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To Be Parisian is to be “Fuckable”, really???

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You’ve probably read some interviews of Caroline de Maigret this week, who’s promoting her new book “How to be a Parisian”. It’s already a best-seller, apparently surfing on this French “je ne sais quoi” that seems to attract American women. According to CdM, to be Parisian involves to look always “fuckable“.   In Style.com, the argument is highly explicit:

“always be fuckable. When standing in line at the bakery on Sunday morning, buying champagne in the middle of the night or even picking the kids up from school. You never know”

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One month today and still a Best Seller in the US thanks to all of you! Thank you all for your amazing support and kind words. Much love from the 4 of us! ❤️❤️❤️@howtobeparisian

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We could start by condemning the women’s objectification: we’re not really sure that judging a woman’s style through her capability to get a d*** (to keep the same semantics) is, indeed, relevant. And we’re surprized that not many journalists or bloggers reacted before on that matter. But we do thank Amazon customers’ reviews who did this job.

We could also be very angry against Style.com: why haven’t they called other Parisian women to balance this quote and get a better sense of what a Parisian woman might be (if ever there’s ONE Parisian woman who could summarize the diversity of the French capital…)? We could also ask them if they’re not fed up with a book which takes Joséphine Baker, Marie-Antoinette or Romy Schneider as examples of foreigners who suddenly became supposed-Parisian myths (hum hum)…but no mention of modern icons of femininity or inspiring women. Except if CdM wants to keep all for her and considers herself as the heir of la Parisienne. We could also ask them if they’re not bored to always take the same clichés: do you seriously think that all Parisian listen to jazz at St Germain, drink a glass of Pinot Noir, are free but in love. And on and on…

It’s an intellectual snacking; as a lot of fashion advertising films are at the moment: we can’t recall how many times we’ve seen the same two bridges in Paris displaying the exact same sort of Parisienne without any spark of genius. In this book, no mention about hip hop or street culture: is South Pigalle (SoPi) really where Parisian trends do emerge?

We could be provocative and ambiguous like Karl Lagerfeld faux feminism can be when it comes to women, suddenly declaring that CdM is right in promoting this unique asset of women: her beauty and her charms. But it would be very mediocre, and another attempt to attract publicity by trolling.

Let’s really ask THE question: to be fuckable means to be fucked by someone, right? And this “fuckability” can’t rely on which cream or powder a woman picks, as the book tries to suggest.

The American woman could teach many lessons to this “fuckable Parisian”: when it comes to fusing sex, social status and life choices, we tend to respect more Mindy Kaling or Beyoncé than another style guru. This Parisianism has very strong problems when it comes to creativity; shall we repeat that the last fashion week was mostly saved by…American designers? This non-existing Parisian face no longer interests a lot of consumers…except the publisher of Nutella recipes (yes, for real). We told you it was all about snacking.

On the other hand, Alicia Florrick, the Games of Thrones women, Amy Dune (Rosamund Pike): they all represent a new femininity which inspire us.

Are we angry against CdM? Not at all; her book is like a chocolate bar, you know you indulge yourself with too much calories in too many layers. Style snacking is a business that works, and when it does work, it deserves some interest. But we dream about new feminine books to represent a better idea of Paris beyond the Seine river.

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Americana – London. A journey through Woodzee eyes

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America. When you’re a European, obviously French and Londoner, many pictures come to mind. Road signs, hip-hop culture, Obama, McDonalds, California girls, NYC girls.
Energy, flights and jet-lag. A pack of sleepless talks and infatuation for parallel timelines.

The guys at Woodzee had the good idea to send me a gorgeous pair of Bamboo black Sierra, made of wood and eco-friendly process. And those shades quickly became my best allies from Commercial Road, London, to East Village, NYC.

