Enigma


I've long considered French culture to be the idealised lifestyle. My dad's deep interest in French music meant that an array of musicians from Erik Satie to Serge Gainsbourg became cultural epitomes of my childhood. I vividly remember him blasting Gainsbourg's duet with Brigitte Bardot: Comic Strip, for my amusement. It's overtly kitsch pop style triggered me to theatrically parade throughout the house, singing the only words that made some form of manic sense to my juvenile mentality: 'SHEBAM! POW! BLOP! WIZZ!'. Thinking back on it now, my mentality towards the song has barely changed, simply because I think it resonates with all generations. Brigitte Bardot's lyrics are solely onomatopoeic - they're basic and unembellished, but therefore bold and effortless. I would make the same claim for much of French fashion, and subsequently the ideal Parisian woman.

Why is it that so many people are drawn to the identity of the Parisienne? Men so often want to be involved with her, women so often aspire to be like her. But why? Maybe because, regardless of her imperfections, the Parisienne knows how to enjoy life, and she does it with endless levels of sophistication. She sees the world as it should be seen - through frames of optimism - and therefore lives each hour as though she is the protagonist of her own little novel or movie. She's different to British girls, American girls, even Italian girls, because on some level, she'll always remain a mystery. She's the only person who fully knows herself, as she should be. Her very being is an art form, and I think that's why she's so idealised. I, myself, aspire to be like her. I never fully will be, quite simply because I'm British, but I find it refreshing to adopt her outlooks on life.

I think that a lot of these stereotypes associated with the Parisienne derive from how she presents herself, deeming fashion as key. For the Parisienne, the most applicable claim when it comes to fashion is that less is more. Have those few signature items that transcend fashion and remain timeless. Own a lot of black, because contrary to the negative assumption that it is easy and convenient, nothing will ever replace it. It's the colour which adorns the elegance of the female figure, the colour which parallels an intellectual persona, so long as an aura of charm facilitates it. The Parisienne sees nothing dramatically wrong with showing cleavage or a lot of skin, but what does that leave to the imagination? This links to that idea of mystery again, and it really is key. No one will ever truly know you as well as you know yourself, so dress in a way that aligns with this idea. Let people wonder what your story is, let a man try his very best to read beneath the ungiving enigma of your identity and consequently drive himself crazy because he'll never truly know who you are, unless he's the one you want to find out. This is what the Parisienne would say. People have grown so accustomed to me wearing understated pieces on a day-to-day basis, something which I am content with, because it suggests that maybe my identity is somewhat Parisienne. Not enough people adhere to the claim of less being more, meaning that not enough people adhere to the ability of the mind to wonder.

I sometimes think that I should have been born in the past, because I think today, society has become too focused on materialism - it's hard to find people who are not driven by it. People strive for a life and relationship of more money as they think this equates to a life of more quality. But it only erodes it. Search for people who instead find time to enjoy the luxury of solitude. People who drink coffee alone in a café with no reason of waiting for or meeting someone - but instead just enjoying their own freedom from conformity. People like the Parisienne, who doesn't follow the clockwork organisation of life that everyone else expects, just for the sake of saying that she's 'happy'. She'd rather dream up a life of complete emotional fulfilment which becomes her personal form of madness the longer it's not achieved, but that's fine. Her life is her movie, and so like her, immerse yourself in a fantasy and smile at the spectators. In honest truth, this outlook has the potential to reduce you to utter heartbreak as you constantly await a man like Serge Gainsbourg or Jacques Dutronc to walk into your life and fall for your enigma, but never mind. Unlike most people, the Parisienne is more in love with the idea of love anyway. She's drawn to idealisation and strives for perfection, without ever worrying that it can't be achieved. Having an empowered sense of both masculinity and femininity at the same time means that she will endlessly await this aspiration, and settle for nothing less.

Thinking about this approach to life is quite intimidating if you're surrounded by people who don't follow it. But I really think it's a healthy way to view life, because if you're not constantly seeking something further, your life will lack excitement, and you'll be bored till death by ritual. So tomorrow, try viewing life like the Parisienne - it won't disappoint.

Faye .x


Photographs by Eve Parsons: Instagram



























White shirt: Zara

Black off-the-shoulder top: Zara

Trousers: Vintage Ralph Lauren (Rockit, Brick Lane)

Shoes: Mango

Beret: Absolute Vintage (London)

~ xxx ~

30 comments

  1. As born and raised in Paris, I always wandered why every time you mention that you're from Paris people are like amazed! That's so funny all these stereotype of a Parisienne!

    http://violettedaily.com

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    1. Thanks for your comment Violette! I'm not from Paris - I'm from Liverpool in England - but it has long been one of my favourite cities and it's great that as a Parisienne, you enjoyed my post about it! Thanks for visiting lovely! .x

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  2. Wow, these photos are amazing! You look gorgeous in this outfit and you have such beautiful eyes! :D


    http://thewonderfashion.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you lovely, I'm so glad you like the photos! .x

