Petit Bateau has collaborated with French illustrator Jean Jullien to create designs for a limited edition capsule collection this April
Words Holly Kirkwood
Named after the French nursery rhyme ‘Maman les p’tits bateaux qui vont sur l’eau ont-ils des jambes?’ Petit Bateau have been making beautiful baby and children’s clothes for over 100 years and we love their simple, cheerful pieces, which always use the softest materials and great colours, as well as their famous raincoats, which have been copied almost everywhere.
The company is well-known for its high profile collaborations, which have included fashion labels Carven, Christian Lacroix and Jean-Charles de Castelbajac. Designers tend to play with traditional pieces, or to invent new prints and colourways, but the company also supports young artists and runs innovative partnerships with children’s writers: authors they have already worked with include Keith Haring and Deyrolle.
Now the inimitable Jean Jullien has turned his sharp pen and quick wit to the Petit Bateau universe. And for this latest collaboration, Mr Jullien has dreamed up a story titled ‘Lou de mer’ — which tells of two cheerful wolves setting sail on a voyage together across the English Channel in their iconic Petit Bateau raincoat and striped marinière top.
We’ve long been fans of Jean Jullien’s work, including his latest book Before & After which we reviewed in our last issue of Mama. He loves to get little ones to look differently at the world in his books – last year he published This is Not a Book, a playfully deceptive piece of work reminiscent of Magritte, and full of spreads of things which weren’t books at all. It was selected by Publishers Weekly as one of the best picture books of 2016.
As it turns out, his quirky style translates beautifully onto the clothes for Petit Bateau and we love them. The limited series of t-shirts and baby grows is available now in the London St Pancras store.