I wanted to begin this text by declaring my love for Paris and by claiming that I feel like a true Parisienne… but, beyond simply being born in Paris, how is one Parisian?
Jean-Jacques Rousseau was asking himself the same question as early as 1761, when he declared that “fashion dominates provincials but Parisians dominate fashion”.
In 1893, Arsène Houssaye wrote that there are “two births for women: that of the cot and that of the dress. A woman can be born again as a Parisian with he first passion or her first trip to Paris because the latter is the land of metamorphosis and transfigurations. To become Parisian, you have to have been born whimsical, ambitious, coquetish, a gourmet, and adorable”.
For the writer Amélie Nothomb, “the Parisian is a legend, therefore, she exists more than other women, and this, for eternity”.
For the witty Loïc Prigent, “she is a reference and a mystery”.
Here and there, the expression that comes up when Parisian women are mentioned is their “je-ne-sais-quoi”. The famous “je-ne-sais-quoi”… That’s not very helpful, is it?
The only conclusion I can come to is that no one really knows what makes a Parisian.
For my part, I still look at Paris like a tourist, marveling at the historical and architectural jewels this city has to offer on every street. To the point where the assistant of Didier Ludot, the antiquarian of fashion located in Palais-Royal, who came across my blog before he came across me, sincerely thought I was American. Indeed, the city is presented through my prism and therefore it often resembles the Paris that a sixties American WASP would have dreamed of.
You can radiate an American energy whilst still being perfectly Parisian.
I’ve lost count of my contradictions anyway 😉
Hobbs dress – Chloé coat – Christian Louboutin heels – Agnelle gloves – Miu Miu sunglasses – Valentino clutch