A fashion jewel: Interview in partnership with Revelations

On the occasion of Révélations, Biennale of Crafts and Contemporary Creation, Ateliers d'Art de France and the Paul Bert Serpette market organized the meeting between a designer and an antiques dealer around a common theme.
Cross interview produced and realized by Ateliers d'Art de France, organizer of the event.
Revelations - May 23 to 26, 2019, Grand Palais


Jewelery designer and feather worker, Anne Goldfarb created her own brand Anagold 5 years ago. She talks about her profession and her apprenticeship with Stéphanie Roudil-Corvez, antique dealer to Paul Bert Serpette at the Saint-Ouen flea market, also at the head of his own shop. Two entrepreneurs women who share the same fascination for jewelry, timeless fashion accessory.

Tell us in a few words what characterizes your work?

Anne Goldfarb: I fully design my pieces, from A to Z. I start by transcribing my inspiration by drawing. In a 2nd time, I go into the manufacture of the prototype in the metal. I then privilege simple architectures, quite purified, which go then showcasing the work of featherworking. I think that what really characterizes my work is my taste for the color. I work a lot on matching, harmonization or on the contrary flashy rapprochement.

Stéphanie Roudil-Corvez: for my part, it is essentially the search for the old gem... because it is rare. It is sold for 30-40 years and the most beautiful pieces are unfortunately exported. They return little or not at all. We are in France, considered as the breadbasket of Europe, the real difficulty today remains to "find". Concerning the sale, without going so far as to say that it is easy, when we are lucky to find original pieces at the market price, it goes easily especially since there are many amateurs.

You both have a common area of predilection, the jewel, what brought you there?

Anne Goldfarb: For me, this is a professional conversion. I was originally working in big companies. And so, I reached an age where conversion was "now or never" ... so I made the leap. I had an attraction for crafts since early childhood and the jewel brings together many things that I generally appreciate: a world of meticulousness, the work of the material, a more feminine world, which has been a big change compared to my work in the automotive industry. There is also another point that really fascinated me, it is the historical heritage of the jewel. During my classes, I discovered how it allowed to read the evolution of the civilizations, since the dawn of time no doubt, and it was a real source of inspiration.

Stéphanie Roudil-Corvez: As Anne, I was in something else, but as a student. But, I worked in parallel for a generalist antique dealer ... someone very talkative, who gave me lots of informations. And I I saw a lot of different things: paintings, bronzes, ceramics. It's really the attraction for the old object that seduced me and passion came immediatly! I realized that my studies did not interest me at all, and that I had to start, even if we can not really train in the trade of antiques. So I started and I do not am never stopped. I had the opportunity to develop a small gem department in his company, which he had never ventured to do himself. And as we have achieved great success, he gave me carte blanche ! That's why when I started my business, I chose to sell only the jewel.

In your respective activities, what is your relationship to time and transmission?

Stéphanie Roudil-Corvez: The transmission is really essential! It is all the more as there is no training as I said. These are a passion job, where we devote a crazy time. For me, it's really my job that paces all my time. For the jewel, there are beautiful things in any periods. But since I do this job, there is really one that I do not get tired: it is art deco. It is appreciated by both professionals but also the public. There is such purity in the drawings that they become timeless ... it does not age and we do not get tired ... we go to the essential!

Anne Goldfarb: For my part, if I take the aspect "historical heritage", I have the feeling of being part of history, in my dimension of course, especially with my architectures. They recall a little art deco, that we like so much to Stephanie and me. And there is also the featherwork, a very old profession which almost disappeared. I was lucky to find in Paris the only school of Europe which still forms with this technique. After almost falling in oblivion, it's a business that is reborn from its ashes today in a framework of contemporary creation, because there are young designers working in the feather. And in terms of transmission, I consider that I really benefited because I was able to train and myself in the techniques and approach of creation with professionals. I also strive to transmit on my side, when I take a trainee or with the public, as part of workshops.

Anne Goldfarb, when you work on a piece, do you imagine his life in several years or decades?

Anne Goldfarb: I do not think so, I'm still at the stage of creation... I'm very proud to give birth to an object that would not have been born if I had not done. And it's true that I do not think about the future. I am very happy that one day it will be acquired by a client but it will be his life ... it's not me any more. By cons, I'm delighted when he goes very far, in an other country, it makes me really happy! But as I said, it's its own history ...

Stéphanie Roudil-Corvez, how do you select the parts you offer? How do you know that they will be appreciated, noticed, bought?

Stéphanie Roudil-Corvez: like everything else, there is a fashion phenomenon, even in the old. I have for example experienced a period where Art Nouveau was very appreciated whereas today, we can see a small shortness of breath. This is really fashion in general. So we adapt, because we must always have a curiosity about what people are wearing and what they want today. It is all the more important that the jewel is truly an accessory. It is necessary to try to find objects adapted to the desire of moment. Even if they are old, it is finally very related to the present.

How do you integrate the buyer into your creation / selection process?

Stéphanie Roudil-Corvez: we observe the street. When I find a piece, I think of a personality type. I'm lucky to work at Paul Bert Serpette where there are different people, who come from several continents and therefore we spot different sensitivities. Even if overall, we realize that fashion is now global, punctuated by major trends.

Anne Goldfarb: when I create, I do not think about the buyer in a not very precise way ... nevertheless like Stephanie, I observe. And I notice for example that the pin returns today, I have besides customers who so ask, I looked at this type of jewel that I did not initially But otherwise, I do not think I really think I'm doing quite large objects and I know it will not affect everyone So I do not really think of integrating the buyer into my approach