Every time I see these very chic, very elegant picture books, I want to say Cla-reece. I have an acquaintance called Cla-reece. However to read these stories, I have to make a huge mental effort to say ‘Paris-Claris’ in my head a few times to find the rhyme.
I’ve been saving this post for today, the very first day of July, to help me get Paris in July off to most graceful, glamorous start possible! If you’re not sure what I’m talking about (where have you been darling?) then pop over to Tamara’s Thyme for Tea blog to check out the coins et recoins.
2020 is the tenth anniversary of Paris in July. To celebrate this year’s theme of élégance, I’ve invited Claris and Megan Hess to the party. Hess is an international fashion illustration with an expanding range of fashion design picture-books-for-adults on her catwalk, including one all about Coco Chanel, (which may explain my unexpected fascination in such girly, frilly books to those who know my ongoing intrigue with Coco). Other books include Paris Through a Fashion Eye, The Dress, Iconic and Elegance.
Claris is a Vanity Fair reading, éclair eating country mouse who dreams of the big city and fashion and frills. She also ‘longed for an elegant friend of her own.’ A chance meeting with two stylish frogs, ‘one in a beret’,and she is whisked her away in a hot air balloon and on her way to Paris!
It is now springtime in Paris and life is tres belle. This is the season of the fashion show!
Once again, adventure, bravery and friendship are the dominant themes, while kindness, chic and savoir faire are the main flavours.
Claris, Bonjour Riviera is Hess’ latest worked published earlier this year. This time our end papers feature blue dresses and blue themed fashion bling.
Naturally, Claris finds an adventure and another opportunity to practice being brave and helpful. This time she rescues a song bird whose wing gets stuck in a thorn. Valerie from Antibes is a bit of a diva, but spectaculaire nonetheless.
Teamwork and bravery is it’s own reward of course, but Claris also enjoys the excitement of a new friendship and the pleasures of brie and camembert!
Each book features a fashion spread with six images of Claris dressed in Chanel, Dior, Hermes, Pucci etc. This is where Hess excels. Her love and enthusiasm for the fashion world spills over into every design for Claris.
The final page of each book reveals Hess in one of the dresses she loves so much, surrounded by her illustrations.