les gens bien / 21.02.2017

       

While studying fashion design at the École Duperré, I had to take technical classes like screen printing, something I didn’t know a lot about. I loved that class, it opened a door to an array of exciting, new possibilities!

Screen printing is a pretty new technique. It uses polyester/nylon screens (originally made out of silk) stretched across frames on which a photosensitive emulsion is spread. Then, before exposing it to a UV light, a drawing printed in black is laid out against the photosensitive emulsion on a transparent sheet of plastic . When the emulsion is exposed to UVs, it hardens the fabric and keeps ink from passing through it, becoming a sort of stencil. I’m explaining all of this since it may not be clear to everyone. You may have already seen Andy Warhol or other artists from the 60s/70s that popularised this printing technique…

Screen printing has become a hobby of mine since I was a student. After college, I kept it up in workshops in the Paris suburbs in order to print my own patterns. I’ve always thought that it was too bad that there aren’t more workshops in big cities, at least in Paris, that would make screen printing available to individuals…

One day while scrolling through Instagram, I stumbled across a little, ice cream truck-like Renault: Print Van Paris. Here’s a simple mathematical equation that works in my head:

Screenprinting + Ice Cream Truck = I go crazy <3

Digging a little deeper, I found out that besides the little van,Print Van Paris also built a lemonade stand that serves as a printing table.

Print Van Paris is a small business that offers screen printing workshops for private or professional events. You’ve gotta check out their social media to get all their updates; don’t miss out on their workshops! You can also buy colorful posters by the Print Van Paris founders and exclusive drawings made with collaborating artists! You can even choose your design to go and print it on a t-shirt!

It was all just too perfect: I had to meet the people behind this amazing concept. I met Oschon, pronounced “Ocean”, the founder. Oschon is kind, bubbly, and a great teacher: the perfect mix! Everyone at the Lemonade Studio loves him. From the beginning, we thought we should work on a project together!

Last October, we put together several beginner’s screen printing workshops at the pop-up store. It was great, but we definitely could have used a bigger space. When we get our own real store, we’d love to have weekend workshops: screen printing Saturdays, sewing Sundays to put together your own printed clothes… we have so many ideas! I wanted to make a little screen printed bandana available only through an office workshop for Bee My Baby! This workshop will take place mid-March to celebrate springtime and the end of office construction! This’ll be a 2 person workshop, for you and your best friend, or your other half, to go with the “Bee My Baby” theme. We’ll let you know more later when the tickets are available in our newsletter in the upcoming weeks!

I’ll let you get to reading about Oschon for the next chapter in our Good People series as well as the behind-the-scenes video that shows how we printed our collection’s bandanas!

  • ‘Guidance Counselor’ Question: Can you tell us about your career?

After getting my high school diploma in Switzerland, I started my bachelor’s degree in graphic design at the London College of Communication. I loved the different workshops that the school offered: letterpress, bookbinding, lino cut, engraving, and especially a screen printing workshop where I spent most of my time.

Anyways, after getting my degree, I continued to screen print and I discovered the Dalston London Club. It was amazing. Kate and Fred, the founders, let me use the studio for my own personal projects in exchange for a day of work. I was able to experiment with different printing techniques, meet people and learn more about business side of a potential job thanks to Kate and Fred, who became friends and mentors.

The rest of the time, I worked with James Hurst at Cure Studio, a small graphic design atelier. James taught me the basics of print and digital graphic design. After working with him for two years, I had the opportunity to work at Burberry on the digital team. After 10 years, in early 2014, I decided to leave London for Paris. I started to work in the digital department at Chloé before starting my own business: Print Van Paris.

  • ‘Juggling’ question: As a graphic designer for brands today and especially as a self-employed person, how do you balance all your projects while expanding your business?

I like the diverse aspect of my career: working on a global project with small brands or in a huge palace for a fashion show, and then washing the screen printing frames the next day in the street next to my Van.

It isn’t always easy. It’s especially difficult to take out time to expand your own business. You have to manage your time well, work passionately, and sacrifice some of your own personal free time.

  • ‘Career Change’ Question: What made you want to start Print Van Paris? And why in an ice cream truck?

