Most people would argue that all the time is the best time to be in Paris, but actually the best time is July. It’s jam-packed with lovely summer markets, the legendary biannual sales are on (discounted Prada, anyone?) and one of our favourite events just wrapped up: the Playtime Paris trade show, showcasing the most delightful brands in baby and kids fashion, gear and maternity wear.
Not everyone can hop on a flight to the City of Light at the drop of a hat, so we’ve put together a list of our favourite brands fresh from the show.
There’s quite an impressive group of international brands showing at Playtime Paris, but we’ll start local with Petite Lucette, a Parisian range of clothes for babies and children. The garments are beautifully made and quintessentially French – elegant, charming and simple, with a touch of playfulness. Inspired by childhood summers spent in Provence, and drawing from their backgrounds working in luxury fashion, the two sisters behind Petite Lucette have created some beautiful pieces like drop-waist sundresses in pretty blue florals, pale yellow overall shorts with a little nose and whiskers embroidered on the front, and sweet chambray tunic tops for boys.
Papu is a range of baby and children’s clothes from Finland, and is distinctly Scandinavian with its prints that are at once minimalist and contemporary. Papu’s leggings, t-shirts and jumpers are made from dreamy soft organic cotton, and are designed for maximum comfort for kids to tumble and play.
German brand Affenzahn makes wonderfully cheeky backpacks in the shape of animals like lions, elephants and zebras. Each pack has lots of thoughtful features: tongues pull out to reveal a nametag for the owner of the backpack; there’s an adjustable chest strap so that the bag stays in place, even during the most daredevilish antics; and the backpacks have reflective strips so kids are visible in the dark.
Rainy days will never be the same again because of Holly and Beau’s gorgeous collection of children’s rainwear that changes colour when wet. Perfect for a brisk, rainy Aussie winter, they’ve got bright rain jackets and umbrellas, adorned with playful black and white line drawings that change into every colour of the rainbow when they get wet.
It’s never too early to start a love affair with shoes, and Young Soles is sure to inspire some serious shoe worship. Young Soles has blended retro ‘50s style with classic British heritage to create an exquisite range of leather shoes for children. Think shiny red Mary-Janes, brogues in burgundy, navy or gold, chestnut coloured suede ankle boots and classic monk strap shoes, all in buttery soft leather with a lightweight sole.
BellyButton is a German brand of kids and maternity clothes. Founded 15 years ago by four mums, they really know their stuff when it comes to motherhood. Case in point: a huge selection of post-baby clothes for mum that are both nursing-friendly and friendly to that post-baby bump that hangs around and hangs around and sometimes never goes away!
It’s a real skill to design chic maternity clothes. A lot of stuff is dowdy or boring. But German designer Paula Janz lets women have fun with their maternity wardrobe with her colour block dresses and tops, bright colours and classic stripes. Fashion forward mamas jump for joy – but unless you’re overdue, jump gently because there’s that old wives tale about jumping bringing on labour…
Perhaps it’s apt to end our list with the Play & Go playmat that makes post-play tidying up easy. With a quick pull of a drawstring, toys are gathered up and tucked into a neat, colourful package, ready to be stowed away.