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Reflecting on the standardization of fashion

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Guest of 2009 at Villa Medici in Rome (the first one in the new category : fashion), Pascal Gautrand reflects on the standardization of fashion. For this exhibit at Musee Galliera in Paris, he worked with fashion students, asking them to decorate dolls from standardized clothes. From uniformity to high level of emotion, everything is possible. Photos Courtesy of www.fashion-eye.net.

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Otto, 6 years old – Seattle, USA

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Otto is a true original–his imagination is a vast playground of ideas and thoughts. A lover of legos, monkey bars and hats, he marches to his own drummer. Big brother to Rowan, 2, he leads the way on adventures with unbridled enthusiasm and always a unique twist. Rowan is a very willing disciple! Mother of the two boys, Amy Augustine was crazy about kids long before she had kids of her own.
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“Neutral” windows at Selfridges, London

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New windows at Selfridges, entitled “Neutral”. A nod to Bourgeois/Boltanski/Beuys in some places. Minimalism, repetition, collection, rough materials, neutral tones. Far from the bling, it is an interesting thing!

 

 

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The Witchcraft chair is fun

 

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The Witchcraft chair is made with sorghum cushions. The inspiration comes from the will to bring to life a material lately abandoned and connected to our tradition, through its use in an unusual field. Giorgio Biscaro met one of the last producer of sorghum broom and was surprised by the flexibility and richness of this material. The chair has a metal frame painted in pastel colours, giving it a warm and reassuring feeling. Thanks to the fiber flexibility, the backrest adapt itself to the back of the user, providing great ergonomic. I wonder if that pink version has a name; I would call it Cinderella.

 

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Blair, 5 years old – London, UK / Montreal Canada

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Blair is a lucky Canadian boy who just spent 2 years in London with his parents, his sister Emma (7) and his brother William (2). Blair’s 3 greatest loves are Lego, bedtime stories, and most of all, a girl in his school named Caroline. Claire his mother comments : “It’s wonderful to see your child connect so well with another but as a mum now for 7 years, I can honestly say this friendship is special. Really sweet”.

Blair

What do you want to be when you grow up A skateboarder (he has never even been on a skateboard!)

Your favorite famous person Vincent Van Gogh (thanks to his school Great Beginnings in London)

What makes you laugh Being tickled –laugh, having an ice cream-smile

What makes you angry When my baby brother takes stuff from me

Your favorite book Make Way for Ducklings

Your favorite films Right now – The Incredibles

Your favorite animal A cat

The best holidays you ever had Paris-jumping on the inground trampoline in Les Jardins des Tuileries, and playing on the beach in Jupiter, Florida

A city that you would dream to visit Dusseldorf to visit a friend there

Who chooses your clothes in the morning I do (Blair does but he has a limited wardrobe so less room for error!)

Your favorite color Blue and red

Your favorite outfit My Buzz Lightyear costume

What is the piece you like the most from your wardrobe A pink T shirt from H&M

The next item you would like to get A Bakugan watch

 

Claire

Your favorite children’s brands Crew Cuts by J Crew, H&M, Zara

Your online destination for your children Ebay and Amazon are my go to’s

A website that inspires you Lomoi stationery- great for card ideas

What are the criteria you consider when you buy something for your children I like longer, lean fits. I honestly can’t stand it when companies make everything so boxy and wide

Last item you added to your child’s wardrobe Start Rite shoes for school

Most precious item you bought for your child A Victorian doll’s house and the collectible furniture for my daughter

Best gift you gave for a child’s B-day A baby pre-owned by us to a friend who loved it so much

Items that are hard to find The Victoria couture Hello Kitty collection on ebay!

Favorite pieces in Blair’s wardrobe Heavy cotton long cargo shorts, a red checked shirt, all his Crewcuts tee’s

Where are you going for the summer holidays St Cezaire in the south of France and then Crete. Can’t wait!