When I was in London, I often when to have lunch at Captain Corellis, an amazing brasserie-type restaurant, “Godfather” style, in the south of London. It has a very Sicilian feel to it; they serve huge, delicious meals and the owner looks like a real mobster. There were always lots of ice cream trucks around the place. I loved their different colors, models, designs, etc.

The magic of seeing an ice cream truck on your street made me think of the same happy feeling of screen printing for the first time. That’s when the idea came to me to put these two magical moments together!

Five years later, I had enough money to get started. I met with the teams from L’imprimerie du Marais, who helped me, and with Simon Roché, a screen printer, we started Print Van Paris in September 2014.

  • ‘Globe Trotter’: Between the United States, Switzerland, England and France, what made you decide to settle down in Paris?

To put it simply: love! My girlfriend lives in Paris.

  • ‘What’s Next’ Question: Today, Print Van Paris is a screen printing shop on wheels, in a beautiful truck, with quite a few special projects with different brands. What’s your next step? Renovating a vintage printing shop?

Oh wow, I’d love to renovate an old printing shop! But seriously, we’re looking for a place to settle down into. It’s the logical next step that would help us move forward with our artistic collaborations, and also democratise screen printing. Opening up the atelier for workshops while continuing our work with brands in our workshop or in the van in the streets of Paris.

  • ‘Master Yoda’ Question: What are three pieces of advice for someone wanting to change careers and start their own business, in the art field?

– Put some love and passion into it !

Don’t neglect the business side of things. To make an art project work, you have to know how to handle money.

Don’t mix up your hobby and career.

  • ‘Gourou’ Question: Who inspired you to screen print? Is there someone that you look up to?

Aida Wile (House of Brag), my first screen printing professor in college. James Hurst and Fred Higginson introduced me to their style and helped me in the beginning.

  • “In Search of Lost Time” Question: What is your first memory of color?

Cotton candy, colorful theme park rides and stuffed animals at the Sydney Royal Easter Show in Australia.

  • Throwback’ Question: What did you dream of doing when you were little?

A mix of a professional skater, writer, freedom fighter, and construction machine driver

Thank you Oschon for your time and your answers!

Translated by Whitney Bolin

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DIY / 18.02.2017

Happy Saturday everyone!

For this special week, here’s another DIY that I love and the studio adores since it’s really fast and easy to make. I think that I just might embroider mimosa all over this shirt’s collar! It’s official, after this theme week and our Bee My Baby collection, mimosas beat peonies and hortensias. They’re one of my favorite flowers! I can’t count the number of times I’ve bought mimosas over the past few weeks. I think I may be responsible for all 2017 sales… Anyways, aren’t they so delicate and fragile? Mimosas are round and fluffy usually for a few days, but in an overheated studio, they only last a few hours… So I need a long term solution to keep them bright and yellow.

Last year, Charlotte made us a beautiful paper cake for Make My Lemonade’s four year anniversary. She used little yellow scrapbooking pompoms for the daisies. I had also used them for the darling veil that Karuna and I taught you to make. Here’s a “slightly” sped up version of how to embroider mimosas on a sailor top!

As you can see, it’s really easy to make this. I’ll get into the details for those who’d like to start embroidering but have no idea where to start!

To start with, to embroider this DIY, you’ll need:

  • An embroidery hoop
  • A sailor top or any other shirt
  • Green embroidery thread
  • Yellow thread
  • Mini childrens’ pompoms, ours come from Rougier & Plé
  • A pen that erases with heat!

Let’s start by tracing the mimosa branch’s stems and leaves on your blouse or sweater. I suggest doing this after stretching it on your embroidery hoop! Draw a leaf with an erasable pen. Then, using green embroidery thread (just two strands), embroider long stitches to “trace” the outline of your leaves. Once this is done (as shown in the picture below), fill them in. Double your thread (4 strands). Pull the needle through the center of the right leaf towards the left so that you cover up the stitch with the contour you’ve already made. Continue alternating left of the center towards the right, then the opposite, and repeat.

