7 steps to French chic: Tips from Paris Fashion Week
With Paris Fashion Week all done and dusted, the crowds of stylish French women, bloggers and famous-for-being-famous types dispersed. But not without a few lessons learned.
So, taking a cue from the pros, we present our 7 top tips for getting that certain je ne sais quoi that only les françaises know how to achieve. Take note, expats and Parisian hopefuls!
1. Truly chic françaises don’t need to flash it around.
If there was one show everyone was talking about, it was a surprisingly minimalist Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton. Even the famed flamboyant kilt-wearer was looking sleek in black.
His latest ready-to-wear collection followed suit (pardon the pun). A collaboration with artist Daniel Buran (the guy who created those striped columns at the Palais Royal) saw bold geometric prints, pop colours and 60s silhouettes float down the escalators of the Louvre.¹
But the biggest shock: the famed monogram ‘LV’ was completely absent from the collection.
So ladies, the lesson here is not to flash your cash around – as French women know so well. Understatement, minimalism and elegance are the only words in their fashion vocabularies.
2. Environmentalism is so passéen France
That’s right – chop down trees, turn some animals into coats and voilà! You have a fashion show fit for the A-list.
The set at the Miu Miu show may have used the wood supplies of a small European country: there was a wooden red carpet, wooden invitations, wooden seats, a wooden catwalk… but it was nothing short of stunning.
Smokey jazz sounds welcomed streams of 50s femmes fatales in tie-dye fur, dark denim and all sexy silhouettes.²
Ironically, the collection was showcased at Paris’ Grand Environmental Council…
3. Keep it classic, darling
Elie Saab knows the value of a classic, sexy frock. And so should you.
His latest collection was a repeat of the usual Saab sartorial fare: figure-hugging lace, dreamy hues, a dash of sparkle and a generous helping of sex-appeal.
4. Make the impractical, practical
“Enfin! At last!” I hear you cry. “A practical and chic way to carry around my hula hoop!”
It seems you and Karl Largerfeld are on the same page here. There are several lessons to learn: apparently bigger is indeed better, hula hoops are back, and impracticality always wins out.
Watch Karl attempt to explain the appeal of the hula hoop bag:
Tip: don’t take this one on the metro.
5. Be Queen Bee.
Or perhaps Queen beekeeper. Following on from the autumn/winter 2012/13 trend of veils and face-obscuring headgear, Sarah Burton opted for one style of hat that hasn’t yet been tried: the beekeeper helmet.
One thing’s sure, at least these models won’t have a bee in their bonnet…
6. Keep the romance alive.
The French know romance. And Valentino is what they wear to make the mood just right. Remember those three little words once more: understated, minimalist and elegant.
A glass of champagne and a Valentino gown never go astray when you want to make the night go to plan.
7. Change your face, change your name.
A little reinvention never goes astray. This was certainly not what the fashion scene was thinking when the house-formerly-known-as Yves Saint Laurent announced they were dropping their prénom.
Now simply ‘Saint Laurent’, with fashion heavyweight Hedi Slimane at the helm, the collection was far removed from what most associate with the house. I’m not sure what the original M. Saint Laurent himself would have thought about suede safari dresses…
But I must say, I loved Slimane’s sleek nonchalance. Always made easier with a large, mysterious hat. French fashionista hopefuls, take note.
Which look from Paris Fashion week will you be working next season?
“I’m a Melbourne-based journalist, editor, photographer, and blogger dreaming of la vie européenne. I love all things French except for the pigeons: film, food, literature, fashion, and I indulge in this passion as often as possible! Find me on Twitter, or Google+.”
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