Born and bred in the famous French gastronomic capital, Lyon, Michelle Marshall now lives in London to practise her work and greatest passion, photography. After seeing her amazing portraits displayed at the last Playtime and discovering the upcoming campaign she shot for ‘Chapter2’, we are happy to welcome her at papier mache, to hear about the vision of a grown-up in a world of little ones.
As a French frog, what was the main reason to move to England?
I clearly moved to get away from that awful French weather and the oh so terrible food…! Following two years of études supérieures, an opportunity came up for me to live in Amsterdam as an au pair. There, I spent just under a year looking after twin boys and immersing myself into a different lifestyle and culture. When the time came for me to leave, I was not that excited about going home, as I had enjoyed living in the city and being able to speak and practice my English on a daily basis. I wanted to study photography and had considered applying at The Amsterdam School of Arts (AHK) and the Rietveld Academy but did not fancy waiting a year or so to perfect my Dutch. So I turned to the UK.
In a few words, what was your background before starting photography?
After my baccalauréat, I had set my hopes on gaining a qualification in communication or advertising, where I thought I would be able to exploit and experiment with images and text alike. However, the private French education system, at the time, decided otherwise. My strengths lied in languages, so I was automatically streamed towards what was considered the best option for my abilities, as presented on paper. Although not the most exciting two years, I gained skills that I have been able to fall back on and that I still use to date.
Do you remember the first time you took a photo and realized you loved it so much that you wanted to make it your job? Tell us more about it…
There was no such decisive moment, it was down to a process of elimination. I was rubbish at arts plastiques, the thought process was there but the making part did not come easily. My younger brother was the talented one when it came to drawing. Meanwhile, I could barely copy, let alone extract and translate the content of my head into a sketch form (although motherhood has changed this a little, I can now draw quite a good monkey or cat, albeit just their face). When I got to secondary school, I was introduced to philosophy and history of art. I got really excited about the reflections and trend of thoughts on representation, reality etc. I became fascinated by the implicit power of images, their ability to encapsulate so many references, emotions and layers of meaning, without the need of any supporting text. I like(d) the fact that elements like colour, black and white, ‘blurism’, viewpoint… could be used as the invisible text or thread to create a dialogue with the viewer. That is when I think that I realised and decided that the camera would be my paint and brushes.
We love all these cool kids portraits you take. What inspires you the most in kids portraits and kids in general?
Kids are great because they give you true emotions, there are rarely any barriers between the lens and who they appear to be in front of it. They do not judge, nor do they have any preconception or hang-ups. They often want to know why, and how I do what I do or just want to assured that whatever I am doing, this will not stop them from getting about their fun business. As subjects, I think they see the relationship with the lens as a game and even when ultimately that game becomes sheer boredom (and that does not take long), they will still display an unreserved version of themselves. The dynamics change a little, as they hit junior years, when they are then characterised by a version of themselves which has become slightly tainted by the self awareness brought in by their ‘older’ years. There is a hint of expectation, it is then about making a connection and engaging them into the photo game so that I can still catch that candid glimpse that no contrived pose will give me.
Mum of 2 gorgeous girls, I guess they are often in front of your lens. Do they like being your models? Would they like to do the same work of mummy later?
Sadly, the novelty wore off a long time ago so it is often a case of ‘catching it’ when I can. When they are not in the mood, I occasionally have to call on Mrs Bribery, but overall, they are willing models provided it does not impede on their play time too much. I am not sure that they see photography as their thing, Sissi (7) would like to own and run an ice-cream van. Up until a few weeks ago, Lola (9) wanting to be a marine biologist, she is now hoping to be a writer and book illustrator.
We love your last collaboration with the new kids shoe brand Chapter2. How did you meet each other and decid to start working together?
We spotted each other on IG and eventually met at Playtime Paris last January. The friendship and working relationship developed from there. Fay and Tom Murphy, who are behind the brand, are both lovely people and we seem to share a common sense of aesthetics. Their line of kids footwear has a timeless quality essentially because of the craftsmanship that goes into the shoemaking process, the shape and their choice of leather, all of which are sympathetic to a child’s growing feet. These traditional and functional features are then cleverly punctuated by contemporary twists and playful touches: the colour ways, the outer sole markings (a brightly coloured cloud complemented by hand-embossed stars or raindrops).
