A creative pursuit was the goal coming to France. It was either fashion design or pâtisserie. I'd attended the opening days at elite fashion schools in Paris in the year 2010 and immmediately felt threatened. Not by the schools themselves but the candidates wanting to enrol who came with their huge portfolios with what seemed to me professional sketches of haute couture and prêt-à-porter. The talent was mind blowing. Candidates came from all over the world with the hope they would be the next to be talent spotted by one of the great fashion houses. I could barely draw a beach thong, and my human sketches were totally disproportionate, I brought only my handbag and some hope that I'd learn the basic skills in sketching and fashion. Seems not. I didn't stay until the end of the orientations ..... It was a feeling of drowning, any ambitions here died.
I still want to design. I need to create. Feeling of creating elegance and beauty, using colour and geometrical design. It sounds silly but I love using a ruler somehow I fantasise I'm an architect. I love cutting and sketching because I feel I'm a couturier. Finally, I love to eat. I love the colours on a plate and the seduction of food, but I never loved to cook, I just loved to eat... until.
Around the same time I discovered haute couture pâtisserie. I don't refer to the fancy white plate in Michelin restaurants, I'm talking about your street boutique pâtisseries of Paris. I discovered "les petits gâteaux". Their form, their colour and composition were so beautiful and mesmerising. On cutting open les petits gâteaux I discovered layers and hidden treasures inside. "How do you get that little sphere and that layer inside?", and "what's that cream? It's a different texture to that one?". I was baffled. How do you construct something like that? I became obsessed. I finally found my architecture, my design and couture. I had to learn French pastry.
Learning the skills and savoir-faire that is French pastry takes time and it's constant practice, especially if your goal is perfection. It's also become a very competitive industry. In order to stand out from the rest you must demonstrate your skills and your creativity constantly. How do you do that when there are so many experienced and talented chefs?
At first when you're a newby in the industry you copy. You copy the big chefs and then slowly you turn off the road and start to find your own style.
In order to create pâtisserie for MadCharlotte I do a couple of things: First, I watch the industry. The way I do this is simply viewing my newsfeed of social media like Instagram and Facebook. The second, I visit Parisian pastry boutiques of renowned chefs.... I look, I buy, I taste (any excuse for research!) I'm looking for techniques, textures and esthetiques.... and size (what you see on social media may give the impression that a cake is "this big" when it's really "this small").
However, there is nothing I hate more than doing what everyone else is doing. So I take note and inspiration, and then ask myself "What can I do differently?" I want to be myself. So then, who is me? Who is MadCharlotte? What's MadCharlotte's signature? Whenever you see a brand, the brand is generally an extension of its creator. MadCharlotte is certainly an extension of my personality. This is where I come back to my desire to have a connection with fashion design. I try to find a way to incorporate these desires into my skill sets. But I also don't want to create something that is unattanable to most people. I knew I could never charge 1500 euros for a dress. I know there are people like me who want to buy luxury, who feel they are luxury but simply don't have the financial means. So how can I create some kind of couture to a greater portion of the general public? Pâtisserie.
Rose Couture, she is what I call "the little luxuries". I hope that Rose Couture is the beginning in identifying the brand MadCharlotte and perhaps you can feel that you have a little luxury in your hands, in a box or on your plate. And perhaps somewhere in her you get to know me.