This month’s issue of Baby & Me Magazine features the best and most stylish of children’s products in the 2014 Style Awards. They handed out awards to winners based on their criteria of iconic design, good looks and innovation (you can see the winners here).
This month they asked me to round up some of my personal favourite children’s products — the products we have used and loved in our family, ones that I hope to keep forever and pass down to my grandchildren. The products shown above are a few that made the cut. You can find my column in this month’s issue here.
Playtime Paris is one of my top events of the year. Usually Esther, Courtney and I get together, talk, lounge, catch up, plan and do all the things you would normally do if you lived in the same city. This time the girls did not make it over and it made me miss my lovely girlfriends a lot — meeting up for Playtime has become a bit of a tradition.
But even without my partners in crime Playtime was still so much fun to visit. It is so much fun having a peek at what people have designed for next year. It is also great discovering new brands and having a good catch up with some of our collaborators and friends. There are such talented people out there and it is such a pleasure seeing their work.
Here are some of the highlights from the show:
1) Velveteen – this has become one of my favourite brands. Lovely, relaxed designs with a little twist to them that makes it stand out.
2) Hucklebones – the details going in these clothes are amazing and everything is so original and well crafted.
3) Bobo Choses – these guys just never get it wrong. Since we first discovered them 5 years ago every collection has been inspired and fun!
4) Macarons – talking to these guys makes me want to be a children’s clothes designer.
5) Elfie – these two girls are some of the nicest girls around and their collection is cute, whimsical and always full of little surprises in the details.
5) Milk and Biscuits – my favourite new discovery. The designer is the lovely Kate from England who now lives in Shanghai. She had some of the funkiest, spirited fabric designs I have seen in a long time.
Cannot wait for the next event.
I remember reviewing Bastida over four (!) years ago, and writing about how much I liked the concept behind this new brand from Barcelona. The idea of Bastida is that all of the clothes in store are adjustable by way of clever zippers, buttons and strings, so they can fit smaller size to bigger size — one piece, good for several years, and several children.
Alicia from Bastida recently contacted me again and I had a peek at her now expanded collection. It is still so innovative and clever, and so cute too! There are now pretty tie-up dresses, cool zip up hoodies, and ingenious onesies that fit newborn babies until they’re one! (I love this photo of Polona‘s baby boy Talan, featuring the Bastida onesie.)
It is so nice to see brands developing and companies expanding over the years. Definitely one of the highlights of our job! I can’t wait to see how Bastida is going to develop further…
We have great plans, ranging from the kids flying on their own to Italy (!) as unaccompanied minors, to holidays in the French countryside and possibly some beach time and surfing. We will see how plans pan out, all I know is that it is going to be fun! Do you have any fun plans for this summer? I am excited to hear!
Talking about traveling: we still have a couple of our Travel Kids left, which you can order via the (all renewed!) Lalé website. Our travel packs are made in collaboration with one of our favourite designers, Lalé, and we are so thrilled on how they turned out! They are perfect to throw in your bag to go on trips — be it planes, trains or automobiles. My kids are super excited to wear the eye mask and and neck cushion on the plane, just to have something cozy to snuggle up to!
I do hope you have a great summer!
Marlow and I left the house the other day to pick the big kids up from school and only after we arrived to the school did I realise we had forgotten her shoes! I guess that is the sign of summertime. She ran around the entire afternoon with her bare feet and never complained!
Alas, there are times when shoes are required, and for this it’s a good thing for Angulus. The shoes are extremely well made, with sturdy straps and nice thick soles. Marlow has been wearing a pair of Angulus sandals passed down from Ivy and they’re still in really good shape. And many of the styles are unisex, so they can be passed down from sibling to sibling, despite gender differences.
Marie Puce is a sweet and stylish French label, designed and ran by two sisters based in the heart of Paris. They have a lovely brick and mortar shop in the 6th arrondissement, and there’s an extensive (and newly revamped!) online store as well — for those of us not lucky enough to live around the corner from their sweet boutique.
What is so perfect about Marie Puce, is not just their good (French!) eye for stylish children’s fashion, but also — their sizing goes up to size 18 for most of the girls’ pieces.