 

Top picture courtesy of sptphotography.com

 

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Franka’s delightful website

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Fanny Sundgren founded Franka in 2006.  With a solid experience in fashion (H&M, Filipa K, J Lindberg), this mother of 3 (they are all on the tree…) delivers beautiful and well made collections. Special mention to her very clean and playful website www.frankastockholm.com.

 

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Charity store of a new generation

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Fara Kids, freshly opened, is located in one of the most desirable shopping streets of London next to prestigious children’s brands. The shop is as large and as beautiful as its neighbors,  but it is not  competition for Caramel Baby & child, Burberry, I love Gorgeous, Petit Aime, Marie-Chantal, Petit Bateau and the other boutiques along the street. Fara Kids sells tee shirts and skirts at £5 to people with medium and low incomes. The product selection is wide : clothing, shoes, accessories for age 0-16, books, toys, little furniture, strollers and pregnancy clothes, all gently used, all at low prices. Fara Kids is a charity store of the new generation, with high standards of visual presentation, a young and creative sales team and bright ideas. Because it is in such a great location, the store offers a small range of beautiful, sometimes rare vintage treasures coming from the trunks of the chic Notting Hill area. At a higher price range, but still very affordable. That makes Fara Kids a destination for vintage lovers and designers in search of inspiration. All the benefits of Fara Kids go to children and young people with disabilities.

FARA Kids & Baby 39/41 Ledbury Road, W11 2AA Notting Hill London Tel: 020 7229 3634

 

 

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Interview of Khalym Schell, Editor – New York, USA

 

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How long have you been in the children’s industry?A little over 5 years ago I fell into the children’s industry. At that time I was working on mens and womens design direction. A good friend was having a baby boy and I was having trouble finding just the right gift for him. And I realized there was a need for more inspiring clothing for boys. So I began Sir Hayesin 2005 a fashion collection for boys only. I enjoyed 3 years of designing Sir Hayes before I got the great opportunity to work as the childrens trend editor at Stylesight, where I am now.

What would you say about the general current climate? Its an exciting time in kids’ wear right now, you can almost compare it to the innovation of the 60s era of fashion. So many fresh and groundbreaking ideas in children’s wear to talk about – like unisex clothing, photo-print diapers, premium denim and high-heel shoes. I think we can thank the recent economic times for this new burst of creativity.

Which shows did you visit this season? I visited FIMI, Bubble London, Pitti Bimbo and White for Kids myself. But Stylesight sent trend correspondents to Playtime Paris, Klein Fabriek and Bread & Butter Kids Camp as well.

What did catch your attention, what was really new and interesting? You can see that the larger trade shows are taking note from the newer niche childrens’ fairs. Creating a pleasant small boutique feel and incorporating well curated sections. It’s more enjoyable.

Can you name 3 to 5 brands that really piqued your attention? Calvin Klein Runway – Some of the girl’s looks reminded me of Anna Karina in Pierot le Fou;  Daniele Fiesoli – Beautifully made t-shirts with faux sweater fronts; Dominique Ver Eecke – An eclectic collection of Golden Books style prints and trippy colors; Minti – a sporty 80s collection with just the right amount of neon

What are your favorite cities? Copenhagen for CPH Kids, Florence for Pitti Bimbo and London for Bubble. I’m also looking forward to Playtime New York in my hometown this month.

What are the new and interesting stores that you like? www.reformschoolrules.com, www.shoploveyoubaby.com, Gomina in Paris, Gap 1969 Kids pop-up shop in LA. The new collection is wonderful.

Web destinations that inspire you? www.them-thangs.com, www.storkbitesman.blogspot.com, www.zigouis.blogspot.com,www.ablogcuratedby.com

An advice for young entrepreneurs in the children’s industry? Know the power of presentation and always wrap your ideas in a bow.

An advice for retailers? Become friends with your customer.

