La Parisienne

Jean-Paul Gaultier has generated a fashion controversy, as he said that American women could be more stylish than Parisian ones.

© LF / ViewsCo / Daily Dust

“Honestly in France, where the women are supposed to be the most elegant, I never saw it. I see a lot of Americans that are very elegant and have a sense of style. Maybe because there were the fashion houses there a long time ago with the haute couture that there is that reputation? Maybe there are still the houses that do good collections of clothes? But, the women in Paris? The Parisian? It is a long time ago. That doesn’t exist anymore.” JPG

It’s pretty surprising, as JPG used several times  “La Parisienne” to market its clothes and products. And it’s even stranger, as JPG is one of French worldwide fashion asset.

But some facts support JPG ideas: one from the economics,  as the Fédération française du prêt-à-porter féminin (FFPAPF) -the main association for prêt-à-porter brands- released a study in 2011, demonstrating that French women more and more buy clothes based on coupons and special offers, instead of focusing on quality or imaginary.
Another idea is that we’ve probably seen too many times Inès de la Fressange as “The Parisian”…And that Paris is not France as a whole, and that there’s probably a lack of melting in our current Parisian pictures and messages.

As a Parisian born-again (even if I’m going to live in London in few weeks…), I’ve always had a problem with “La Parisienne”. Its story does not fit any longer with what Paris is: it’s not about an intellectual woman in Saint Germain, or a midnight angel in a café, talking about the Nouvelle Vague. Or if this is The Parisian, Paris is dreary.

The Parisian women have changed; they’re from outside Paris, they’re half-half-half a lot of things and a lot of origins. They’re from other countries, they speak English, Arab, Mandarin. A Parisian girl is first a French-somewwhat-boulevardier. This Parisian, nobody has yet understood how powerful she could be for fashion brands. Strangely enough, Frenchies seem scared of going out from a pseudo-myth of the origins. But some new young gunners have just started the fight.

Paris sera toujours Paris.




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