a very energetic four-year-old, I was forced to rethink my studio and living space. My beautiful cocoon of a studio underwent a dramatic metamorphosis. I lightened up the structure and made it immensely more functional while still retaining some of my favourite old antique pieces. On an aesthetic level, I have found more typically masculine colours creeping into my creative palette, which is especially evident in my African wax print collections.

My proudest achievements are undoubtedly my son, one of my favourite photographs (above, which has been loved more than ten thousand times on social networks), as well as the incredible human encounters which I’ve been so fortunate to make since the beginning of this extraordinary adventure.

Severine Chauvet

When something is meant to be, everything falls into place with ease and simplicity and this is how I came to live in the ancient city of Avignon in Provence. In 2009, I left behind my ‘old’ life in Burgundy, and with it my concept store ‘Le fée du bazar,’ which I had launched in 2003. At the beginning I was a stranger in Avignon, an unfamiliar city, but I was drawn to the magic held within its ancient stone walls and felt a compelling feeling of spirituality. It was another designer, Avignon-born Pascale Palun of ‘Vox Populi’ who steered me in the direction to discover what would become my home and atelier.

My ‘studio-nest’ is situated in an extraordinary part of ancient Avignon, in the upper floor of a building which dates back to the 1600s. On the crumbling original façade is a sculpted stone medallion of St. Anthony, which would have been added to the building as a symbol of gratitude for a miraculous healing. It was once part of a grand Franciscan demesne and my home would have been part of the original stable house.

Severine Chauvet

In 2003, at the age of thirty-three, I felt a powerful urge to explore and push my creativity using different and new materials. After a long period of introspection, during which time I undertook many different therapies including kinesiology, creative visualization and the Mezieres method, as well as sessions with shamans, an extraordinary world revealed itself. During this period, when I would sit down to create, whether it was to paint or to work with textiles, I would think of the world of the Steppes and Himalayas, and this was a key driver and inspiration for my work.

Severine Chauvet

During this intensive creative period, I made dozens of prototypes of cushions, comforters, lamps, headdresses, bags, clothes, and scarves. I sought out and went on to collaborate with a wonderful manufacturing partner whose key client is Hermès in France. I had been incredibly fortunate to buy a beautiful lot of woven silk ribbons at an auction in the Hotel Drouot in Paris. All of a sudden I had this remarkable treasury of luxurious ribbons created by the most celebrated French ribbon makers, including Staron and Julien Faure.

Severine Chauvet

Sumptuous ancient silks are a manifestation of overwhelming creativity and an extraordinary and ancient know-how. With these treasures in hand, I couldn’t wait to create with them using metallic thread. I superimposed ribbon on ribbon, associating them with 18th and 19th-century textiles. With these treasured patchworks of ribbons and fabric I created imaginary universes including horses (zingaris), yurts and a character called ‘Nouk of Steppes.’ This was a period when I felt an immense liberty and freedom in my creative expression.

It is a very bohemian style and inspires a nomadic way of living, and for me it is very poetic and wild.

Along the path of this new creativity I discovered the concept of Hozho, which encompasses the Navajo ideal of living in harmony with all that is, of creating a true relationship with nature and the world. It is about balance of personal and communal beauty and all these connections contribute to a sense of peace and harmony.

Severine Chauvet

My arrival in Provence in 2009 greatly changed the way I work. In my concept store in Burgundy, I would sit at my huge worktable, painting and sewing in front of customers, exchanging energy and stories all day long. When I moved to Avignon into a small, intimate, private studio space it definitely made me become more introspective, which I truly believe is what I needed at that period of my life.

The one piece of my old store that followed me to Avignon is my large wooden worktable, made with rustic planks, which I have sanded and painted. My Avignon atelier feels like a nest, my very personal creative universe. It is bathed in soft natural light and highlighted by the raspberry, faded pink, and blue-gray patterns of my favourite antique textiles. On my walls, I layer faded antique wallpapers and gigantic feathers and zingaris. Hanging mobiles accent the walls, and I soften my furnishings with moire velvet cushions.

Severine Chauvet

I find my studio space immensely inspiring; when I am making, time stands still and the peace found within these four walls is embellished by my favourite music that I listen to as I work. Music is truly paramount to my creative process.

Severine Chauvet

When I sit down to create I do like a certain amount of order. For me, harmony can be found in order and when I create, I usually will start my day by doing some spring cleaning, organising and sorting through my fabrics. In clearing and emptying my big worktable, it represents making a ‘clean slate’ for me. With music playing in the background and a clean work table, I enter into a cycle which is intensely intuitive.

My very personal creative universe is one of charm, old worn quilts, poetry and a certain savagery.

Severine Chauvet

When I am painting, I choose the colours that speak to me at that moment and then I assemble all of my paint pots to see how the colours come together. I don’t sketch beforehand; for me it is the colour that is key and I use colour to build the composition. I also love to work with Sennelier pastels, which I feel enrich the depth of colours of my work, and then I finish with gilding in gold leaf.

The creation of a collection always begins with an assembly of colours and materials in an intuitive connection—I don’t create a mood board.

At the moment, I am painting large circle forms in the spirit of mandalas, a series that I call Venus in Taurus, which are large unframed canvas paintings. For me it is not simply decorative work but more a study of energy; an invitation to contemplation, meditation, healing, and joy. I would love to see this body of work in spaces which are used to restore energy, such as medical practices and healthcare facilities.

With regard to sewing, I collect my raw materials, sometimes for years, by collaborating with antique textile dealers and I order special materials through craftsmen in the north of France and the Lyon region. For one-of-a-kind pieces and my prototypes, I put the materials, on my large table and I assemble them one by one without sewing them, as the sewing is the final step that brings together colour and materials.

Every piece that I create is made well and made to last. I don’t follow the latest fashion trends, but instead prefer to create something that will be timeless. I really feel very strongly about using ecological and sustainable raw materials. For example, I create my cushion padding using spelt sourced from the Mont Ventoux in France, which is only a few kilometres from my studio.

Severine Chauvet

I became pregnant with my first child at 44, and it was an absolutely unexpected miracle. I prayed that he would be safe and that my body could do everything to bring him into the world. When Nils was born, he became my everything and I gave every ounce of my energy to my most majestic creation. The arrival of this little miracle totally and absolutely revolutionised my life and my creative energy.

Severine Chauvet

In order to accommodate the arrival of a baby, who is now a very energetic four-year-old, I was forced to rethink my studio and living space. My beautiful cocoon of a studio underwent a dramatic metamorphosis. I lightened up the structure and made it immensely more functional while still retaining some of my favourite old antique pieces. On an aesthetic level, I have found more typically masculine colours creeping into my creative palette, which is especially evident in my African wax print collections.

My proudest achievements are undoubtedly my son, one of my favourite photographs (above, which has been loved more than ten thousand times on social networks), as well as the incredible human encounters which I’ve been so fortunate to make since the beginning of this extraordinary adventure.

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