Wednesday, February 29, 2012


I don't know if it's my recent discovery of the Courtin-Clarins heiresses through that NY Mag article...
Twins Jenna & Prisca Courtin-Clarins and their cousins Virginie and Claire Courtin-Clarins, heiresses to the Clarins empire
 ...TLC's "Now Boarding: Paris" specials... one of my favorite blogs ever, An American Mom in Paris (now Seattle Moxie)...

...or the fabulous meals we've had this week at Champetre...
(Note: We had a full lunch on Monday. So good with French onion soup with emmental, escargot appetizer and a main course of seared foie gras with salad. Today I discovered what the big fuss is over souffle at post-lunch coffee and desserts. I have to say, guys, the coffee [Php85] and dessert [ranging from Php 210 for the souffle and Php 120 for Grand Marnier and candied orange ice cream] at Champetre is super reasonable, check out the menu here)
Souffle Champetre, which Ava and I shared earlier today, IS SO GOOD. Comes with a side of blueberry preserve
...but I've been thinking of the absolutely sublime style of French ladies lately. 

Whereas American celebrities tend to look so "done" -- perfect hair, perfect make up, styled to within an inch of their lives and even the burnished tan to match -- the French aesthetic is a little undone, a little mussed, a little, well, strange. The hair is not too perfect, the make up sometimes a bit light, and the fashion, oh my! French celebrities give off the impression that they throw on whatever they felt like wearing that day -- but by God do they look chic, and more importantly, comfortable!

HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE? I mean, how do you get to that ideal line between caring about your appearance but not too much so that you lose character and personality, and not too little that you look like a slob? How do the French perfect that amount of restraint, that little bit of " more cosmetics, that's quite enough" that makes them look so enviable. AND, AND! They also have this effortlessly fresh, "yes I have a few wrinkles but so what, I am still amazing" aging thing down.

Maybe it all boils down to attitude.  The kind of confidence that says, "my hair doesn't need to be perfect and I don't need a ton of make up to look good, and yes please I will wear that quirky shirt today because I'm in a quirky mood." Maybe when you have that, the stylishness follows.

Anyhoo, here are some of my favorite French ladies exhibiting that stellar restrained-yet-so-chic style. I'm going to stare at these ladies and hope to be inspired as I strive for that same perfect line between stylish and relaxed.
My favorite (half English through her mom Jane Birkin) Charlotte Gainsbourg always looks so fresh and relaxed and freaking effortless!
Melanie Laurent was the best thing about Inglourious Basterds. MY GOD. How gorgeous - yet super natural - was she?!
Carine Roitfeld, former editor of French Vogue, and her daughter Julia Restoin Roitfeld. SO CHIC. Even if they're a bit more styled since they're in the fashion industry, they're still relaxed -- note the mussed hair -- and exhibit their personality through their clothes.

More of the Courtin-Clarins girls, at a casual lunch. Can't get over that innate chicness even in shorts and tanks.
Demonstrating some of that "This old thing? Oh I just threw it on!" dressing sensibility.


impossible girl said...

Ooohh love the "effortless French style" especially the little to no makeup and the fuzzy hair. I love Emmanuelle Alt for that.

Garance Dore wrote this cool post comparing the NY and Paris party dressing style.

- Jen

Katrina said...

Thanks for the link, Jen! Galing!


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