Provence, Reinterpreted


I've been deeply involved with my family and doing some traveling these last few weeks. Now September is well upon us. It's a bittersweet, busy time when we have to switch gears from long lazy summer days with a toe in the sand, to get ready for the crisp, business-like, briefer and cooler days of fall. That's the essence of la rentree...our re-entry into our workaday lives after the sonorous summer days.

No longer do we fuss over the al fresco brunch in the dappled summer sunlight; now there are apples to pick and furnaces to service. The steps quicken, the leaves blow around on the wind. These dwindling daylight hours signal a change is in the air.

Looking back to late summer, I loved this 20th anniversary celebration of Côté Sud magazine featuring iconic Provençal items refreshed and given a modern twist by artisans in the South of France just for the occasion; old standbys like the tomettes and cigales are reinterpreted here.

They make me think of an endless summer.


typically in terra cotta, these hexagonal "tommettes" have been found in
Provençal homes for centuries; here they have been
updated with "Profils" to evoke the artistry of Picasso, Cocteau, Chagall


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Basquaise in origin, this adorable bag features a polka dot base
adorned with flamenco-dress ruffles

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standing in for doors in the summer, this bead screen is
newly interpreted using the Toiles du Soleil as small
circles threaded together and flowing on the
summer breezes


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the cigale, or beloved little cricket, is the symbol of Frederic Mistral's
Provence; here the little chirper is saucily interpreted for building bricks



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the classic Marseillaise dish, bouillabaisse was originally the snack of fishermen;
they would dip their fish in the broth when boiling and reduce the heat when
reboiled, hence the name "bolhabaissa" is Occitan Provencal. This set is inspired
by an 18th c. version is cleanly designed

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this "light as summer" sarong is a reinterpretation of an 1825
print found in the Fragonard Museum and made
into this lovely tribute to the Indian origins of Provençal prints

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used for keeping wine cool for the farmers returning from the
hot fields at noontime, these iconic pourou from Roussillon
have been interpreted in fresh modern colors for
the 20th anniversary of Côté Sud

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the Carmargue Cross symbolizes the three virtues:
the herdsman, the anchor of hope,
and the charity of Saint Mary;
here the symbol is placed in bas-relief
on colorful stoneware

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the classic straw market basket made popular by Brigitte Bardot
and Jane Birkenis reinterpreted here in yellow goatskin and lined with
a beautiful old vintage kilim remnant

get the original from my friend Andrea at The French Basketeer!

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traditionally seen in earth colored clay and glazes of
green and ochre, these olive oil jars have been
modernized with refreshing white and fresh colors

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a market umbrella evokes the 50's with its
vintage fabrics and colors on the cool beaches
of the French Mediterranean coast


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all images Côté Sud








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