Archive for June, 2010

The Timeless Charm of Red, White, and Blue.

Even though I strive to choose color stories that are very distinct from the previous years, there is one combination that I include in every summer collection. I love the timeless charm of red, white, and blue and its evocation not only of the 4th of July, but also  the British, French, and Norwegian flags.

Here are a few of my favorite photos of the children of Papo d’Anjo trunk show hostesses in this classic combination.

Happy 4th!

The History of Tennis Whites

My nephew William in his Papo tennis whites.

Wimbledon starts tomorrow and with it comes a return to proper tennis whites.  While the styles of tennis outfits have changed dramatically over the years,  wearing white on the court has been popular since the 1890s because it hides sweat stains better than colored outfits. It also helps fans distinguish players on the court.

During the 1920s, French tennis legend Renee Lacoste invented a white pique cotton tennis shirt that revolutionized tennis clothing. His new shirts were not only made of a fabric that breathed, but also were designed so that the wearer didn’t have to roll up his sleeves.

My entire family only wears white tennis clothes because I believe that dressing according to tradition shows respect for your opponent. But when my children started playing, I found it difficult to find class tennis whites. So I decided to design my own line of tennis essentials for girls and boys.

Since then, Papo d’Anjo has become a trusted place for mothers to get those hard-to-find white shorts, polos, tennis dresses, skirts, and sweaters. My customers tell me they particularly appreciate that our tennis clothes are free of sports logos and other signs of commercialism.

Enjoy Wimbledon as well as your own tennis matches this summer!

Perfect Father’s Day Gifts from Papo

The family of Papo staffer Vera D' Orey.

Several years ago my husband Pascal asked me to make him adult versions of the Papo d’Anjo polos and swimsuits that our boys wear every day during the summer. Since then, our Men’s Striped Polo, Men’s Surfer Style Swimsuit, and Men’s Swim Trunk have become top sellers.

Longtime Papo kids Sebastian and James head out in their matching swimsuits.

These items make not only terrific Father’s Day gifts but are also great options for older boys who have outgrown Papo d’Anjo but still appreciate the unique color combinations and more refined fit.

I hope you and your families have a lovely time celebrating the special dads in your lives.

Lisbon Insider: The Feast of St. Anthony

The streets of Lisbon are decorated with garlands to celebrate the Feast of St. Anthony.

All of Lisbon is gearing up for the June 13th feast day celebration of St. Anthony, the city’s patron saint. Because it’s a municipal holiday, the garland festooned streets are packed with people watching parades and listening to Fado until the early morning hours. Each neighborhood organizes its own parade–which makes the entire affair feel like a much less racy version of Rio’s Mardi Gras.

A shrine to St. Anthony enlivens a window in Lisbon's historic Alfama neighborhood.

In addition to being the city’s patron saint, St. Anthony is also the saint of marriage and matchmaking and many couples choose to get married on this day.  He is also known as a miracle worker who was able to speak to fishes. Because of this claim to fame, Lisbon celebrates St. Anthony’s feast day with delicious grilled sardines.

Patricia Grunebaum, who writes the copy for our catalogs, website, and emails, enjoys a meal of grilled sardines.

You can get sardines at many restaurants throughout the city–plates of uncooked fish are often displayed in refrigerated cases. My family prefers the restaurants and street vendors in the Alfama neighorhood, especially Pateo 13. They are traditionally eaten with grilled potatoes, a green bell pepper salad, and a glass of crisp white wine. Any Vinho Verde or Alvarinho varietal will do.

Grilled sardines are eaten through most of the summer in Portugal. But if you are visiting at another time of year and want to try the very best canned sardines you’ll ever taste, head to Conserveira de Lisboa in the Baixa neighborhood. Like most of Lisbon’s artisanal shops, it looks almost exactly as it did when it opened in 1930, with mosaic stone floors and a wooden cash register.

Travel Tip: If you’re visiting Lisbon during the summer, the tiled sidewalks can be very slippery, not to mention tough to navigate in heels. Instead, slip on a pair of our Leather Tassel Moccasins, which are available up to size 38 and are both stylish and extremely comfortable.

What Makes a Classic

Over the past 15 years several styles have become what I like to think of as Papo classics. This season, my favorite example is the Pleated A-Line Dress. I make a version of it for every Spring/Summer collection and love that the timeless silhouette quietly stands out amongst the trendier alternatives.

Another reason I love this dress is that it’s a great example of my favorite aspect of designing, which is combining colors that you normally wouldn’t  think work well together. Navy and khaki is a combination most often associated with menswear, but I’ve found that it’s very fresh when translated into girls’ clothing.

Color preference is obviously very personal, and is extremely important to me. The above photo is a Sleeveless Party Dress I designed for this season using the same khaki voile. Again, the combination is subtle–there’s just a hint of orange at the waistline (check out the adorable flowered trim that I bought in a market in Istanbul). But when combined, the two colors make a very fun and unique statement.

I hope you enjoyed Memorial Day Weekend. Does anyone have tips to share with our readers about getting ready for summer break?

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