As a tribute to the winning outfit of the 2019 Junior Carnival Queen Competition worn by the girl representing La Princesa y El Guisante boutique, we take a look here at children's fashion past and present.
For many years, children's clothing had little connection with the world of fashion and the latest styles. Boys and girls dressed similarly and differences in fabrics, colors, and patterns were virtually non-existent. Clothing was plain and simple, with little to tell them apart in terms of gender, let alone originality or personality in design patterns.
Most children's clothing was white or light beige, with babies usually dressed in skirts or dresses of the kind commonly donned today for holy communion ceremonies as a nod to tradition and to the innocence and purity of childhood.
The first major advances in children's fashion can be traced back to the 17th century when makers realised the need to replace antiquated garments with designs that were more comfortable and less restrictive for children. This realization laid the foundations for the long journey undertaken by children's fashion to reach is present state. During the aforementioned century and the following one, work began on designs for less formal and more children-friendly clothing lines.
The period brought the first gender distinctions. Girls' skirts and dresses were shortened from ankle to knee, although legs were still covered by stockings, while boys started wearing trousers, long shorts and shirts. The 19th century saw the arrival of sailort themed suits, a design that was to prove hugely popular and, as we have seen down the years, led to a timeless fashion has been an ever-present in childrenswear, evolving in tandem with it. It is still visible today in most spring-summer collections, in particular in the latest MONNALISA BOYS collection, which is built around naval themes.
The fashion industry's focus on children and the meaning of childhood increased even further during the 20th century, with children's clothing becoming a completely differentiated fashion market, separate to that of adults. The 1980s saw the beginnings of the breack with the traditional pink-blue color dichotomy still found today.
Children's fashion during the current century has grown twice as fast as the women's fashion industry and 40% more than men's. A striking feature today is how the focus on children on the creation of exclusive styles is combined with designs that increasingly recall adult fashion. Despite the continued demand for classical patterns, albeit constantly update with bright colors and different accessories (brands such as Tartine et Chocolat spring to mind), a growing number of fashion names such as Kenzo kids are opting for more moderns and forceful styles. Also, worth mentioning are Spanish brands such as Sueños de Carlota, Bonnet à Pompon, and Rochy, which have taken the international children's fashion market by surprise thanks to their unique fabric quality and designs.
The impressive range of brands and styles available today allows us and our children to find the designs that most appeal to us. Moreover, youngsters today are free to reflect their personality through their clothes and to feel comfortable and special in what the wear. Which is why in our La Princesa y El Guisante Boutique you will find exclusive firms offering very different fashion trends, thus allowing each child to find their own style.
Laura Muñoz Vaquero