Misty, blurred, bright. Feeling like your entire existence is on black and white film. Water hangs in the air, suspended indefinitely just above pavement and cobblestones. Angry Frenchmen pay me no attention as they scurry down sidewalks; places to go and baguettes to eat.
Romance is everywhere; it fills rooms and dominates energies. Romance for lovers, romance for adventure, romance for all the enlightening sights and sounds I’ve discovered. This city’s romance knows no bounds. It’s not just for the couples; Paris is for the romantics, paired or not.
When I think of you, Paris, I will think of delicate lace, wet cobblestones, and too much bread. I will wistfully remember the clicking of heels on streets at 4 am. Laughter over a bottle of wine and a rude waiter. Speechlessness when I want to say something, and moments when I didn’t feel the need at all – like that night we watched the Eiffel Tower light up in all of her splendor.
I will always remember the day you served me all of my idols on a silver platter, walking down the street following a fashion show I will one day attend. The empowerment I felt in that moment, it can only be felt in a city like you.
Getting lost in your city streets didn’t taste like panic like it usually does; it felt like freedom vibrating across my skin and the rain acted as my guide. I explored with an intensity, feverishly eager for all the knowledge and experiences you had to offer.
Paris, most importantly you taught me that my greatest love is and will always will be with myself. Me and only me. I and only I can teach myself what I am worth. And Paris, with you I am worth everything.” – Journal entry, March 4th, 2017.
If you follow me on Instagram, you probably already know that I was in Paris this past weekend (yes, during Paris Fashion Week!). While I’m not yet cool enough to attend any shows, that doesn’t mean I didn’t partake in the fashion delirium taking place. The city was stylistically thriving (even more than usual) and this refreshing state of mind certainly guided my approach to dressing throughout the trip. The quintessential Parisian effortlessness that everybody talks about – it’s there, and it’s real.
I think there’s an element of trust between fashion and the French that the rest of us don’t experience; we spend precious minutes out of our day tucking and re-tucking shirts, re-tousling our hair, striving to achieve the perfect look. But the effortlessness of the French comes from them knowing that whatever garments they put on their back will indeed look more chic the less they are fussed with. They can’t afford to waste a moment double checking themselves – they have too many baguettes to eat and too little time.
I’m still trying to maintain that Paris state of mind when dressing back in Edinburgh and forever will, but there’s a spirit that exists in the city of style’s origin that’s hard to come by anywhere else. Until next time, I [wistfully] suppose.
Anyways, here’s what I wore. Let me know how I did.
In my Her Campus McGill interview, I discuss the serious French influence I’ve embraced since moving to Montreal. The French attitude towards dressing is admirable for a multitude of reasons. The red lip paired with messy hair and no makeup exudes a sort of confidence that nobody else can seem to achieve.
While the boyfriend jeans-blazer-heels look made famous by the French is unarguably cool, however, I’ve been more interested in classic, retro French looks. My preference for the past of course took Montreal’s French style inspiration and twisted it into a 60’s French attitude that I sometimes try to integrate into my outfits. I think my fondness for it comes from the tiny voice in my head that wants to add a bit of polish to every outfit I put on.
For this winter look, I took a suede mini – very reminiscent of the 60’s – and paired it with a tailored Peacoat I stole from my mom’s closet. The flats and turtleneck, both classic French essentials, were thrown in for that extra Parisian flare. And if I’m being honest, the hat and socks are primarily for warmth. I can’t show a winter look that’s going to make you totally freeze!
Imagine: the lucky attendants of the Chanel S/S ’15 show are just getting over the fashion genius they have just witnessed, and are ready for the typical fashion show finale, but instead of models walking the catwalk in single file one last time, they get something much different.
All the models come back out with signs, banners, and Chanel megaphones, forming a mass crowd parading down the Boulevard Chanel. Model and personality icon Cara Delevingne takes charge at the front, yelling “What do we want?” and “When do we want it?” with the other models passionately responding. The signs read “He for She” (a nod to the UN’s new campaign and Emma Watson’s speech), “History is Her Story,” and many other feminism-centered phrases. Following the true 70’s theme of the collection, the models are protesting.
For all those interested in fashion, we must thank Karl Lagerfeld and his army of passionate models. Too often the fashion industry is associated with shallow, materialistic beliefs. The materialism part is certainly true, indeed it is what the industry is based off of. But for some reason every time I describe myself as seriously interested in fashion to someone that evidently is not, how do they end up making me feel like my credibility as an intelligent human being has gone down a little bit? Certainly models must feel this on a daily basis, with people judging their careers to be professional dolls. This protest was an opportunity for models to show that they care about their rights as a woman just as much as anybody else, and that their profession does not define their beliefs, their social intelligence, or personality. Actually, it was an opportunity for everyone in the fashion industry to do so.