They make it look so easy...
Reams and volumes have been written about the bred-in-the-bone, girl-can't-help-it, throwaway chic of French women, Parisiennes in particular. But dammit, it's just true!
The Alaia sure boots don't hurt...
I'm a little embarrassed by how much I want one of those YSL logo t's. And I'm not a very logo-y person, I generally eschew them completely. But I've just become a complete ho for all things YSL.
In the chick-flick version of my life, the one where my character is played by Kate Hudson, or if it's a low-budget arty/indie chick-flick, Maggie Gyllenhaal, I go to sleep one night and I wake up French.
How does this happen? Okay, I'll tell ya. Here's my movie: A rabid Francophile, Maggie has taught herself to speak French, watched every French-language movie -- modern or classic -- available, mastered the art of French cooking, and rides a bicycle with one of those fetching baskets on the handlebars to her job waiting tables in a sweet little faux-French café in her mid-sized mid-western city. Sadly, she has never been to Paris -- can you believe it? But one day, exploring a musty yet charming used bookstore, she stumbles across an old, slightly tattered copy of one of Colette's novels -- probably "Cheri" -- that has an inscription written in a spidery hand that reads, "Le rêve devient la vérité." Late that night, with a glass of French wine on the table beside her, Maggie snuggles into her couch and sets about reading the book. Hours pass. The candle flickers. The cat's tail twitches. Maggie falls asleep, the book slipping from her hand and dropping to the floor. A breeze ruffles the pages, the candle goes out & the picture fades to black and when the lights come up, Maggie shakes herself awake in an adorable Left Bank apartment with a geranium-laden balcony and a gorgeous view.
Wackiness, romance, and self-discovery ensue.
Sadly, so far I have not woken up French. I haven't given up completely on some sort of French fairy godmother tapping me on ma tête bouclée with her magic wand, but until then I have to be content with trying to look the part. To paraphrase Kevin Costner, if I wear it, it will come.
Here's my latest effort:
Random white button-front blouse (Ann Taylor, I think), Lucky jeans, black sequined Golde vest, long ribbon-tied faux pearl necklace as belt, Gucci Flora black silk sandals.
(You need a closer look at these sandals, because these? Are magical. Oh, I love these shoes.)
And because I know I'm going to get chilly eventually, my long purple merino cardi from Banana Republic to go over it.
It would be more Parisian if the cardi were black or gray, but I just can't do without a shot of color.
(A note on the jeans: I really love these. They're actually men's jeans from Lucky Brand -- I was wanting some so-called "boyfriend jeans" but I didn't want to spend a mint, which is what a lot of them cost. I also wanted something that was a mid-rise -- long-waisted me is tired of hoiking my waistband up over my hipbones. And then I thought, "Well, hey, if I want men's-style jeans, why don't I just try some men's jeans?" So I did. I'm pretty sure they're these, and if you're looking for this sort of thing but don't want to spend tons of money, Style Spy highly recs.)
I wore this out to dinner with a friend the other night. We were originally supposed to be hitting my favorite French place, but Jim was visiting from up north where it snows and they think Taco Bell is Mexican food and he had a tooth for mole, so we went & got the best to be had in Austin. So I didn't get to order my vin blanc en français, but I still worked my outfit. Whaddya think? Could I pass at Café Flore?
Perhaps it's silly. I dunno. But if I can't be there (and I just can't right now), it makes me feel a teeny bit better if I feel like I at least look like I'm there.
And by the way -- if you're my French fairy godmother and you're reading this, get a move on, ma petite chou. Redhead's not getting any plus jeune!
Photos: streetpeeper.com, parlerparisapartments.com, Style Spy