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Upon receiving a press release touting Kiddy-Up—Début's in-store pop-up of designer duds for little girls—we were conflicted. The notion of fancy clothes for (fancy) kids was both intriguing and a little hard to swallow. Basically, we had to check it out.
The pop-up opened today, but launched yesterday evening with a semi-private party that was all about the kiddies. We stopped by to find the shop—small, elegant and rather gallery-like on a normal day—overrun with sticky-fingered pre-schoolers, primary-colored plastic building blocks, lollipops and cookie crumbs; all amongst racks of Début's regular stock (hello Elisa Palomino, Timo Weiland, Michael Angel). Seemingly-horrified-to-silence staffers watched as strollers, ice cream cones, and noise personified swarmed around the handful of very tiny wooden racks displaying a small but adorable array of tiny dresses and separates. The racks are very cute, but awfully low—we were literally on our knees taking photos. Are kindergartners coming in alone off the streets to buy $300 party dresses? And, yes, that's where prices seemed to top out. Slightly terrifying but, hey, if we had kids and that kind of cash—why not?
We loved plastic shoes by Melissa ($100)—eco-friendly, bubblegum-scented, and in collaboration with Vivienne Westwood. Dresses by Matooka Kids ($110 and up) were also on offer. Comfortable and presumably durable in cotton jersey, the pieces weren't fruffy or overly childish but still offered detail befitting your little princess: Heart-shaped buttons, lace overlay, a ruffle here, an appliqued flower there. Other designers include British-made classics by Lucy Sykes, printed basics by Kiki Catlett, and matching mother and daughter leather handbags from French & English Confectioners by Lucie Gonnord.
We imagine now that all those little party people and Van Leeuwen ice cream cart their dreams were made of have moved on, the shop has regained its aura of calm and prestige—even with those teeny tiny little racks. So, check out the duds: The pop-up is in place for a full month—just in time for back to (elite, private) school!
· Vivienne Westwood Anglomania for Mini Melissa's New Kids Shoes [RNA]
· Début [Official Site]