About talented Benjamin Lacombe

Benjamin Lacombe is a talented young French illustrator, cartoon designer and children’s books writer. He graduated from Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs in Paris (ENSAD) and worked as an advertising and animated movie artist before completing his first comic series at the age of 19. We are addicted to his stories and stunning drawings  : The little sorceress, Lin Yi’s lantern, Blanche Neige, Cherry and Olive. His books are translated  in Spanish, German, Korean, Chinese and of course English. Benjamin lives and works in Paris with his dog Virgile, often found hiding among the pages of his books. benjaminlacombe.com

What you eat is what you are – A list of must-see documentaries & films on food

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On the list of family films that make us really laugh, those by Louis de Funes rank highly. Very French and very 70′s, favourites include Rabbi Jacob, Oscar or La Folie des Grandeurs.There is one I particularly like, called l’Aile ou la cuisse (The Wing and the Thigh), a criticism of processed food (industrie agro-alimentaire), a hilarious parody yet very visionary, and a good introduction to food issues for younger generations.

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Peter Staley's mysterious little world


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Peter Staley grew up in Manhattan and studied painting at The Art Institute of Chicago. Click here to see more of his work and read a great interview with him.

These colorful, magical and mysterious landcapes might seem familiar to some of you. A “deja vu” coming from the fact that Peter Staley, their creator, is also the illustrator of the super cute Sweet William logo and website. The images above are made in conjunction with a children’s book that Peter is currently working on. The technique is each detail is painted individually with gouache. They are then scanned into the computer where the artist cuts them out and creates images from there. A fan of Miyazaki‘s movies, Peter is very inspired by nature and by mountainous landscapes in particular. His wonderful fantasy worlds are attractive to both children and adults.

Peter Staley’s prints are now available at Sweet William (click here to see more) - Giclee prints,  33″x10″ inches, $380 each.


Visiting Italy for Easter? Don't miss Salone del Mobile


………………………….Pete Oyler, Rip Tatter Kid’s Chair and Jeanne Susplugas, Belladonna, wallpaper series Apriti Sesamo for unduetrestella

If you happen to be in Italy during the Easter break, I highly recommend a tour at 

Salone del mobile, the best furniture and design fair in the world. Don’t visit the convention center, but the “Salone off”, to see Milan under its best look. Events all over the place, parties, cocktails, exhibitions, international crowds interacting with the city.
This year is special, with kids room – zoom, a wonderful event dedicated to the children’s world

Preview Monday April 11

4 pm break for children

6 pm cocktail

via GB Vico 1, Milan

Opening Tuesday April 12

4 pm break for children

6 pm cocktail

via Sandro Sandri 2, Milan
via GB Vico 1, Milan



Inside Children’s Wear




Caletha Crawford is an expert in the children’s apparel. Former editor in chief of Earnshaw’s magazine—the leading US children’s trade publication, Caletha is a consultant for children’s wear brands as well as a part-time faculty at Parsons The New School for Design. There, she equips students with the fashion industry knowledge needed to become entrepreneur designers. On March 9th, Caletha Crawford gathered industry insiders at the Parson School of design and asked them to speak about what consumers want now.

The panel of industry professionals represented all facets of the market, including recruiting (represented by Polo Ralph Lauren); design (Ralph Lauren, J Crew’s Crewcuts and Tawil Associates); retail (Yoyamart) and sales (Thread showroom and Playtime trade shows). Throughout the hour-long discussion, the panel provided valuable information on how to break into the industry but one of the most interesting aspects of the conversation centered around defining who today’s customer is and discussing how she ultimately determines what ends up in stores:

· The economic outlook is improving, but consumers are still demanding value. “In Europe, we all have the feeling that we’re working more for less so you have the feeling that you have to give more to people. Everyone’s asking for more these days.” — Sebastien de Hutten, event director for Playtime, a juvenile products trade show with editions in Paris, Tokyo and New York

· The market is evolving, incorporating more contemporary styling into this age group—as a result a new customer is emerging for tween clothes: Moms! “People are a lot less conservative than they used to be, especially at the luxe level. At mid and mass, things tend to be more traditional.” —Amy Pang, design director for 7 for All Mankind Kids at New York-based Tawil Associates

· Grandmothers continue to be the No. 1 consumers to court, especially in the smallest sizes. —“She’s got a lot of income and a lot of time to fill.” —Ashleigh Crawford, vice president of children’s design at Ralph Lauren

· The woman who purchases high-end better goods for herself buys the same level of goods for her children. “If mom isn’t going to wear a rayon sweater, she has the mentality that my kid’s not going to wear it so it justifies buying $200 Loro Piana cashmere for their kid.” —Michelle Copelman, accessories designer and brand buyer at Crewcuts

· There’s a market for everything from $795 jackets to $20 T-shirts and from preppy to boho, it’s just up to retailers to know their customers and buy accordingly. “It’s like music. Anything goes,” stated Fazio. “You can mix hip hop and rock these days. You can mix California laid-back with European collections and Crewcuts accessories with your Ralph Lauren riding boots.” — Terra Fazio, owner of the Thread Showroom in New York

View the event in its entirety on YouTube

Caletha Crawford consults with designers to help them better understand the industry, communicate their positioning through branding and public relations, and grow their market share. Her contacts within the industry span independent start-ups to multimillion-dollar design firms. She’s a regular at domestic and international trade shows and market events. Learn more at calethacrawford.com.



