Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Surprise guest: La Clarière in Paris

 Today I am going to interview textile designer Sharon MacDonald in her beautifully decorated atelier/shop in a cute village-like neighbourhood of Paris.

European Chic: Good morning, Sharon. First, tell us about yourself?

Sharon MacDonald: I am an architect by training. I studied in Canada and at my university we took also classes in interior design and fine arts. I believe my training as an architect brought me three things: The way I look at the world, attention to detail ,and a general knowledge about composition.

I worked as an architect in London for a while and when I moved to Paris I started working as an interior designer, among others with Philippe Starck and Andrée Putman. I had been offering printed fabrics which I designed myself to friends as presents and encouraged by their positive reactions I opened my first atelier in 1996. I sold my creations at fairs such as St. Jean de Beauregard near Paris. In 2008 I finally moved to a larger atelier on the Buttes aux Cailles and opened my shop/atelier La Clarière.

La Clarière has been featured in the French print publications Marie Claire Ideés and Cote Est but never on a blog before.

European Chic: Please tell us about your style and influences?

Sharon MacDonald: As an architect/interior designer I worked for others and adapted their style but I realised that I had to offer something more personal. My mother and grandmother did a lot of crafts and needlework and I was always attracted to textiles.

My style is influenced by my year living in Japan. My designs are decorative but slightly austere. I am also influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement and the beauty of nature, especially the study of leaves and flowers.

I have an eclectic approach and enjoy mixing my work with antique linen I find at local flea markets. I call it the 'The Past Perfect' collection. My philosophy is to upcycle. I take antique pieces, transform them and give them a new life. I encourage my customers not to be too matchy matchy.

European Chic: Why do you work exclusively with linen?

Sharon MacDonald: Linen is such a sensual fabric. Every piece is different, it is a living fiber. Linen drapes in such a graceful unique way. Actually, it is scientifically proven that linen is good for your sleep as it is a very absorbent material. I have a nightgown collection with flat felled seams in light summer linen and thicker winter linen.

European Chic: What is your favourite collection? I know, this must be a tough one.

Sharon MacDonald: My favourite collection ha to be the Children's clothes collection. I especially love the red designs.

European Chic: Ok, one last question. What are your plans for the future?

Sharon MacDonald: I am currently designing new motives with bright colours on lightly coloured linen.

I am also going to add baby blankets made out of the softest linen I could find to my bestselling Baby Collection. My Children's Collection will also be expanded to include more clothes for boys.

European Chic: Thank you very much, Sharon, for sharing your beautiful designs with European Chic readers. I think your lovely store/atelier is really 'you' and I feel right at home here.

Oh, by the way, La Clarière ships anywhere in the world and also accepts custom orders. La Clarière's website is bilingual French and English.

All collages by European Chic; other photos by La Clariere

La Clarière - Atelier/Galerie de Création Textile

8, rue de L'Espérance
75013 Paris France
01 82 09 44 79

Me (and Sharon, I am sure) are eager to hear from you (click on the post title and scroll down in order to comment).
I had promised in January that I had new ideas for this blog. Please do let me know what you think of this new format. As you can imagine a post like this one is somewhat time consuming (but lots of fun!) to produce.


  1. For me, good design has to 'tickle' that special pleasure sensation one gets from new forms of beauty, new journeys. You've definitely got me up off my couch with these textiles. Bravo!

  2. Thank you so much for your generous comments! all the best, sharon


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