Thursday, June 30, 2011

There is No Such Thing as “Parisian” Chic

You know what Paris?  You’re beautiful, we get it.  You have the Eiffel Tower.  The Louvre is the home to the Mona Lisa, Death of the Virgin, and the Venus de Milo.

And okay, Paris is also the home of the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré where you can stroll the narrow avenue and stop by the home of Hermès and more importantly until 2009 Christian Lacroix, darling (and yes, I will cop to owning one Lacroix scarf I bought entirely so I could fling it across my neck while exclaiming, “it’s Lacroix darling, La-CROIX.”)

My non-Parisian style drinking icons.
All that aside Paris does NOT corner the market on chic and dammit, it’s time someone told Paris so.

I’m currently reading Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange  and overall, I love it, it’s cute, it’s positive and I’m enjoying it immensely.

Seriously, it's a fun read, go buy it!

That said, I gotta be honest so far I’ve learned that Parisian women:
1.  Idolize Jackie Kennedy Onassis (American) and Audrey Hepburn (Brit)
2.  Revere Breakfast at Tiffany’s as über-chic (American movie about a New York Socialite as played by a British actress and based not all that well on a story by American author, and fellow Southerner, Truman Capote who is now so easily confused with Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and okay fine, the french designer, Hubert de Givenchy, did the wardrobe for Hepburn for the movie, but Californian, Edith Head was the costume supervisor)
3.  Speaking of Tiffany (jewelry store, not 80s pop starlet), it seems Parisians appreciate the brand’s elegant simplicity (founded by Charles Lewis Tiffany of Connecticut)
4.  And lastly, according to Ma'am de la Fressange, Parisian women sport Converse sneakers as their “casual” chic shoe when trying to appear as though they are “not trying too hard” (Converse, a Massachusetts company founded in the early 1900s by Marquis Mills Converse of New Hampshire).

Now, I’m not all about patriotic fervor.  Chic knows no nationality.  I’m also pretty sure that French women, much like the rest of us, do get fat.  And there is no damn shame in that.

Women are chic because they want to be chic.  Not because they live in Paris, New York, Milan, or London.  But it does make it easy to market a book.  After all, I bought into it.  And I'm glad I did.  Tongue-in-cheek review notwithstanding.

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