I have to admit that since moving to France, I’ve been surprised by French style. People are generally well dressed and put some effort into their look, but I can’t help but get overwhelmed by a sense of cookie cutter style. Almost everyone looks good, chic as you imagine, but they all look the same. Is it a result of the French ideal of of fraternité et égalité? Maybe. Conformity of style does keep everyone more or less equal at least on the surface. Yet, uniform as French style may be, there is still much to be said for it – French women do all look so chic. So, what makes French style today?
Bill Cunningham recently did a report about Fashion Week in Paris saying that the black biker jacket “brings it all together” (he also used the word epidemic to describe the masses of these jackets!) becoming as classic and casual as denim (what could be more égalité than jeans?). Walking down the streets of Dijon or Paris you’ll see at least 100 biker jackets passing by on old or young and dressed up or casual.
As for shoes, classic French style calls for little black flats but today wedge high tops, motorcycle boots, and Converse have taken over. Maybe it is for comfort, but the modern French girl is not so girl, she’s got an edge a la Isabel Marant. Today’s Paris classic is urban.
When it comes to color, French style is neutral: black, grey, beige, white. Neutrals are always pulled together, and never out of style. Gloomy? Boring? Maybe a bit, but always chic and trés natural making the perfect palate for the final touch of hair and makeup…
Because, for work, for play, to pick up the daily baguette, a stylish Frenchie will have her nails and lips painted, preferably red, her hair a bit disheveled or in a little bun on the top of her head, so glam yet somehow so subtle. I guess that is what the French je ne sais quoi is really all about.
Any other elements you’d add to the new French look?
Photos via The Sartorialist, WhoWhatWhere, Vanessa Jackman, The Front Row View, Life is a Luxury,
Sara Dans Le Noir, and The Fashion Tag.