THE BULLETIN of December 5, 2002
When I first saw the display of silk scarves in the back of the shop Senses, I thought it was the multicoloured light streaming through a Tiffany stained-glass window. The finely pleated scarves come in a range of 16 sumptous colours. I've seen a lots of pleated silk in Venice, but never quite so delicate as these.
Senses' scarves are dyed, pleated and finished by hand, then given a border of small Murano glass beads in the same colours - garnet, bronze, copper, silver grey, rose. At 149 Euros, they are a luxury, but one that every good girl should find in her stocking for Christmas !
Isabelle Leloup also uses Murano glass beads for her exquisite collection of costume jewellery: necklaces that hint at the charm of the belle époque; bracelets and earrings in jet black, garnet or Venetian bronze. Prices start at 38 Euros. A silver necklace of ginko biloba leaves and one inspired by ivy leaves are less dressy.
SENSES Art Nouveau, 31 Rue Lebeau, Brussels
Attractive gifts for men include ties by the manufacturer who design for the Victoria and Albert Museum; other designs are by Liberty with William Morris designs. All costs 62 Euros. Cufflinks are inspired by the Glasgow school. For those with unlimited budgets are the Montegrappa and Yard-o-led silver pens.
Less practical, much prettier and considerably cheaper at 36 Euros are the Murano glass pens with ink-wells.
But it's in the accessories that Isabelle Leloup and Jacopo Giola have scored their biggest hit: they realised that Brussels, the capital of Art Nouveau, had no shop carrying quality reproductions of the crafts of that period, and so set out to offer a wide and tasteful choice of candlesticks, photograph frames, trays, vases, carafes, glasses, but also other smaller objects at reasonable prices.
A German Jugendstil candlestick designed by Hugo leuven in 1902 is impeccably reproduced in hand-polished pewter. The objects sold originally by WMF (WURTTEMBERGISCHE METALLARENFABRIK), now made by a workshop that took over the original moulds, are impressive for the beauty of the design and painstaking care of the artisans who created the reproductions.
(Sablon), tel 02. 502.15.30.
Open Tuesday to Sunday, 11.00 to 18h30.
by Luisa MOFFETT