It’s not always easy to find a good selection of clothes for older girls, so I’m super happy with the Marie Puce collections for older girls. (Sara just turned nine, but she’s so tall, she wears a size 12!)
When I was browsing the renewed online Marie Puce boutique this morning, I just couldn’t resist the urge to make a few ‘my favourites’ boards for different age groups. Let’s call it a wish list. ; )
For the boys, there’s a smaller (but very simple and sweet) collection. Sizes go up to size 12.
* Braided leather belt — long sleeved and easy-to-wear Tunisian tee in 100% cotton — cotton shirt with a delicate pinstripe and Mao collar — orange 5 pocket bermudas – dotted 100% wool scarf – cool grey leather sandals
And the collection for baby girls makes us very, very happy as well!
We first picked up on the importance of rash vests five years ago when we took our first family trip to Australia. We landed in sunny Sydney, packed our beach bag and headed for the beautiful sandy beach. When we arrived it was evident to us, and no doubt everyone else, that we were the naive Europeans! Our children were the only kids on the beach not wearing a rash vest, or ‘rashie’ as they’re called in Australia! The sun is so strong there, and because you’re in and out of the water so much, sun creams are only effective to a certain point. We bought the kids their first rash vests on our way home from the beach that first day, and they wore them every day for the rest of our month-long holiday.
While I’ll admit they’re quite useful, and certainly crucial for adequate sun protection in certain parts of the world, the aesthetic part of my brain has always found them to be quite unattractive, often featuring big logos and ugly colours.
Enter Rockley Cove. The Rockley Cove rash vests are both practical and stylish. They’re made from quick-drying UPF 50+ fabric and include a high neckline to protect the neck and back. Handy and quite cute as well. We got them for the girls and they wore them on our recent holiday in Italy. I must say, they were the only kids wearing them on the Italian beaches (people probably thought we were Australian! : )) but it’s a lot easier than slathering sunblock on them every hour! (If only they would design some for boys!)
I am absolutely loving the lightweight, summery pieces in the current Tocotò Vintage collection. The colours are all so pretty, and I love all the subtle details. I got this dress for Marlow a while ago, and it has the sweetest criss-cross straps on the back that have little ruffles over the shoulder. Such a darling detail.
Tocotò Vintage is available from Brebì Little Concept Store where you can now get 20% off the Tocotò Vintage collection with discount code: tocoto. The discount is valid until the end of the month. Enjoy!
I just received this edible little sunsuit for Marlow after pre-ordering it months and months ago, and I am in love!! (both with the baby and the sunsuit). Oooh 18 months is my most favourite age — I have always said so. They are still squishy babies, still so snuggly and needy at times, but then so wonderfully independent and determined. And they learn and advance so quickly at this age – Marlow is talking up a storm and impressing us every day with her new words, and even singing lines of ‘Frozen’ songs! So funny.
And while she is adventurous and wild at times, she is still so sensitive. She’ll ask to ‘walk, walk’ when I’m holding her, and then two minutes later she’ll hear an airplane (a noise that scares her) and she’ll be back in my arms with her little head resting in my neck. Oh, I could just eat her up. Especially in that Strawberry Sunsuit from Misha and Puff. Delicious!
I’m a big fan of the so called ‘floatsuits‘ for my littlest ones. Not only are they super cute to look at, but also, they have a built in buoyancy system which gives children a feeling of added security in the water. They are nearly impossible to take off by little ones themselves (at least, my kids are not able to do so), so if they wear them in and around the pool, it gives me an added feeling of security, too. (Of course, I still keep my eyes on them at all times!)
Sunuva does a sweet range of floatsuits, and as a bonus, they do matching siblings wear as well. Which I think is such a cute idea! When I got Casper a float suit for the summer, I couldn’t resist getting matching swim shorts for his big brother…
Last week I took Casper and Pim over to the swimming pool for a special brothers’ outing, and to test out their new matching Sunuva swimwear. At first, Casper wasn’t so sure about the whole thing. (But I thought he looked SO adorable in his floatie suit! I could eat him up!)
Pim, being the very sweet big brother he is, quickly made Casper feel more secure and convinced him to come in the pool with him…
The moment Casper figured out that a swimming pool really is just a very big bath in which you can splish and splash unlimitedly, he started to lose his reservations and really got into this swimming thing. He also quickly discovered the added benefit of his swimsuit, which kept him floating, giving him enough confidence in the water to start moving around a bit. Sweet!
