Our Madagascan heritage
Beautiful red island, turned towards the Indian Ocean, Madagascar, home country of our designer Monique Ramahay, is famous for its fascinating flora and fauna but also for it smocks expertise.
If men know are skilled with wood and straw, Madagascan women are extremely talented with their hands too and able to give birth to the most exquisite smocks and embroideries.
Indeed Madagascar holds a precious smock know-how imported by French and English missionaries in the 19th century. At the time the Madagascan monarchs had close relationships with the British court, in particular with Queen Victoria who offered them sumptuous gifts.
So the European religious congregations brought their knowledge to Madagascan women teaching them the secrets of handmade smocks as well as embroideries. Theses skills were and are still developed, improved and passed down from generation to generation. Today smocking is part and parcel of the Madagascan culture.
In love with her country, Monique could not imagine creating her atelier elsewhere.
At Charlotte sy Dimby we believe that the transmission of this traditional talent is precious and must be promoted. This craftsmanship is slowly disappearing and replaced by smocks made with a machine. Today in France only very few grandmothers still know how to make smocks by hand…
We believe in diversity and collaboration so associating Madagascan skill with French elegance to a universal childish chic style seemed like an evidence.