Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Today we stop to view the outstanding landscape and historic architecture of the Loire Valley in France. The many towns that comprise Loire Valley include Angers, Chinon, Nantes, and Blois, among others.

Loire Valley also boasts famous chateaus built by French kings and possesses some of the most awe-inspiring architecture in existence. France is also the home of featured jewelry designer Catherine Popesco.

Popesco is an aficionado of the arts, so it is no surprise that she is an accomplished painter and has exhibited her work in Los Angeles, California. She is also passionate about theater and was involved in the 2001 Broadway production of Jane Eyre.

You can also say that Popesco can restore life . . . in a manner of speaking. While on an excursion through some of Paris' old workshops and factories, she discovered 200-year-old stamping instruments and molds from France's Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods (1900's through 1930's). After seeing a display of vintage-stamped jewelry in Paris' Marais district, Popesco decided to revive the elegant beauty of the long-gone French eras by starting her company La Vie Parisienne.

Utilizing the timeless mold designs created by such artists as Lalique, Galle, and Picasso, while also implementing her lucid imagination, Popesco stylishly updates a vintage era. Within her workshop, built in the Loire Valley, her team of skilled artisans incorporates the past era's jewelry-making techniques as they hand set Crystallized Swarovski Elements, overlay copper with silver, or 14-karat gold, and use painstaking enameling to create the lovely fashion jewelry.

Popesco's revival jewelry is not massed produced; however, her pieces are sold at boutique jewelry stores in the U.S. and France, and online at Regencies.com.

Her pieces come with a Certificate of Authentication, and gift bag. Popesco's nouveau-vintage pieces such as her Crown Earrings and Eiffel Tower Necklace are quaint, elegant, and fun.

Reminiscent of Susana Speidel (USA), I like the idea of interlacing the past and present to create a type of hybrid that ultimately has a life of its own.
Photo 1 (top right): 14-Karat Gold Plated Black Enamel and Olive Crystal Multi-Charm Necklace
Photo 2 (bottom left): Antique Silver and Indian Sapphire Drop Crystal Earrings
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