An added bonus of the Sunuva swim- and beachwear is that it’s made from UPF 50+ fabric, which blocks out 97% of the sun’s harmful rays. Not at all relevant in the indoor swimming pool I took the boys, but absolutely perfect for our upcoming summer holidays on the beach and around the pool (less than four weeks to go!). There are protective rash vests available as well, and to top it off, a lovely collection of summery fashion for both boys and girls, all perfect for beach and beyond…
I discovered the Ace & Jig women’s line about two years ago, and it has since become my favourite brand. I especially love their easy-to-wear dresses — I layer them over and under other pieces depending on the weather, and they’re as comfortable as they are effortlessly pretty. Aren’t the fabrics so beautiful? I love every piece in the collection!
So I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I adore their children’s collection as well. I recently got Ivy her first Ace & Jig dress and when I showed it to her she immediately recognised it as being ‘like mama’s dresses!’. So sweet. We snapped some photos on our recent holiday in Positano last week and I couldn’t help but share.
Last weekend, we spent entirely in our garden — there is just so much work to be done! We’ve been sewing seeds, weeding weeds, trimming trees… and the children were ever so helpful, collecting worms and snails and whatever else needed to be done. ; )
I took the opportunity to take a few quick snapshots of Ava wearing her sweet linen dress from the Parisian brand Le Carrousel. I love this dress — it’s just perfect for weekends, for parties or gardening alike!
Le Carrousel has a super sweet collection of classic French, stylish fashion. Cuts are very timeless and fabrics in sweet flowery patterns or fresh stripes make for a modern, simple silhouette. Sizes go up to age 10, and there’s an adorable baby collection too!
The last few trade shows I’ve been to, I’ve been eying the cool collections of Swiss brand l’Asticot. The darling and original prints, the bold colours and the easy-going and comfortable designs are so original and fun. How sweet are the fish on Casper’s summery playsuit above?
l’Asticot prides itself to use only organic materials, and the clothes are designed to last a long time. They are mostly unisex (there are a few sweet dresses and skirts in the collection), and timeless enough to be passed down to siblings or friends. Also — the colours, designs and prints of the l’Asticot pieces appeal to children a lot. Pim’s summer coat from l’Asticot (pictured) is definitely his most favourite piece of clothing!
As a little extra, a complimentary string bag made from surplus materials from previous collections is included with every purchase made at l’Asticot. Perfect for gym clothes, nappies, snacks — you name it!
Kids on the Moon is a fashion label from Warsaw, Poland, with a collection of children’s clothing that is bursting with originality and creativity. For instance, graphics and illustrations are used in imaginative ways, and the patterns that are chosen for some pieces are somehow unexpected. Interesting cuts and pleats in unconventional places define shapes that are original and refreshing. But best of all: yes, these clothes are fashionable and cool, but at the same time they are highly wearable and extremely comfortable, due to the cotton jersey that is used in the majority of the collection.
What I really appreciate about the Kids on the Moon collection too, is the fact that the boys’ pieces are as original as those for the girls.
We’re having a little heatwave here in Amsterdam and we’re enjoying every minute of it. The BBQ has been on every evening, we’ve been having loads of picnics in the park, the children even organised a full on pool party in our back yard! Isn’t everything just so much easier when the weather is so agreeable? There’s less cooking to do, less laundry to wash, less money to spend on heat and lighting…
Also — mornings are so, so much more relaxed when it’s warm and light out. (Even I don’t mind getting up early as much these days!) Last weekend, we were having such a lovely, lazy morning, and our girls were so sweet together, reading books on our bed in their summery pyjamas. I just had to take a few quick photos (and I hope you don’t mind that I’m sharing them here with you)…
Little Hanbury had a one-week pop-up shop in London a couple weeks ago and I scooped up some great clothes for the boys for summer. I bought these shorts for Quin (love the relaxed fit!), some great tees and hoodies by Nico Nico, and I also scored some cute items from the sales bucket! The entire selection at Little Hanbury is so stylish, you really can’t go wrong. And not only that, but they’re currently offering Babyccino readers an exclusive 20% discount on everything in store! Click here for details.
