Receiving new stock from Jean-Louis Blin is so exciting - there are no catalogues, no websites, no order forms to create a bespoke list; so the very first time I see the jewellery is when it arrives in the shop. With every shipment, Jean-Louis seems to become more innovative and more experimental; always injecting freshness and creativity into his offbeat vintage-style range.
This pair feature a couple of beautiful, upcycled pastel glass stones, rescued from an old piece of jewellery and given a new lease of life in Blin's glamorous gothic mounts.
Taking influence from the Art Nouveau scene that dominated Western Europe, Blin stays true to the Paris of the past by incorporating curvilinear shapes, Edwardian flourishes and fin-de-siecle butterfly motifs into his handcrafted pieces. These traditional elements are effectively blended with edgier components such as carved beetles, hanging curb-chain curtains and ghostly iridescent crystals.
He doesn't skimp on detail or size, meaning his earrings work perfectly paired with minimal accessories, or no accessories at all.
I adore the work of this truly singular designer: someone who has been honing his craft for over forty years and stayed faithful to his own vision of what makes jewellery beautiful.
I've just added my last ever collection of Au Bout Des Reves brooches and pins to the website. I'm sad to report that brand Au Bout Des Reves formally known as Catherine Popescu is closing after twenty-three years spent meticulously replicating the beautiful accessories of the Late Victorian and early 20th Century periods. As her creations have been so admired in the years I've stocked them I picked out a big, eclectic final range for the shop!
Popescu established the company after discovering a job lot of original turn-of-the-century brooch stampings at the Paris Flea Market. The moulds, dating from 1880-1920, covered a period of dynamism, experimentation and innovation in design which saw the birth of the baroque and rococo revivals as well as the Art Deco and Nouveau periods.
By adding jewel-coloured translucent enamels and minute Swarovski crystals to ornate frameworks cast from the moulds, Popescu restored these forgotten designs to their original glory. While surviving pieces from early 1900s tend to be fragile and faded, Au Bout Des Reves' designs are fitted with sturdy pin fastenings, coloured in strong stained-glass shades and painted with clear resin to secure their inset crystals.
These highly collectible pieces will only increase in value now that the company are ceasing production. The quality of the work and timeless nature of the designs mean that they'll continue to be loved for decades - real heirlooms!
We have just received the most wonderful enamel butterfly and dragonfly brooches from Au Bout Des Reves. Formally known as Catherine Popescu, Au Bout De Reves have been designing retro-style enamel jewellery since 1992. Based in France, each piece is handmade from original stampings, discovered at the famous Paris flea market.
Each beautiful insect is embedded with Swarovski crystals and are so lightweight that most of them can be worn on silk. The colours are incredible with stunning lime green, red, turquoise, teal, hot pink and violet.
We love the fact that these beautiful old designs are being reproduced and not forgotten, keeping them alive for further generations to enjoy.