Marie Beltrami

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Marie Beltrami

She applies her incredible creative energy to jewelry, clothes, accessories… even going so far as customising her own apartment. Marie Beltrami, a doll-like eccentric with bubble-gum hair, welcomes us into to her magical world for one memorable afternoon…

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Marie Beltrami is a creative, no doubt about that. Her apartment, on the ground floor of a hôtel particulier near the Invalides, decorated in an intensely personal way, is the standing proof of this unbounded creative energy: not one surface has not been customised to stick to the aesthetic ideals of this grande dame of fashion. The walls themselves become canvasses for her close friends (and even Sting, whose autograph can be spotted on picture 8!), who decorate the typical Parisian walls with words of love and admiration.

A former stylist for Jean-Paul Goude (remember Chanel’s Egoïste advert? She did the styling), the jewelry and accessories designer – you can spot her cute mouse rings on our beloved Please  – has an incredible passion for creation, transforming a broken-down cardboard box into a tribal totem, or slipping an oversized metro ticket in a transparent vinyl handbag. Her clothes? Marie made them herself, no big deal (we particularly like her blue dress, inspired by the design of Gitane cigarette packets). She also made most of the colourful hats displayed all around the flat, as well as her incredible banana-studded mules. We love how Marie turns everyday objects into art pieces, following the surrealist concept of détournement, like her handbags on which are draped colourful pieces of underwear. But our favourite accessory has to be Marie’s candy-hued hair, a bubble-gum quirk that particularly suits this witty coquette, who drops a million fashion anecdotes throughout our interview.

Her list of collaborators is impressive: David Hamilton, Paloma Picasso, Bettina Rheims or even Philippe Starck. It all started thanks to the artist Niki de Saint Phalle, who welcomes her into her artistic family. “That’s where I met Jean Tinguely, Andy Warhol, Princess Marina of Greece, Andrée Putman, and other artist friends of Niki,” Marie tells us. She also reminisces about her years in Paris, spent mostly in clubs. “We used to go out a lot. It was the time of punks, of white shirts and dark glasses. Paquita Paquin, Eva Ionesco, Christian Louboutin, Thierry Ardisson, Jean-Baptiste Mondino… They all came to my place, it was an unmissable rendez-vous.” At that time, Marie strategically lived between the Bains Douches and Le Palace. Her friends all converge there, and even take part in some of her artistic projects. “Nearly all of them have sharpened pencils to make necklaces or threaded safety pins on springs!” We couldn’t dream of a more glamorous creative team…