I realise I’ve been posting more girl’s clothing than boy’s recently, and I promise to start paying more attention to boys! But first, I just wanted to share a couple weekend photos of my girls in their sweet little outfits from Soor Ploom. This Brooklyn-based American label is one of my favourites for little girls – the pieces are so pretty in their simplicity, with easy-to-wear shapes and beautiful fabrics. I adore everything in the collection! Esther and I had the pleasure of meeting Marissa, the designer, when we were in NYC earlier this year, and she is lovely. You can read more about her label here and you can see a list of stockists here.
p.s. My girls are really starting to play together now and it’s so sweet! Marlow goes around the house all day saying Ivy’s name and following her around. They sleep in the same room and every morning I walk in to find Ivy in Marlow’s cot with her, and the look on Marlow’s face is pure pride. And when Ivy’s at school, she walks around pointing out Ivy’s shoes and Ivy’s dolls and Ivy’s toys, etc. So cute! I was worried my girls wouldn’t be as close as my boys because of the bigger age gap between them, but hopefully (fingers crossed) their friendship will only strengthen as Marlow gets older.
Plae shoes are a newly designed sports shoe for children that is all about engineering, comfort, and fun. Shoe designer Ryan Ringholz launched Plae after becoming a dad, and took on the mission to use the biometric science reserved for athletes to develop a children’s sports shoe. What is especially great about these shoes is that they are engineered to follow the natural contour of children’s feet, leaving the bones enough room to grow their own way. But there’s more. The shoes are washable. The insoles are made from anti-bacterial material, and can even be washed separately. All materials used are eco-friendly, some are even made from recycled PET bottles! Production takes place in a solar powered factory. The shock absorption is great and the toe guard protects shoes and feet against toe drag (I don’t know about yours, but my kids love to toe drag!).
And then, last but not least: the shoes are customizable! Due to an ingenious, simple system of interchangeable tabs, children can play around with their Plae shoes and make them their own. How fun is that? My kids surely love it. I ordered a pair of white Plae shoes for Sara and Pim has been wearing them because he loves them so much — 2 sizes too big! I definitely have to get him his own pair…
Don’t these pretty photos just make you long for summer?! (I am already counting down the days!). Anna Teisen, the London-based designer behind the children’s brand, Annaliv, sent over these photos of her gorgeous new ‘Scandinavian Summer’ collection, and I’m loving the look of everything. Until now, Annaliv specialised in blazers, bibs, and rucksacks, all mostly for boys. I’m really excited to see her new collection expand to include more pieces for both boys and girls, still featuring her beautiful in-house designed prints and fabrics.
The new Annaliv collection is inspired by traditional cross stitch & embroidery, Danish blue seas & long open beaches. The storytelling print of the season, as featured in the first two photos, is made from sea chart maps of Annas favourite Danish islands where she spent her summers as a child (I love that!). Extra detail is brought into the collection from traditionally woven ribbon from Sweden & printed handmade embroidered designs, as featured in the last two photos.
Everything in the collection is made here in Britain in traditional tailoring factories and printing mills. I love that while it’s inspired by Scandinavian summers, the collection still feels very British. And while the pieces are quite traditional in style, they’ve been given a modern twist perfect for our modern kiddos.
p.s. All photos by Nicola Hippisley
Little Lelia was started in 2013 by two sisters with a shared knowledge of design and a passion for beautiful textiles. Having grown up in Mexico, Spain and Germany, the sisters were influenced by this multicultural background, combining the vibrancy of a Latin lifestyle with the attention to detail typical of German design. I love stories like this! I’m always secretly jealous when sisters get to work together in this capacity. I wish my sister and I could do the same!
Their wonderful children’s line is all about beautiful, patterned textiles and easy-to-wear pieces. Beautiful but also pragmatic, designed to grow with your child and be suitable for every day play or for more special occasions. I got the Moon Playsuit for Marlow and it’s so adorable (you can see a photo of Marlow and her chunky little legs here). I’m also impressed with the quality, which I suppose should come as no surprise, as all the pieces are handmade by discerning manufacturers in Germany.