The story of 50 years of female collaboration
When Yuri Gutsatz founded Le Jardin Retrouvé back in 1975, it was in response to the perfume industry becoming both faceless and unaccountable with regards to the perfumers and the ingredients. Yuri wanted to reconnect with the artistry of fragrance, and the only way to do that was to become his own boss. So, the first niche perfume house in the world was born. Alongside Yuri, every step of the way, was his wife Arlette. Her passion was to become fabric and design, and moving to India with Yuri in 1956 was where it truly took hold. However, could the family’s return to France in 1963, after a successful 7 year stay, mark the end of Arlette’s fascination with fabric?
Of course not. Arlette couldn’t bring herself to cut ties with her friends, and so started importing evocative Indian fabrics for fashion houses such as Chantal Thomass, Cacharel, Renoma, Hémisphères, and Le Printemps. It was also at this time that Le Jardin Retrouvé was founded and, while fragrance took centre stage, perfumable products such as towels, pillowcases, and a revolutionary travel bag, also regularly featured in their customers’ baskets. So, when Clara Feder, the new creative director of Le Jardin Retrouvé and wife of Yuri’s son Michel, found the prototype of the 1975 Pochon du Voyage, she knew instantly it had to be revived.
The original relaunch of Le Pochon du Voyage was an incredible success, and so Clara started to wonder how she could improve on the original concept of a quilted, fully-lined, drawstring bag that had 5 secret inside pockets? The answer was to collaborate with another female-led company and, in the spirit of Arlette, create a series of limited-edition pouches that featured fabric imported from India. Clara chose Jamini Paris, a Franco-Indian lifestyle and interior design house, and the power of the female influence across a 50-year span can be felt in every stitch. But who is Jamini Paris?
The skills and techniques that Jamini Paris use in the creation of their fabrics, and then their outstanding range of linens, decorative objects and fashion accessories, is centered around preserving and honoring age-old Indian traditions. Usha Bora, the founder, grew up in Assam, and so has a deep connection to the people of the area. It’s this that drives her to preserve the art of textile weaving and woodblock printing, and truly sets her designs apart from everyone else. In Usha’s words, “Jamini is the desire to combine the elegance of Indian tradition with French chic, so that both cultures can live in harmony.”
The Limited Edition Pochon du Voyage truly is a blend of two worlds, a mix of cultures, and celebrates the union of three women across 50 years. From Arlette to Clara to Usha, it’s time for you to become the next stitch in the story of Le Jardin Retrouvé.