Saturday, 11 July 2009


That we live in a world full of paradox is no secret to anyone these days. Paradox surrounds us wherever we go, even in the beautiful, fashionable, "chicissime" city of Paris. The city of light is undoubtedly the world´s capital of fashion, and we all have a very concrete image of what a true "Parisienne" looks like... Well, I would say this is almost as clichéd as the image of frenchmen wearing a beret, a moustache and a marinière and carrying a baguette under the arm wherever they go (actually, the baguette bit is perhaps not so untrue). The average parisienne looks more casual in jeans-and-converse than the head-to-toe Chanel, scarlett lips sophisticated femme fatale we all have in mind. But, of course, there are exceptions: about 80% of the people I know in this city work in fashion, and their wardrobes could be labelled everything from "fashionista" to "outrageous" to simply "what-the-hell-are-you-wearing-it-looks-absurd".
The problem with our generation is that we grew up watching Sex and the City until we got to a point where we were completely deluded into believing outfits like these to be normal:
But just try to wear these in the streets of Paris without two or three extra-accessory bodyguards! For a city which saw the light of many innovative fashion trends, it is shocking how many garments are synonym of trouble now: miniskirts mean trouble, décolleté tops mean trouble, high heels mean trouble, furs mean trouble. I used to live in Rue Lepic, behind the Moulin Rouge, where once, in 1947, a mob of furious women attacked a young model wearing the super-new fashion of the time: Christian Dior´s New Look. Sixty years later, girls have to stand mobs of sleazy men following them and saying obscene things to them just because they are wearing a little black dress. Later on I moved to the other side of town, to the gay neighbourhood, the Marais, still in Paris but a completely different planet where comments about girls´ outfits resume to wether their tights match their headgear. The parisian centre of all fashionistas has a life if its own, and I have gone from being ashamed of wearing a pencil skirt down the street to being ashamed of going to the bakery in the morning in my pyjamas (I confess I love to buy my pains aux raisins just wearing a fur coat over some big pyjamas). People in this part of town are always dressed to the nines, Carrie Bradshaw wouldn´t shock in here even in her McQueen "millefeuille" dresses and younger generations of true parisiennes love the shops around here. The problem of course raises when you get into the Metro.
It seems in the last century we have gone from dressing up to dressing down, which is indeed more practical, more democratic and more comfortable. But I still claim for a woman´s right to absurd, excessive, fabulous dressing! After all, I´d rather dress like this
than to break the city´s wonderful architectural and landscape design by wearing infinitely comfortable, totally practical Juicy Couture style clothes like these
So even if my clothes are menaced of being torn apart by angry mobs and even if I have to stand people saying "lovely" things to me as I pass them by (to be honest, the last one is much more likely to happen than the former), I will still go on dressing up, stylishly, ridiculously. Fabulous.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your lovely comments.