This video by Vanessa Paradis is really quite captivating… it might be the French lyrics, the mesmerizing video or perhaps her quirky look. Either way it’s a winner for me – and I’m not what you would call a fan of pop music. It’s from the album Love Songs – a long way on from her fabulously awkward hit, ‘Joe Le Taxi‘, as a gawky 14-year-old.
Being captivated by the hot Paradis (former girlfriend of Mr. Johnny Depp and mother of his children), I realised my love for Parisienne style icons was steadily growing – Emmanuelle Alt (first and foremost, always) who has been quoted, “I don’t look after myself. I don’t do yoga, Pilates, those things,” “Makeup? I just black my eyes and that’s it. My hair? I get it cut on set; I never go to a hairdresser. I’m not sure I’m French.” – sounds familiar, and I’m definitely not French. Then there is Carine Roitfeld, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Josephine de la Baume and a newbie to my list (and right up there joint place with Ms Alt. – a strong statement I know) is Caroline de Maigret… below you’ll see why.
My all time favourite film is Amelie… a film you can watch over and over again and still discover new details within it. If you haven’t yet watched it, I suggest you do. I guess this sparked my love for all things Parisienne. Granted, this film doesn’t depict Paris as the glamorous fashion capital, but rather an awkward yet incredibly cute love found in the most romantic city in the world, and a focus on brilliant characters, as well as a little photography, art and music.
Even when I used to hear a busker playing the accordion on the city streets back home, if I closed my eyes for just a second, I liked to pretend I was in Paris!…
There is just something about that city and the style icons it bears. Style icons who bear the beautiful French accent, tend to have about them an air of nonchalance – they also tend to be the epitome of ‘cool’, dress to emit the look of ‘effortless chic’ – au naturel with a little raw, a little rock ‘n’ roll and such understated elegance. Their look veers on the side of androgynous; not that that’s a side, more so a perfect juxtaposition of masculine and feminine.
They seem to go by the following; very little make up, hair unbrushed… no details, no fuss. Simplicity with a focus on texture and shape/structure – beautiful and edgy.
Here are the ladies, that I think, have that certain ‘je ne sais quoi’…
CARINE ROITFELD, 58, FORMER EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF VOGUE PARIS – NOW EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF CR FASHION BOOK
EMMANUELLE ALT, 46, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF VOGUE PARIS
Both Carine and Emmanuelle love to dress in their trademark ‘colour’ palette of blacks and greys, ladies after my own heart. Sometimes this makes much more of an impact than bright statement colours. For me, these two get it just so right, every time, it’s fierce and it’s down to the silhouette – sharp tailoring, a good pencil skirt, a feminine blouse… and sky-high heels.
JOSEPHINE DE LA BAUME, 28, SINGER AND MODEL
You can’t go wrong with beautiful hair, a red lippy and a leather jacket. A good hat also finishes a look of nicely, with tousled, just-got-out-of-bed hair. Josephine works the effortless look so well.
CHARLOTTE GAINSBOURG, 42, ACTRESS AND SINGER (DAUGHTER OF JANE BIRKIN AND SERGE GAINSBOURG)
42 years old?! If I look like Charlotte at the age of 42, I shall be one very happy lady. Again, it’s the fresh-faced, no make up, messy hair that I love. That and the lack of accessorising, just a focus on texture and shape of garment. I LOVE the first look – the skirt is amazing!
VANESSA PARADIS, 40, SINGER, MODEL AND ACTRESS (FORMER LONG-TERM GIRLFRIEND OF JOHNNY DEPP)
Vanessa; rock ‘n’ roll cool, gap-toothed quirkiness and that androgynous/boho style. Those red leather pants, smoky eyes, and neck scarf – winning look from Ms. Paradis.
CAROLINE DE MAIGRET, 38, MODEL, OWNER OF MUSIC LABEL – BONUS TRACK RECORDS
Caroline’s look isn’t as structured as Emmanuelle’s or as boho as Vanessa’s. It’s very relaxed and quite boyish in style. Usually best to wear a fitted top with loose-fitting jeans, Caroline shows here that loose-fitting clothing when teamed together does work – you just need to get the hair right. Adding a leather jacket to a white maxi dress toughens up the look, and I personally love a good pair of Docs. I love this lady’s style.