Written by Tanu Srinivasan, for CouCou
For Astrid Motsenigos, a picture is truly worth a thousand words. As the founder, owner, and creative director of CouCou, Astrid utilizes her discerning eye to procure brands that effectively craft a photojournalistic story for the customers of her award-winning children’s boutique. Located in Boston’s bustling South End district, CouCou is one of the city’s crown jewels. One of the few independent children’s boutiques in the city to carry a full selection of children’s clothing and toys, it has cemented its status internationally amongst social media's more sartorially-minded mothers. Over the last several years, CouCou has become the exclusive New England stockist for many coveted children's clothing and toy brands, such as Misha & Puff and Soor Ploom. This fall, CouCou adds another feather to its cap and welcomes acclaimed children’s brand Bonjour Diary to the store.
Bonjour Diary, founded by Anne Millet in 2014, has paid homage to the vintage children's fashion styles of the 1950s and 1960s since its inception. Silhouettes, such as the apron dress and balloon sleeve tops, are reinvented season after season and infused with Anne’s latest inspirations. Clothing is produced in tandem with her partners in India, who hand embroider, hand block, and hand dye the pieces. Her collections are launched in limited drops throughout the year.
The brand hit stratospheric heights with its highly anticipated SS20 collection, "Marie's Garden," a reimagining of a children's garden party. The irony of the festive theme, debuting in the midst of the Pandemic, did nothing to dampen customer anticipation. Instead, the entire collection sold out worldwide within mere minutes. Chalking up the excitement to COVID angst would not only do a disservice to the sublime collection, but would also ignore Anne's ace in the hole, photographer Claire Guarry.
Claire's direction brought Anne's vision to life and her SS20 captures have become emblematic of the Bonjour brand. Claire has once again reunited with Anne for the AW21 collection, a spiritual sequel of the SS20 Marie’s Garden collection. Shot in the Bay Area's Marin County, Claire and her team scouted a location so picturesque it could double as Heathcliff's moors or Middle Earth. Against the backdrop of the rolling hills, fields of wheat, and quintessential NorCal mist, Anne's creations come to life. Soft creams and royal blues, moss greens and earthy hues. Hand-knit cardigans and a selection of coordinating home goods round out the collection.
Curating edits for CouCou is a very personal labor of love for Astrid. For her first Bonjour collection, she drew inspiration from the young girls that she has seen grow up with her store. Her edit includes the beloved embroidered balloon sleeve blouses that have been cut in a more generous dress length for fall, luxe and textured pajamas for slower New England days, and structured trousers for older girls who opt for demure yet stylish options. For those new to Bonjour Diary, it can be easy to be overwhelmed by the vast choice of options.
However, Anne is deliberate in her designs and creates multiple styles in each fabric so that her customers are not left empty handed after each highly competitive launch. Her autumn apron dresses made in corduroy or the quilted reversible jackets are excellent additions to any young girl's wardrobe. However, pay close attention to Anne's take on the trendy patchwork concept, which somehow feels familiar yet so incredibly unique.
Bonjour Diary's AW 21 collection launches October 25th at 8:30 am ET. For more information on the upcoming Bonjour Diary launch, follow @coucou_boston on Instagram. Below is a preview gallery of all styles that will be carried by CouCou in this upcoming launch. View gallery on laptop or desktop for best viewing,
About the author
Tanu Srinivasan is an attorney by day and a full time mother to her three stars (Bianca, Leo, and Kai) by day *and* night. Her interests include slow fashion, travel, fine dining, and trying to make her husband laugh at her jokes.