It is universally acknowledged that the French do most things better: food, revolutions, smoking, coffee, weight loss and beaches. Fashion is no exception. I have noticed recently that all the designer websites I have been visiting are French. I plan to write 12,000 words on France for my dissertation and have been buying French Vogue. On Monday night I had dinner with a girl from Paris. I have a crush on France.
Here is some great French fashion. I’ve left out the big guns (Not to mention Chloe, one of France’s oldest fashion houses, is now being run by a Brit – Kentish Town in fact!)
1. Vanessa Bruno. Both her main line and her diffusion line (Vanessa Bruno Athe) makes my heart sing. Cool, laid back and effortlessly chic. The black leather waistcoat keeps me awake at night.
2. Lou Doillon, daughter of Jane Birkin. Not surprisingly the face of the Vanessa Bruno Spring/Summer Campaign, they don’t come much cooler. For SS/09 she has done a line for Lee Cooper citing Oliver Twist as an influence. Hmmm, orphanage chic…it could catch on. She looks a bit awkward and she looks like she might be a bit shy but at the same time she looks like she knows all the chic secrets of Paris, and she won’t utter a word to anyone.
3. A.P.C (Atelier de Production et de Creation). Created by Jean Touitou in 1988, it was originally only menswear. Admittedly, I’d happily wear a lot of the A.P.C menswear, but I’m glad Touitou designed a women’s line. In May’s I-D Magazine, he said, ‘I never saw a good writer or a good musician dressed badly. Even poor artists appear with alot of beauty…’ That seems like such a French sentiment to me: all creatives are beautiful and stylish. Maybe they are in France, but I’ve seen a fair few in London to suggest otherwise…
4. Manoush. If I found an old splintered trunk in my mum’s loft, covered in dust and locked with a big heavy chain, this is what I’d hope to find inside. This is the quintessential oh la la.
5. Zadig & Voltaire. A bit more rock n’ roll than usually associated with Parisian chic. I think it is very cool, very wearable and super sexy.
3/4. The Kooples.A relatively new discovery for me, The Kooples does basics, basically and does them well. As you know, I simply can’t get enough waistcoats in my life (The first thing I ever bought from Hennes was indeed a waistcoat and wore it with pride on mufti day). The Kooples has a fine selection of ‘gilets’