SO FRENCHY SO CHIC
Ever wondered why the French are known for their style? I’ve just arrived in Paris (how cool!!) and thought I’d do a bit of a deep dive into the reasons why, as a nation, France is the undisputed queen of style.
From Marie Antoinette to today’s haute couture, France has long ruled fashion. It is actually outside Paris, in nearby Versailles, that the story of French fashion truly begins. During the reign of Louis XIV (1643-1715), the court invested heavily in the arts – and fashion. Visitors to Versailles would be dazzled by not only the King himself, but also the palace’s many courtiers and mistresses, who set trends both in France and abroad. [Louis XIV] wanted to make sure that his appearance and the appearance of his courtiers were in accordance with his idea of being a modern, powerful, civilised monarch.
Following the death of Louis XIV, the courtiers at Versailles began spending more time in Paris. Coupled with the emergence of fashion icons like Marie Antoinette, this led many to associate Paris with fashion & sensual pleasure.
Paris’s focus was on womenswear. French fashion revolved around the idea of la Parisienne – the ideal Parisian woman, stylish, cultured, and discerning – and Paris itself was referred to in the feminine. In the late 1940s and early ’50s, designers like Christian Dior, Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel, and Hubert de Givenchy ushered in what’s now referred to as the ‘Golden Age’ of French fashion, and there was no doubt of Paris’s supremacy in womenswear.
Paris still reigns internationally as a fashion metropolis for a variety of reasons. Almost all the gigantic luxury global groups are based in Paris. Designer Isabel Marant, also based in Paris, points to the grandeur of the city’s fashion shows, too, in commenting on its status as the world’s fashion capital. “Paris,” says Marant, “is quite unique for the way that fashion is expressed [there], for the quality and level of the shows of its fashion week.” She goes on to say in an interview with the BBC “France has a great cultural heritage,” mentioning the likes of Paul Poiret, Elsa Schiaparelli, and Chanel, who “created new trends [and were] admired all over the world”.
In France, people know their style and are loyal to it. Modern day French style hero’s of mine are Charlotte Gainsbourg, Caroline De Maigret, Vanessa Paradis & iconic Francoise Hardy. Look them up for a little French street style inspo.
Looking to source some French chic for your wardrobe?? Brands that are adored by celebrité du jours? Keep scrolling for some fabulous French designer pieces available to shop now at aceyacey.com.au.
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Christian Dior Vintage