I think that a beautiful stationery, like a beautiful underwear, should be used every day, or at least often enough – it is one of the simple joys we can treat ourselves with. And in our age of excessive consumerism I believe in surrounding yourself with less stuff, but using a better quality, more elegant things.
Nowadays people use instant ways of communications like emails and SMS so there is almost no place left for writing letters, postcards, journals (even a lot of that we often do on our devices-present blog post included). In fact, we have fewer and fewer interactions with good old paper and pen. We don’t need them to communicate anymore, so when we do use it, it can become almost an art form. And two little stores I have found in Marais, on Rue Pont Louis Phillipe (which also sometimes called “la rue du Papier“) are a proof that stationery could be very elegant and aesthetic.
These two stores, happily coexisting side by side, are a completely different style.
Melodies Graphiques is a more old-fashioned place with wooden shelves and a feel of an old bookstore.
It is a little paradise for calligraphers and also frequented by visitors who just want to buy a lovely postcard to take home. When I see all the interesting things they are selling, I regret that I don’t do calligraphy. There are many different inks in unusual colors with beautiful names like “éclat dé saphir” or “gris nuage”, calligraphy pens and nibs, hand-made embossed journals, notebooks, cards. Want to feel like Pushkin while writing? There is a quill collection to choose from. Sealing wax and stamps? They have them too. Last time I saw it being used was in Moscow post offices many moons ago.
Calligrane next door is also a small store, but modern, and it is a place where minimalist would feel at home. It has a wonderful choice of a good quality hand-made paper and paper products. And it comes from different parts of the world like Japan, Bhutan, Thailand, Brazil, and Europe. Rare paper, paper made of vegetables and fruits, unusual cards and envelopes, journals and much more.
I adore its minimalistic design and am very inspired by places like this. Everything there looks like it was chosen and arranged with great care and love. The simplicity of lines and the same time the sophistication of presentation, which reminds me of Japan. Somehow in places like that, you wouldn’t want to have a food stain on your clothes and it makes you move more gracefully. Or, at least, it has this effect on me.
As well as paper products, it has some unusual pieces of artwork, paintings and even some jewelry made of paper. Because Calligrane also is a little gallery which exhibits the works of paper artists and sculptors. The display changes often. Their shop window is very beautiful and is what drew me in like a magnet (isn’t it what shop windows suppose to do?) Last time I was there, there was a very elegant collection of snow-white and incredibly intricate paper objects and sculptures and today the bold coral and yellow colors take center stage…
Although the modern life is all about technology and speed, here, in Paris, it feels like there is still a place for appreciation of elegance and beauty of the little things in la vie quotidienne.