Archive for November, 2010

Fall Sale Insider

I hope you and your families had a lovely Thanksgiving.  To get your Holiday shopping off to an easy start, Papo d’Anjo has marked down several of our Fall Classics, including the Smocked Waist Tie-Back Dress. It’s a perfect option for holiday parties and outings to plays or the ballet. It comes in three beautiful fabrics, including a lavender and white Liberty print. If you live in a colder climate, I’d suggest one of the cozy cotton vayella plaids, including the blue and brown print pictured above.

For a truly special occasion, Papo’s classic Tartan Gathered Dress is also on sale in six beautiful Scottish tartans, including a darling Christmas plaid.

All orders of $200 or more will receive free shipping between today and Sunday, December 5th.

Happy Shopping!

Papo’s 15th Anniversary: The Birth of a Company and the Growth of a Child

Ever since I started Papo d’Anjo, my chief inspiration has always been my own children. Now that my oldest daughter, Camilla, is in the process of applying to college, it’s all the more touching to look at the photos of her modeling my clothes. Here are a few of my favorites.

In Lisbon with sister Tati (right) and me. 1996

At Guincho Beach, Summer 1997. This sleeveless party dress become a staple for every collection.

At home in Estoril, Portugal, Summer 1998.


With Tati and friend Carmo at Quinta Patino, outside of Lisbon, 1998.

Quinta Patino, Winter 2000. The Duffel Coat and Kilt also became Papo classics.


At Herdade de Esporao with friend Christian, Winter 2001.

With brother Edward on her grandfather's sailboat, Antigua 2002.

With Tati, Patrick, and Edward on the island of Paraty, Brazil, 2006.

In Wisconsin with her friend, Maria, Summer 2010.





Happy Birthday: Papo d’Anjo’s 15th Anniversary

I can’t believe it’s been 15 years since I went to my first children’s clothing trade fair and sold several dresses under the Papo d’Anjo label.  Like the growth of my children, it’s all happened so fast and has often felt like a blur.

But there are a few special moments that truly stand out, including the one captured in this photo, which sits on my desk in the Lisbon office. My husband Pascal and I were in Monsaraz, a tiny hillside Medieval village in the country’s pristine Alentejo region. We love this town–perhaps one of the most peacefully rustic and authentic places in Europe–and were looking for photo opportunities for the invitation to Papo d’Anjo’s first trunk show.

We dressed our oldest daughter, Camilla, in the first dress I ever made–the style is still one of my most popular designs. As we walked through the town, which was bathed in the Portuguese winter light, Camilla explored in the way that toddlers do. All of a sudden an older townswoman sat down and started having a conversation with Camilla. Pascal snapped the camera.

In that instant, something crystallized about what makes Papo d’Anjo unique that until then neither Pascal nor I had been able to articulate. The moment was completely unscripted and yet the image was perfect in every way. Seeing Camilla with this kind older woman made us realize that the essence of Papo d’Anjo combines the innocence of childhood with the authentic traditions of Portuguese culture and craftsmanship.

Camilla modeling another Papo classic for the Winter 1999 catalog.

Camilla is now applying to colleges. And as I watch her embarking on a new chapter of her life, I also can see that my company has grown up, too. This past year we moved into Bergdorf Goodman, which was a huge honor for me and the culmination of years of hard work. And we also experienced so much demand for our Fall catalog that we sold out of some of our most popular items.

Today, the pace of my life is very different from these tranquil images. But I hope that they represent the best of the unhurried childhood that I have tried to give my children. Papo d’Anjo is at its core about celebrating a childhood unfettered by trends or commercialism. Thank you so much for your continued support of what we do.

Discover the Golega Horse Fair

This week, Portugal’s National Horse Fair gets underway in the lovely valley town of Golega. This event was founded in the 18th Century to coincide with St. Martin’s Day on November 11.  The weather during this time of year is particularly gorgeous, much like an American Indian Summer.

Photo by Aurelio Grillo

Golega is located on the Tagus River floodplain, which is a rich agricultural delta. The fair showcases Lusitano horses, a Portuguese breed that has roamed the region since before the Romans and was part of the same herd as the Spanish Andalusian. These beautiful and powerful animals are used throughout the country for dressage and bullfighting.

Prized for centuries, the Lusitano has a storied history.  When Catherine of Braganza was married to Charles II of England in the 17th Century, her dowry included over 50 Lusitano mares.

The highlight of the Golega fair is the hundreds of horses prancing through the streets. My children love this event and I have photographs of my husband sitting on his father’s shoulders, fascinated by the horses.

Everyone in my family—except me—rides Lusitanos in classical dressage and many of our friends are breeders with their own “brands.” During the fair they congregate in their casetas on the main square and entertain friends and family as the stallions and broodmares parade past the crowds.

The horse fair is steeped in tradition and is great fun for families. The streets are packed with vendors selling roasted chestnuts and Agua Pe, or foot water, which is the light and refreshing runoff from making wine. The festivities go all day and all night.

Like many European rituals, Golega’s traditions extend to the way people dress. People get decked out in traditional riding capes, boots, and leather hats.

Naturally, the event has had a great influence on some of my designs for Papo d’Anjo—most notably the Monteria Boots, which closely resemble traditional Portuguese riding boots. They look great paired with the Tweed Drill Coat, Tartan Trench Coat, and Quilted Jacket, which my own children wear to the Fair.

The entire scene is one of the most authentic events in all of Europe.  Of course it’s a must for horse lovers. But Golega is also about having fun with your family and friends and repeating the same rituals each year. Even my teenage daughters love to go and hang out with their friends.

Portugal’s Leather Artisans

Because of its intense love of horses and horseback riding (more on that next week), Portugal has always had a thriving community of leather artisans. Many of them specialize in custom saddles and bridles, but there are also others who spend hours crafting a special pair of riding boots or cozy pair of sheepskin slippers.

Since many of these Portuguese leather products are not available anywhere in the United States, it’s especially satisfying to collaborate with these leather craftsmen to create children’s products for Papo d’Anjo. In addition to the Boys Leather Belts, Leather Tassel Mocassins, and Lace Up Shoes, I particularly love the Leather Hats which evoke the romance of true Portuguese cowboys.

All of Portugal’s leather artisans are old school in the very best sense of the term and therefore don’t have websites or e-commerce. But if you are ever in Portugal and want to take a look for yourself, treat yourself to a shop called Barroso in the Lisbon suburb of Belem. It’s where my husband had his first pair of adult boots made and where he’ll take our sons when their feet stop growing.

Portuguese boots is a topic unto itself.  So until next week, enjoy these waning days of fall.

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