Do it French style

As we know, less is of­ten more. So make like a Parisian and take it down a notch.

Sunday Star-Times - Sunday Magazine - - TREND RE­PORT WITH JOSIE STEEN­HART -

Hey ev­ery­one, I’m in Paris! My friends and fam­ily read­ing this now will be prob­a­bly p y be groan­ing: “We know.” But ut for those of you who ho didn’t, I am. And while it’s not ex­actly actly orig­i­nal,

I have to say that Paris is one of my ab­so­lute favourite places ces to visit. What’s not to love? It’s equal parts el­e­gant and edgy, breath­tak­ingly thtak­ingly beau­ti­ful and down­right ht dirty.

The his­tory, the cul­ture, e, the lan­guage, the food, the e wine! It’s also a place I take many style cues from.

Parisian women just do it so well. If I listed my style tyle icons, at least a third would be French – Jeanne Da­mas, Em­manuelle Alt (pic­tured), Cle­mence Poesy, Char­lotte Gains­bourg, Caro­line de Mai­gret, Is­abel Marant ant and Ca­pucine Safyurtlu u – to name a few of those who ho spring to mind.

And while out­side of spe­cial oc­ca­sions, all of these women are par­tial to cap­sule clas­sics las­sics such as jeans, T-shirts, silk blouses, the odd flo­ral dress, an­kle boots or sneak­ers, some­how they ey just wear them so well.

So what is it that sets Parisian style apart? It’s hard to pin­point, oint, but of course the French have e a word for it – in­sou­ciant – and a phrase ase – je ne sais quoi (I don’t know what). at).

French fashion writer, r, pho­tog­ra­pher and in­flu­encer Garance Dore de­scribes it in her book Love Style le Life in three words: “El­e­gance is re­fusal.” fusal.” While the rest of the world might be study­ing trends and buy­ing into the next big thing, in Paris they know their style and stick to it. “Parisians have this abil­ity to be cool and chic with­out ap­pear­ing ap­pearin to have made an ef­fort. It is a ques­tion quest of at­ti­tude, of de­tails, and of a char­ac­ter c that makes this ‘some­thing more’,” French It-girl Jeanne Da­mas told W mag­a­zine. Speak­ing to B Bri­tish Vogue, model and mu­sic pr pro­ducer Caro­line de Mai­gret s says the same – “at­ti­tud “at­ti­tude”. De Mai­gret says clothes should be cool and sexy, but bu still you.

“To m my eyes, what is sexy is mys­tery.” myst

In­stea In­stead of hav­ing cleavag cleav­age on full dis­play, she’ll ch choose a top with a nar­row, plung­ing V-neck or a jacket jacke that flashes a lit­tle col­lar col­lar­bone. The three pieces piece ev­ery woman should shou own? “A blazer, jeans jean and a white T-shi T-shirt,” says de Mai­gret. It’s ac achiev­able.

And while build­ing bu (and rock­ing) a war wardrobe of cool clas­sics might seem eas­ier than try­ing to chase and keep up with trends, there’s one o thing to keep in mind, ac­cord­ing to Dore.

The New York r res­i­dent says the down­side of Paris Parisian fashion is that it can be “too sim­ple at times” com­pared to style cap­i­tals like the Big Ap­ple, where bolder forms of self-ex­pres­sion are on dis­play.

To me, the fi­nal take­away take is that it’s not what you wear, but ho how you wear it, and how you feel in it, which surely trans­lates in any lan­guage. In the me mean­time, I’m off to my lo­cal bistro in jeans, T T-shirt and as much Kiwi at­ti­tude as I can mus muster. Salut!

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