Fashion Meets Art at Playtime Paris

At Playtime Paris I had the pleasuring of interviewing Marie Czapska, Art Director of Playtime Paris, New York and Tokyo. During our interview Marie gave me a special tour of Playtime sharing the show’s artistic elements including Playtime’s unique trend spaces designed by local artists.

Marie shared with me her family’s long history of fashion and art. Playtime is a family business Marie created with her brother Sebastian de Hutten, Playtime Organizer. Marie and Sebastian’s mother Hortensia de Hutten had a long history in fashion from being a PR, Stylist and the creator of Workshop the first trade show for the next generation of women’s fashion designers in Paris during fashion week. Playtime actually evolved from Workshop, as some of the women’s brands branched into kidswear. When the number of kids collections exhibiting at Workshop grew, they decided it was the right moment to start a kids trade show, and that’s when Playtime started.

marie playtime trends space
Photo Credit: Nancy Bundt

The special thing about Playtime I believe is the interaction between the Kids & Maternity Universes, Fashion, and Art. The first thing I wanted when we started this show was to introduce artists inside the show. And the way I could do that was by having them show their work in our rest spaces, trend spaces, press office. Every corner was a good opportunity to show work from artists.

Playtime Paris Rest Area
Photo Credit: Nancy Bundt

In the women’s fashion business I had of course ways to relate to art, but here in Playtime, it’s so much freedom. Creatively you can do everything you want, just like kids do. And it always works. They’re so many facets of it, and it’s much more fun.

Prior to each show, Marie works with stylist Julie Malait who sets the same trend for Playtime Paris, Tokyo & New York. Local artists are selected for each of the 4 trend spaces – 3 for kidswear and 1 for maternity. Marie and her staff work the chosen artists to adapt and adjust to the physical space, allowing each art exhibit to be hung from the ceiling. Then they propose a way to display outfits selected from Playtime exhibitors so they interact with the art installation. The day before the trade show opens exhibitors are invited to submit items in their collection to be displayed at each trend space. Silhouettes that best meet the trend are displayed for the 3-day duration of the Playtime trade show.

People like coming to Playtime where they find this great collection of brands, whether it’s in Paris, New York, or Tokyo. At the same time, Playtime itself is more than just exhibition booths, the presence of art throughout the show creates a special atmosphere and good working environment. We work hard to create each trend space with a look and feel that is very different from the booths. You walk down the aisles and all of a sudden you’re in this big open space with things hanging from the ceiling making this beautiful installation that makes it all so very different.

Cotton Candy Trend Space

Playtime Paris Cotton Candy Trend Space
Photo Credit: Nancy Bundt

“We’ve invited Claire Brenier who’s a French artist and works with Paper Mache. She made all these beautiful, colorful barbe a papas that are floating around. It’s a very light, pink and airy trend space.”

Featured Designers: Anais & i, Macarons, Wolf & Rita, Soft Gallery, Koolabah, Oeuf, ilovegorgeous, Ketiketa, Paade Mode, Marmar Copenhagen, Boboseries, Douuod, Point a la ligne, Young Soles, Pop Cutie, Billieblush, Melissa, Sol de mayo, Mamaradscha, Piu et nau, Gugguu.

Quirky Carousel Trend Space

Playtime Paris Quirky Carousel Trend Space 2
Photo Credit: Nancy Bundt

“Quirky Carousel is our very colorful trend space we’ve invited Gwendoline Perrigeux a very young artist who’s actually just coming out of art school in Paris. She created this art installation that’s a floating, inflatable structure attached to the ground.”

Featured Designers: Indikidual, Bangbang Copenhagen,Macarons, Knast by Krutter, Minorquines, Lucky Fish, ilovegorgeous, googoo&gaga, Marmar Copenhagen, Myum, Ima, Mamaradscha, Wakamono, lespetitsvagabonds, dOUdOU, Les petit fils du cordonnier, Billieblush, i love koi, Melissa, Noe & Zoe Berlin, B.ave, Piu et Nau, Rockahula Kids, Ver de Terre, Nobobinoz.

Freak Show Trend Space

Playtime Paris Freak Show Trend Space 2
Photo Credit: Nancy Bundt

“The invited designer is Marianne Schricke who’s a young woman that’s a graphic internet designer. She also creates these beautiful paper characters. For Playtime, she designed this huge character that’s 7-8 feet tall.”

Featured Designers: Koolabah, Soft Gallery, Hebe, Bangbang Copenhagen, Babybotte, Douuod, Melissa, Piuetnau, Billibandit, Miss Hall, Igloo&indi, B.ave, Young Soles, Zoobug, Anatology, Alphabet Soup.

Attractions Trend Space

Playtime Paris Attractions Trend Space 2
Photo Credit: Nancy Bundt

“This maternity trend space is a bit more difficult to because we have to find an artist who can combine the three themes. The invited artist is Barabara Cadet who came up with these beautiful masks that we put on the mannequins.”

Featured Designers: Fragile, Saily, Love Milk, Paula Janz Maternity, Cake Maternity, Les Ultraviolettes, Bogema Lingerie, Pas de Deux, Seraphine, Christiansen.

Local Artists in Paris / New York / Tokyo

For the first two seasons, the Playtime team would bring the installations from Paris to New York and Tokyo, but then they realized the value of working with local artists.

playtime tokyo cotton candy trend space
Photo Credit: Playtime Tokyo

It’s not about taking Playtime Paris to New York and Tokyo. We work according to each country – their way of buying & selling. Everything is adapted to each market. So then we thought we should really work with local artists – Japanese & American artists. In every season we have three interpretations of each theme. We send the artists a few lines of text, colors, and fabrics for each trend, but that’s not really what they should be worried about. It’s more the general idea of each theme. They actually have a free interpretation of this theme. That’s how we come up with very different and personal interpretations.

Photo & Video Credit: Nancy Bundt.com, Playtime Video Credit: BenjamindeDiesbach.com .