French Canadian Singer Mitsou Shares Her New Holiday Collection
Anyone who recalls the saucy strains of the mega Canadian ’80s hit Bye Bye Mon Cowboy will recognize its chanteuse, Mitsou Gélinas. She’s also proven to be quite a savvy entrepreneur, running her own magazine, as well as acting and serving as a spokesperson for the Quebec Breast Cancer Society. Mitsou’s latest venture is collaborating with six Quebec artisans on a limited edition of handcrafted entertaining essentials for Mitsou x Etsy. Maison et Demeure‘s digital editor Frank Ngako chatted with Mitsou about what this holiday collection means to her.
Maison et Demeure: Why did you create this collection?
Mitsou Gélinas: For a long time, it was a dream that I didn’t share with anyone, except my close family. Every Christmas, my father asked me if my accessories collection would see the light of day. When we finished the photo shoot in my chalet, I called him to tell him my dream had come true.
M&D: How do you decorate your home for the holidays?
MG: I come from a big family, my mother has 12 brothers and sisters, so our Christmases are always huge. My mother-in-law is an accomplished cook, and I take care of the entertaining. I start the Christmas decorations as soon as Halloween ends. I’ve collected a lot of felt items, which I bought with friends, including deer and owls.
M&D: You collaborated with six Quebec artisans, why was that important?
MG: Primarily, it’s about promoting local talent. Beyond that, there’s a sensuality to beautiful objects. We live in an era of consumption and we no longer realize the value of objects made by hand by craftspeople. For me, it’s more than a collection, it’s a collaboration of human beings. You get a sense that these objects embody creativity, softness and naturalness.
M&D: You gravitated towards items in neutral tones for this collection, rather than traditional red and green. What was the rationale?
MG: In this era of over consumption, we want products that we can display and use all year. Aside from Christmas accessories used for strictly for the holiday season (stockings, trees), the other items can be used daily or when entertaining. And neutrals appeal to everyone.
M&D: You included a pine-fragrance candle in the collection, too.
MG: Aside from the scent, I love the little sputter and crackle of the wick as it burns.
M&D: How do you make your home more comfortable?
MG: I am a fan of candles, tables, books, blankets and cushions.
M&D: What’s the ideal spot to entertain guests?
MG: It’s definitely the kitchen. I have many friends who own two islands in their kitchen instead of one. This is the new trend and it really indicates the importance of this room during party season.
M&D: Can you share some tips on dressing the table for the holidays?
MG: Before setting the table, focus first on the lighting and music. I love to add meaningful objects that speak to me on the table. For example, I’ve been using the same candles for 20 years.
M&D: Do you have a favorite party meal?
MG: I wouldn’t say there is a specific meal I like to serve, it’s more a feeling I want to create. It’s important to bring pleasure to our plates. You have to see a meal as a sharing experience — the joy comes from being together. You just have to know when you’re hungry and when you need to stop!