Following Couturing’s look at petite-a-porter and childrenswear, writer Darby-Perrin spoke to Andrea Rembeck of Tutu Du Monde about heirlooms and keepsakes and why it’s all about quality over quantity when it comes to your children’s’ clothes. Rembeck is the brainchild behind Tutu Du Monde, a children’s clothing and tutu label.
Andrea Rembeck founded Tutu Du Monde after a dismal search for a fitting tutu for her daughter. Friends and family soon jumped on board and four years later the business has grown globally. After working for Australian labels like Lisa Ho and Collette Dinnigan, Rembeck is using her knowledge and knowhow to create timeless pieces and modern heirlooms.
Here is what Andrea Rembeck had to say when we spoke.
Darby: Do you think the idea of keepsakes rather than spoils was key for Tutu Du Monde?
Andrea: Absolutely yes, Tutu du Monde creations are designed to stand the test of time – beautiful heirlooms rather than extravagance. They are created as timeless pieces with exquisite detail without the fragility of a vintage garment, so they can be worn for years to come. In fact they only get better with age, as slight fading or fraying edges simply adds to their charm.
Darby: Do you think the Tutu can be modern or is it forever timeless?And have you tried to make it modern for Tutu Du Monde?
Andrea: Even though the inspiration for Tutu du Monde comes from vintage pieces – often from the 20s and 30s – this is mainly for the embellishments. The shapes are quite clean and modern. As the brand progresses, we’re introducing new shapes and more daring colour combinations, so there are exciting times ahead for Tutu Du Monde.
Darby: Was Tutu Du Monde just out of frustration from not being able to find what you were looking for or is children’s wear your final fashion frontier?
Andrea: Tutu du Monde definitely came to exist from a lack of tasteful princess/ballerina/fairy outfits when my daughter first asked for one. I had no idea or intention that this would blossom into a business but when friends saw the tutus on my daughter they urged me to make some for their daughters too and it all started from there. It was initially a side project, which turned into a full time business with several staff incredibly quickly. Now, four years on, a lot of brands have started jumping on the kids fashion.
Darby: What are you thoughts on petite-a-porter and lavish childrenswear?
Andrea: I have always had a ‘quality over quantity’ approach when it comes to consuming. I think in the long run it’s better to invest in a few beautifully designed pieces that are higher in quality than a dozen mass produced cheaper versions that end up in landfill way too soon. Obviously though,there is nothing wrong with mixing more expensive, highlight pieces with more affordable basics since children do grow up very fast.
Darby: Is there a line between practical and preposterous for your daughter’s clothes?
Andrea: Not at all like me, my daughter is a very girly girl and ‘practical’ is not in her vocabulary. Since she was 2 years of age she has refused to wear pants, claiming they are for boys only. So she’s happy to brave the elements in a tutu dress and a pair of tights.
Darby: Is a children’s line any harder or more challenging than some of the work you’ve done before like for Lisa Ho or Collette Dinnigan?
Andrea: It’s hard to compare the two. Childrenswear is definitely less about the latest trends and must-haves than womenswear. The main similarity is the hard work and the tight deadlines. My biggest challenge with Tutu du Monde as a global brand is to appeal to slightly different markets and seasons and to manage numerous showrooms around the world.
Darby: Finally, is there one heirloom you still have from your childhood? A Tutu perhaps?
Andrea: Regrettable not, which may be one of the reasons why I ended up creating Tutu du Monde. I remember some of my favourite dresses and objects from my childhood very vividly and wished I could have shown or given them to my own daughter.