The Essence of Maison MASHA KEJA
We will never tire of telling you the story behind our sumptuous cannetille embroidery - it is the essence of our Maison and has featured since our very first collections. Cannetille embroidery embodies the refined skill and authenticity that we seek to offer you through our unique pieces that are charged with history. Our embroidered bags, such as CITY, JOUR, AVRIL, AVA, AVA BABY and its little sister, AVA BABY FLEUR, are created with the highest French craftmanship based on 18 th century heritage. Did you know that before being used on our handbags, cannetille embroidery signified a completely different time period - most particularly, the era of Napoleon Bonaparte? This unique, rich, gold embroidery was designed to impress and dazzle, signalling the glory and power of the world’s most influential people. As such, these exuberant embellishments can be found adorning the costumes of the French Emperor and his marshals.
This year in France, we are celebrating the bicentenary of the death of Napoleon Bonaparte, an extraordinary military leader who left an indelible mark on France and Europe during his short but intense reign as Emperor of France from 1804 to 1815. Indeed, the ambitious emperor with the flamboyant personality was a visionary man who dreamed of greatness and transformed the world…. The French Revolution and Napoleon’s audacity disrupted European monarchies and dominated political and philosophical discussions of the time. France was in vogue and became the envy of other nations to follow. It is no wonder then that cannetiile embroidery became popular in all the royal courts of Europe. Long live fashion. Long live France! Dear friends, next time you visit museums, we invite you to discover the captivating opulence of this beautiful embroidery, that appears as though it has been created in 3D. Remind yourselves that cannetille is still worn today during the greatest ceremonies in the Vatican and used by the Pope. And as we are celebrating the bicentenary of the death of Napoleon Bonaparte, envisage this great leader on a horse, commanding his generals before the Battle of Marengo, his cannetille dazzling in the sun, looking impressive and so imperial…
The desire of our creator, Masha, was to transcribe the artistic heritage of this period into sublime accessories. Her goal was to allow women to shine with refinement, by wearing an extraordinary art form that once belonged mainly to men. Today, everything is consumed quickly, and therefore cannetille-embroidered clothing would defy practical use. However, as accessories require little special attention, they are perfect forms to be embellished by this sumptuous technique, becoming “jewel-accessories.” This idea of accessorising with an easy elegance was the inspiration behind the first models of our brand. Voluminous handbags, decorated with stunning cannetille embroidery of XXL proportions, were designed for women to wear as everyday accessories with their favourite blue jeans, or any chic outfit. Delighted by the popularity of these refined “jewel-bags”, Masha went on to create smaller and more delicate shapes, inviting women to wear their bags for those special occasions, when refinement is required and unique beauty captures attention.
How are the embroidered bags made?
Thirteen years ago, when the designer created her first collection, the technique of cannetille was not very well known. After arduous searching, Masha found a factory in France which works predominantly for the French Army and Air France. Together with them, she developed her first series of embroideries. The factory has since been awarded great distinction for its work, by being labelled a Cultural Heritage Company or “Société du Patrimoine Vivant”. After receiving the embroideries, the designer checks the work thoroughly and adds some finishes to prepare the pieces. The pieces are then carefully packed and sent to another French atelier situated approximately 300kms from Paris. Here, the embroideries are meticulously applied and transformed into exquisite handbags. Our embroidered bags are crafted in very small quantities. Each embroidery is a unique work of art created entirely by hand – to create it any other way would be impossible. If you have a very keen eye, you will perhaps notice “tiny imperfections” caused by hand. Sometimes this might be a slight asymmetry or tiny variation in shape, if two identical products are compared. However, the embroideries are crafted by great masters, and their work is nothing short of remarkable.
If you are curious to personally discover these extraordinary cannetille embroideries inspired by the Napoleonic era, we warmly invite you to visit our showroom in Neuilly -sur-Seine, next to Paris. We will be delighted to show you the finesse of our work and perhaps help you to choose your very own sumptuous jewel-bag!