Story by Tory Hoen, HiP Paris Correspondent. Photos by Paris in Pink.
Casual shoppers, beware. The French sales are just around the corner and many a French fashionista is getting ready to pounce on items she has secretly coveted all Fall. In all honesty, though, the soldes are often the one moment of fashion folly many Parisiennes allow themselves. For decades, one market has proven remarkably resistant to passing trends: Paris. Despite jumping at the occasional fad (the Balmain-inspired shoulder pad, the hardware-adorned gladiator sandal), Parisian shoppers — both young and old — follow certain cardinal rules in their shopping habits, year-in and year-out. (more…)
Interview by Richard Nahem, Eye Prefer Paris Correspondent
I met Susan Oubari haphazardly a few years ago. And as soon as we met, we became fast friends. Susan has had a fascinating career in the fashion business, working for Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar while living in Milan, Paris and Morocco. As glamorous and chic as she is, though, she is one of the most fun and down to earth people I’ve met. In this interview, she offers up insights into modern fashion, as well as all the places she’s lived. (more…)
Story and Illustration by Badaude, special report for Haven in Paris
It may be getting warmer, but some April days in Paris still start off pretty icy. But it’s not all bad. April is the last month I can indulge in my monthly treat at the only place you can get truly warm in the Paris winter – the hammam. (more…)
It’s fashion week in Paris. That means the city is being overrun by skinny models, preening celebrities and anxiety-ridden fashion designers. Actually, that sounds like any other day in Paris. Except now there are tents up in the Tuleries, the Hôtel de Ville is crawling with fashionistas, and, well, you try getting a reservation at Kong this week or next. (more…)
Story and photos by Linda Donahue
Fashion shouldn’t be intimidating, at least not according to Nathalie Bui. The petite fashionista spent ten years working with her sister, the European designer Barbara Bui, all the while cultivating her own sense of style. And now she’s bringing her creative energy to the Paris fashion scene with the opening of her own boutique, make my d. (more…)
Edited by Linda Donahue
A Paris concept store offering a combination of fashion, interior decoration and design, L’Éclaireur has opened a new space at 40 de la rue de Sévigné, in the Marais. Spanning over 5375 square feet, the women’s collections include prestigious brands like Lanvin and Balmain and, in keeping with its avant-garde reputation, numerous designer brands, such as Dries Van Noten, Gianni Barbato, Koi, and Alexander Mc Queen. Owners of four other stores across the capital (on the Champs-Élysées, Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Place des Victoires and Rue Malher), Martine and Armand Hadida have turned L’Éclaireur into a chic and unique brand, offering perfumes, jewelery, accessories and artworks. In the early 1990s, this was one of the first places in Paris to experiment with this marriage of fashion and design, providing a showcase for Philippe Starck, Garouste and Bonetti, and Jean Nouvel.
40 rue de Sévigné, Paris 4th
Tel +33 (0)1 48 87 10 22
Story by Linda Donahue
Having grown up in the American Northeast, Dani Baron has seen more than her fair share of cold winters. So she’s no stranger to all the seasonal bearing of scarves and hats—the accessories necessary to staying warm when temperatures plummet. But during the two years she lived in Paris, Dani felt like “a complete failure in the winter fashion department,” as she recalls. (more…)
Story by Ashley Bruckbauer
Parisian women don’t simply dress in the latest season’s fashions or buy the most expensive clothing off the racks….They have something more about their air…an aura…a presence…a certain je ne sais quoi? It’s called style.
Here are some tips of how you can insert that style into your everyday wardrobe and routine and unleash your inner parisienne you chic, classy, fabulous, sophisticated woman you!
1. Color: How to use it effectively
The common perception of the typical Parisienne is that she only wears black. Recently fashionistas around the world have sought to debunk this myth and bestow upon the Parisienne eye-popping colors. Sorry, world fashionistas, but this just isn’t so. The tried and true rule that black goes with everything is still very much present in and an important part of the modern-day Parisienne’s style. Don’t get me wrong bright colors may be present in the overall ensemble, but it is used as an eye-catching accent amid neutrals which dominate the outfit. Black and other neutrals immediately offer a sense of sophistication. By using them often and pairing them with bright camisoles, wraps, purses, shoes, and other accessories you will avoid being boring, while achieving a more elegant look.
2. Simple lines and great fits
Likely the most important secret of the Parisienne’s success in defining a style: her clothes fit! Parisian women go for quality not quantity. They spend a little extra on a few items that are classic and fit perfectly complimenting their individual shape. They don’t necessarily follow the fashion of the seasons, but instead what looks best on their particular figure. Parisiennes wear extremely well-tailored clothes (many times professionally tailored) with classic lines. This goes back to not forcing fashion but embracing style…your style…what makes you look your best. When your clothes fit, you always look timeless and fabulous!
3. Accessories: purses, scarfs, and jewelry
These special pieces are where the individual personalities are allowed to come out. Purses, scarfs and jewelry are not thought of as simply accessories but style statements that communicate to the outside world just who you are. This is where most Parisiennes insert a little extra color, texture, and visual interest into their wardrobe. Important is that since these are not solely accessories, they should be rich-looking and not rinky dink (this doesn’t necessarily require a large expense).
Women (and men for that matter) in Paris judge you based on your shoes. This is the easiest way to spot a tourist: of course there are the tell-tale sneakers but also the worn loafers, scratched patent leather, and the American in the ridiculously high-heels on the metro. Parisiennes invest time and money in their shoes. A worn or sloppy pair of shoes can destroy and outfit and nothing about that says fabulous!
Another myth of the Parisienne is that she always wears 4 inch heels. This is simply untrue! A large majority of the Parisian women I’ve seen during my time in Paris wear flats or more modestly heeled shoes. Do you think high-heels are accomodating for climbing up and down the metro stairs ten times a day? The key is to have clean, well-cared-for shoes that have a flattering shape and distinctive details.
5. Pamper yourself: perfume, macquillage, and spa products
Parisiennes do not skimp on “the necessities”! Why do you think there is a pharmacy around every corner? This is where they can load up on the best in face creams, moisturizers, and many other products this American-born will likely never fully grasp. So, have a signature scent, buy the nice moisturizer, and splurge on the luxury bath products.
Experiment and have fun, but always keep it simple! You deserve it, and your inner Parisienne will thank you!
Ashley is a recent college grad turned expat who is living in Shanghai, China and teaching English to kindergartners. She specializes in 18th and 19th century French and late-Imperial Chinese art history, as well as international advertising and French and Chinese language. She wears many hats, and her blog – La Vie en China? - serves as her platform to share travel tips, book reviews, photos, and any other tid-bits that come up along the way.