mardi 12 août 2008

La Parisienne

Now, I'm not one to sing the sartorial praises of the French too often - frankly, considering they are the 'most stylish nation on earth' (according to the French national publicity office) I find that they are more likely to be badly dressed and out of date than their contemporaries in less 'stylish' nations.

Outside of the fashionable areas of the big cities, the French continue to dress like the provincial 'paysans' that their forefathers were.

Why am I harping on about this, I hear you ask? Well, it's simple. My new assistant is in the UK with me for a month. She's a 25 year-old Parisienne and, amongst her fellow Paris-dwellers she'd be considered 'ok' - not too stylish, not too elegant, not too beautiful, just 'ok'.

However, ever since she arrived at HQ I've been bombarded by people asking me who the glamourous french girl is. By people telling me how she is so elegant, so chic, so very very.

The boys in the office are all dumbstruck, in awe, unable to string sentences together. The girls in the office have upped their game and the high heels have been dug out from the back of the wardrobe and called up for service as day wear.

It's becoming obvious that several of my female colleagues are spending more time on their morning 'beauty routines'.

My boss, when I asked her to spend some time with new assistant said "sure...but what will I wear?". And that's from a woman who asks the local 'boutique' to lock their doors twice a year so that she can update her wardrobe in private...

The truth is that new assistant has got something going on. She carries herself well, she could wear a sack and it would look like it was Dior couture, she has a head of long, glossy black hair and it all seems so effortless. In Paris she looks like a normal girl. Here she's positively a goddess.

On top of all of this she is smart, intelligent, capable and has a great personality.

The stylishness is obviously the effect of living in a body-conscious city where appearances count more than anything else. I guess it would be hard to grow up in Paris and not be affected by the images of beauty and elegance that fill the streets - from billboards to shop-window dummies, from nipped and tucked dowagers to real-life supermodels.

It's all well and good, but I have one question. How long do you think it will be before some of it rubs off on me?

28 commentaires:

Brett a dit…

you could have included a picture.

knifepainter a dit…

Amen to that brett.

I don't think it's ALL to do with Paris. Some of the people I see wandering around just 'have it'.

Poise, grace, presence, whatever it is we all want it !

conortje a dit…

I bet the same happened when you arrived - you just didn't notice!

Daryl a dit…

Its as if you were working in the Conde Nast offices here ... except here its the adorable chic boys ....The Devil Wore Prada was pretty close to the truth ...

:-Daryl

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Brett, sorry sir, will try harder next time....

KP - woo-hoo, look who's here! Good to see you again dear boy. I agree that some people do indeed just 'have it'.

I wish I did....

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Big C, you always say the nicest things. But, alas, I fear they didn't.

Daryl, if only my life was full of adorable chic boys (apart from myself and conortje, obviously)... If yours is, you should consider yourself very lucky indeed!

Louise a dit…

It doesn't concern me that it needs to rub off on you. And what's the point when you're back in the "home" office?

I'm with knifepainter, too. Some people have "it." Prince Charming and I talk about it all the time.

david mcmahon a dit…

Chic by jowl!!

wontletlifedefineme a dit…

And that's why I spent over 400 euros on lingerie in France last week. They simply have more stylish/comfortable/in-my-size underwear over there, and they're really more style conscious as it is. In the Netherlands they expect everyone to be big, so when you're positively petite you're stuck. They also expect girls with an A cup to be happy with just a regular cotton top, whereas in France you get all the frills, lace, embroidery, perfect push-ups... sorry if this is too much information, but I'm so happy with French stores, and the French idea of style!

And I'm sure some of the French class has already rubbed off on you, people are just to shy to admit it to your face.

aims a dit…

I'd say it already has my friend.... :0)

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Louise, you kind of have a point - but I do leave the house from time to time!

David, classy! and very true.

Swearing Mother a dit…

Travelling, you've either got it or you haven't. Style, I mean. I've tried for years to develop that everyday well-groomed, top-to-toe, carelessly fantastic look. And failed. Miserably. But I look a whole lot better because I'm trying rather than just giving up.

Those pesky Parisiens just look good in anything, damn them. Even the tramps are stylish in a Les Mis sort of way. Don't know how they do it. It's the same with Italian women, they just sling on a simple outfit, chuck on some jewellery and they look fab.

It's a mystery.

Bet you put the other blokes to shame though, I can just tell.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Hi Marjolein. That's a fair amount of undies you bought there then! I'll take your word for the quality / range on offer - I'm no expert when it comes to ladies delicates...

Aims, the fact that I'm even writing about it shows it already has, I guess....d'oh!

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Sweary, you're right, and the Italians do have it too...tres stylish, the lot of 'em.

And as for putting the rest of the boys to shame...given the state of the competition, i'd be upset if I didn't!

Medbh a dit…

I have no doubt that you have great style, Travelling.
Even despite wearing scarves in the summer.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Medbh, trust me a summer weight scarf is a necessity here in the UK - it's cold and constantly raining. Miserable weather!

Valleys Mam a dit…

Its all down to how you feel inside.
I am 5 ft 9 have red hair green eys and for my age I get quite a few compliments. But do you know if my nails are looking good in my new colour - naugty- my hair isnt sitting as it should with extra red , red looking bright. I feel like a bag of shit done up undtidy.
And do you know shoes with heels do make such a diference. I bought a great pair a few weeks back , but they make me over six foot , big disadvantage here in Wales.

conortje a dit…

Actually you know what you should do? Start wearing braces - that'll get their tongues wagging :-)

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Goodness VM! over six feet in heels....that's one scary redhead!

But I know what you mean - when you feel like you look good, then it all follows from there....

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Conortje, I'm not sure about the braces. It's true that it'd get people talking, but I'm not sure it'd be for the right reasons...

I'm going to leave the braces (and the vests) to you...

Akelamalu a dit…

I just popped over from Authorblog to say congrats on 'Post of the Day'.

Some people (not just the French) have a knack of looking 'just oh so' don't you think? I wish I did! :(

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Aloha Akelamalu! Lovely to see you here....I agree, it would be nice to 'have it'....shame I don't!

imbeingheldhostage a dit…

Is it any consolation that as an American in the Uk, I am seeing the local school moms with the same vision? They never come with their hair out of place, always have heels and NEVER look like their youngest just spit up breakfast all over their shirts. Classy.
I came through David :-)

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Hey Hostage...yeah, even at the school gates some mom's manage to pull that off. I'm guessing they're the ones with poor eastern european maids organising their lives so that they can spend more time with the straightening irons.

Merisi a dit…

I guess she's not yet plunking down her coat like that Devil Wearig Prada!

I came over from David'd Authorblog. You made me smile, thank you! :-)

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Hi Merisi, no 'devil wears prada' moments yet - and to be honest that's more likely to be me than her!

welcome.

cheshire wife a dit…

Congratulations on your 'Post ofthe Day' nomination.

I used to work with a Frenchman that all the girls had a thing about, initially. If he had not been French I am sure that there would never have been any interest. He just dressed a bit smarter than his English peers.

tornwordo a dit…

When I was in Paris, I couldn't get over the pimped out shoes everyone was wearing. I kept thinking I wouldn't be caught dead wearing such garish things.