As we’ve released our Spring/Summer ’11 Collection the question has come up, “What is your inspiration?”. I’m so busy working six months in advance of the season we’re in that I’ve not done the best job of focusing on the present and in thoughtfully “launching” our Spring and Summer pieces and quite honestly explaining the why of it all….
When I first considered launching the line last year I began to consider how my own children dress. What they choose from their closets. How they think about clothing. What they’re attracted to. How they layer. What I then, as their mom, like about their choices or don’t like. On any given day, they pull from their favorites and mix/match until they’re happy with what they have. For Sofie, it’s usually a dress, or Tutu of some sort, fun tights and a sweater; Simone is all about knits and prefers long sleeve tops, skirts, leggings and socks. And, she likes to wear boots. Sofie is all about dainty shoes. At 5 and 8, they’ve developed preferences and have fun assembling fun outfits that are comfortable, fashionable and playable and unique.
When I considered what I wanted Petit Couture to “be” as a company, I knew I wanted it to celebrate childhood. I wanted kids, and their parents, to feel good about their choices and “like” them and have fun wearing them and feel they were a quality purchase. I want Petit Couture to be lived in and worn and cherished and even handed down as a treasured item. (As a side note, I love the idea of bringing back ‘hand-me-downs’ as a standard with children’s items). The idea that Petit Couture is modern fashion with classic tailoring is pinnacle to the line and brand. I gravitated toward prints that were fun and sophisticated in modern patterns and colorways that I personally like. I also created body styles that afford movement and the right, more generous, cuts in a more classic tailoring style. And, all Petit Couture pieces are meant to be mixed/matched so kids can have fun assembling and retailers can merchandise in ways of their choosing.
The Spring/Summer ’11 Collection is a compendium of texture and colorways that are so much of my own personal style preference for early 60s mod conservatism. I personally love bold color mixed with many variations and texture. I chose colorways that are sophisticated and different because I personally get tired of the same silhouettes and visuals for childrenswear. Just last night, my daughter Simone wore here Simone Pleat Dress (in Pebble) to a concert. I think I counted 10 (not exaggerating) compliments on her outfit. To this she would reply, “Thanks, it’s my mom’s”. Puzzled looks all around of course. At any rate, my point is to say that Petit Couture was always meant to be different and to stand apart. To be special, but not be so special that it’s not fun to wear.
I’d love to hear what you think about the collection and your reactions!
To this end, I tend to purchase separates for them often when I’m shopping. I like creativity in personal style. I remember reading a statement by Isaac Mizrahi once where he condemned people for buying pants with a belt attached. He claimed it lacked creativity. (He also then proceeded to sell pants with said belts attached in his Target line, but I digress…). He made a good point to me, and something that has resonated and caused me to think about fashion as a creative expression of oneself and not a carbon copy of someone else’s ideal.