The French and fashion go hand in hand. From timeless classic to minimalist trendsetters, the French have a taste in haute couture that’s par excellence. It doesn’t come as a surprise then that Paris takes centre stage and brands like Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Givenchy were born in the French reverie. In fact the famous fashion magazine Elle too was founded in Paris in the 1980s. Fashion today has evolved a lot but even then it’s safe to say that some iconic French fashion pieces have made their way to every fashionistas wardrobe. And while French fashion is all about quality over quantity and timeless classics, here’s a list of all the fashionable pieces in our closets that have taken birth on French soil.
Also known as sailor stripe or nautical stripes the Breton stripe have been a French invention. This style was the uniform of the French navy in the 1800s before Coco Chanel took notice of it and created a collection inspired by it. This gave the Breton stripes a lift into casual wear that broke the monotony of French fashion of the times. And now we’ve got these taking over our wardrobes too in the form of shirts, dresses, skirts, tops and so on and so forth.
There’s proof that French men made cigarette pants popular. In the court of King Louis XII the noble men wore cigarette or tailored pants as part of the three piece suit that was the uniform. The cut of this tighter pant was more flattering and became famous in the 19th century as a fashion essential. In the 1960s fashion icons like the Beatles, Audrey Hepburn and Bob Dylan made the tailored fitted pants more popular and thus its been winning over people ever since.
The warm, comforting and luxurious cashmere sweaters are a staple in every French woman’s closet. The harsh winters in France is the reason why this one’s become a wardrobe must-have. Pick from oversized sweaters with classic round or V necks or something that fits to your frame this trend is a classic that’ll never go out of vogue especially if you reside in the chilly parts of the world.
The word lingerie itself is French! The French have been the sole reason why boring inners are now sexy lingerie that can actually be flaunted. In fact a model also posed in risqué innerwear for the infamous portrait La Reine en Gaulle in little more than a chemise that made history. The French women are bold and play a crucial role in making lingerie all up market and classy.
Did you know that high heels were invented by a French man? It was King Louise XIV sported heels to show-off his high social stature. But this trend caught on but the kind wore red soled shoes to showcase his special position. Today the same are a trademark of expensive footwear that is designed by none other than French footwear legend Christian Loboutin. French much?
The Female Suit
This trend didn’t just start off looking at men in well-tailored suits. It was infact first sported by a model at a fashion show and was designed by Franco-American designer Yves Saint Laurent. It was fondly termed the tuxedo for women and was called Le Smoking. Julia Roberts then sported this look at the Golden Globes in 1990 and it has been a classic ever since.
A bag named after someone? Yes, this is a fashion trend of the French too. There’s the Berkin for Jane and Kelly for grace but this craze was started off by the French empress Eugine back in the 19th century when she sermoned the young Louis Vuitton to design custom-designed personalised bags and boxes for all her storage needs.
The French don’t wear much colour and prefer nudes and pastels over bright shades. So saying that black is their favourite colour won’t be wrong. Black is simple, elegant and versatile so anything from a leather jacket to a little black dress is much appreciated. But how is it French, you ask? If you go back in history you’ll find roots of this the LBD in the 1920s collection of Coco Chanel and Jean Patou two reknowned French fashion designers.
Originally simply modified satin shoes with a sole the ballet shoes were designed for the comfort of ballet dancers. In fact the initial ballet shoes had heels but Maria Camargo a dancer of the Paris Opera Ballet wore heel-less ballet shoes in the 18th century and after the French revolution the heel was completely eliminated for maximum comfort and better performance of the dance form. Today more modified and evolved versions of these shoes are worn by women that are extremely comfortable to walk in and considered trendy too.