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Haute Revelations: A Parisian Style Evolution

When I was reluctantly packing my bags for Paris, I was worried my suitcase of vintage dresses would not cut it. Having obsessed over Paris’ notoriously chic female species since I picked up my first fashion glossy, how would my frumpy Midwestern duds ever stand up to the Capital of haute couture? My anti-fashion upbringing has left me with an inherent interest in clothing. Growing up on peanuts, I was begrudgingly outfitted in my older brother’s hand-me-down superhero t-shirts. Or better yet, my mother dragged us along to the thrift store long before it made its comeback. But as I thumbed through the rows of color-coordinated sartorial rejects, all I really wanted was to dress in Limited Too and Gap Kids like everyone else at school. And have blond hair and finally learn how to do a cartwheel. But as I grew up, I started studying fashion magazines. A quarter vintage, a quarter suburban fashion mall, and a half my own scary sewing projects, I curated a very colorful look of my own. Long before I picked up a paintbrush, fashion was my daily dose of self-expression.

When I got off the plane at Charles de Gaulle, I was boldly armed in my favorite ruffled, red Chiquita banana dress. And I quickly learned what I had become: a big, fat foreigner. I crossed some impeccably chic French women on the street with their ritualistic blowouts, invisible makeup, and enviable silhouettes. Continue Reading »

Posted in Fashion | 9 Comments »

Paris Fashion: Our 15 Favorite Fall Items

D©Bloom

Fall is the absolute best season for style—agreed? During the summer, you’d rather just be naked, and come winter, you wish you could wear one of those sleeping-bag coats all day. Autumn provides a precious window in which you can strut your stuff while feeling cozy and comfortable. Here are some of our Paris-ready favorites from brands in France, the U.S. and the U.K. Happy hunting!

1. A.P.C. to the rescue yet again with fall sweater perfection. Continue Reading »

Posted in Fashion, Parisian Living | 1 Comment »

Paris Summer Fashion: This Season’s 13 Must-Haves

Making Magique

With the longest day of the year quickly approaching, we are beyond ready to break out our summer duds. The weather isn’t exactly tropical here in Paris, but we’re all for a little wishful dressing. Here are 13 pieces we’d be psyched to wear this season—whether or not the sun decides to shine!

1. A.P.C. kicks up the basic white T-shirt with this slightly sassy open-necked version. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 3 Comments »

April in Paris: Tory’s 10 Spring Fashion Essentials

HiP Paris fave and globe-trotter extraordinaire Tory Hoen is finally back in Paris. In the next few weeks she’ll be doing the rounds of Paris’ latest hotspots, but first she shares her top Paris spring fashion picks with us here… Enjoy! -Geneviève

Carin Olsson

When I decided to spend this April in Paris, my euphoria was tainted by just one gnawing concern—what am I going to wear? We all know the Parisian spring is knock-your-socks off beautiful, but it’s a tricky season, sartorially-speaking. It can be cool and rainy one minute, balmy the next. It can feel like full-on summer on one side of the street, and winter once you cross into the shade. I’m constantly shedding and donning layers, and my normal fear of color is supplanted by an impulse to integrate bolder hues.

Although my highly unhelpful inner voice said, “Just pack everything!,” I’ve managed to narrow things down. Below is a list of 10 spring essentials that I know will serve me well this season.

1. When boots start to feel too clunky but it’s not yet sandal season, I live in my Repettos. They come in a variety of fun colors, but you can wear the classic black with just about anything.

2. While I’m not always the savviest of shoppers, I regularly high-five myself for having bought this beige trench from Comptoir des Cotonniers. I wear it constantly—open, closed, buttoned, belted—and always feel put-together, even when I’m wearing nothing underneath. Just kidding.

3. I am generally an extremist when it comes to lip color: either very sheer gloss or devil-may-care matte red. But for spring, a more carefree coral (like Nars satin lipstick in Niagara) feels like the way to go.

4. Made in their atelier in the Marais, Monsieur’s delicate gold and silver rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings add a perfectly simple accent to springtime garb. (53 Rue Charlot, 3ème arrondissement).

5. While my winter handbag is generally overflowing with unnecessary bulk—old receipts, dozens of pens, a single glove, matchbooks pilfered from various restaurants—I like to lighten up for spring. A saddle bag in a bright color, like this one from A.P.C., fits the bill perfectly. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living, Shopping | 14 Comments »

Paris Fashion Week: How to Dress the Part

Posing in the Tuileries in between shows, Paris Fashion Week 2012 (Boswell)

When early March hits, something in the air changes. Models come out of the woodwork and women in New York, London, Paris and elsewhere put a bit more effort into their attire. If you’re not in the fashion industry, it’s easy to be bewildered by the overnight switch from simple booties to stilettos. Fashion week is both daunting and exciting; add a locale like Paris to the mix and both sensations are heightened. Fear not, mes amis – dressing like a chic insider for Paris Fashion Week is possible.

Think of this week as an opportunity. March also (hopefully) marks the end of winter, a season when dreary days have the masses stuck in a style rut. Fashion choices are understandably made based on the practicality of pieces rather than how they actually look. After all, freezing temperatures make it near impossible to trade your puffy coat (the one that doubles as a sleeping bag) in for a cropped leather jacket, right?

