I’m not an avid advocate of posting many photos in a row on my blog.. in fact, I should lessen my writings as they always turn out to be a lot lengthier than anticipated. Nonetheless, these scans of Garance Doré, who appeared in the Closet Confidential segment of the most recent issue of Elle UK, comprise content that ought to be enough words to suffice my urge to squeeze more juice from every potential sentence.
That said, I am an earnest disciple of magazine spreads such as Une Fille Un Style in Vogue Paris, Closet Confidential in Elle UK, and the sudden flurry of blogs that render an instant behind-the-scenes peek into the closets, workplaces, bathroom cabinets, apartments or lives of the fashion pack such as Closet Visit, The Coveteur, Into The Gloss and The Selby.
“Sometimes it takes me 10 years to own something. It’s like love. You want to let things grow on you.”
On the subject of quality/quantity and French wardrobe, I found a great and very enlightening excerpt from the book “Elegance” by Kathleen Tessaro:
One of the most striking differences between a well-dressed Englishwoman and a well-dressed Parisian is in the size of their respective wardrobes. The Englishwoman would probably be astonished by the very limited number of garments hanging in the French woman’s wardrobe but she would also be bound to observe that each one is of excellent quality, expensive perhaps by British standards, and perfectly adapted to the life a Frenchwoman leads. She wears them over and over again, discarding them only when they are worn or outmoded, and she considers it a compliment (as it is meant to be) when her best friend says, ‘I’m so glad you decided to wear your red dress – I’ve always loved it!’
Foreign visitors are often shocked by the high prices in Paris shops and they wonder how a young career girl, for example, who earns no more than her British counterpart, can afford to carry an alligator handbag and to wear a suit from the Balmain boutique. The answer is that she buys very few garments: her goal is to possess a single perfect ensemble for each of the different occasions in her life, rather than a wide choice of clothes to suit every passing mood.
I wonder if the Englishwoman wouldn’t profit by replacing once in a while her penchant for quantity with a quest for quality. She might find that not only is her elegance increased, but also the enjoyment and even the confidence that she gets from her clothes.
(Excerpt via tfs)
(via tfs, jeannedamas, nostalgia party 2, trois-douze)
Harper Bazaar’s 10 commandments of dressing:
When contemplating a purchase or just deciding what to wear, consider these tenets and you can’t go wrong:
1. Know what you like and what you don’t.
2. Dress for yourself—not for anyone else.
3. Dress to suit your age.
4. Dress to suit your shape.
5. Look appropriate for where you are going.
6. Wear your clothes with confidence.
7. Feel good about what you spend your money on.
8. Embrace your individual style.
9. Don’t be a slave to the latest trend
10. Don’t be afraid to break the rules.
Below is an excerpt taken from an interview with the always-inspiring Agnès Boulard AKA Mademoiselle Agnès. She is fortysomething. While “most” women would anxiously make every endeavor to disguise their aging appearance and actual age, women like Agnès Boulard would rather embrace their age. What I like about French women is that most of them rarely alter their natural appearance contrary to.. for instance American women. They rather celebrate their natural beauty and they prefer to age gracefully. I think we all should learn something from French women. Personally, I think beauty comes with age. Every little wrinkle tells a story, may it be sad or beautiful. When I get old, I know that I will not use any anti-wrinkle creams or dye my gray/white hair – I’ll embrace the beauty of the old age.
STYLE CREDO I consider myself very Parisian: no makeup, natural hair, very effortless. I don’t like the idea to have only one style — it’s a bit boring. I like to change, mix things up. I go to the YSL show in Chanel, the Chanel show in YSL.
CURRENT OBSESSION Blouses. I have too many T-shirts in my closet, and I am a madame now. I also think they’re sexy. I like silk ones from Balmain. And black transparent ones from YSL. Or a Ralph Lauren cotton blue shirt — you know, easy. I never wear it buttoned up. I prefer to wear it open. One, two, three buttons. I don’t like to feel too eh-eh-eh. I get claustrophobic.
ON MY WISH LIST I love fashion, but I’m not a shopping addict. I’m never like, ‘I need these shoes by Miu Miu!’ I don’t kill anyone for this. I prefer well-made basics that you can keep: the right trench coat, a good leopard-print coat. Because, you know, it comes back every two seasons. I would love an Hermès bag. I have a lot of handbags, but no Hermès So all my friends have to do something about that for my birthday — it’s the fifth of November. I also like diamonds. There is a black pearl and diamond bracelet from Shamballa that I could buy for myself. I always buy my own jewelry. Sad, I know. But I’m an independent woman.
(excerpt from thenytimes)
Whenever I feel a tad uninspired, I always flick through the August 2009 issue of Vogue Paris until I find the most inspirational photograph ever. Rapidly, these magic words “la street spontanéité” became my style principle. Although I love the idea of a classic and understated style, I also love this French nonchalant attitude towards fashion.
I just love that I can pick out a top and bottom blindly and yet the items go perfectly together. It only takes me 5 seconds to get dressed in the morning.. I do not even need to reassure my outfit by looking in the mirror before I leave the house, because I know that my ensembles work in any case. That’s the benefit of having the perfect wardrobe that is constantly in progress, I guess. In addition, this perfect coat from Isabel Marant adds this incessantly nonchalance to my style. I cannot wait to start wearing my desirable coat again.
THE STYLE Brune bases her wardrobe on three basic colors: black, grey and navy blue. A chromatic minimalism can be found in the designers she favors: Stefano Pilati, Martin Margiela, Nicolas Ghesquière, Alber Elbaz, whose clothes she mixes with things from Et Vous and Zara.
THE METHOD Every morning, the same process: “To choose a look, I start with the shoes, which I coordinate with a clutch, and everything else follows.”
THE TABOO Too many colors, loud colors, fluorescent, anything flashy. Three colors she hates: yellow, green and orange.
FOR EVENINGS “I don’t wear glamorous couture, dresses that are pleated, or floaty or transparent. I wear a classic little dress by Chanel, well-cut and perfect for all circumstances.”
(translation via tfs)
In order to become a good shopper, you must be capable of saying no when the fit isn’t completely perfect. Always make sure that the cut doesn’t make you look stubby. Do not settle unless the garment looks like it was tailored particularly to your body and style. Being able to pick out items, carefully, that harmonize with your proportions is a skill. A skill that you should progress if you’re aiming at a wardrobe free of disharmonious clothes.