The hot places in your home town? Some cool places moms and dads can take kids in New York and won’t feel too much like parents : Moomah – a cool creative play space for kids and parents,  sweet treats, art projects, parties and fun activites; Popbar – (West Village) new ice cream shop that serves gelato on  a stick in fun flavors with yummy toppings; The Woods – This Williamsburg bar is a singles spot at night, but in the early afternoon on a Sunday it’s a nice place to enjoy the outdoor patio and taco truck with the kids; The High Line – A park space built on an old railroad track is great for relaxing and people watching. And Target hosts free art events for kids on the weekend; Baked by Melissa – Colorful mini cupcakes sold out of a small window on Spring Street in Soho. Peanut Butter Cup, Rainbow Tie-Dye and Peanut Butter & Jelly are some of the craziest flavors; Governors Island – Enjoy an entire day of free art exhibitions, miniature golf, bike riding, picnicking and play in acres of open green space for families.

How would you dress if you were a 8 years old girl? My style hasn’t changed much since 8. I still dress with the same tomboy and girlish charm and I love shiny things. Popupshop, Monsieur Cucu,Munster kids and Idols would be top brands in my closet. I especially loved Popushop’s high-waisted Khaki short, Idol’s Devendra Barnhart Tee this season. And to keep it fun I would mix in big bow headbands from Le Tour De Force everyday of the week.


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Photos : Clavin Klein, Minti, Idols, Simple Kids, Monsieur Cucu

 

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Two brothers on a tricycle

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I can’t resist to post this picture sent by a friend. Fionn proudly driving his tricycle and little Ronan seem to have the time of their life. Vive les vacances!

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Family + ethical affair

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Njomza Pacarada and her mom Rejhane Pacarada design a collection called Nyoki Handmade in London. It is produced in Kosovo, with the help of Njomza’s sister, Arta Pacarada. It’s a family affair, but not only. It is also an ethical affair as Nyoki works closely with job creation programs in Kosovo, giving female survivors of the war the confidence and the financial means to support themselves and their families. The company is new (not even a year old) so the products are only available in London and online at this stage (www.nyoki.co.uk and www.notonthehighstreet.com). That crochet hat and collar have something sweet, nostalgic yet modern. And versatile. Imagine the two pieces on an older child, colorful outfit, sporty look. It works totally; just a question of angle.

 


 

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Interview of Teo Boutique’s owner Roberta – Milan, Italy

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I met Roberta in Paris quite randomly, in the Playtime shuttle bus. It is always rich to hear fresh comments from retailers so I asked Roberta to share her feedback, her experience and her thoughts about the children’s industry on Pirouette. Although Roberta is Italian and owns a store in Milan, she is not a typical Milanese. She spent all her childhood in San Domingo, on the beach, free and happy, and her mother tongue is Spanish. Married to a diplomat, she came back to Italy and graduated in business economy. She worked in the cosmetic industry, she lived in Paris  and in 2004 she became mother of Matteo. In 2007, her store Teo was born. Fully dedicated to 0-4 years old children, it is located in a residential and quiet area of Milan. Roberta, a very positive and enthusiastic person, has a love for artisanal products, a passion for simplicity, not too commercial, not too loud items.

What brands do you carry in your store?Pepè (Italy), Tammy Donohoe’s (Spain), Kissy kissy (England), Escudama (Italy), Clemence G. (France), Poppy (England), Aymara Daido (Italy),Collegien (France), Lola Coquelicot (France)

How is your store performing compared to the last 3 years? What do you do to adapt to the difficult economical context? After a good start,  I have to say that the global economical climate has certainly had an influence on our volume of sales. A constant search of the right product original and not too expensive has kept us in a very good position. Little by little people start to understand the attractiveness and the benefits of hand made products. Our own personalized production allowed us having less stock and more faithful clients. Our strategy is to offer a very focused service, always more bespoke : birth gift lists, christening ceremony consultancy, meetings with childhood specialists, special afternoons for kids, etc. We aim to create a very personalized relationship with our customers who are always curious to discover what’s next at Teo!

