Monday, March 30, 2009

Les filles Parisiennes...

If there were only one photo (and in this case, for this blog, it seems there is) to sum up young, fresh, Parisian style - this is it:

We came upon these girls walking in the Tuilerie gardens, near the Louvre museum. From just this one photo, you can pull trend after trend from each of their looks, and as a whole, get a sense of the fashion pulse of the city.

Overall, there are 3 trends here that are staples of Parisian style that will probably never change:

1. Layers - Springtime in Paris can mean experiencing multiple seasons in just one day. Layering a little jacket over a sweater over a tunic top over leggings and topping it off with a scarf creates the signature look that is as practical as it is stylish.
2. Boots - From classic knee-high flats to trendy ankle-skimming heels, boots have always been the sole-du-jour in Paris.
3. Black - Classic, slimming, understated, elegant, essential...nowhere do they understand the power of black better than Paris. It is a look embraced by the whole of Europe to be sure, but taking it from generic to genius is practically an art in this city.
A few more trends I grabbed from this photo that were all over the streets of Paris in March 2009:
  • Leather jacket - hip, slim-fitting, day-to-night cool, black, pretty much perfect.
  • Ankle boots - the brunette on the far left sports a moccasin style, fun with leggings, skirts or peeking out from skinny jeans.
  • Short over long - throwing a cropped jacket over a tunic-length top or sweater adds interest and edge to this look.
  • Longchamp - a longtime French favorite, these classic and durable bags come in a rainbow of colors and numerous sizes/shapes.
  • Printed scarves - not so much new as enduring; three of these filles are sporting them, all tied differently - an 'icing on the cake' piece
  • Ray Bans - nothing new here. If you don't have a classic pair of wayfarers or aviators...i don't really know what to tell you. invest. Like - now.
  • Hats - if you can pull it off, top it off! A fedora or panama adds instant charisma and cool.
Keeping up with fashion and trends is tough. It can be exhausting and expensive. What I have always loved about Paris is the way it has mastered the balance between old and new. Grand palaces cozy up next to H&M, internet cafes come alive under pre-war apartment buildings. In the same way, Parisians mix classic staples and new pieces to create eclectic, fabulous and unique style. There's really nothing new about black leggings and big scarves. But mixing them with say, converse hightops, a fedora, or (i'll say it again) a leather jacket - is fresh, easy, and tres chic.

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