Having a French name (the only one of my generation to carry on my French grandmother's heritage) must have set me up for a lifetime of francophilia, because I announced that I was a ballerina at the age of two (my mom had to beg them to enroll me in classes at age three - all the other girls were four and five and I was at least a foot shorter than them). By the age of seven, I was obsessed with the idea of becoming fluent in French (a lifelong goal I'm still trying to achieve). By age nine, my obsession had expanded to include impressionism and French food, and soon after I also took up French fashion and French films as major interests.
In fact, as much as I have grown and changed in my life, the one part of my identity that has never faded or changed is my francophila. Memé would be proud.
She and I went to Paris together (along with my father) when I was 15, and I went again last summer with Ryan. I am absolutely in love with the city.
I mean, what's not to love?
In Eat, Pray, Love, an Italian friend tells Elizabeth Gilbert that every person and every city has a word: one word that describes everything they stand for - what they seek, what makes them happy, their values, their goals. He says that Rome's word is "sex," Liz decides that New York's word is "achieve," and a Swedish friend announces that Stockholm's word is "conform." The Italian friend says that you will always feel at home in a city that shares your word. If you have the same word as that city, you will live in harmony there.
I spent some time thinking about what my word would be and decided that it's "beauty." Everything I seek, everything that makes me happy, does so because it's beautiful. That's why I love fashion, art, and poetry. It's why I come alive in nature and cities alike, as long as they're beautiful. Hell, it's why I've been so obsessed with Pinterest as of late. A few months after deciding on my word, it hit me: Paris's word is "beauty" as well. That's why I love it there so much.
So... because I'm a francophile(and specifically a Paris-phile), I've read a lot of books over the years about how to harness the essence of French-ness...
...But the other day (my birthday in fact), while at Joseph-Beth, I picked up a new one. It's called Parisian Chic and it's all about French style and beauty.
Written by Chanel muse, Inès de le Fressange, and featuring photos of her impossibly beautiful daughter, Nine d'Urso, the book touches on plenty of well-known French secrets (Stay away from harsh face soaps, etc.) as well as new and interesting ideas about style.
And some of the photos of Nine in outfits styled by Inès are just amazingly inspirational.
Hey, that's my bag on the left! (Well, mine's a replica, but same color and style)*
*A note on fakes: I usually don't condone them, but I made an exception in this case, since the price and waiting list for a Kelly makes it something I could never own, and I love the look so much.
So, my outfit today is largely inspired by Parisian Chic. How do you like it?