After your collaboration with the Playtime fair, Child-ish, Chapter2, Sun-san Saltwer sandals, what is the next collaboration planned? Any secrets to share with us?
I recently shot the imagery for Ama, a new luxury brand making its debut this summer with a contemporary collection of bespoke blankets for children ages 0-10 years old.
I am also super excited to be creating more images for Child-ish and to be working on their lookbook for their forthcoming SS15 collection. All I can say is that the moodboards are shaping up nicely for what promises to be a fun shoot showcasing a super fresh kids brand.
Finally since we love travelling and you are keen on globetrotting, what is your favourite place in the world to have a break and recharge your batteries?
Travelling is such a good way to gain perspective and reset. Despite being a little starved from sustained sunshine and warmth when living in the UK, The French Alps in winter is my favourite destination, hands down. Riding my board down the slopes, headphones on full blast is the best way to switch off.
Interview by Deborah Sfez
Images for Chapter 2 AW14/15 Campaign
Posted on July 17, 2014
Photographer Mélanie Rodriguez – Set Design Marie Mersier – Stylist Deborah Sfez – Grooming Morgane Goupy
Posted on July 17, 2014
Hello papier mache friends!
We are now back from a fun trip to Luna Park! This season Playtime Paris turned the fair into the coolest theme park ever, where we played with our favorite brands to guess which lucky fruit will take the place of Mister Pineapple next spring/summer?
After having breakfast with BoboChoses (Guess who’s coming for Breakfast SS15 Collection), we met with the famous belgium brand Oh my Kids and her gorgeous collection inspired by family holidays back in the early 90′s. We had a chat with Deborah from No Added Sugar who showed us the gorgeous retro dresses our little girls will wear next summer and enjoyed seeing Wolf & Rita ‘s new crop tops for the little ones! We are completely crushing on Milk and Biscuits - the new British talent to follow, with their old fashioned jacket made of vintage fabrics and Bla Bla Monkey offering cool cuts and exclusive prints, 100% made in Europe.
Velveteen introduced us to their new boys range out next summer, Soft Gallery took us on a trip to California with its new collection “Le Voyage” and we met gorgeous kids chilling in sweet Amy & Ivor mocassins and running in Saltwater sandals. Finally, we were happily suprised by the new homeware range AA by Adeline Affre!
Next summer trends will look like an icecream shop offering colorful flavors. No doubt, blue will be the number one colour but you will find some orange, lemon, rose, and metallic topping too. Birdies will play with watermelons and lemons prints on dresses, swimsuits, onesuits and trousers…
Now, we would love a time machine to jump in SS15 and hang out with Miss Watermelon! See you early august for Playtime NYC.
Posted on July 9, 2014
Last month, we spent a day in Amsterdam, at the Bugaboo Head Quarter, for new Andy Warhol themed event! We were taken through the history of Bugaboo, from its inception through its design concept, to discover all the Bugaboo’s collections and meet in person the unique talents behind it.
There, we were thrilled to discover the new iconic buggy brand Bugaboo Bee3 by Max Bargenbrug! The 3rd generation urban stroller for newborns and toddlers now features an easy-to-carry bassinet, brand new fabrics and colours, and an extendable sun canopy, offering your child even more confort – the city is yours!
The Bugaboo Bee3 will be in stores from September 1, 2014. For a retailer near you please visit bugaboo.com/retail-locator.
After this adventurous day in the Bugaboo’s world, we sat down quietly to chat with Aernout Dijkstra-Hellinga, the Creative Design Director at Bugaboo and learn more about their unique and playful collaboration with Andy Warhol, but also other iconic fashion brands and the bugaboo conception in general.
Bugaboo has been innovative and inspiring since its conception so we were so happy to see the playful collaboration with artist Andy Warhol. What was the idea behind the decision to feature such a prominent piece of artwork?
