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What Makes a Classic? Inside Papo’s Vintage Collection.

When it comes to designing children’s clothing, I’ve always been firm in my belief that classic styles don’t need to chase fashion by seeking out new fabrics and styles. In fact, many of the world’s most iconic luxury brands stick to their tried and true styles for decades–even centuries.

That’s why I decided that in the transition time between summer and the launch of our Fall Collection, I’d reissue a few of our most beloved styles.

One of my all-time favorites is the Stewart Plaid Kilt and Coordinating Blouse (also available in a Gathered Sleeved Dress).  It’s shown here on my daughter, Tati, when she was in preschool. She’s now starting her senior year in high school and I think the outfit is as adorable now as it was when this photograph was taken.

Another personal favorite is the Girl’s Tweed Coat in several gorgeous English tweeds. It’s also available in either pink or purple tweed with a matching hat.

May your last few weeks of summer be restful and packed with happy family memories!

The Feast of St. Anthony

This week is traditionally the hottest time of the year in Lisbon. It’s also the celebration of St. Anthony, or Santo Antonio. Although he is not Lisbon’s official patron saint (that honor belongs to St. Vincent), he is certainly its dearest.

Although he is associated with Padua, the city where he died, St. Anthony was actually born in Lisbon to a very wealthy family who wanted him to get a formal education. He went against their wishes and instead entered the community of the Canons Regular of St. Augustine at an abbey on the outskirts of Lisbon.

St. Anthony’s feast day is June 13, the day of his death. Throughout the month of June and this past weekend in particular, Lisbon revs up the celebrating of its native son.

Neighborhoods compete to see who can host the best parades, best costumes, and street decorations.  Everywhere you turn, you can see sardines (the traditional food of this feast due to the fact that Saint Anthony was able to talk to fishes) being grilled out on the streets.

It’s an incredibly lively scene. We lived in downtown Lisbon when our daughters were toddlers and you could hear the parties and laughing and singing and smell the grilled sardines well into the morning.

In addition to being the patron saint of lost things, St. Anthony is also the patron saint of weddings. To this day, some Portuguese couples get married in mass weddings during the celebrations.

Manjerico (basil bush) is also associated with Saint Anthony. The tradition is that a man can proclaim his love by bringing a bouquet of manjerico with a poem attached to his beloved. The woman must touch it and then smell her hand to ensure that the plant doesn’t die.

My daughter Tati was born on June 14. Now she’s turning 17. I love this picture of her on her first birthday (in one of my first designs) wearing a Saint Anthony medal given to her by her father. She still wears it today.

Also, this week: The anniversary of the birth of Portugal’s most famous poet, Fernando Pessoa, who was born in Lisbon’s Chiado neighborhood on June 13, 1888.

Next week, St. John is celebrated in the northern town of Porto. The entire period of celebrating is known across the country as “Popular Saints.” These celebrations and traditions embody Portugal at its best. And, despite the heat, it’s a wonderful time to visit.

Holy Week in Portugal

It’s Holy Week, which is Portugal means church processions through the streets. This video was taken in Obidos, a gorgeous Medieval town just over an hour north of Lisbon. I’ve shot many Papo catalogs against the town’s whitewashed walls and think this procession tells you everything you need to know about its unpretentious charm and love and respect for tradition.

If you are still looking for special Easter outfits for your children, we can ship them until Thursday for a Friday delivery. My favorite Easter dress this season is the Smocked Dress  in a pastel floral Liberty print. It matches the V-Back Sundress (perfect for older sisters) and coordinates beautifully with the Button Down Collar Shirt and Little Boy’s Shirt in rose and yellow grid checked.

I also want to wish a very happy Easter to Papo’s finance director Vera D’Orey and her husband Bernardo on the birth of their baby, also name Bernardo. Congratulations!! Enjoy your first Easter with your new little one.

Ana’s Favorite Things

A few recommendations from Ana Lorenzon, Papo’s talented and lovely graphic designer.

Children’s books by Ann and Paul Rand. This husband and wife team–she’s the writer, he’s the artist–have created four stunning kids’ books, including Sparkle and Spin: A Book About Words, Little 1, and I Know A Lot of Things.

600 Black Spots A classic collectible pop-up book by David Carter.

Paper Engineering This make-at-home animal kit is great for kids and kidults alike. All you need to get started is glue, scissors, and a ruler.

Interactive Design Kids and adults can play with black and white shapes and sounds with Wee See.

Brazilian Music Too many choices!  But Marcelo Camelo is a good place to start.

Spring Break Packing for Boys

Last week I created a packing list for girls. This week, it’s time to get your sons ready for your upcoming family holiday. Here’s what I’d suggest from the orange, magenta, and turquoise color story:

Winter into Spring

Photo courtesy of WireImage.

Last night Kiernan Shipka wore a dress that I designed specifically for her to the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Made from an incredibly soft navy velvet, the dress embodies my belief that a clean silhouette, impeccable tailoring, and the highest quality fabrics are the most important components to dressing a child for a special occassion. Children are so naturally beautiful that they don’t need a lot of embellishments.

Photo courtesy of WireImage.

While Kiernan is a TV star on a hit show, you don’t have to have a date with the red carpet for Papo d’Anjo to design a custom outfit for your son or daughter. Over the years our Made to Order department has created memorable pieces for weddings, first communions, baptisms, bat and bar mitzvahs and other special family events.

In other news, our Spring 2011 Collection is now online! I’ll be blogging about it more in the next few weeks, but for now I want to recommend the new Circle A-Line Top. I designed it in response to mothers’ requests for a more stylish cotton poplin shirt that can go with skirts or jeans and will hold up well even in the dog days of summer. It was a huge hit at our trunk shows. I hope you agree.

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