For over 80 years, the French government has celebrated artisans from many different fields whose work exemplifies "excellence." While anyone can apply to be named Un des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (one of the best artisans in France), only a handful of applicants ever earn this coveted title. This is a post about one of them - a (mostly) self-taught corset maker whose work is stunning.
François Tamarin (pictured below) has dedicated himself to keeping the art of custom made corsets alive. He strives to preserve what he calls "belle époque glamour." Here he is in his atelier, in front of his sewing machine, sporting a jacket with a corset-like fit and surrounded by scraps of lace and clothing racks lined with corsets.
His approach is inspired by French history and 18th-century corset construction. In addition to corsets,Tamarin's creations include ball gowns and period, corset-inspired costumes.
Mr. Tamarin, who is reportedly "90 percent self-taught," earned the Best Craftsman of France award in 2004, with his project of a short pink and black dress with velvet-ribbed corset. Not bad for a guy in his 30s!
From the looks of his studio (above), Tamarin seems like a creative genius who has lots of different projects in process at any given time. And if you look at his website, he features lots of elegant and even dreamy pieces that are amazingly intricate.
All of Tamarin's pieces are made to measure. Custom-made corsets start at 800 euros and take two to four weeks, depending on the level of complexity. What else would you expect from such an artisan?
These are amazing works of art - sadly, though, not for most of us who live in the modern world. Even so, it's important to admire artisans like Tamarin who keep traditional techniques alive and continue those that are too precious to be forgotten or allowed to die out.
Going to Paris? You can visit his shop 1 rue Marcel Sembat (Hall 1) 75018 – PARIS or simply visit François Tamarin.com.