Everything started by ordering a dress (or two)...
But first, let me introduce the brand Petit Bateau itself. For my American readers who don't know it yet, it's one of the most iconic French brand, definitely ageless that everybody knows in our country. I don't know how many Petit Bateau underwear and outfits my daughters have had since their birth and me as well.
It's a brand that never disappoints you regarding quality, style and comfort. This brand never failed to this and it's certainly why it successfully braved the century, conquering generations and countries. Here are a few numbers to give you an idea:
For example, my beloved grandma gifted all these stripe breton dresses to my daughters 7 years ago when we lived in Boston. I didn't miss to print this photo specially to surprise her when I visited in Paris this week. She is 96 years old and was pleased to learn that Petit Bateau was the reason that brought me to France!
Three weeks ago, when I learned my brother will be visiting us in March in San Diego, it was time to enjoy the winter sales online and take advantage of his venue to get my orders from France. I went on Petit Bateau website to check (just to check of course!) if the famous dress I already noticed became more affordable (who knows?) and eventually shop stuff for my kids (still a good pretext, right?!).
To celebrate the petit bateau panty invention 100 years ago, the pant as we know it today without legs, the brand organized a contest. You can see here and there the interesting history of this pant and the brand in same time.
More or less aware by social medias about the design contest for the pant century, I didn't expect to enter. It sounded really fun but certainly useless regarding the competition... until I was shopping on the website. Although, curious to see how the online application was built since I love drawing applications, I quickly took a look and it was so easy and fun, even doable by kids, that I finally gave a try. Naturally, I imagined this pant with one of my block printed vegetal designs and downloaded my jungalicious print.
You can see obvious similitudes with some on my stuff I often post on Instagram... I already digitalized all those prints to create a collection of different fabrics based on my block-prints to submit it to textile companies soon. One more thing I would like to accomplish this year.
Then my daughters came back from school. They saw my creation, making jokes about my botanical designs. They made their own pants too though. I have to confess that we laughed a lot. My older one joking and very confident she would win the contest and affirm that I couldn't win with mine, bored by my plants obsession!
Last week, February 1st, I got an email to announce I won their contest for designing their traditional pant. I was part of the group of 6 winners picked within 14500 participants across 8 countries. They will announce the lucky winners at the Panty Party and reward ceremony at the Palais de Tokyo (Modern Art Museum) on February 6th. Coming or not, no way to spread the word before that date (not that easy).
Of course, I was beyond happy. It meant so much for me, having a group of people approving my work, those prints I do one by one all alone in my little studio. It's not everyday that a jury congratulates for what I am doing so passionately. 100% unexpected. It wasn't a joke, it was a gift!
In fact, I didn't expect to go to Paris for the ceremony. Too much things going on... but finally, I realized it wasn't that difficult to quickly go there on my own. Financially, the company was able to compensate for most part of the trip. Materially, hubby was able to take care the kids and professionally, I was able to reschedule all my classes upon my students agreements. The round trip ticket was booked by the end of the day!
I was pleased to meet some of the different members of the company, all very nice, true and cheerful people. I love how they organized the event based around an exhibition with vintage posters and advertising. From the entry way to the main room, it was decorated by funny quotes and announcements. The party was imagined like a popular village fair with balloons, fun games and activities.
It was definitely great to attend such a huge party and I was happy my sister came with me to enjoy the fun together. Petit Bateau was working on for 2 years to make this event a beautiful celebration. Many people were invited and they were about 400 attendees including guests from magazine, show business, influencers...etc.
Actually, the ambiance was really relax, they took this party with a real pinch of salt. There was no dress code, decoration was extremely mindful, we ate a ton of panty petit fours and we could enjoy very funny entertainments connected to the famous panty. On top of that, they even included a disco room for dancing at the end. Also, we met a magician and a stilt-walker distributing cute goodies that ravished my daughters then.
I didn't take as many pictures as I would have liked, my priority was to enjoy the moment. Luckily, my sis took some for me (many thanks Sarah!). Anyway, if you tap #pantyparty you will get a ton of much better pics than mines ;)
I was happy to meet the 5 other talented winners and designers. The 7th one was made and showed up that night by the popular blogger Elsa Muse, who launched the contest at the very beginning. I was also happy make new connections, meet nice people and specially Morgane, a blogger I follow for a very long time under the name of Morganours, her BFF Morgane (too) and also Cécile said Poulette Magique.
Now you can see all the series panty online and it will be released in July, as special century birthday package of 7 assorted pants, a "semainier" for each day of the week.
It was a super quick trip. I arrived on Monday at the end of the afternoon, attended the party Tuesday night and left on Wednesday morning. Just enough to have a nice family gathering for my dad's birthday, enjoying my brother and sister's presence.
On Wednesday morning, no transportation though. A thin layer of snow was covering Paris but thick enough to freeze the capital. Most of public transportation and flights were canceled or delayed. I was lucky to finally get my flight with 2 hours delay only and find again South California, my lovely fam and warm temperatures 22 hours later door to door!
Not even tired, finally traveling with no kids is kinda relaxing, perfect to enjoy crochet and embroidery ;). This little trip pumped me up!
Thank you again Petit Bateau, specially Clara, Caroline and Carole! Thank you for your warm welcome, it was very nice meeting you. Can't wait July!