When most people hear the word "salon" they automatically think of a place where you go to get your hair done or some sort of beauty treatment, which is what it has evolved into. But in this case, I'm taking it back to it's original meaning from the 17th and 18th centuries in French society, in correspondence with The Republic of Letters,
which was part of a long distance community of intellectuals who communicated by writing letters as part of the Age of , philosophes , which mostly consisted of men but transcended social and national boundaries. And then there were the women, the "Salonnieres". As Goodman wrote, these women were not social climbers, but they were intelligent, self-educated and educating women who adapted and implemented the values of the Enlightenment Republic of Letters, using those values to reshape the salon to their own social, intellectual, an educational needs, drawing to themselves poets, writers, artist, musicians, with the absence of a social hierarchy. They would come together to discuss a variety of subjects, bringing together the Parisian society, the progressive philosophes who were producing the Encyclopedie, the Bluestocking and other intellectuals.
The Salon became an informal university of sorts for the women. Two of the most prominent of the salonnieres was Madame Geoffrin and Madame Necker and two of the most prominent literary salons in Paris were the Hotel de Rambouillet, established in 1607 near the Palais du Louvre by Marquise de Rambouillet , and then in 1653, in La Marais, the rival salon of Madeleine de Scudery. These salons with its social concepts spread throughout the world, modeled after their French counterparts.
Now with regards to the meaning of "Exotica", which is objects considered strange or interesting because they are out of the ordinary, especially because they originate in a distant, foreign, country, things excitingly different or unusual, especially; literary or artistic items, having an exotic theme or nature. The Latin word being exoticus and the English word being exotic. By the 19th century the word was thus "exotica". The Via is simply, by way of, through, by means of.
So Salon Exotica Via L.S. is a place that we can gather as intellectuals to share, enlighten and uplift one another. A place where we can educate and be educated, where we can learn of and appreciate the people and cultures from all around the world. A place where we can challenge our minds and our souls so as to embrace the sensuality of individuality, a place where our differences will bring us together instead of tearing us apart.
With all things being said, I now wish to introduce to you the first of its kind. Your very own online Salon, Salon Exotica Via L.S. in the House of Lourdes, with your Salonniere, Lourdes Soto. Until I get my Mansion this will prove to be just as well.
This is not a blog. In fact, I hate the word blog. For the fact that it takes more than one particular thing to make the world go round, here you will find that your Salonniere Lourdes Soto will entertain you with more than one simple topic. Yes, I love fashion, I love the arts, I love music, I love food, I love dance, ballet, I love animals, I love flowers and fruits and vegetables, sunshine and rain. I love so many things, that to pin myself down to just one would cause me to go insane.
I invite you all to be a part of the first ever online Salon, in the spirit of the French culture of the 17th and 18th centuries, right here at Salon Exotica Via L.S. and the House of Lourdes, your online Salonniere. And how fitting as my name "LOURDES' happens to be the name of a city in France.
Now one might ask what all of this has to do with my online store. It's simple. At my online store you will find handmade, hand crafted, exotic, custom, unique, one of a kind pieces that I consider each to be a work of art that you can wear. My works of art are made with fabrics such as leather, suede, linen, silk, satin and some cottons. As of right now I have only my earrings displayed in my online store, but I will be adding other things in the near future.
I invite you all to share in this experience and to feel free to participate. There will be no place at Salon Exotica Via L.S. for vulgar, obscene speech or language, no derogatory terms or application will be accepted here.
Thank you for your time and until we meet again,
Your Salonniere, Lourdes Soto