With Christine heading off to France this week for a Very Big Adventure, I decided to choose some of favourite French femmes to inspire her holiday wardrobe. She’s never been a great one for succinct packing anyway, so what difference will a few extra dresses, strings of pearls and petticoats make? Bon voyage, twin!
OK, so modern interpretations of Marie Antoinette may paint her somewhat more favourably and flatteringly than the real version, but no-one embodies Christine’s theory of more-is-more than the former Queen of France. Sofia Coppola painted her in pastel ensembles with macaroons, lashings of champagne and a bow-strewn bouffant and while that’s not all necessarily true… the real queen was still superbly stylish, albeit in slightly less glorious technicolour.
The look: Feathers, finery and frills.
Coco Chanel: The first lady of fashion, Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel popularised pearls, tans and trousers for girls – and that’s just the start. Striped shirts, jersey, skirt suits, the little black dress, costume jewellery – Coco’s design legacy is arguably the most influential in fashion history. The interlocked Cs remain a style statement to this day on everything from lipsticks to luxury luggage. To learn more information, check out online colleges to find fashion courses that can teach you more about why CocoChanel was an icon in the fashion industry.
The look: Tomboyish pieces, pearls and plenty of black.
Brigitte Bardot: The original and best sex bomb, actress-turned-activist Brigitte Bardot dominated the 60s with her irresistible appeal. All big blonde bouffant, kittenish makeup and figure-hugging threads, Brigitte popularised gypsy-inspired pieces – wide necklines falling off the shoulder, full skirts and oh-so-tight sweaters. Oh, and she was a fan of a bikini too.
The look: Big hair, big skirts, big gold earrings
Jane Birkin: OK so musician Jane may have been born in England, but she’s synonymous with French style thanks to her relationship with Serge Gainsbourg and total immersion in the country’s culture. Also, her effortless, slightly bohemian style just feels French, especially that fringe. Jane is also the name behind the Hermes Birkin bag – that’s a £9,000 homage to a very stylish woman.
The look: Flares, fitted tops and slingback sandals.
Françoise Hardy: Perhaps the most referenced French style icon of them all, Françoise combines boho beauty with a super-cool mod aesthetic. The sixties chanteuse sports one of the finest fringes in history and her world-weary acoustic guitar-soundtracked songs were obligatory listening for hipsters worldwide – and with suitors including Bob Dylan, David Bowie and Mick Jagger, it’s safe to say her looks wowed as much as her work.
The look: Boho meets mod – with expert hair thrown in
Inès de la Fressange: The first model to sign an exclusive contract with Chanel, Inès enjoyed the lofty title of Karl Lagerfeld’s muse for most of the 80s. They had a high profile fall-out but judging by her appearance on the Chanel catwalk last summer, it’s back to business as usual. Still as stylish as ever at 54, Inès reckons French women have a kind of arrogant style and explains the look as: “I ignore fashion, I do my own thing.”
The look: Chic, Chanel, shamelessly timeless
Thanks Twin it’s such an honour + inspiration to have you onboard for the guest blogger series.
The Fabulous Times