Saturday, March 04, 2006

Ma ville, mon quartier, mon LOOK

In last week's issue of French Elle, there was an article about different fashion styles in the different arrondissements in Paris.

Elles sont chics, les Parisiennes. Certes...Mais on ne s'habille pas pareil à Saint-Germain-des-Prés, dans le Marais, à Belleville ou avenue Montaigne..
According to the article:

the Parisienne who lives in the 1st and 8th arrondissements is about: "des marques, des marques, des marques!" She travels back and forth between the Avenue Montaigne and the rue Saint-Honoré.

3rd and 4th arrondissements, from the Marais to Republique: "La vie est bobo". An artistic allure, but with such a sense for the beautiful that she doesn't lack any taste. "Belle et naturelle" is her mantra.

6th and 7th: Classic chic

9th and 10th: "Chic, mode et rock 'n roll". She dates musicians and architects and lives in designer studios. Wears converse and velour blazers (I might add, an uber-trendy Parisian look I have seen all over the place for the past few years, in both men and women).

11th, 19th, 20th and parts of the twelfth: Ethnic cheap chic.
The queen of eastern Paris, whether a stylist, journalist, assistant director, globe trotter or massage therapist, does not have much means but is always trendy. She was one of the first to wear indian embroidered ballerina slippers. If she could, she would spend her time in India or Argentina. Her icon is Isabel Marant. Her look is a mix of styles and she could be seen pairing a skirt from Mouton à Cinq Pattes, a jacket purchased while traveling, and a top from Zara's collection from two years ago. She does her shopping on bicycle and with her family. Her favorite places to have a drink are Le Pause-Café and Favela Chic, where her drink of choice is a pastis in summer or a caipirinha the rest of the year.

Finally, we come to my neighborhood:

18th arrondissement and northern part of the 17th (us): "Drunk on vintage and second-hand"
In love with thrift and second-hand, and vintage, she knows the marché Saint-Pierre by heart. Demanding and eccentric, she combs relentlessly through the piles at Guérissol and has mastered the art of finding a pair of pants for eight euros. And if she is still wearing military jackets, it's only because she had the idea before everyone else. She seeks out ethical brands of clothing. She is moved by the poetic universe of Miyazaki. She gets around on the metro and dreams of a house at the foot of Sacré-Coeur. But perhaps one day she will live in the suburbs. Without complex. She goes out dancing in the evening at Le Pulp or Le Triptyque and her drink of choice is the mojito.

I found this description to be funnily accurate. It's true that I would love to live at the foot of Sacré-Coeur (well, who wouldn't), I try to be concientous in my shopping, and more often than not I will order a mojito when I am out. Eddie makes fun of me because I have a tendency of bragging about how cheap I found such-and-such an item of clothing, and while it's not my favorite place to shop, I have hit Guérissol in a pinch, especially since it's practically next door. But the one thing that definitely rings true is I do love my vintage and secondhand. In fact, it's one thing I miss about California (along with veggie burritos). It's true that I have found some very nice vintage shops in Paris, as well as the flea markets, and if I still can't find anything, there's always hopping the Eurostar to London for the weekend to comb through the wonderful markets there. But I do find myself sometimes missing the secondhand shops and thrift shops in the US. When I lived off of Melrose and La Brea, I would stop in at Jet Rag
and Yellowstone practically everyday on my way home, in search of cute original items for pas tres cher. That sort of thing just doesn't quite exist in Paris. I have at times caught myself wondering how well a California style vintage clothing shop slash bookstore slash coffeehouse would do in Paris....

(And don't even get me started on missing Ross and Old Navy, that's another post all together...)


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