If there’s one style sure to get pen to paper on both sides of the Atlantic, it’s Parisian chic. Often discussed, rarely understood, it’s a firm favorite among columnists short of inspiration. Beyond the clichés, let’s unpick this style the whole world is looking to emulate.
The passing years have had no visible effect on this iconic look. Inès de la Fressange is Parisian chic personified, with a smattering of Saint-Germain-des-Prés thrown in for good measure. Whether in preppy mode as ambassador for Roger Vivier ballet flats or channeling her inner urchin as she takes on Paris to reveal its hidden gems, she is the epitome of casual chic and feminine allure. A fan of masculine-feminine style, she’s a wonder in a suit, with a white bib-front or mandarin collar shirt, wide-leg corduroy pants and slip-ons. Beyond the look, the Inès brand of Parisian chic is also a voice that’s not afraid to be heard or stand up for what it believes in.
It arose in the wake of How to be Parisian wherever you are, a book co-written by four fashionable females who each embody their own version of Parisian chic: the boho-bourgeoise Anne Berest, the intello-chic Audrey Diwan, the boho-cool Sophie Mas and the rock glam Caroline de Maigret. The latter was able to ride the publishing storm and in a few short months become the embodiment of Parisian cool. She parades her elegance and nonchalance through the streets of Paris with an unkempt look that is anything but. Her wardrobe essentials? A men's suit, a shirt with no bra, a black leather jacket, a pea coat, a pair of stilettos and wingtip Derby shoes. The cigarette between your fingers and fringe in your eyes are optional.
There’s a new generation of Parisian women who are making post-war guinguette style their own, suffusing the streets of Paris with a fresh country breeze. At the forefront of this urban-rural fusion is Jeanne Damas, a Parisian who calls the 10th arrondissement home and enjoys navigating its streets by bike. She has turned the humble basket into the capital’s latest It-bag and with Jeanne as its ambassador, its peasant charm is captivating the city. Her favorite look (besides her signature lipstick) consists of high-rise jeans, an oversized jacket and high-heeled ankle boots. Sock boots and lace-up boots are also a key part of her romantic-chic shoe closet. With her natural style and irreverence, she’s the very essence of Figaro Madame’s Parisian woman:
« a bewildering mix of fashionable, sexy, reserved and liberated, the Parisian woman knows how to combine classics and pure fashion like no other. »