Once all the leaves are finished, you can attach the mimosa stem using a double chain stitch. This stitch is very, very easy. Pull out the needle, twist the threat around your thumb (always in the same direction) and thread the needle through the exact same hole it came out of. Keep the loop around your thumb and pull the thread out a few millimeters away, thread the needle through the loop around your thumb, pull your thumb out, and voilà! Next, turn the thread around your thumb (still in the same direction) and thread the needle through the same exact same hole it came out of, etc… Quick tip: hold the hoop in the direction that you want to do the double chain stitch, it’ll make things a lot easier!

Next, using yellow thread, attach the little yellow mimosa pompoms by threading through their middles. Have fun! And TA-DA!

Translated by Whitney Bolin

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Happy friday / 17.02.2017

Happy Friday, darlings!

I didn’t post our “Good People “ article yesterday because I wanted to fix a couple of things! Plus, I thought that it would make more sense to finish off the week with a special guest… and we have big news to share at the end of this week! I think you’ll like it… anyways, everyone at the Lemonade Studio is super excited for our new workshop, but I can’t tell you anything else right now (I’m so excited!!).

Today is a special Happy Friday since you get to see our theme week. I put together not just one, but two looks for you with pieces from the latest collection! By the way, it got me thinking that I myself haven’t yet done my shopping on Wear Lemonade! I’m just wearing some prototypes that we used to shoot our lookbook…

It’s time I decided which pieces I want before they’re all gone! I haven’t even had the time to get a navy blue, striped Greta dress… luckily we were able to order more fabric from Spain, and get an emergency delivery of striped Greta dresses and Ada skirts from the factory in Macedonia that we showed you last year!

I’m wearing flowy Chambray Fiona overalls, size medium, a sienna-colored Maya bodysuit, size small, a Thalullah kimono, size medium, an Argument x Chacok necklace and a pair of lovely Robert Clergerie shoes.

As you already know, on January 1st I made the resolution to stop buying fast fashion. I know, I can’t really complain since I get to design my dream clothes, but still! Since I love shopping, I’ve been avoiding stores and certain neighborhoods. And I’ve been ‘air shopping” online: I fill up my cart and then leave… that’s enough for me! I almost put up an internet blocker so I won’t go to certain websites… yeah, I need help! But anyways, it’s forcing me to get back in touch with lots of clothes in my closet…

I’m not going to give another speech on the ethics of clothing production, but as I get older, it means more and more to me and influences me to choose one brand over another. Especially since in this day and age, the surplus of choices makes it hard to tell where things are from and what they’re actually made of. On one hand, and it’s a good thing, ‘Made in China’ doesn’t necessarily still mean that the quality’s bad and the working conditions are poor. I once bought a dress, convinced that it was made of silk, and it was actually just a really nice polyester fabric! On the other hand, you can also end up throwing out a silk top after wearing it just once if it starts unraveling in a snap. The trick is to look closely at the pictures when shopping online. Beware of shiny, synthetic fabric- it’ll be shockingly worse in person! And don’t judge too quickly… I think it really depends on where it’s made. I try to avoid any brands that aren’t clear on how they make their clothes.

I’m wearing the sienna-colored Ada skirt, size medium, a “Bee My Baby” t-shirt, size medium (we’re getting more reprinted too), a mustard colored Thallula kimono, size M, and a DIY bandana that I’ll tell you more about later!

What tips do you have for buying online? I’ll write an article with your advice and our’s at the Lemonade Studio. Oh and thanks for being so quick to reply to our survey newsletter! You have so many amazing ideas, thank you for participating and for your comments that were taken into consideration! Stay tuned!

You may have already noticed (I can’t hide anything from you!) I’ve got my natural hair back. After wearing extensions for 5 months, my hair has definitely grown out and I didn’t lose that much. I’m such a bed head when I wake up… so I had Fred layer it a little bit but not too much since I’m trying to get myself ready psychologically for a new style… I haven’t made any final decisions but I’m definitely going for a big change! Okay, I’m lying, I want to cut my hair short (sorry mom, sorry Thomas). But until I’m ready and it’s nice out and I can feel the breeze on the back of my neck, I’m going to leave my hair alone… when will Spring get here?

Photos @Olitax <3

Translated by Whitney Bolin

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