i only realized fairly late in life that not everyone thinks pajamas are essential to leading a good life. it’s simply one of those things that i have never questioned once – as a kid, as a teenager, as an adult and now as a mom – it’s just a given that at any point in time i have a few nightwear options to choose from, adapted to the season and different from what i use as ‘home’ or lounge wear. i blame my mom and grandmother, who ran a lingerie boutique together while i was little, and in fact my mom has worked in the lingerie and nightwear business in some capacity for most of her life. when it comes to flannels and undies, i’ve always been pretty spoiled.

so i guess i must have been about five years old when i first learned about this brand called PLUTO. in nightwear terms, it was what dreams are made of – elegant, beautiful and with wonderful little details. i set it in my mind that when i would be an adult, i’d only wear pluto around the house. then as a journalist in my twenties at a press conference, i met the daughter of the founder of the brand, an kluft, who led the family business into a new era. i looked at the company in an entirely different light now, never having fully realized or appreciated how special it was that pluto was in fact belgian.

fast forward a couple of years, to when an kluft and aline walther launched PLUTO ON THE MOON. imagine pluto as the grown up, elegant sister who has her life entirely together – then pluto on the moon is the quirky and opinionated little sister who enjoys life to the fullest and explores every opportunity on her path. she’s adventurous, a little bohemian but still making things happen. needless to say, i fell head over heels for the new brand, with which i identified even more than with pluto. during my first pregnancy i completely relied on pluto on the moon to feel pretty and comfortable in and out of the house, and the items i started wearing then are still part of my everyday casual wardrobe.

but enough about the clothes – you’ll need to check them out for yourself! what i really wanted to do was give you a little insight into the brains and lives of the ladies behind the brand, an and aline. together they are the perfect combination of business and creativity, and seeing them work together in their atelier – exchanging banter and dead honest opinions – was a treat. i hope their views on life will provide a as much inspiration to you as they do to me.

who has been a mentor to you throughout your life or professional career, and how?

aline – three amazing, strong women very close to me, who all worked in the fashion industry. my grandmother had two beautiful boutiques; she inspired me to be independent and strong, to create my own business within my own environment. she is the best dressed woman i know! my mother passed on to me a passion for clothing; at a very young age she taught me the wonders of pattern cutting & sewing. working on something together with her was magical: an intimate playtime. she still helps me today – thanks mom! and lastly my mom’s younger sister is fun, active, modern; she worked for maxmara for a while and was always traveling to milan, paris… she gave me the bug that got me interested in the fashion industry.
an – life, human beings, the world… they are all my mentors. opening my eyes and ears has given me most insights, very often at unexpected moments. careful listening, asking and understanding the what and the why are always very important to me.

what has been a challenge you didn’t think you could overcome, but conquered anyway?

an – i can remember difficult, stressful, painful situations but i always believed there was a solution. the most difficult part to me is that it is not always clear where and how it will end. but step by step, most difficult situations can be taken care of.
aline – oh i love a good challenge! i’m a bit of a hothead at that level! my father always told me: si tu le veux, tu le peux! so i just go… sometimes things don’t work out. it can be painful, but you learn a lot from it.

what is the most important thing you’ve learned in your life so far?

aline – to be true to yourself. as a freelancer you ‘re often asked to step into a different world. it’s confusing sometimes, but i learned to create the environment that fits me, learned to listen to my gut and follow my instincts.
an – concerning my professional life: that taking time to think things through and discuss them with the right people helps in clarifying and very often gives me great ideas. on a more personal level i know i can feel at home and good as long as i am surrounded by the people i love.

what are you trying to teach yourself right now?

an – growing vegetables in my kitchen garden. running twice a week. living a more healthy life.
aline – mindfulness – fancy word… i know! i just live a bit too fast, so i want to try to be more in my body and less in my head.

if you could only give one piece of advice to anyone, what would it be?

aline – do something real: something you really believe in, something good, something that will last.
an – think positive, it makes life so much nicer.

what would you like to be remembered for?

an – i find it more important to live in the here and now.
aline – i don’t want to be as pretentious to think i will be remembered for something i created or did. moments with the ones i love are what i hope will be cherished.

photos by stephanie duval

living with a toddler goes a little something like this.

• it’s jumping out of the shower naked, soaking wet and in a blind panic to rescue your kid in the bath tub who just started screaming like she cut off a finger, only to find out she got a little soap in her eye and after two splashes of water in her face she happily resumes singing ‘itsy bitsy spider’ and rubbing more soap in her eyes.

• it’s calculating an extra 23 minutes to get ANYTHING done because the toddler wants to do everything on her own, including dressing and undressing herself even though it takes her five minutes to find both armholes of a t-shirt.

• it’s dealing with the irrational and often random wishes of a toddler – who knew there was an exact, scientific and mandatory order to the ritual of going to bed?

• it’s realizing that after 475 times it takes a lot of effort to read the same bed time story without your voice betraying the lack of will to live through it for the 476th time.

• it’s understanding that carrots cut into tiny pieces and put into a pasta sauce are decidedly NOT the same as the little carrots that come with the peas in a tin, and that a toddler could not reasonably be expected to treat both the same.

• it’s running to your favorite children’s store for help because your toddler doesn’t stop climbing out of her crib by herself (and falling on her head in the process) despite your insistent requests to please stay a baby and SLEEP IN THE FRIGGING CUTE CRIB. thanks KIDS LOVE DESIGN for letting us have it both ways – with a small adjustment juliet can now safely get in and out of bed by herself, and i still get to suffocate her with blankets and bunnies, i mean love and affection, in her trusted baby crib.

photos by stephanie duval // baby crib that evolves with your toddler-going-on-teenager from oeuf nyc and washable carpet from lorena canals, both via KIDS LOVE DESIGN // juliet is wearing grey t-shirt from LITTLE FOREST, striped leggings from MINIMALISMA, underwear from PETIT BATEAU and pink pj’s from GAP // golden bed bumper and canopy are from numero 74 via LIDOR // house pillow, flower print pillow case and blanket are from CAMOMILE LONDON // knit pillow and blankets are from HVID // crocodile pillow is from GRAMPA // pink duvet cover is from konges slojd via KLEINES KARUSSELL // basket with tassels from LORENA CANALS // juliet’s favorite book at the moment (and it was fun for me too, for the first 100 times) is from ZEBRA BOOK

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my name is stephanie duval, and i am a storyteller. this blog is where i share my favorite stories about design, travel, fashion and the nice things in life.

 

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