Fashion

NYC Fashion Versus La Mode Parisienne

by Maikka Piquemal

Both New York and Paris are fashion capitals, and are home to some of the world’s finest couture houses. With one city opening fashion month and the other closing it, what is the difference between NYC fashion versus La Mode Parisienne?

Left: Fashion blogger Jessica Wang is casually sitting inside a NYC subway train, in the iconic orange and yellow seats of RW train. They are at the City Hall stop in downtown Manhattan. She is wearing a yellow knitted long-sleeved top, black and yellow plaid cigarette pants, brown heeled sandals, and a white little purse. Right: French fashion princess Jeanne Damas is sitting in a dark green fire hydrant. She is wearing a black long-sleeved top (embellished with crystals on her forearms and chest and with white collar and cuffs), denim straight-cut fitted jeans, dark green velvety heeled sandals and a garnet braided basket handbag. The fire hydrant and her shoes are of the same color.
NYC & Paris – Top: blaireadiebee / Above Left:  jessicawang / Right: jeannedamas

If a New Yorker moves to Paris, she will find that not everything inside her Samsonite will suit the French capital. Sure, those Bottega Veneta boots will always be magic, but to belong in La Ville Lumière, she has to leave some of The Big Apple behind.

COLOR

Left: Fashion blogger Marion is sitting in the Avenue of the Americas fountain located in 1251 Sixth Avenue in Manhattan. Behind her is the famous Radio City. She is casually sitting, wearing a pair of big, black sunnies, a Balenciaga pull, black slim pants, shiny black stiletto ankle boots. The heels of these boots are probably 3 inches tall and are very pointy. Right: Fashion blogger Chloe Lecareux is sitting by the Seine River in Paris. Behind her are two boats parked, a parisian bridge, and the Eiffel Tower. She is wearing a tan coat, off-white knitted pull, a tan mini-skirt, suede golden brown boots that go just right below her knees. She is looking at her brown colored tote bag that is placed on her left.
Color and Shoes NYC & Paris – Left: mrsmarionms / Right: chloelecareux

While the New York City Subway looks like a chic funeral with most people wearing black from head to toe, Parisian women love a little subtle color. The rules: they should be in the same palette. Two is preferable, three may be too much.

Left: Fashion blogger Wendy Nguyen is standing in an avenue in NYC with 2 iconic yellow cabs behind her. She is seen sporting a color blocked ensemble -- fuschia pink long coat, bag and stilettos paired with a bright yellow dress. The yellow dress has a ruffled collar and the hemline hits just a little above her calves. It is secured by a belt in her waist that is bright yellow as well. Right: Fashion blogger Camille Charriere is posing in a Parisian balcony with a background of another Haussmannian building. She is wearing a white top with mutton sleeves, a pair of denim jeans and a white Givenchy bag.
Color NYC & Paris – Left: wendyslookbook / Right: camillecharriere

In the summer, New Yorkers like to color block while Parisians keep it neutral.

HANDBAGS

A NYC woman works hard, and for that, she adores the handbag that she hooks onto her forearm, and places carefully on the table. The bigger the Hermès, the better.

Left: Fashion designer Danielle Bernstein is enjoying a cup of coffee in her hand while having her brown Hermès Kelly bag strapped on her left forearm. She is wearing a pair of black sunnies, an oversized navy blue blazer, and a white shirt. Right: Fashion blogger Annabelle Belmondo is striking a pose with her nude colored coat and a small black YSL purse worn across her torso.
Handbags NYC & paris – Left: weworewhat / Right: annabelle.belmondo

A parisienne holds her sac in her hand or wears it across her torso. Like a bona fide part of herself, it will never be far away. It is sized right to carry the essentials, just like the Paris state of mind.