Andy Warhol produced an incredible amount of work. When Bugaboo was approached by the Andy Warhol Foundation to work together, we considered it a huge honor. We saw the opportunity to do something with the art world as an enormous opportunity and it gave us a big boost of energy and inspiration. One of Bugaboo’s core values is a combination of the expected and the unexpected, so we wanted the images that would be used for our prints to be both recognizable and exciting. The banana print is bold and famous; it is inspired by Warhol’s legendary print created in 1966 and subsequently chosen to adorn the first album cover of The Velvet Underground and Nico, which was produced by Andy Warhol. Andy Warhol defied convention and challenged the world to see art differently. At Bugaboo we want to celebrate this rebellious, Rock n’ Roll attitude with the Andy Warhol Banana collection.
You have worked on special editions with Marc Jacobs, Missoni, Paul Frank and more – was this part of your original mission statement to stand alone?
Differentiation is a trend among consumers. We want to give our consumers choice in different colors and prints. To give even more choice we collaborate with other creative brands to design unique editions.
Can you tell us the particular lifestyle/parent the bugaboo concept is focused on?
There is no particular type of Bugaboo lifestyle, people choose a bugaboo stroller for its smooth ride, ease of handling, smart design and quality. We do have products focused on a particular lifestyle, like the Bugaboo Buffalo which is our true all-terrain stroller designed especially for parents who love to discover. Or for urban parents our new compact Bugaboo Bee3 is the perfect choice to tackle busy streets, hopping on and off public transit or for a relaxing stroll through the park. We mainly aim at modern parents, who appreciate stylish, innovative products with an eye for design and functionality. We believe that parents in the 21 century want to stay mobile and experience the same lifestyle they had before having children. Bugaboo products give users a feeling of freedom of movement.
Can you tell us more about your dedication for innovation and performance?
We are a mobility company and innovation and creativity are the heart and soul of the company. Design is what drives us and is leading in everything we do – from the drawing board to the boardroom. By coming up with products that no one ever thought of before, we create the future. Bugaboo’s purpose is fresh surprises for everyday life. To a designer nothing could ever be more fun. Full-featured functionality, meticulous care about details, plus, of course, beautiful design: this unshakable philosophy is what makes Bugaboo, Bugaboo.
Interview by Francesca Chetta
Posted on July 6, 2014
Photographer, Anya van de Wetering owner of kamer465.nl
Stylist Anya van de Wetering
Last sunday, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the lovely Dutch brand ‘bieq’.
If you love knit, you will love bieq! In 2004, Angélique Roelofsen launched bieq with the desire to design a unique yearly knit collection, in the finest merino yarn and expanded in many vibrant colours. Well known for its thermal and insulative properties, the merino yarn allows kids to wear their favorite cardigan or shorts all year long.
Not only do we love bieq for being a beautiful kids brand but also for its strong and valuable commitment to support less developed countries. Angelique often travels to Peru to meet an amazing group of enterprising and talented women, who either work from home with their families or in communal workshops. Angelique values their working conditions and ethos, and in creating each item of the collection, she knows these happy conditions and good vibes of the workshops will result in a well-made and ethically viable product ‘made with love’.
For more information firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted on June 20, 2014
Photos: Aiga Rēdmane, Style: Santa Bindemane
Girls wearing light linen dresses in washed out colours, while the boys are ‘oh so smart’ with their rolled up blazer sleeves and linen shorts – welcome to the beauty of ‘PAADE’! Based in Riga, Latvia – the coolest new European capital of culture – we met up with Linda Raituma for a chat about her new SS14 Collection.
Good morning Linda! Paade Mode offers organic, smart casual clothing for children, ethically produced in Latvia. Could you share with us something of the story behind Paade ? How did you decide to launch your own business in the kids industry and why the name Paade?
