Mix it Up

mix it up

One of my favorite tasks in designing Papo d’Anjo’s fall and winter collections is putting together the puzzle of which Liberty prints will look best with our  tartans. It’s an unconventionally playful look that has over the years come to be one of Papo’s signature styles.

This mix and match aesthetic shows up from time to time in women’s fashion — Paul Smith and Etro come to mind. But my main source of inspiration is more personal. My mother is Norwegian and although I was raised in America, my family spends many summer holidays in the Norwegian countryside where my entire extended family still wear their national costumes for special occasions.

Gerhard Munthe "Budeia" 1890

Gerhard Munthe "Budeia" 1890

Made from wool and cotton, these costumes combine beautiful embroidery with bold colors and contrasting prints that somehow all go together. They are walking pieces of folk art and many Norwegians — including my mother — make their own.

Dress #1-1

Another reason I love combining these fabrics is that I’m merging two of the United Kingdom’s most venerable fabric traditions. Both have been doing business for over a hundred years and care passionately about the importance of quality and tradition. I love the way the delicate Liberty prints contrast with the rich wool plaids.

Many mothers have asked me for advice about how to coordinate their children’s outfits. My advice is that if the colors work together, they can go together. It’s all about having fun and remembering that children’s clothing should be playful as well as beautiful.

3 Responses to “Mix it Up”


  1. 1 SALLY HYLAND October 6, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    I LOVE YOUR BLOG!

    I LOVE LISBOA,AND WHEN I WAS THERE LAST YEAR I WISH SO MUCH I HAD FOUND YOU THERE……

    LOVE THE CLOTHES AND MY GRANDAUGHTERS DO ALSO!

    THANKS FOR THE FUN READING…..WISH I WORKED THERE!

    S.HYLAND

  2. 2 Rebecca November 24, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    lovely! what beautiful inspiration–

  3. 3 susan lazenby February 2, 2010 at 3:18 am

    Hi, I’m so nervous to start a Bunad for my daughter for the May 17th celebration at her college in the U.S. Today I found the eight pointed rose and it’s blue (her color) The origin folk vest design of almost all the family is Steinkjar, Nord Trondalag. I don’t know how to spell it correctly. It sure doesn’t come out of my mouth like my husband’s family. Would the star or pointy rose with a heart in the weave still be an acceptable vest? I’m trimming the vest on the bottom flaps with navy blue and she is going to wear a navy blue light wool shirt, authentic blouse, and I simply cannot find a lace apron that matches. Lace is very difficult to find. Your dresses are truly masterpieces and I have small amounts of material and if I make a mistake, it’s all over. I truly love your page and it certainly gives me such inspiration. My daughter is almost 21 and she can not think of any young men, but her Norwegian cowboys. Thanks so much for all the pictures.
    Susan Lazenby


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