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Shades are not any fashion accessory; they are a sort of protection for the solo traveller. An ally which helps you when you arrive in a bar, and that you try to fuse with the locals. Yes, shades can surprisingly enough be the big difference between tourists who will always look tourists. And guys who are afraid of being associated to them. It’s OK being a foreigner, and in my case a Frenchman in New York. But as time runs fast, it might sound absurd, but a style or an attitude can help in meeting interesting people. Or at least connecting with a local mood or environment.

Some people have a drink to feel better and start chatting. Some others are too scared to leave their hotel room. In my case, if you give me nice sunglasses, I can feel more confident.

If you’ve ever read the Smurfs, there’s this episode when a pretty shy guy puts some marmalade on his nose…and because of this artefact, he wins the Olympic Games. Shades are my marmalade. 

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There’s something cool when you wear cool shades: the world become slightly different; colours change, become more intense. Or at least you perceive what’s more intense than the other buildings or urban elements.

woodzee NYC

Putting down your glasses on a table is also a key element of one’s personality. Some guys put them on their head; some others hang them on their shirt. Some others sort them in their boxes. And some guys like me let them live their lives in a Japanese restaurant. You’re intimately attached to what you left behind…and forefront.

woodzee americana

 

woodzee NYC standard

 

Flying back to London, I had this doubt in my mind; did I really live this American journey? Did I meet this American girl wearing stars and stripes? Did I lose myself in some shady bars?

For sure not. I think I’ve lived a lot in few hours there. And no doubt I had a good filter to protect my steps.

 

Thank you Woodzee for this collaboration! Oh and guys, you can discover their new skateboard collection

 

Places:

– secret rooftop East London

– The Standard, East Village, NYC

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55DSL x 686 Snowboarding Collection Launches With ‘Moshpit’ Short Film

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Denim, leather: the two elements of rock culture are still highly present in today’s minds. What if action sports roots could meet an imagery from 80s metal culture?

That’s the challenge that 55DSL and 686 figured out, with this brilliant collaboration. 686 exclusive infiDRY® waterproof fabric and 55DSL signature graphics are guaranteed to keep you rocking while on the hill at all times.

55DSL x 686 – Moshpit from 55DSL on Vimeo.

The campaign is shot by director Stephen Agnew, who is responsible for music videos for the likes of Drenge and The Vaccines, with the help of graphic artist Ruff Mercy (know for his projects for Disclosure and Mary J Blige).

As the guys describe:

The 55DSL x 686 ‘Moshpit’ video turns the gaze of ultra-slow motion cameras to a wild, un-hinged circle pit, set to doomy guitar riffs and reverb-laden drums. Shot in a South-London warehouse space, ‘Moshpit’ is an examination of what happens when bodies collide in the midst of the heaviest hardcore punk gigs – every detail from beads of sweat to rippling guitar stings are caught in super high-definition slow motion.

55DSL x 686

An interesting move for technical outerwear to explore fashion. We can only approve.

Discover the whole collection on diesel.com/55DSLx686

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Reductress: badass magazine for badass women

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Imagine a bunch of women who would like to change the  way “women media” are made. Fed up with diet articles, celebration of the same stars, tips to be  “perfect”? Well, you have to read Reductress, a sort of hybrid webzine; as if Reddit had met a DIY group on Pinterest (yes, we wrote that). We had a chance to ask 5 fire questions to their founders. And they rock.

 

Reductress seems pretty cheeky and pretty badass: do you already have some enemies?

We made a point of bringing enemies to the table right from the start. The mistake a lot of people make is trying make enemies along the way en route to success. The sooner you make enemies, the sooner you have the searing motivation of hate to guide you. Some of our enemies include: the patriarchy, harem pants, climate change, carbohydrates, and Josh Groban. Just kidding, we love Josh Groban and the patriarchy.

Do you consider yourself as feminist? How could we guys help feminism? 