The brand and its values represent my personal response to life — a protest against the emptiness that resided in me despite my having a very successful career in finance. I had spent 15 years as a high-level professional in the field of marketing, business development and sales, in some of the largest finance companies. My everyday life consisted of rapid development, various economic crises, realizing challenging projects with large international teams, and never-ending hours of work. On the one hand – a truly fantastic career. But … I missed out on so much in the life of my first-born child. When our second child arrived, it turned our lives around. It was my personal restart. I wanted to witness my kids growing up, to support them in their development — just to be near them and live with the true values that I hold. And these now are channeled in the Paade Mode brand as well. My greatest wish was to create a product where I could show my attitude to life. Paade is full of stories, and that is not by accident. I love simplicity and I believe that a kid should receive the highest quality that we can create, moreover, taking care not to forget the traditional — the culture that can still live successfully within modern life, so that children know their history and their roots over and beyond the next “Pokemon” series. We should be responsible in our approach to the world and the others that live in it. I am fascinated by the pure attitude that kids possess; it is so easy to realize what is truly important, if you look at it through a child’s eyes. I respect their personalities. I want to help them grow in a creative environment and be able to create themselves. I live by experiencing children and childhood over and over. My approach is more of a “slow fashion” one, without aggression and commercialization. Less is more, and the kid is most definitely more important than the dress, more vibrant than the dress, and should be guarded more carefully than the dress. When trying to come up with the product that would best embody my views, children’s fashion seemed the one where organic, smart casual clothing was lacking.
In Latvian the word Paade (pāde) is a historical one; it was used as a term by which to call newborns until they were named: a way of honoring them while accepting them and their worth into one’s family and society. Our kid, our “paade”, a member of our family and society.
Paade offers the perfect profile — chic and cool no matter what the occasion. What are your inspirations ? Any blogs you are addicted to?
For our collections I draw my inspiration from Northern European nature, especially the nature of my own country, its culture, traditions and values, and from the emotions and personalities of kids. I am entranced by everything that is not artificial, but pure and simple. The interplay between natural materials and their capabilities – linen, silk, natural wool from sheep and alpaca. I always look for ways to give things a feel, form and functionality. I am inspired too by photography.
Professional kids’ lifestyle blogs and magazines are useful more for analytical and informative purposes – for example Pirouette, Papier Mache, Milk, LaPetite, KidsGazette, Kickcan & Conkers. I follow them to keep track of what is happening in the industry. I have to say though that thematic, interesting photo projects hold my interest the longest. Paade Mode stands out for its exquisite simplicity, modern legacy, luxury in its clean silhouettes and the breath of fresh air that comes from natural fabrics. The collections makes use of elements true to Nordic Europe, especially Latvian culture, traditions and nature. Paade Mode aims to respect and promote natural beauty and honor children’s personality.
You work with an organic and ethical approach; why is this so important for you? Whose are the magic hands behind your beautiful collection?
Teamwork is key and I am happy to say that I work with people who inspire me, as I hope I inspire them. The creation of our collections, their style and visual representation of our campaigns, is a joint effort between me, artist Edite Kirse, stylist Santa Bindemane, and a highly-qualified knitware and sewing crew. Each collection is a collaboration between approximately 30 people, each of whom puts a lot of love and passion into their work. I know each and every one of them personally, and we have been working together from the beginning. It is a privilege to have a team like this.
How is a normal day in the office ? Do you have any other team members at PAADE to introduce to us?
I spend my days in “4 Seasons”. I don’t mean the luxury hotel! Luxury work instead (currently FW13/14, SS14, FW14/15 and SS15). Early mornings, late evenings and occasional nights on are spent reading emails, working with social media and reading, while daytime is devoted to the studio, and to meetings with clients, suppliers, stylists and artists. Afternoons and evenings are dedicated to my kids, school, activities, dinner and so on. 20% of my day is spent in the metal box of my car and about 2-3 hours with a phone pressed to my ear!
While the time at our disposal is not huge, we are very competent. I create the collections, working with artists and stylists, and head marketing and production process. My husband Arvis is the book-keeper and master of all things finance (patient man). I am extremely grateful to have two lovely assistants, Anna and Marion, who deal with a million tiny details.
You often work with the superstar stylist Santa Bindemane, owner of the blog KidsGazette. How do you know each other ?
That is a funny one ! We were sitting down the other day and actually tried to remember how it first happened. Santa had done a shoutout to Latvian brands, so she could represent them on her blog. I had just created the first, experimental Paade mini collection. The article needed photos … so I asked Santa if she wanted to help me out with that. That is how Santa actually started styling children’s photoshoots. Through that process, our friendship formed. I value Santa’s professional interest, attitude and devotion very highly.
When you were little, what was your dream job?
To be a stage artist (singer, actor) and a teacher. And I have achieved both ! I play the guitar, have been a singer in a band, have done concerts, played theatre. My first education was that of a teacher. I have spent most of my life between the artistic and academic fields.
