Tuesday 31 July 2012

Happiest summer!

Tomorrow is August and the summer break is officially starting! This is a quick post simply to wish you the happiest summer! For me, it is already started, as soon as I was back to my dear home town: it is not Paris, but here there's a wonderful sea that was waiting for me and for Fifi!

During a while my etsy shop will be quite empty: only pdf and tutorial will be on-line until I will be back to my atelier. For whom would like to buy some stamps before, I can suggest you to take a look to this website, where some creations of mine are still on. Check them out here....

happy summer!

Monday 23 July 2012

My favorite illustrators # 10 Beatrice Mallet

During my researches for writing my last post about Le Petit Bateau, I discovered the amazing work of Beatrice Mallet, to which I am glad here to write a personal tribute as my 10th issue of posts dedicate to my favorite illustrators.

Born as Beatrice Fox in 1896 in the Island of Long Eaton in England, she became Beatrice Mallet after having married in 1919 Hervé Mallet. Her family worked as lace-makers at Long Eaton: she met Hervé there, when he was sent by her parents that they were traders of laces in Paris. They both were passioned for the art of drawing, also Hervé was, indeed, an illustrator. They move together to Paris, where she started a quick career as illustrator for advertising ; one of her first work was for the Galleries Lafayette...

Yet one of her best work, for me, and the reason why I have the chance to met her, was to create in 1924 a new advertising for Le Petit Bateau: this firm was at that time changing its scopes from being a producer of hosiery for adults to be an enterprises focused on the children world. For instance, in 1918 the first underwear "without legs" for children was created and soon afterward the name "Petit Bateau" was trade marked. As soon as in 1924, during this industrial conversion, Petit Bateau met on its road Beatrice, whose childish style and dreamy irony became the perfect symbol for this change: Marinette, the mascot of Petit Bateau during this glorious period of its history, was born during 1920s from the genius of Beatrice Mallet!

Differently to the other old illustrators that I was glad to present previously (such for instance Hervé Morvan), Beatrice Mallet is nowadays not very known, in spite of her huge talent of illustrator and his former first class reputation in France where, more than being the "pencil" of Galleries Lafayette and of Le Petit Bateau, she was also the author of many spellings-books and of a lot of satiric illustrations. Many information about her work and her life have been hopefully gathered by this website, which suggest you to visit also for the great collection of Beatrice's draws exposed. I hope that this writing could help to not forget the talent of this great woman, and this hand carved rubber stamp is my personal tribute to her. I hope you like it!

Saturday 14 July 2012

timeless vintage logo #10 Petit Bateau

For this new issue of my posts about evergreen vintage logos, I am going to present you one of most French brand: Petit Bateau! This summer I left Paris for coming back in Italy - as usual - with a new Petit Bateau lined swimwear: I always dreamed to have it but the rainy weather of Paris always frustrated my desires considering silly to buy a swimwear with 15°C outside... and when the summer suddenly came, it was always out of stocks in the shops! This time I took decision to not risk again and in March I have already secured one for me! And while I was waiting for wearing it, I made a special stamp with which I decorated a cotton bag for my dreamed swimwear...

I always considered Petit Bateau a classic of the French style but I was not aware of its age and achievements. I discovered indeed that this brand has a long history beyond it. It was founded by Pierre Valton in 1893 under the name of Valton & Fils in Troyes and it was originally a producer of hosiery. In 1918 Valton had the idea to create a new kind of underwear: until then, all underpants were long and  included legs; the innovative idea of Valton was to cut off legs and to produce, by this way, the first modern pants. The second big innovation of this brand was to create a new working method to produce the typical lined jersey, which nowadays is associated with marine style, able to resist to high temperature washes.

A curious story is linked with the adoption of the name of Petit Bateau. According with the corporate story of this firm, the idea to produce pants without legs pop up in the head of Valton while singing an old French song that says "Maman les p'tits bateaux, qui vont sur l'eau ont-ils des jambes?" (Mammy, have the little boats, which go on the water, they too their legs?). Since than, a little boat became the logo and the name of one of most famous producers of hosiery and underwear in the world, almost a French flag internationally recognized.

For long-time Petit Bateau was chiefly a brand for little ones. The fortune of this firm was indeed built focusing progressively their products on the market for kids and babies, after the starting as adult hosiery producers at the end of XIX century. Only recently, Petit Bateau extended its wears to adults, but it curiously kept sizes as given for children. For instance, an XS corresponds to 12 years, S to 14 years, M to 16 years and so forth up to 20 years that means XL /as shown below). Funny, by this way I still consider to be only 14 years old!

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