There is a german expression “Andere Länder, andere Sitten!” which means when in Rome, do as the Romans! (other lands, other customs). Few days ago my husband and I went to Gallery Lafayette, and I saw a nice pretty Burberry scarf. Although i know that i will not buy it because it way over my budget but to my surprise he told me a no-no, not Burberry with that Burberry pattern. He explained that is typical ‘fashion faux-pas’ style of girls in paris who cover themselves with logos and designer brands to look rich. This also reminds me a story of another friend with european husband. She admitted to made mistakes of buying LV monogram bag and when she brought it home to show her husband, the look on his face was a sheer of disgust. He told her how bad perceived it was and went back to the LV shop and change it with an epi one. She told me it is not that he hates luxury things but he prefers logoless classics stuff and even bought her Hermès scarves, subtle Chanel and Celine (so lucky!). I can totally understand that over the years staying in asia I have seen LV becoming McDonald’s kind of luxury brands because it is everywhere.
I am completely impressed and realized how funny it is to see that Parisians’ attitude towards style is different from people in Asia. When first came here, in my head I imagined Paris filled with classic Chanel flaps. I have to say it’s actually more a cliché than the truth, I don’t see Chanel bags very often and even so they are apparently tourists. But I found there are many asian tourists with LV monogram.
I love love love to see how Parisian ladies could look so chic and stylish and effortless at the same time, although I didn’t see many Parisians lady carrying Chanel bag but there are few older ladies carrying Hermès birkin bags. Perhaps it depends on the occasion, they reserve it to go to special evening, luxury party or restaurant. I saw a lot of ladies wear gorgeous fabrics and leathers that look expensive but are not identified yet, that kind of “where did you buy it from” kind of effect. They prefer to be discrete and wearing designer handbag that doesn’t have the designer brand written over it, without wearing heavy make up but instead they have that ‘natural look’ with light make up and yes still look sexy overall. It seems the real rich upper class Parisian people don’t like showing off, you wont recognize any designer bags on them and if they do have, there would be no monogram or logo/ name that tells which brand it is from.
One thing i noticed that they love wearing scarves. Scarf that brings color to their cheeks and eyes, they look so elegant with silk Hermès scarves. Perhaps this is where they spend the money. Ok back to handbags! Spy reports, generally the brand of bag on the street I spotted are Balenciaga, Gerard Darel, Vanessa Bruno for trendy women, and of course Longchamp, Lancel and Tod’s that is more to traditional bourgeoise/ middle class, while LV classics are more to middle age bourgeoise ladies.
No questions but I think every ladies should have a bag that they really really love, a bag that makes her feel worthy and says that she is a special individual, and extention of herself. It doesnt have to be designer bag if you can’t afford it but it should make you feel worthy and always always be the best you can afford. Then you can carry it everyday and match it with your style. I think it will be timelessly fashionable this way. Elegance goes along with timelessness and trying to capture the essence of design and quality rather than the trend, and not necessarily to be luxury.
I believe that attitude also reflects where Coco Chanel came from, a simple and easy approach to life and style. If you already watched Coco avant Chanel the movie , you noticed it.
“Fashion is made to become unfashionable” – Coco Chanel, 1883-1971 –