What, for you, is Paade’s greatest success so far?
International recognition and interest both from professionals and clients. While creating the first collections for Paade, I was not aiming to get into the international market; I wanted to keep it to myself, to Latvia, intimate. Then Deborah Beau did an article on Paade Mode. That turned everything upside down, as suddenly international, popular blogs and media started to show a lot of interest in our brand. I started to receive orders from Europe and Asia. It made me re-evaluate my goals and truly has made my day a lot more active. While participating in international exhibitions, meeting clients from all over the world, we receive a lot of love and praise. It is both humbling and nice.
Any new projects or secrets to share with us for the future ?
In the nearest future I would like to build Paade Mode as well a known label in Europe and Asia, we still follow our key values in slow fashion traditions. In the production of the collection the company emphasizes on the organic and ethical approach. Technologies used are child and environment friendly, handmade and socially and economically conscious. Paade Mode is a lifestyle label!
Starting with FW14/15, our collections will have an accessories line (bags, necklaces, headbands), and in upcoming seasons we will also have capsule adult collections, which already are attracting interest.
As the European capital of culture this year, could you recommend the best places to check in Riga for a visit ?
Yes, Riga is indeed the European Capital of Culture this year! I think it is an honour and good for as as locals as well. It seems like events get a lot more exposure and advertisement so we are more in the know of what is happening in the world of culture here. During the whole month of May all of Old Town was full with these giant, colourful snail sculptures to promote the creating of Modern Art’s Museum. Kids loved it! There are quite a few museums, concerts, festivals to attend (e.g. Positivus music festival taking place in July is very child friendly). A few parks have family days every weekend with various activities. October will be the kid’s culture month with events in museums and galleries around Riga. Places to visit if coming with kids are the Open Air Museum, Botanical Gardens and Zoo. And Riga is also wonderful to just stroll around, because of its wonderful Art Nouveau architecture. For more detailed info about various activities and events you can visit this website.
Where can we find Paade around the world?
Paade Mode products are available in more that 20 sales venues in Finland, France, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, the Netherlands, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Turkey and the USA.
Thanks a lot,
Interview by Deborah Sfez
Posted on June 20, 2014
The amazing shots taken by Juan Terol who is a freelance photographer from Valencia, Spain. He found his beginnings as a photographer in 2002, where he performed on a studio stage photographing for commercial shoots. Although it was not the job of his dreams, it allowed him to live the profession. Since 2009 he has done freelance work and produces photographs more of a creative nature.
Posted on June 5, 2014
Motoreta is a new brand of kids wear from the south of Spain, Seville, a magc plae with unique identity and tradition. This new project is lead by Cristina López-Lago and Maria Llerena, both architect partners for years and closely linked to the world of design. Motoreta was born from a free creative process inspired by the place where we live, our own kids, literature, or art, with a strong commitment with the new design and production processes. A small-scale project that bets for clothes locally and sustainably produced, choosing quality raw materials. All our products are 100% made in workshops from Andalucía, so we can guarantee a strong control of the quality of the production. No doubt, now it is the time to bet on the locally made! That is the background of our first autumn-winter collection: The Kids Are Alright In the new AW collection, the cold colors are outside of the garments: grey, black, dark brown or denim wrap and protect the kids from the winter. Inside, like a second skin, yellow, pink, water blue, green… the colors that kid’s dreams are made of. An example of how a local manufacturing can go together with an international design, best quality and an ethical commitment. In essence, Motoreta represents the opportunity to undertake a delicate exciting project, from the heart of Seville: Made in Spain, for kids.
Posted on June 3, 2014
PHOTOGRAPHY: Paul Peterson
STYLE: Beck Marshall
Posted on May 27, 2014
Discover our new Spanish crush for this summer! After launching their women’s line a few years ago, Nice Things Mini has designed one of the most adorable & effervescent kids collection. Each season, Nice Things Mini finds inspiration in retro cuts and ethnic prints to design a new kids & women wardrobe. Before packing up for your next summer trip, get one of their adorable printed swimsuit, such as the one-piece with capri prints, and set sail for new adventures!
More infomation on Nice things mini website.
Posted on May 26, 2014