I first heard of petit à petit on the April 6, 2013, airing of the ABC TV program, LIFE~夢のカタチYume no Katachi~; the program covered ナカムラユキYuki Nakamura, a Kyoto-raised and -based illustrator partial to French taste who teamed up with her old childhood friend, Kyoto-born and -raised textile-printing director, 奥田正広Masahiro Okuda, to create charming, colorful designs and products as petit à petit. Their working styles are quite different: Okuda-san is quite digitally savvy while Nakamura-san just needs paper, pen and ink and markers to get the job done; that’s why it’s amusing that they churn out exquisite designs that blend with Kyoto style as well as set them apart from other traditional and modern Kyoto designs.
There are currently three textile designs based on the concept of “collage” for the goods found at petit à petit: “山並み レ・モンターニュLes Montagnes (Mountains)”, “壁 ル・ミュールLe mur (Wall)” and “葉っぱ レ・フィユLes feuilles (Leaves)”. With the mountains seen from around 鴨川Kamo River in north Kyoto as the model, “Les Montagnes” is the first design that the duo created especially for プラッツPlatz, an old Kyoto cushion shop in 嵐山Arashiyama. “Le mur” is the second design modeled after the wall of an old house that formerly opened only in the summer to sell only simple vanilla ice cream in the north part of Kyoto where the old workshop for petit à petit used to be. “Les feuilles” is based on the leaves seen in Kyoto, especially around Kamo River.
In the middle of this month, I had plans to meet Hasegawa-san at the docomo shop around 河原町丸太町Kawaramachi Marutamachi but I got to the area about half an hour early, so I decided to drop in and check out the shop on 寺町通Teramachi Street close to 夷川通Ebisugawa Street, the new location for petit à petit as of March this year.
cute machiya exterior with a sneak preview of the textiles and goods to be discovered inside
stationery, clothes, accessories…
coin purses, home goods, the genres of products will expand as time goes on.
That’s the stylish Okuda-san getting my purchases ready for me to take home at the front.☺
I had been pondering over what to buy Rika for her birthday present since she had given me such a nice present for my birthday this year but as soon as I saw the スケジュールブックschedule books, ￥2500 plus tax, I knew that this would be it.
I called Okuda-san over to help me pick one out for Rika; I even showed him a picture of her☺. He said that “Le mur” was quite popular with customers because it was a simple-enough design for everday use and a darker color would more likely allow stains to pass unnoticed…I ended up getting the design with a purple base that I had chosen on instinct for Rika, especially because it fit Okuda-san’s opinion.
I also got a postcard, ￥150 plus tax, for Rika with Nakamura-san’s cute French-style illustration with which I’ve fallen in love since seeing them on LIFE ~Yume no Katachi~.
While Okuda-san was ringing me up, I mentioned to him that I had seen LIFE ~Yume no Katachi~. He gave me the Kyoto Visitor’s Guide in which petit à petit was mentioned and courteously answered any question I had. I was very satisfied about having stopped by that day and I’m going to make it a point to go back soon!
According to Okuda-san, Nakamura-san was away on lunch break at the time; hope I can run into her the next time I drop by.☺
Update: Less than five months later, I took Mason to see petit à petit since I had sent her a postcard from there….this day, both the owners weren’t on staff but a stylish woman who had black hair accented naturally by white (that’s how I want to gray!☺) was on hand. Mason took a liking to a bag with rope straps: it turned out that the staff on hand, Tomomi-san (I found out her name when I ran into her at culotte, she’s a regular, too!), had made it with the Les Montagnes fabric.
This time I went away with only a charming postcard, ￥150, which pictured a cyclist riding through Kyoto; 渡月橋Togetsukyo, 金閣寺Kinkakuji Temple, 八坂塔Yasaka Pagoda and 清水寺Kiyomizu Temple are places included in the illustration.
Next time, I don’t know if it’ll be so easy to go away empty-handed either.☺
Address: 〒604-0992 京都市中京区寺町通夷川上ル藤木町Kyoto-shi. Nakakyo-ku. Teramachi-dori. Ebisugawa-hairu. Fujiki-cho 32
Telephone/FAX number: 075-746-5921
Access: 地下鉄東西線 京都市役所前駅より徒歩６分minute by foot from Subaway Tozai Line Kyoto Shiyakusho Mae Station
Business hours: 11:00am-6:00pm
Shop holiday: Thursday
Twitter (Yuki Nakamura): https://twitter.com/tricoplus