Too Cool for (Nursery) School

04/05/2012 § 4 Comments

Kids don’t frequently make an appearance on Quite Continental,
but when they look as cool as these girls do, there’s no way I can resist.

Photos from the lookbook of Very French Gangsters,
a decidedly hip kid’s eyewear company.

Les Histoires de Babar at Les Arts Décoratifs

04/01/2012 § 2 Comments

Can you believe that Babar, the beloved king of the elephants from the popular children’s books written by Jean de Brunhoff and his son Laurent, is turning 80 this year? In his honor, Les Arts Décoratifs in Paris has put together a lovely exhibition of books, sketches, toys and memorabilia, drawing from great museums and private collections around the world, showing Babar’s journey throughout the years.

Growing up, Babar was one of my very favorite stories, and I strongly believe it is the source of my small obsession with elephants.   I especially love the simplicity of the watercolor illustrations by Jean de Brunhoff, from the little pom pom on cousin Arthur’s beret to the wrinkles of the older elephants.  It was even better to find out that Babar was originally a bedtime story told by Cécile de Brunhoff, mother to Laurent (who was five at the time) and wife to Jean, a painter, in 1930.  Jean, at the request of his sons, turned the story into an illustrated album that was then published by his uncle’s publishing house in 1931 as Histoire de Babar, le petit éléphant (Story of Babar), to great acclaim.  Jean went on to write six more Babar books before his untimely death in 1937, with son Laurent continuing the tradition after WWII.  Laurent has since added more than thirty books.

A lovely interview with Laurent about Babar, his family and his own writing.

New York’s own Morgan Library — one of my favorite places in the city — has also contributed to the exhibition in Paris, and for good reason.  In their collection they have the Jean’s original maquette (or first draft) of Histoire de Babar, which you can view online here with commentary and comparison to the published work.

The exhibit runs through September 2012, and I have very high hopes I will be able to make it to Paris in time to catch it.  If you go before I do, please give Babar my regards.

Les Arts Décoratifs
107 rue de Rivoli
75001 Paris

Fotos: Brooks Brothers Fleece Fall 2010 ~ 346 Madison Ave Flagship

09/09/2010 § Leave a comment

Was at the Brooks Brothers flagship for a completely unrelated bit of browsing when I happened upon the display for their relatively new children’s line, called “Fleece,” on the second floor.  While both the boys’ and girls’ lines are charming, I feel the girls’ line (and display) has a slight edge.  The looks for the girls have such a fresh take on the classic prep school style: pinstriped oxford shirt dresses with contrast piping, ties and bow ties used liberally, lots of fun contrasting colors, etc.  As for the displays and merchandising, all of my pictures are from the girls’ side.

The boys’ line, while classic and of high quality, doesn’t really break any new ground.  Looked more like BB had simply miniaturized and rehashed old mens’ lines and displays.  With such innovation on the girls’ side, I expected the some for the boys as well, but perhaps this is the one example where Brooks Brothers finally does a superior line for females.   (I’ve always been a bit of a disappointed Brooks Brothers womenswear shopper, can you tell?)  I have to admit, this lopsidedness was surprising to me — until I found out the primary designer for Fleece was a woman.  Aha!

For more on Fleece – head over to the Brooks Brothers site here.

The only thing more adorable than the store display is the ad campaign.

What is a classic?
a. The #2 pencil. In yellow.
b. An ancient Greek story.
c. Fleece: Brooks Brothers’ new collection for children.

Answer: all the above. A classic is like a secret. Pass it on…from sibling to sibling, one generation to the next.

The little girl in the bow tie!  J’adore!

Via: BrooksBrothers346 YouTube Channel

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