La Rentrée, Part Deux

…this is continued from a previous post, which was just getting too long!

There are two newish places just open in my neighborhood which bring back to me an idea that’s always been in the back of my mind. I’d love my own little space that is at once a cultural cenre and an atelier, where creation, production and dissemination all take place, and across art forms. I realise that sounds like any typical arts centre but in my imagination it’s a tiny space where crafts are as welcome as the visual and performance arts.

Wake Up is a new couture atelier opened by local designer Noémie Wilputte on Rue Malibran, just down the street from us. It’s the workshop plus exhibit/retail space for a designer who works fusing beautiful African fabrics with contemporary design in something of an urban style. It’s a tiny little space and I adore it! Here’s an article on Wilputte in the Anglophone magazine/website.

And here’s an example of the fantastic pieces you can find in her store or have custom-made (photo robbed from the website!!)

The second place I’m mulling over is Les Midinettes, near Place Ferdinand Coc. It received a huge amount of press attention when it opened doors earlier this year and it’s easy to see why. A large workshop space at the back opens out into a small armoire/wardrobe space with a curtained off dressing room where you can try on super-cheap designs by local creators as well as more expensive pieces from Parisian designers.

The front room is comprised of a large workshop with ten sewing machines that you can rent by the hour to work on your own pieces, or where you can take part in one of their couture workshops. I love it all!

For me, both places are missing two things – the enriching influence of other creators, from other art forms that can bring a huge variety of people into a small place, and a good barista*! That’s my dream! Come and chill out with a good coffee/glass of beer, take advice on turning that old summer dress into a pair of sweet cushions and listen to a local musician trying something new in their own creative space.

This idea has been in my head for so long and the question of ‘how’ always comes next. For the last while, I’ve just been focusing on finding some stability in a new life. It was pointed out to me that as my world is still new and unknown, I have no idea of the future onto which I can project and therefore find some security and stability. Also, I don’t have the surety of moving towards any such projections or goals. However, the ‘how’ is now more elusive than ever so I need to resolve this so I can move forward. I’ll explore that here on Bazaar, as ultimately, it will be a Bazaar adventure!

(Here is a pic of the beautiful decorative roof over the entrance to the giant Petit Rien on Rue Americaine – one of my favourite places to find vintage and fun bits for our house! We made a trip at the weekend and of course came away with a boat load of stuff!)

As I learn more French, I discover things I love about the language. The latest one is the expression ‘chez’. The basic translation we learn in French 101 is ‘house’; chez vous, your house; chez moi, my house; etc. But it’s meaning is so much more extensive and subtle than I realised at first. Chez Vous also covers your body, mind and spirit, depending on the context. Chez Nous covers our house, our quartier (neighbourhood) or our country, again depending on the context. I was thinking about ‘chez’ in terms of Chez Aisling. I’d like to build a place that is at once a physical and ‘other’ place, encompassing the aspects of Chez Aisling that you find here on Bazaar. Of course, I could never call it that – that would be sooooo cheesy!

So, here we go, onto another year, here’s hoping it’s a little easier than the last one!

a x

UPDATE

* Apparently the French-speakers reading might not know what a Barista is. I learned about the coffee-expert barista through great Dublin coffee places such as Third Floor Espresso – best specialist coffee in town!

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4 thoughts on “La Rentrée, Part Deux

  1. Reading your post made me think of Alice’s conversation with the Cheshire Cat, which popped up on a friend’s facebook page the other day…philosophy a la Lewis Carroll.
    A: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
    CC: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
    A: I don’t much care where.
    CC: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.
    A: …So long as I get somewhere.
    CC: Oh, you’re sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.

    Ah, so many new things to discover in Brussels even for an old-timer like me 🙂 I walked past Les Midinettes the other day (nb, it’s near Pl St Boniface) and though of our conversation about adding a cafe! Look forward to some more exploring when I’m back!x

    1. Whoops! I always mix up Boniface and Ferdinand Cocq (sp. oops)! Still, they’re not too far from one another!

      I love that conversation! There’s just so many little notes of wisdom in Lewis Carroll 🙂 If only I walk long enough, eh?! I have to read that again. And Winnie the Pooh!

      We did a heap of new exploring at the weekend for Heritage Day. I have a pile of new places too that I want to visit – when are you back?!!!

  2. It took me a while to get to this point in exploring Brussels Linda but it’s definitely worth it. We had a really fun weekend with Heritage Day and also Car Free Day in the city!

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