The items that I make are labeled “cécile” after my grandmother,
Cécile Couture.

I began making these handbags after attending a church sale in Autumn 2003. I was looking through knick-knacks and crocheted spoon-holders and clothing and I noticed this enormous pile of men’s suits. The suits, as timeless as they are, all looked the same but the neckties were so interesting and, since they were vintage, distinct.

As I went through them I was thinking about the man who once wore them and how personal a man’s necktie can be. I quietly realized that this man has since passed on and most likely his wife had given his suits to the church. Even as I was scooping them all up I was thinking to myself, “what in the world will I do with them?” The neckties just lent themselves to these great fabrics with their great colors and textures. I particularly like the complementary contrast of masculine and feminine.

Lately, I have strangers offering me their husband’s old neckties, I have received them from my relatives, friends, boyfriends and from many trips to thrift shops and markets.