Recycling…

When I was a child, it was frequent to buy fabrics and have clothes done by a seamstress or a tailor. Since a young age, when accompanying my mother to buy fabrics, I noticed that fabrics for curtains were often as beautiful as fabric for clothes. When I got married, the idea of buying a dress never crossed my mind. I was of course going to design it myself  and not use a traditional wedding dress fabric !  I went straight to the Rue du Mail in Paris, where you have all of the textiles showrooms for interior designers.

Do you remember in “Gone with the wind” when Scarlett O’ Hara has to go to a ball and is too broke to have a new dress ?  She cuts it in the last curtains hanging in Tara…

Gary & Meryanne

Gary & Meryanne

Well I am happy my marriage has nothing to do with what poor Rhett Butler had to go through, but I have something in common with his wife, a beautiful dress made out of curtains fabric ! Like on this photo, my skirt is made out of curtains fabrics, which would be pretty ” chintzy” as curtains but were matching this celadon green Moroccan light coat. Innovate, dare and mix.. this has been my spontaneous motto for years.

Open your eyes, open your ears, remember everything

I cannot speak about my interest for design without mentioning my childhood. For as long as I remember, my wonderful late mother instilled in me a sense of curiosity. Once our life turned out to be very different to what she had imagined, she kept on repeating to me, “what is happening is very special so open your eyes, open your ears and remember every thing.” We had a nomadic life.  From the age of 4 to 13, I lived in 5 countries and moved to 11 homes. For 9 years in a row, I remember my mother looking for furniture, rugs, curtains and china. As the first born, I was very much part of her life and I bless the memories stamped in my mind forever.

Maman et moi

Me as a baby, in the arms of my beautiful mother

When I was 7, we moved to Russia, then USSR. And it is really there that I discovered Meissen china, Saxony blues, old paintings, icones, Persian rugs as the foreigners main hobby was hunting for antiques, which destruction or disappearance had escaped to the moujiks during the Revolution. The other thing to do was to go to the Bolchoi. By the age of 10, I had seen more times Tchaikowski ballets then most people in a life time. The other possibility was opera, but for a young girl, Rimsky-Korsakov and Moussorgski could not match the Beatles.  So entertainment was ballet, ballet and more ballet…

Meissen collage

“Garden of Marrakech” by Meryanne Loum-Martin for Meissen.
Photo : Jean Cazals.

How funny that Meissen which is linked to communist Russia in my child hood is now going through incredible changes and have hired me to design a collection… I am very proud that ” Garden of Marrakech” has been shown in Maison&Objet and will be launched in spring 2013…

My blog will take you on my style journey from communist Moscow to cosmopolitan Marrakech.

Cultural differences, discoveries and puzzled looks….

Throughout my life I have been navigating between  different cultures… I believe that my style is  just the spontaneous result of this…

Dinner table red flower

We had various jokes in the family about cultural differences and how when you speak to people whose first language is not the same, one should have the intelligence to not take some understanding for granted. My father used to love “Tete de Veau” a pretty disgusting piece of meat, I have to say, which is indeed a veal head and is served with parsley in the nose and the ears of the veal’s head… Maman had explained to both the cook and waiter, “this is to be served with parsley in the ears and the nose.”

harris-fisher3

Guests arrive, dinner is served, tete de veau arrives and Maman doesn ‘t see the parsley, she looks up at the waiter and he had put the parsley in his nose and ears. Maman told me how embarrassed she felt not to have explained better. How could he have guessed?

Yes this is it, “ how could he have guessed?” the question and the path to zen attitude..

How did it all start?

The  first time I came to Marrakech was in December 1985. I had always traveled extensively.  A Parisian lawyer with a passion for design and architecture, I found a city of red ramparts whose intense light reminded me of Rajasthan.​

The cultural crossroad of Marrakech made me feel I had come home.The colours, the shapes and the grace of Islamic architecture relentlessly challenged my creative mind.

It really all started with designing a house for my mother in the Marrakech Palm grove. To my great surprise this first house received intense media coverage in international design magazines.

For years I was commuting between the Paris Bar and construction sites in Marrakech. The frequent media recognition, together with the continuous support of my family, encouraged me to switch careers. One day we made the move.

After designing both its architecture and interiors I opened Jnane Tamsna, our first boutique hotel. Often advised to establish myself as a designer, I was hesitating. Gillian Crotty, made it sound obvious and three months later we were launching Inspired by Marrakech at Decorex.