Slowing down… I have long thought that slowness can be a virtue. But today, it seems a difficult position to hold. The modern world demands that much of what we do has to be fast. Our culture tells us that work, travel, and even sometimes play should be done at high speed and energy. And we are so fixated on these ideas of speed and efficiency that we can’t even consider whether that speed is a tradeoff, whether something might be sacrificed to the cult of speed.
But something is lost in our work and lives in that relentless pursuit of quickness. We lose the care, attention, passion, and uniqueness that grow and thrive when we can take the time to work and live more slowly. I felt that there was a need to re-introduce to a more modern world these principles associated with a slower mode of living and working, which is why I founded LECHAPERON in the first place. I would like to see us get back to taking time to discover, to look around and to capture beauty in all its forms.
I have previously written about ‘overload alert’, which is what happens when your brain is overwhelmed by the choices we have to make every day, at high speed. Ever since I started of LECHAPERON, I have been working to deliver an experience of Slow Shopping, as I am calling it. This site and this project cultivates and showcases the work of a group of dedicated, artistic makers working in the domains of art & illustration, fashion and interior design. These makers come from a wide variety of life experiences and histories, but they all share a dedication to their craft, an understanding of the virtue of artistry, and a desire to share their creativity with the world. They spend their creative energy working to imbue their products with purpose, with beauty and with unique stories.
Finding value in makers and stories
With LECHAPERON, I look for the maker’s DNA, their story to tell, their uniqueness. This is what really sets LECHAPERON and its makers apart. The slowness and human experience that you can trace in how an early idea, event, or family situation in a maker’s life led to the passion, the persistence, the long hours of studying and hard work. At LECHAPERON, I invite you to look further than the final product and to look at a product from another angle. By getting to know the makers behind the products you buy, you do not only use what they make. You also take their story with you…
Take Bjorn Verlinden, for instance, who grew up with a love of sewing, imbued in him by the women of his family, and has now taken this dedication and creativity to leatherwork, making some of the most beautiful leather tableware anywhere.
Or Lore Langendries a jewelry designer who had originally thought she would pursue a life of athletics, until an injury led her to a creative re-imagining of her life. She then spent four years completing a doctorate exploring the use of the materials she now employs in her strikingly innovative jewelry designs. Together with Lore, LECHAPERON started a 1 year project, called HOLSTEIN LL 1401.
Or even Nathalie van der Massen, who followed her creative energy from her small hometown to the big city of Antwerp at the age of 18, where she brings her artistic fascination with Japanese colors and culture to the creation of gorgeous textiles and fabrics in elegant, flowing scarves or potent wall hangings.
There is also Lore Van Keer, who opened her jewellery store at not even 30. Her elegant, original work has been featured in the national media, and by dignitaries and diplomats at formal events. Her dedication to her work is what drives her, as she often says, “If you want to achieve something, you need to work for it. There are no shortcuts.” MAISON MOSAIC for LECHAPERON is one of her architectural master pieces.
And these stories are only the beginning. LECHAPERON will share so many more.
Sharing stories with the world
I am happy to be able to share these makers, their products and their stories with you. I created LECHAPERON to help people understand the value and the virtues in slowness, offering timeless and sustainable everyday objects. Without a story to inhabit it, a product is merely a physical thing. The story, the connection to the maker is what animates it and gives it meaning. I invite you to take a close look at each of our hand-selected products very carefully and to (re)discover the beauty of it. When you buy one, you’re taking that story with you….
When the world tells you to speed up, I hope LECHAPERON can help you to slow down…
I have just launched the new version of the website that I hope will showcase these products, makers and their stories. Please come take a look around!