By Caitlin Rattray
It may sound like a cliché but Parisian women have a certain je ne sais quoi when it comes to style. In fact, French women in general are leaps and bounds ahead of their British counterparts and given fashion’s connections to the capital, the streets of Paris are the perfect illustration of Parisian chic at its best.
For tourists visiting the French capital, the streets of Paris can be something of a disappointment – they are a bit grubby, graffitied and look nothing like they do in ‘Amelie’. As a result several Japanese tourists a year are sent home suffering from ‘Paris Syndrome’ (no, I’m not joking) which basically involves a psychiatric breakdown due to their unfulfilled expectations. Clearly, the traumatised tourists in question spent too much time focussing on the littered pavements and not enough time ogling the beautiful women that grace them.
It is important here to make the distinction between ‘fashion’ and ‘style’ as it would be wrong to suggest the Parisian women are the most ‘fashionable’ in the world. They are not as concerned as their equals in London or New York with following the latest trends, instead Parisian women aim to create ageless, effortless style. And so, the older they get, the more fine tuned their style becomes as they have spent a lifetime learning what colours suit their skin tone, what cuts suit their shape and what fabrics flatter their flabby bits. Essentially, they make educated decisions rather than following frivolous fashion fads.
The British fashion elite like to place huge importance on our ability to be unique. Fashion-conscious British boys and girls are constantly striving to be different to the point where they’ll ditch a trend as soon as the wrong type of person catches on or simply too many people turn it into ordinary. We embrace the madness of our unconventional home-grown designers such a Vivienne Westwood, Henry Holland and Christopher Kane and when you compare said designers to the creations of some of the most celebrated French designers such as Coco Chanel, Christian Dior and Roland Mourant, it is clear that the distinction between the two camps is stark. I’ll leave you with the following quote from Coco Chanel which I think speaks volumes for the simple, classic and enduring nature of French style, even today… ‘I imposed black; it’s still going strong now, for black wipes out everything else around’.
Street Style Parisian Chic