Saint Pierre Market is a district of Paris, located at the bottom of the Montmartre hill, where there are numerous fabric retailers and haberdasheries.
This is one of the biggest fabric markets in the world. Here you can find silk from Asia, poplins, jacquards, muslin, organdie, velvet, tweed, tulle, lace, linen, satin… but also thread, needles, ribbon, buttons, and feathers… In short, you got it, Saint Pierre Market is the paradise for designers and seamstresses, but not only… I will get back to this later.
This article is in English. Click here to read it in French.
How did the Saint Pierre Market come about? Two fabric merchants families from Levallois-Perret, the Dreyfuses and the Molines, used to regularly sell their fabric near the Montmartre hill from 1879. In 1920, they settled definitely in this working class district and became very successful. Other retailers quickly did the same. This is how, at a time when every household owned a sewing machine, Saint Pierre Market became a Parisian classic hot spot.
About ten years ago, Saint Pierre Market only meant costume parties to me. Indeed, my friends and I used to browse there to find fabric and accessories for our costumes. Since I arrived in Melbourne, Australia, I discovered craft and sewing… Yes indeed. Girlfriends who will read this article will not recognise me. Such activities have North American roots and I sometimes feel myself part of these classic images from the ’50s and ’60s where Madam knits and chitchats with her girlfriends.
Every year, I take part in the French Alliance Christmas Market, in Melbourne, by selling jewellery from French designers. This year though, I decided to start creating my own. When I went to Paris back in September, I therefore returned to the Saint Pierre Market, looking for ideas and inspiration. Here’s the result!
If you are in Melbourne, you can find me this weekend (Saturday the 10th and Sunday the 11th of December) at the Alliance Française Christmas market, 51 Grey St, ST KILDA, Australia.
Have you been to the Saint pierre market before? Are there any other markets you think are better?
1. By © Emmanuelle Tremolet
2. By © Emmanuelle Tremolet