The unbeatable success of Anorak

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About just an hour after Anorak was found in our mail box last week, the pages were all decorated, coloured, cut out. The happy mag for kids is highly appreciated in our house…

anorak-magazine.co.uk – Available at Little Fashion Gallery


A book, a child – Iris presents Klimt and his cat

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I like this book because the images are beautiful with many colors. The women, who are models of the painter Klimt, have very long and thick hair, and there is gold on their dresses.  The story is full of adventures and travels and it is also about brushes and paints which I like very much. I like to copy the drawings of this book.

Klimt and his cat – Written by Berenice Capatti, illustrated by Octavia Monaco

Commented by Iris, 5 years old

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If your child wants to present a book, submit pictures and text to pirouetteblog@gmail.com



Beasties : make your own monsters


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It’s half term here in the UK, time for mums and nannies to find crafty ideas to entertain the children (it’s raining, but it’s London after all…). Here’s a wonderful book, perfect to fit the purpose : Beasties – How to Make 22 Mischievous Monsters That Go Bump in the Night (Perigee Books). This fun craft book teaches readers how to sew a collection of monsters from around the world. Some swim in the sea, others live on land, and a few fly through the air. The book came from the author’s interest in monsters from folklore, mythology, and cryptozoology. Readers may recognize familiar characters such as a Fairy, Yeti, and Werewolf as well as some lesser-known characters such as the Chonchon and Eloko. Each Beastie is photographed in their environment so you can see where they live. The book also includes an overview of sewing stitches, a description of the characters, instructions, and patterns for sewing. Very Exciting.


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About Diana Schoenbrun, the author : “I am a published illustrator, writer, and crafter living in Brooklyn, NY.  I received my BFA in illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design. I have worked as an art assistant in publishing, taught writing and puppetry workshops, for children, and worked as a freelance illustrator. I currently work as a puppet builder at Puppet Heap Studio”.

Beasties is available on amazon (Click here)




Kidsroomzoom’s fun interview of Martine Camillieri


I have become addicted to Kidsroomzoom’s website, very fun and original. A good way to know what’s cooking for Milano Mobile, the Italian furniture fair that will take place in April. Designers, stylists, photographers, editors are featured  and there are fun little interviews. Here’s the one with artist Martine Camillieri, someone who’s been on my list of interesting people to write about on Pirouette for way too long. Have a look at her food installations and projects on http://www.martinecamillieri.com.

How is your bed?and your cradle when you were baby? I sleep in a cube (in Viet-Nam, 4 sticks, one at each corner of the bed, put up a rectangular mosquito net, as a cube). You have to open a delicate door to come in, like in a real house. It is a very personal space,  It is also a screen for my dreams. Everything seen through,  becomes soft and nice and poetic. For my craddle, as I was born in France,  I only remember the sweet warmth of my blanket when it was cold.

Which kind of meal you do not like? which is your favourite dish that your mom prepare to you? Beeerk, I hate spinach, I don’t want to be Popeye !

Your favorite book to read? It’s my pupil’s textbook, it is so wonderful to see that all this black drawings mean something !! I kept this book, called La joie de lire“, as I become an adult.

Have you got an imaginary friend? The friend of my dreams is a husky.  As in my country, it never snow, I like to dream to white and frozen landscape. I have seen in a book a wonderful dog with a great blue regard in his russet coat. Now Husky is my friend… in my snowy mind !

What did you draw first?A lot and a lot of towns, or city, or villages… on all over the sheet. I like to imagine small or large houses for everybody, streets and roads, church, school, bakery… Life.


Do you remember that little washing machine "comme maman"?

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I played with these toys when I was a little girl… sewing machine and washing machine “comme maman“, cash register like a real merchant. So much fun!  They are all available at Bianca and family, and I am sure that they are still fun for our children. I still occasionally read some good old “Martine” to my girls and they love it. A real piece of French culture…


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kidzoom, for all design lovers – Milano Mobile April 2011









Great news for all the Design lovers : some smart people are cooking up an exclusive project around children’s design, to be displayed during Milano Mobile in April. Exactly what that vibrant, exciting and very international furniture fair was missing.

Kids room – ZOOM! is a special home exclusively designed for children, staged and curated by unduetrestella founder Paola Noé together with Austrian children’s furniture designer Thomas Maitz. The project provides a snapshot of contemporary design for children and aims at moving this young, emerging creative scene into the center of public attention. An elegant apartment on the third floor of a residential building, located in an exclusive area in the heart of Milan, will open its doors to international design for children as well as to contemporary artists, publishers and food installations“.

The exhibitors, carefully selected, come from all over the world; some well established, some less known. The list includes byBODesign, Collect Furniture, Jaell und Tofta, Kalon Studios, Kidsonroof, Liliane, Momoll, Ninetonine, Nonjetable, Perludi, White Elephant Design Lab.






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National geographic photo contest






National Geographic photo contest is an endless trip around the world; it’s fun to browse through the archive with children. For those who share a passion for photography, there is a kid’s contest and they can submit their best shots to http://kids-myshot.nationalgeographic.com/. Above, from the adult’s contest, below from the kid’s section.







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