Comings and goings in the Tuileries, Paris Fashion Week 2012 (Boswell)

Now that the weather’s turning around, ditch the bulk and grab your most daring pieces. Remember that quirky vintage hat you just had to have? Here’s your chance to wear it and not hear “mon dieu” whispered more times than you can count. Or those wonderfully whimsical printed tights that you feel just a little bit funny wearing around on any old day? Pull ‘em up. Parisians embrace Fashion Week, but that’s not to say you’ll get away with what you could in, say, New York. Here are a few guidelines to aid in your PFW sartorial adventures: Continue Reading »

Posted in Events, Parisian Living, Shopping | 9 Comments »

Paris Winter Fashion: Les Hommes Parisiens Are Seductive, Sexy, Cool

Christopher Hue

Paris is known for many things: its light, its bistros and, of course, its fashionably chic women. But what about its men? Do les hommes parisiens share that certain je ne sais quoi for which their female counterparts are so admired?

Alas, in a word, non.

Parisian men do, however, have distinctive style that manages to marry the rakish allure of Vincent Cassel or Olivier Martinez with the more bourgeois appeal of, say, Francois Cluzet. In short, his cool charm derives from an unstudied, imperfect look that works without looking overworked. Matchy-matchy, perfectly pressed and impeccably coordinated is just un-Parisian.

Annelie Willemijn

Here are some hallmarks of Parisian style pour homme, as seen on the city’s streets this chilly season.

Le foulard: There may be no look more “French” than an artfully tied scarf. Men are rarely seen in Paris without stylish neck wear — rain or shine. From the classic Burberry check to sumptuous cashmere or printed cotton, a casually wrapped neck is simply a must.

Les chaussures: Men’s shoes have gone narrow and pointy; classics like leather oxfords and sporty suede bucks have seemingly been stretched. A gently pointed toe is the only shoe shape that looks right right now. For weekends en ville, swap out the dress shoes for a well-worn pair of tennis — Puma or Adidas, please.

Annelie Willemijn

Les pantalons: Athletes with ample quads, beware: Modern Parisian trousers are très slim cut. Like those spotted on fashionable Parisiennes, slim-cut dark wash jeans for men can go almost anywhere in Paris these days. Worn with a tailored blazer or fine-knit sweater (think body-hugging), un jean works just as well for a stroll through the Centre Pompidou as it does for a dinner at a swank bistro. Whether it’s jeans, chinos or wool trousers, keep the cut close; a flared leg or tailored cuff is a definite style don’t. Continue Reading »

Posted in Design, Parisian Living, Shopping | 7 Comments »

Paris Winter Fashion: The Girls of Montmartre

Winter in Paris is the perfect opportunity to indulge in creative layering, colorful tights and stylish boots. While stylish Parisiennes abound in Paris, the people-watching on the cobblestoned streets of Montmartre is one of our favorite ways to while away a lazy afternoon on a heated café terrace. Fashion guru and dear HiP Paris contributor Badaude shares here some of her favorite cold-weather items, courtesy of the lovely Montmartro-girls, here. – Geneviève

Related links:

Written by Badaude for the HiP Paris Blog. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.

Posted in Parisian Living | 6 Comments »

Paris Fashion: 5 Fall Essentials

Badaude, the talented illustrator and Paris editor at the Style Bible, brings us here her top 5 fall fashion must-haves, as portrayed by her characteristic sketches of Parisiennes. Thanks to her advice we are off to start building our collection of opaque tights in bright fall hues!

What’s a French classic? We all know about trench coats and berets, though I’m not too sure many people wear them outside Amelie. There is a Paris ‘uniform’. If you want to fit in – or if you want to give it a go because, well, fifty million French girls can’t be wrong, here are the items I see on the street all the time.

Have I missed anything? Let me know…

Badaude - Five Essentials for the Fall
Paris Fall Fashion Essentials – Badaude

Continue reading for more Paris fall fashion essentials…

Continue Reading »

Posted in Design, Shopping | 12 Comments »

France’s Foot Fetish: The Cult of Repetto French Ballet Slippers

repetto-parisatelier.blogspot.comparisatelier.blogspot.com

When it comes to footwear, there is one word that sends fashionistas around the globe swooning: Repetto. The brand is a well-kept secret that Parisians have known about since the first pair was created in 1947, but (as usual) the rest of us are just catching on. Frankly, I’m not the type to squeal over a pair of shoes—or so I thought, until I had a Repetto-related epiphany that made me realize what all the fuss was about.

Repettorepetto.com

The brand’s cult status dates back to the 1950s, when Rosa Repetto created an iconic ballet flat for sultry French actress Brigitte Bardot. In the 1970s, Serge Gainsbourg got on board, and the rest was history. Though the company still creates actual dance shoes, many of their styles have been co-opted by those who simply want to prance around the streets in them (myself included). Today, most self-respecting Parisiennes have at least one pair in their closets. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living, Shopping | 8 Comments »

Surviving Fashion Week in Paris

BP-MONT-2-Fashion-W.030210womensmafia.com/tapisserie-jdsavoye.com

Brace yourself, Parisians! The Jet Set is about to  descend upon the city for yet another fashion week. This year’s Ready-to-Wear shows run from March 2-10, but as we all know, fashion week is about much more than just the shows themselves. It’s about exclusive parties, insider meetings, an endless flow of champagne, and looking ultra-stylish at all times. In other words, c’est trop fashion. (Yes, in Paris, we actually use the word “fashion” as an adjective).

For those of us not directly involved in the fashion industry, Fashion Week can inspire one of two reactions: 1) dress to the nines and try to get in on the action by talking your way past the velvet ropes (good luck!). Or 2) hunker down and keep a low profile until the mayhem subsides. Whether you’re an action-chaser or an action-avoider, we have some tips for you.

Fashion Week Paris 2010Photos: Photo Agency; Sojones.com; L’Express.com

Continue Reading »

Posted in Shopping | 2 Comments »