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  3. You look so chic! Loving these photos.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

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    1. Thank you so much Amy Ann! Have a wonderful day .x

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  4. From what we read here, it really seems that you've never approached a parisian. What is shown in Godard's movies or Gainsbourg's music, is a totally assumed romanticized and non existent vision of the parisiennes. The parisienne exists as a fantasy. This stereotyped vision was culminating at a time when expressing liberty and sexuality was an offense to the norms of the 50's gaullist and puritan France. The french as a people are statistically chronically depressed, and it is rather 'le flegme' which is an attitude of irony and disinterest in life which are typical of the parisienne. A disctinctive feature of the parisians however, is the fact that, to be attractive, one needs to be cultured, and cultured in the way he/she dresses aka classy. But this accompanies itself by a pretty frequent slut shaming and lack of sexual liberty. Your post shows actually the complex of english people toward the french. Don't search for self approval in other cultures, you don't need it. Especially if you do french 'orientalism'.

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    1. Hi there, thanks for your comment! I always acknowledge criticism on my posts, so I appreciate your explanation here. As a city stereotypically associated with romance, Paris’s conventional inhabitants are surely to be fantasised on some level. But I think that can be said for anywhere in the world, and I don't think it shows the complex of anyone at all because I don't view it necessarily as a a bad thing. It’s through idealisations that one can learn to be inspired, and view the world more optimistically, which is what I think people need to do more. If one shuns the idea of a romanticised individual and instead solely accepts a depressed and disinterested state, perhaps one would not be mentally fulfilled in life, which is what my entire point was in this post. If you read my posts often, you’ll understand that I’m a person who expresses my thoughts in alliance with books, films, and music, because I’m a creative thinker who is inspired by art and idealisations. So whilst I do appreciate your many insights here, my wishful mentality means that I can’t fully adhere to them. If you wish to make critical comments on my posts in the future, I would appreciate you not reducing yourself to an anonymous identity, so that I can compose a response more directed to a person. Of course, if you would rather contact me more personally, please do - my email is shown on my contact page. But nonetheless, thank you for visiting and for sharing your thoughts. Bonne journée!

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  5. SO many people are so drawn to it, but I really do love it! Your outfit reminds me soo much of an outfit from "A Devil Wears Prada"! I love this and love that hat!

    Denise | Fashion Love Letters

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    1. Ah yes Denise - I remember that outfit! Thanks so much lovely, so glad you enjoyed the post .x

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  6. waw I love this shooting!
    xx
    Mónica Sors
    MES VOYAGES À PARIS
    NEW POST: BOHEMIAN STYLE IN PARIS

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  7. I can certainly see your inspiration in the Parisian lifestyle incorporated in your style and photos, often in black and white, which creates mystery itself :) I, too, admire the Parisian lifestyle and attitude, they truly know how to embrace and enjoy life, not like us Americans that's for sure. We're way too fast paced and concentrate too much on the next task at hand instead of living in the moment, which the Parisians have certainly mastered. Thanks for sharing your inspiration with us, beauty, and I hope you have a great day!

    XO,

    Jalisa
    www.thestylecontour.com

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    1. Thanks so much for your comment Jalisa! So glad you enjoyed the post & outfit - have a wonderful week ahead! .xx

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  8. I can really see the Parisian influence on both your outfit and the photography style- it looks amazing! I think Parisian chic is really admirable because it is so effortless.

    Rachel xx
    http://www.thedailyluxe.net

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    1. Thanks so much Rachel - I agree! Glad you like the outfit, have a great day! .x

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  9. Me encanta el look y las fotos son brutales.

    Mi nuevo post te está esperando en el blog
    https://simplysory.wordpress.com/2017/03/30/militar-jacket-in-madrid/

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  10. Paris (and the influence it wields) never goes out of style. Loving this look + feeling you created through this post!

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

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    1. I agree Ashley! Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it .x

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  11. Wow, amazing look and I love these pics!
    Kisses, Paola.
    Expressyourself

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  12. Love, love, love those photos! Absolutely stunning

    xx Lara THE DAINTY THINGS

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  13. Love these black and white photos and your stylish look!
    How funny that you are from Liverpool - I was born there, but have been living in France for over 20 years now!
    Julia x
    http://www.thevelvetrunway.com

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    1. Thanks for your comment Julia! Ah that's so crazy - small world! So glad you enjoyed the
      post, have a wonderful day! .xx

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  14. The black and white photos are beautiful and match perfectly with the subject of your post! It's true too, there is so much fascination with the French woman and the French style, I'd love to visit one day and just people-watch for a bit! :)


    Hope you're having a great end to the week with a lovely weekend ahead!

    Away From The Blue Blog

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  15. Great post, beautiful photos <3 you look amazing, you have a lovely face :)
    http://wooho11.blogspot.com/ - i invite <3 follow me-will respond with

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