We’re feminists with a capital ‘F,’ by which we mean we’re the pretty kind that people like. Just think of a cool woman you know who’s doing cool things for womankind and we’re basically that. Some ways that guys could help feminism would be: giving us more compliments on the street, telling us what we want, and taking care of all those boring jobs in society by being CEOs and politicians so we don’t have to be. Thanks men! XOXOXO

What was your biggest achievement so far with Reductress?

This interview is up there. Also, one time we were eating at a restaurant and Alec Baldwin sat down at the table next to us. True story. Call his agent.

Fashion can change the world: do you agree?

Yes, theoretically if someone “fashioned” a device to resolve poverty, global warming, and corporate greed, then yeah, fashion could change the world. And if you think about it, chambray shirts come pretty close to achieving all of those things. But seriously, all you have to do is look at Beyoncé or Lupita Nyong’o and it’s like, “Fashion is worn by people who are making change in the world.” And if we’re still talking about them, let’s throw Michelle Obama’s arms in there.

Last words?

Visit our website at reductress.com and click on all the advertisements while you’re there. You won’t regret it.

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Tess Rees: fun clothing for the fanciful

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London has this bubbly energy you can’t defeat. And when it comes to fashion meeting culture, the British capital is massive.

We’ve recently met Tess Rees for a secret project (we swear we’ll share the secret soon :) ) and we’ve discovered a very interesting designer. Student at Central Saint Martins, Tess is a Fine Artist who says that she “creates fun clothing for the fanciful“.

Something we’re very, very keen to buy as we think that fashion can change the world. And that smiling and dreaming should be written in the fashion Bill of Rights.

All pieces are 100% lovingly handmade, unless otherwise stated as vintage and all fabrics are sourced in London. All tops are one size only at the moment, this size fits a Size 10 snugly and a Size 8 loosely. As well as producing handmade clothes, Tess aims to find and sell vintage clothes at affordable prices. About 75% of the vintage pieces are found in Charity shops. So whilst spending your money in our online shop you can have peace of mind in knowing you have made a donation to a worthwhile cause.

How do you create “fun” clothing? Do you need to enter a specific state of mind?

Working creatively everyday makes generating ideas and designs seem like second nature so I wouldn’t say It’s a specific state of mind, it’s more when I think of something I want to wear and can’t find it!
tess rees

Where does your inspiration come from?

So so many places, I’m constantly doing research for my Fine Art degree so colour and form are always on my mind and this definitely feeds into my clothing and the vintage I search for. Inspiration also comes from my friends and the people around me, I often take what I love most about their styles and try to create something I love and hopefully they would want to wear too! My Granny is also a major influence, she gave me an Ostrich feather fan and a gold chain mail handbag last Christmas! An enormous stack of Vogue Paris’ sit in the corner of my bedroom that remain as a souvenir of a subscription she gave me years ago and I still look through them occasionally.

 

Your T-shirt can give a super-power to a customer: what is it?

Oooh if I could create a top that doubles as an invisibility cloak I would be one very happy lady.

What’s next for your young brand?

I’m currently working on some content for the  website which will hopefully be launching very soon. Long term plans are to develop a recognisable visual style that will hopefully result in a collection rather than sporadic designs being made here and there!
Thanks Tess! you can follow her on Instagram, buy on her website, fall in love on Twitter, like her on Facebook.
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Are Apple’s iPhone 6 and Watch items of Fashion?

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Apple did not ninja-launch their seasonal batch of new products for sure. A few hours before the Keynote introducing yet another iPhone and a Watch seemingly tailored to tackle Samsung’s leading innovations, there was a wind of disbelief in the Fashion Press where editors, influencers and followers alike felt they would feel the full blow of Apple Marketing Superpower.

Geek is now infamously chic, but why such a sudden direct poke (copyright?) at the trendiest industry?

BoF did not take this lightly either. The respectable source about The Industry took the opportunity to present their new hub for Fashion-dash-Tech:

 


Elsewhere, behemoths like Refinery29 are dropping their unusual Top Story about the iPhone 6 and the Watch, while invitations were dropped to regional top editors (Vogue China, Italia…) to have them join San Francisco’s event venue…

Capitalizing on the obvious trend making tech objects the new Talismans of our contemporary citizens, the brand seems to make a wise business move involving fashion partners more closely, but we’re still wondering: are these new products really worth the spotlight?

