I've started to notice, working in the 'banlieues' as I do, that there is a difference between Parisiens and suburbanites.
The difference is generally in the clothes, the hair, the make-up. I take the train from Paris to the suburbs every morning and it's filled with smart, stylish Parisiens and Parisiennes - elegant, generally, in a very understated kind of way.
The platform when I arrive, however, is a different story altogether. The folks from the banlieues look like they are dressing 'as if' they are Parisien, but are overcompensating for it in some way or another - the hair is too extreme, the jacket is too fashionable, the boots too crazy. It all reminds of Melanie Griffith and Joan Cusack in Working Girl - with the immortal moment where Joan Cusack's character finds out how much the Manhattanite boss paid for a dress "but it's not even leather!" she screams....
Anyway, I left the 'burbs behind on Friday afternoon and headed back into Paris to join le FP for lunch at the fashion shoot he was working on. It was a world apart from my office and the area I work in. As I sat eating with the models (they ate tissues, mainly) I couldn't help but feel that this was all a bit on the ridiculous side, going from one extreme to the other so quickly.
This morning, inspired by all of this elegance, I got dressed and headed out to the office.
I felt very stylish in my work ensemble of jeans, black/white gingham shirt, black cashmere sweater, calf length boots and long black cashmere coat. I felt like I was looking good, like I belonged in this city where style is everything.
Until I got to the office.
I walked in the door and Debbie looked me up and down. I felt like Anne Hathaway in the Devil wears Prada, meeting Miranda Priestley for the first time.
"You may live in Paris," she said "but you are not FROM Paris".
"What's wrong today?" I asked, startled by her reaction.
"Hmm. It's the hair" she replied, "I think..."