Paris Fashion Week: So You Want to be French?

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Paris Fashion Week: So You Want to be French?

No one can deny that French women just have “It,” that cool factor that oozes out of their every movement, from a flick of the hair to the way they lean against a bistro wall. Americans and non-Americans alike are constantly trying to emulate their style, vying for the “secret” to Parisian chic. What better way to learn about the ins-and-outs of French fashion than by surrounding yourself with the most stylish, innovative, and eclectic fashionistas that Paris has to offer? At Paris Fashion Week, which began September 25 and wrapped up on October 3, some of the best looks are sometimes found outside of the tents.  Sartorial inspiration abounds in Paris Fashion Week street style, hinting at what it takes to achieve the look of the Paris “It” girl.

1. A bright, knit sweater paired with a floral mini adds just enough cheek and shock factor to be paired with black motorcycle heels. This Kenzo sweater is on trend with its stitched monogram and nod to Parisian culture.

2. Go all out noir in black separates, breaking it up with different layers and textures. This structured quilted mini would be a great addition to any wardrobe, Paris It Girl or not.

3. Layering is key. A plain white collared shirt offers a backdrop for an ornate statement necklace, while the patterned button down just peeks out to add some flair and color to the look. The boxy top is very on-trend this season—resist the urge to belt!

4. Spice up a simple look with color and geometric shapes. Here, a simple rectangular sheath dress shape is transformed with color blocking of similar shades of neon pink by design house Ostwald Helgason. A crisp, bright color adds a touch of cute, while thick, yellow sunglasses inject a quirky sense of personal style.

5. This French Bohemian look is comfortable yet stylish. A blue sweater is dressed up with a statement necklace and patterned pants, while neutral cut-out wedges complete the look. This look is great for those who just want to dip their toes into the crazy pattern play that dominated the runways this season.

6. The key here is pattern clashing in a color pallete that works together. She is all covered up, but still feminine. The pleating breaks up the length of the skirt and also creates movement, revealing more black and white stripes with every step.

7.Many pieces work together to create a unique look that is not too matchy-matchy. This girl knows the power of a great accessory—statement necklace, metallic clutch, red lip—and how to put them all together.

8.  When in doubt, pull on cropped trousers and black ballet flats, paired with a sleek trench and some sunnies. This is the classic French woman’s go-to look, offering a sense of sleek sophistication. (Notice the fall whites!)

To add some authentic Parisian charm to any look, add that coy smile, those statement sunglasses, and an overall air of nonchalance that will leave you with some “je ne sais quoi” to spare.

– Madeline McCallum

Photos courtesy of  Harper’s Bazaar (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)

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