Here is Suzy Menkes’ review (seriously?)

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Paris Fashion Week Street Style – H&M Life: catching value chain, not people

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It’s always a tough job to try to capture the style of a city.

City dwellers swinging on the streets.

Commuters defeating the infernal time machine.

Fast movers challenging peace-keepers after 8am.

And suddenly, when offices grab their inhabitants, the city reveals a brand new face.

It can be this guy sitting on a terrace; breathing the calm wind of summer. Or this girl, finishing her late-night work and going to sleep. Or again this civil servant or banker, off for the day.

There are daily artists and on-going plasticine.

H&M shot some people of Paris; I’m not totally convinced: it could have been shot in NYC, London or Milan in any high-street.

That’s probably the only problem with super-retailer like H&M: grabbing so much inspirations to recycle them on our t-shirts that at the end, we don’t know anymore where we belong.

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French Connection: Never Miss A Trick

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What if fashion was a trickery? At the end, fashion tells one’s inner stories.

A bit like a magician, styling an identity is about sharing a tale; or leading audience to another corner.

That’s the creative idea behind “Never miss a trick” by French Connection, featuring magician Troy and model Camilla Christensen.

A poetic invitation to discover their Autumn Winter collection

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Saigon Block Party – Hip Youth Video

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Trendwatchers from the world have their eyes laid on Tokyo, Berlin, Brooklyn, NoMa (Paris), but emerging scenes of youth culture like Vietnam are now über-exciting, shall we say.

Just watch this video made in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) to take a peek into a generation craving for ideas, aesthetics, style and contemporary values. In their own way, somehow.

B-R-A-V-O to Bluer Production.
Behold The Day Dreamers.
 

The Day Dreamers from BLUER VIETNAM on Vimeo.

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How to Learn French with Camille Rowe: the reason why fashion should still love France

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Camille Rowe Pourcheresse was our hit-IT-heat-HIP girl in 2012 when our “friends” from fashion magazines were describing her body as “untypical” …Fashion history proved we were right as we now see everywhere a celebration of the diversity of women bodies. Anorexic shooting are now the realy “untypical”.

France as a brand is trying hard to redefine itself. We don’t have the American Dream, our myths and stories are moral, political. Not made for business per se.

Our know-how, our French Touch might be recognized worldwide, but who can really support this vision today? Most of the time, France is associated to a sort of Lost Paradise: Coco Chanel, Marie-Antoinette, Brigitte Bardot, even Carine Roitfeld…aren’t they from the past? Can they really root France in a contemporaneity?

That’s probably what Camille Rowe achieved in her French lesson: playing with clichés about the Frenchie (yes, in London, most of the guys think that our ladies are bipolar!), and suggesting a new interpretation…

A reconciliation of a sweet arrogance with an ultra-feminine power. A woman one might only desire, therefore respect.

As we like to be right, we believe far more in the Made in French instead of focusing on Made in France. France is a spirit before being a body. Camille Rowe proves once again that our French singularity is in this mix between a very physical attractiveness which empowers a captivating personality.

We love this sparkling Parisian woman: she’s evasive and so free. The best way to communicate about a French brand these days is not to tag it or qualify through the fact the brand is actually French. We need to leave the brand express its creativity. The most intriguing, disturbing, bizarre designers are the real French. A French brand should try to love complicated attitudes; French brands should maybe dive in absurdity. French brands should trouble its customers. That’s probably the only difference now of what French brands can bring on the table against every pop brand machine with a too clever, too simple speech. A French brand should be desired, should be tough to get.

Oh and Made in French don’t care about borders and territories: Camille is an American icon and / or French. Do we care?

Vive la République

 

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