How many shows did you visit this season? Which ones? Can you give a few comments about each one? The 3 fairs I absolutely have on my list are Pitti Bimbo  (Florence), Playtime (Paris), White for Kids (Milan). Pitti  Bimbo is the most important and the most famous children’s trade show in the world, but it is also the most “old style”.  It’s a big mix of independent/artisanal and commercial “fashionist”  where in general the style and scenography is still very classical.  The New View section which is more interesting is too limited in terms of size and content, especially when it comes to the winter collections. Playtime is for sure a show for “complements”, additional lines. Being quite new, it is joyful and it is open to new ideas, concepts, products. I buy almost all of my accessories there, the products that will make a nice window, that will create a buzz and generate impulsive purchases.  It is still a problem though to have a poor offer of in high level products for winter. White for Kids is the newborn. It is very small in terms of size, but I hope it will keep growing in the right way,  i.e to be an alternative to Pitti, not a copy. I do a lot of research online, looking for small labels that can’t afford the high costs of a trade show, and that do original products.  Etsy is a good place for that.

Can you name the brands that piqued your attention this season and the ones you have added to your assortment?Je suis en CP, a French brand, very “classical with a twist”. Good prices and well done simplicity.  Declasse, an Italian brand for boys. Minimalist pieces in good materials, medium high prices. Mebi Nature, a Spanish brand that produces newborn items since over 50 years. Very good prices, classical with great attention to details. Chupeta, the real French style applied to footwear. Simple Kids, from Belgium, vivid colors, a lot of fantasy. Modern and cheerful, especially for boys.

What are your favorite stores? Some stores have a great reputation, internationally. They are a reference point for people who work in the industry, even if sometimes their fame is a bit overrated compared to their real offer. Bonton Paris, Bonpoint Paris, Pomme New York.

Can you give us a list of the hottest places in your home-town?Restaurant Les Gitanes, via Tortona 15, corner of via Forcella – vaguely retro atmosphere for this place filled with Fornasetti furniture. Il bistrot di Giacomo and its patisserie, via Sottocorno – a real Parisian bistrot in Milan, classical cuisine, all nicely done, and amazing pastries. La Trattoria milanese, via Santa Marta 11 – typical Milanese cooking, honest and beautifully made.Hotel Bulgari, Via Privata Fratelli Gabba 7/b. If you have no budget restriction, that’s the place to be. Go there for drinks  in the garden in the summer time. An oasis of calm.La Forestiera di Corso Monforte, a stylish bread and breakfast at a very reasonable price for Milan. It’s the right base to come and discover my sho and then make a stop atLula – a great little chocolate store, sofisticated vintage atmosphere for little delicious bites. If you have time for a hair treat, don’t missArea 6– hairstylist with minimal impact; ask for Alessandro Lisi, the hairstylist who takes care of Anna Wintour when she is in town. Shopping wise, Rossana Orlandifor a great & unique design space, andAntonia, via Pontaccio for fashion treasures.


Teo Boutique, Corso Concordia 9, Milan. Blog http://teoboutique.blogspot.com


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Rare knits

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One remarkable collection I saw at Bubble London is Little Duckling. Founder & Designer of the brand, Rosa Wiland was born near Copenhagen, Denmark in 1975. She studied ladies fashion design at the Danish Design College from 1999 to 2004, on achieving her MA she was awarded the prestigious National Bank Prize for the student showing the most potential. Thereafter she moved to London, where she worked as a fashion designer for the high street from 2004 to 2008. After the birth of her daughter Frida in 2007 she started to look into the world of children’s clothing and found that the market needed a playful brand that combined the traditional English style with the influence of bright Scandinavian kid’s cloths. Little duckling offers wonderfully well made knits, not overly expensive, in a a very focused color range (mainly velvet blue, warm red and cream). Produced in Hong Kong, the knitwear is made with fully fashion finishes, in 100% mercerized cotton. The collection features knitted dresses, girl’s cardigans with embroidered fish detail, boy’s knitted striped tank top and super cotton jumpers providing the perfect cover up for breezy summer days, tieing  together with Little Duckling’s Woven’s skirts & dresses for the girls. For the boys, twill shorts, linen trouser, denim jeans and dungarees with striped straps. Size range 0-7, wholesale prices from £3.60 to £20.50. A real deal.


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