Tuesday, December 15, 2015

far right, pas de toute - fashion

At least better news from France this week - Marine le Pen and her Front National Party gathered NO regions in the second round of France's voting this Sunday. Quoting from the Guardian "France’s far-right Front National has failed to win control of any regions in the final round of local elections despite a historically high score in the first-round when it was ranked as the most popular party in France. The defeat of the FN was down to mass tactical voting, an increase in turnout and warnings by the left that what it called the “antisemitic and racist” party would bring France to its knees." Don't forget there's more than Marine and her father: "Le Pen’s 26-year-old niece, Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, 26, an MP and rising party star hoping to lead the southern region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, was also kept out by the tactical voting of the left for the hardline mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi." Moving on from the far right to fashion, we know that French women have it going on when it comes to style. There's a reason we pin Parisian street-style snaps and gush over the glory days when Coco Chanel reigned from 31 Rue Cambon. Taste is just in their DNA. The question is, how do us mere mortals achieve the same level of chic?
Here's a few tips from French photographer, illustrator and blogger Garance Doré. We all think of French style as being out of reach and expensive but Doré prefers to keep it accessible. To burst the misconceptions about what it means to be stylish here are some of Doré's thoughts on what really makes French women - and all women, for that matter - so effortlessly elegant.
On developing personal style When it comes to dressing ourselves, Doré says it's about patience: “I think it’s all trial and error, and I also think that your style will change and evolve. So, it’s more like a work in progress. There is not one day where you’re going to be like, 'That’s it! I’ve found it!'But you can't get lazy and give up. You have to accept it and work with it and play with it, and I think that’s the secret to style. Keep your spirit of play." Most importantly, Doré notes that having style doesn't mean you have to splurge: "Style is not about money. It’s really about searching and having fun. it’s about self-expression. Self-expression can never be contained or stuck. It has to keep going.”
On what makes French women so stylish Doré says the French woman's secret to sophistication is being armed with knowledge. "Know yourself ... The secret of French style is women really try to see how they look in the clothes and wear only what suits them. Feel confident in your own skin."
On what makes all women stylish - Doré says nothing beats inner beauty. She's worked with women from all walks of life -- and thinks stylish women have one thing in common: "Kindness. Kindness stems from intelligence and generosity. You don’t just want to remember a great jacket. What you want to remember is the aura that the person has, and this comes from much deeper." And wardrobe essentials? A white tee shirt, a white men's shirt, a pair of straight jeans, a pair of ballet flats, high heels and a pair of black sunglasses. Add red lipstick Cara - Tuesday


  1. Cara, I was also heartened by the election results in France. Regarding beauty, think about how gorgeous Helen Mirren is...not French but a great example of inner beauty and peace with aging.

  2. I believe that the man makes the clothes, not the other way around. That's why I've stuck with jeans-and-a-t-shirt, and it's worked for me for decades. I've foregone the red lipstick, however. That may have been a mistake.

  3. I truly admire the French for the good sense they showed in their tactical voting. Far too often people let a vocal aggressive minority dictate the tactics. I'm happy the left decided to bring a bat to the hardball game.

  4. Helen Mirren kills it - she's comfortable in her own skin and it shows. EvKa, re-think the red lipstick. Jeff, yes the Socialists picked up on the barometer - still scary!