Plain Tiger Spotlight: Thalie Paris

Haute. But make it handbags.

By Renee Fortune

I once heard someone say that when getting dressed, you should start with your shoes. I’m sure many shoe enthusiasts will agree. I’m willing to bet however, that when you see the Thalie Paris collection, you’ll want to get dressed starting with your handbag.

When the COVID19 pandemic hit, the world was brought to an abrupt standstill. Lockdown regulations had us all confined to the indoors. For some people, being unoccupied for long periods of time was a source of great anxiety. Others used the time to embrace their inner couch potato. Nathalie Dionne however, used lockdown to build the beginnings of a personal empire. 

Thalie Paris is a brand that was conceived in the midst of the pandemic. At a time when the workings of the world ground to a halt, the workings of Nathalie’s mind conjured up ideas and concepts that would later materialise as wearable artworks; inspired by the design aesthetics and artistic philosophies of some of the greatest creative minds in history.

As Dionne explains: “the brand's aesthetic is inspired by 30's Modern Art, the Paris 16th area and enigmatic Parisians who have inspired fashion photography and art throughout history. It’s an aesthetic that captures precious moments in time, like when patron of the arts, Marie-Laure de Noailles attended the Le bal de la mer, wearing a dress made of marine leather, or a series of photographs by Helmut Newton shot in the late 70s.”

Paris is; as Nathalie explains, her “creative territory.” Most of what she puts down on paper as the preliminary sketchings of an idea is inspired by the Parisian way of life and its magnetic charm. “I particularly enjoy traveling, seeing art exhibitions, taking walks in Paris early in the morning, discovering new areas, and looking at architectural details that I’ve never seen near my home in the Paris 16th area. It’s a city that never ceases to fascinate me.”

It started with the LIVIA – a bag so striking that you’ll want to put it in a display cabinet. But the brilliance of the LIVIA goes beyond what it looks like. It’s something that you’ll want to feel, because it’s made from recycled salmon skin. Its texture resembles that of snakeskin and has the same exotic appeal. Nathalie discovered this leather alternative in her search for sustainable textiles. It led her to the work of three engineers from Lyon-based tannery, ICTYOS, who were experimenting with the commercial use of discarded salmon skin from sushi shops. The first LIVIA made its debut at Première Classe in Paris in February 2020 and everyone loved it. They still do. 

The word, ‘Thalie’ is an endearing nickname that was given to Nathalie by her father, but it also has its roots in ancient Greek mythology. “Thaleia,” was the name of one of the three Charites or Graces, the daughters of Zeus and Eurynome. As a Greek Muse or demigod, Thalia was depicted as the goddess of festivity and banqueting. According to the myth, Thalia gives life to the natural world and revels in its beauty. Her image and story would later inspire a number of Italian Renaissance artworks.

In this way, Thalie Paris transforms recycling into art, quite literally. In fact, Nathalie hopes to expand its reach and appeal in a way that allows Thalie Paris handbags to become collectible heirlooms and investment pieces – design work to be cherished, loved and shared. 

To encourage this shareability and traceability, Thalie Paris bags will soon be tagged with a blockchain QR code that provides specific information on each step within the supply chain from material sourcing to the craftsmanship of each piece. This inviolable digital passport will guarantee a whole new level of transparency. For Nathalie, joining the first-adopters of this technology in the fashion space is part of her way of chartering new territory and helping to shape and mold the industry of the future. 

‘Sublimated circularity’ is the term that is used to convey the brand’s manifesto. Thalie Paris is on a mission to elevate sustainable fashion, to draw out the luxury that lies in conscious living and to demonstrate that sustainability is not a ‘constraint to creativity’, but a catalyst of it.
$542.15 USD
$542.15 USD
$355.96 USD
$355.96 USD