We are truly excited as we finalize our orders for next spring and summer.
In September, we visited Paris twice and Milan once to view the new collections of your favourite designers and to find a few new ones to inspire you.
We love Paris for the art and architecture, the cafes and brasseries, the fruit stands and patisseries, the wine and conversation, and most importantly - for LeslieJane - the numerous brilliant designers who gather at the Porte de Versailles, the Tuileries, and in showrooms around the city of light.
At the beginning of the month, we previewed our beloved Manuelle Guibal who adds something new each season and yet her basic tops and bottoms team perfectly with other season’s separates. We also visited Barbara Lang whose ingenuity with drape and fabric continues next spring in monochrome hues, one startling speckled print, and a short jacket in a sunset yellow.
At Porte de Versailles, we viewed Majestic Filatures whose rep Masa enticed us with some stunning new stripes and florals in super-soft linen, cotton, and silk. Elemente Clemente, per usual, displayed a wonderful selection of linen garments, including a fine Irish in orange, terracotta, and denim, beautifully styled and executed.
We didn’t forget to visit Bess Neilsen of Khadi and Co (across from “Merci”) and were happy to find a number of linen, silk, and cotton hand-woven scarves and wraps to adorn our new collections.
Soon after Paris, we flew to Milan to attend the famous “White Show” - another showcase for some of the finest design in the world. Manuelle Guibal and her beloved Solano (born on the same day in the same year) were also there and so we had a second preview.
In central Milan, we discovered the Campomaggi showroom that shows only what is new and exciting for next spring and summer. Yvonne would agree this bag is a little on the big size but there are three other scaled down sizes that are easier to handle and just as beautiful.
We also previewed ab apuntob at a light-filled showroom where three lovely women worked for more than a few hours showing us Barbara Garofalo’s fabulous new designs for the new year.
The last week in September, Paul and Simone joined Yvonne in Paris to work (and play a little). Part of the joy of travelling and ”buying” for LESLIEJANE is the people one encounters, namely the designers who are kind and generous with their time and advice. This trip was especially embracing.
Our first stop was at the Bensimon headquarters where Nathalie met us and told us the history behind their iconic cotton and rubber “tennis” shoe. In 1978, Serge and Yves Bensimon were given, by their father, a shipment of white tennis shoes used by the army for gymnastics. The brothers decided to dye them in a myriad of colours and they sold so well, they searched out the original factory that made them and had more made, and, to this day, the original factory is manufacturing them. We had the pleasure of meeting Serge who with a twinkle in his eye and a gush of enthusiasm told us of his unique idea “to bring the iconic tennis shoe, quality ready-to-wear collections and rare and beautiful objections from all over the world together under one name.” In the end, we were even more happy to place our order from a company “addicted to love.”
We began our next day at the Epice showroom where Elodie showed us not only the signature scarves that are so popular in Europe but tees, hats, and bags to match. (We couldn’t resist photographing Yvonne with yet another big bag.) We had a field day mixing and matching and placing a very large order that will add colour and light to spring and summer, and warm your soul after a long cold winter. Who could resist?
We then navigated our way through Paris’ maze of streets to visit Barbara Lang and review and place our order. We are thrilled that she has given her permission to post this picture that gives a peek-a-boo glimpse of her very feminine styles. As mentioned earlier, Lang’s way with drape and choice of fabric is ingenious. Her new collection in monochrome hues, one startling speckled print, and a short jacket in a sunset yellow is sure to please those of you who adore this Parisian designer.
The next day, we crossed the city to meet with Muriel at her showroom to view another Italian collection - La Bottega di Brunella - that never fails to inspire us. It’s not only the style that attracts us but the originality of loose and tight linen weaves and the clear glorious colours that makes us want to fly to Positano and luxuriate in one of the most beautiful towns in the world.
Do you think that we could forget to see Manuelle Guibal? Never. Her warmth and generosity, artistry and energy knows no bounds. Her spring and summer 2019 collection that includes a male component, is full of fresh details like big pockets and adjustable ties, created in fine and heavier linens and cottons, in an array of magnificent colours.
Our fourth day found us at the Carrousel du Louvre, with our friends from Vlas Blomme. We could go on and on praising the ingenuity of style and quality of fabric and workmanship of this Japanese company whose new collection exceeded (as usual) our expectations in soft-washed neutrals, sky blues and crisp black and white.
With hardly a moment to catch our breath, we caught a shuttle to the Palais de la Bourse to review ab apuntob from Rome. As noted earlier, Barbara Garofalo’s new collection is nothing less than fabulous in nautical blues, reds, and whites, with a splattering of brights. Here’s Simone showing a classic apuntob dress and, at the end of the day - in a bright pull - celebrating with spirit.
Our last day, we spent at the Tuileries where we ordered more beautiful fun socks from Bonne Maison and explored some exciting new designers who, like us, believe that slow fashion and natural fibres are paramount to beauty and comfort. We don’t want to mention names here - we want some surprises - but know this, next spring we intend to overwhelm you.
Our last stop at the Tuileries, indeed our last stop in Paris, was purely for pleasure. Although elaborate hat creations do not usually attract us, this British designer is irresistible. Harvy Santos who began his career as a professional ballet dancer and then studied millinery in London, has a rare talent for the sublime and outrageous in head-wear. His hats feature regularly in the Royal Ascot style guide, and have been worn by such pop divas as Hebe Tien and Lady Gaga.
(If you ever fancy something fanciful and different, let us know and we’ll happily contact Harvy for you.)