My sister Gael who loves to shop and photograph accompanies me to the City of Light. She is like a child in a candy or toy store and can hardly contain her excitement, especially at the Porte de Versailles where hundreds of designers and reps are displaying what is new and wonderful for spring/summer 2020.
The predominant colours for the new season appear to be pinks and reds, soft blues and creams, along with the classic neutrals though there are splashes of vibrant colours.
At the large convention centre, we begin with Zyga, a linen line from Paris that was introduced to LESLIEJANE last year. The light linen dresses are pretty and feminine and can be teamed with short jackets. We are also impressed by the new gauzy skirts and several floral prints.
At Epice, we are overwhelmed all over again by the Danish designers’ skill at creating glorious floral and patterned scarves with an aside of matching t-shirts.
We speak briefly with Lara, the designer for La Fee Parisienne who has to show us her gorgeous new palette for 2020. (I fell in love with her cashmere a number of years ago and still cannot resist its touch.)
We wander by Le Voyage en Panier from whom we buy our French market bags and are drawn to a nearby accessory booth displaying leather accessories from Florence. Another Italian design house has a “hot” collection of socks and stockings that range from elegant to fun. (I personally think one’s wardrobe should contain all moods - serious, creative, elegant, and playful.)
Many of the store’s favourite designers choose to display their new collections in their stores or showrooms so we begin our trek around the city at Barbara Lang who welcomes us with a beautiful tiered stand of fresh and dried fruits, cookies and cakes. Her new collection highlights her talent for draping the body in lovely natural fabrics. She has also added feminine touches of lace, frill and buttons - difficult to describe so you’ll just have to wait to discover what’s in store for you.
We hop a metro, walk over a bridge and find ourselves at the Bensimon warehouse and showroom whose entrance is piled high with box after box of their famous tennis shoe. (My sister noted that most women in Paris wear sneakers and many originate here.) Natalie, who is in the picture, kindly showed us the new colours and specialty items for next spring.
We spent three hours at a multi-collection showroom in the Marais viewing the incomparable Campomaggi (where I once again was taken with the round handbags), C.T. Place, a Japanese knitwear line where my sister found the cosy fuzzy jacket of her dreams, and Apuntob, whose headquarters is in Rome and whose creations are beautifully executed and meticulously constructed.
Our las t stop was at Manuelle Guibal’s new shop at 21 quai aux fleurs 75004 and I must admit that it was breathtakingly beautiful, situated on the banks of the Seine and close to Notre Dame (under construction with scaffolding around it). Manuelle’s generosity has no bounds: after viewing her amazing spring and summer creations which introduces a nettle fabric, we sit at the store’s long table and dine with this beloved designer and her family.
I know I speak for all at LeslieJane when I say that we love family. Whereas my sister accompanied me to Paris, Simone’s accompanied her to New York. “We love the world and want to nurture its beauty, creativity, and each other.”
In just under a week, Paul will return to Paris to finalize orders. Be prepared for some stunning new designs and accessories.