SHOES

Left: Fashion blogger Bridget is walking in Prince Street in SoHo, Manhattan. She is wearing a pair of black sunnies, a blue-green and black houndstooth plaid coat with black fur collar, and a pair of black leather knee-high boots with 3 inches pointy heels. Right: Fashion blogger Chloe Lecareux is hugging her dog while squatting. The Arc de Triomphe is behind her. She is wearing a white knitted pull, a pair of denim jeans, a small black purse worn across her torso, and a pair of beige crocodile leather boots. Her boots have 2 inches blocked heels. Her dog appears to wear a white type of shirt to match her.
Shoes NYC & Paris – Left: bridget / Right: chloelecareux

It may have been a French man named Christian Dior who revolutionized the stiletto, but it’s the women of New York who bring them to life. Parisians opt for comfort with block heels, and they regularly ride their bikes in them!

SKIN

Both photos are beauty portrait shots. Left: A model is seen wearing purple eyeshadow with falsies clipped on. Her face is well contoured and she has a nude lipstick on. She appears to wear a magenta-purple type of laced top with a thick silver necklace. Right: A model is seen sporting the "au naturel" make up look that parisians are famous for. She has nude eyeshadow and lipstick. Her cheek blush is neutral too. Her eyelashes are swept with a bit of mascara.
Skin NYC & Paris – Left: mua_elliott / Right: melanie.cbz

Contoured, well-baked make-up with lavish eyeshadows and neutral lips is all the buzz in the city that never sleeps. Meanwhile in Paris, women spend as much time on their faces as their American counterparts, but it’s all about the skincare. Au naturel is key.

HAIR

It’s a wonder that the New Yorker is able to manage full time work, maintaining an interesting circle of friends, and completing a postgraduate degree all while sporting well-kept and flawless hair.

Left: Fashion blogger and influencer Caila Quinn is seen throwing her coffee and the shot was taken while the coffee was mid-air. She is holding the cup on her right hand and is wearing a white top, checkered skirt and a beige leather blazer. She has a beautiful smile and her brown, perfectly curled hair is captured. Right: Fashion blogger Mara Lafontan is photographed in a peach colored dress with mutton sleeves. She appears to be holding a cup or a drink. She is gazing nonchalantly. Her messy golden brown hair is styled looking 'undone' or 'messy' with beach waves.
Hair NYC & Paris – Left: cailaquinn / Right: maralafontan

Au contraire, a Parisian would prefer an undone hairstyle. It’s an unspoken rule for the French to leave one thing undone. Since it would not be skin nor clothes, then it’s their manes.

EXPOSURE

Left: Fashion influencer Gergana Ivanova is drinking a glass of rosé while leaning in a balcony, looking at the New York City skyline. She is wearing a satin silk white halter jumpsuit with a long ribbon tied in her neck and her back is exposed. Right: Fashion blogger Juliette is in Montmartre in the 18th arrondissement of Paris, in rue Lebon. She is standing in front of a marché that sells fruits and vegetables. She is wearing a beige knitted dress and a black coat. She is also wearing sheer black tights to cover her legs since her dress cuts to her thighs.
Exposure NYC & Paris – Left: fashionismyfortee / Right: juliettemcm

It’s only in Jean Paul Gaultier ads that a parisienne is a walking femme fatale. Parisian women like their legs covered in tights and their neck with a scarf. New York ladies exude their sexuality through tight-fit or bare back dresses.

Left: Fashion influencer Jessica Wang is in China Town, NYC. She is crossing the street. She is wearing an emerald-green power suit white light blue stilettos and a yellow bag. Right: Fashion blogger Denni Elias is sitting by the Seine River in Paris. She is wearing a black top with a nude pink bow tie collar, black pants, and a brown leather purse strapped across her torso.
Left: jessicawang / Right: dennielias

Et voilà! No more fashion faux pas in fabulous Paris! When you’re in town, keep a watchful eye at the supermarché, at the boulangerie, or even on the métro to check out the trends for yourself. Bon courage!

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Written by Maikka Piquemal for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Haven In for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long-term or buy in France or Italy? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates. 

Written By

Maikka Piquemal

A New Yorker in Paris, Maikka is a fashion designer and a theater actor. She is une maman to a dog, two cats and hundreds of houseplants. Whenever not fondly observing the Parisian fashion scene or sinking in a good Gallimard book, she escapes to Pays Basque and daydreams of living in the other two fashion capitals, London and Milan. Check out her Youtube Channel "Rare Plants in Paris". View Maikka Piquemal's Website

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