Marie-Christine started in fashion profession in the 80s around Saint-Tropez.
Originating from la Cote d'Azur, from her youngest age precisely 4 years old she liked to create some tiny accessories with cuff-link. She was really determinate to make her dreams come true and decided to leave school at 17 years old in order to learn arts and designs at Aix-en-Provence institutes. As she was without any qualifications, unfortunately, she was forced to work in the family business (social works) by her parents. Her determination to become a fashion designer was stronger than anything so she preferred to leave the family house, lived by her own and no money to pay her design courses.
The very first creation of Marie-Christine was swimsuits and some sexy lace and crochet bikinis, all done alone by her own. Her first sale was done at “Peau d'Ane”, a popular shop in Saint-Tropez where some of famous stars or personalities of these years were coming on visit on and off, namely Brigitte Bardot, Catherine Deneuve, Sheila, etc. She quickly learned how to produce handmade jewelries which were assorted to her swimsuits collections. Her beginnings were extremely tough as she managed to create new designs, to produce them and to deliver her goods by an old motorcycle all around la Cote d'Azur.
Her taste of designing lux fashion in a high quality of hair accessories began in 1981, she was inspired by this kind of product while visiting hairdressing salons where these accessories were on sale. She set-up several methods and technics to create and decorate her own style of hairclips, haircombs, clips ect. She firstly proposed her new products at Saint-Tropez itself then expanded to the Drugstore at “Festival de Cannes”, in different shops in “Antibes Street”, “Majestic Hotel”, “Martinez Hotel”, Nice “Massena Street”, Monaco “Beaux-Arts Street”, Boulevard “Moulins Street”, Juan-Les-Pins “La Pinede”, Antibes “Cap-Eden-Roc”, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat “Cap-Ferrat Hotel & La Parfumerie”, Beaulieu, etc.
Sooner, she went in Paris for business prospection and finally got contract with “La Parfumerie Douglas” located in “Faubourg-Saint-Honoré” Street, she also been exposed in Carita's haidressing salon included in a pharmacy namely “Pharmacie Internationale” (situate in front of the Bristol Hotel). This pharmacy is today her oldest client (more than 35 years of collaborations). She got many different propositions for her products in some awesome shops namely “Palais des Congrès” included the “Ritz Hotel”, Place Vendome.
Eventually, methods and technics have been improved and we will always do the best as much as possible to give good quality of products. From 1980 to present Marie-Christine created thousands, a huge stock in hands with outstanding collections.
Nowadays, the company is diversifying and develop new products in different branches of fashion e.g. (Panama hats, silk dresses, tops, etc..).
The different styles of the hair ornaments are designed by Marie-Christine and then produced into French factories by specialists in plastics manufacturing whose expertise more than 150 years. We have been conserving all our sketches and drawings since the creation of the company. We have thirty different collections (The Classic, Animals, Flowers, Sea, The Metal, The Nodes ...) offering a choice over 2000 different references in a huge variousof colors. Each season's collection, we make sure to follow the fashion industry and fashion designers to offer attractive and trends accessories.
Example sketch (1)
Example sketch (2)
Today, the wide ranges of colors are available by the different color charts allow us to revisit the seasons and to be precise in our emotions. We follow the colors of the fashion, but we do not hesitate to trust the novelty and talent of our craftsmen in plastics.
The material from which we make our hair ornaments is cellulose acetate (celluloid). This is a heat-responsive plastic. This is the same material used to make the frames of high quality eyeglasses. The material fits and gets the shape done. This is especially perfect for the hairbands making.
Crude acetate sheet
Crude acetate sheet (color "turtle")
Crude acetate sheet with (true!) tissue inside (here, lace)
Components: the rhinestones and other decorations
Concerning our rhinestones, they are all SWAROVSKI© elements as they are the most sparkling crystals and giving such a beautiful brightness, we are using almost all the colors available at SWAROVSKI©. Of course, there are many other components available such as mink, fabric, gold cap with fine gold, all from the most prestigious manufacturers of component. One of our distinctive features is to place a lot of caps on our products to reduce space in between the rhinestones which beautify the item and giving an outstanding look.
SWAROVSKI© Rhinestones square
Pack of 100 000 caps
Comparative size of a cap with a coin
Freehand cutting and bending
Our handmade creations are still cut by craftsmen then curved by hand. Celluloid strongly reacts to the heat; it is very easy to bend above a certain temperature. There are many tools for cutting and bending in different ways (depending on the type of material, the tool change). Most of these tools became uncommon today.
Crude acetate sheet after cookie cutting
Useful part, ready to be bent
Part from being bent by hot-press
The elements of the previous stage are assembled with a fine brush with a special glue.
Collage of different parts of a "node"
Dyeing, polishing and brightening
It is common to dye the white matter to reach the other colors (the PANTONE © for example).
The raw celluloid is a very rugged material. It is necessary to make a polishing with a shammy leather to smooth the material.
Polishing is followed by the brightening. It consists to put the ornament in several wooden barrels which give the ornaments softness and a sparkling looks. The material becomes very bright and shiny. The ornaments are placed in three different following barrels which move on a clockwise rotation. These barrels are filled up of several different kind of wood. We give a soft brightening to the items follow by a strong then stronger one in order to obtain a shiny effect.
Polishing barrels for brightening
Thin wood chips for soft brightening
Thin wood chips for strong brightening
Setting rhinestones and cap
The locations of the rhinestones are pre-determined and then they are drilled allowing the rhinestones to fit in the material without burning it. Indeed, each rhinestone (and each cap) are placed one by one and by hand. The rhinestone is pressed and set into the materiel for a perfect finished. Certain piece has more than hundreds of rhinestones may be accompanied by more than thousands of caps!
Zoom of a barrette with rhinestones and caps
Zoom of a headband full of caps (1500 caps)
This headband require two day of work to set all the caps