I regularly write a column for Drapers Magazine – Talking Shop – and thought you might like to read it. Drapers is a Fashion Trade Magazine. For more details go to www.drapersonline.com
Below is the original article Tres Chic
I recently visited France – Paris to be precise – for 6 days. I went to exhibit 3 brands at Playtime, Paris – a French Children’s wear trade exhibition at Parc Floral, on the outskirts of Paris. I haven’t been to Paris for 10yrs, since my now husband proposed to me along the conveyor belt at Charles de Gaulle airport. I was happy and refreshed to see how effortless stylish the French are, including everyone from the butcher, baker, school child, mother and bed and breakfast host. I never thought why did she choose to wear those trousers with a bottom like that? or why did she chose to wear that top, what did she see in the shop changing room mirror? Or why did she dye her hair that brassy blonde with her skin tone? Everyone seems to know what to wear and how to wear it and wasn’t due to their slim, non-obese frame, or money, as us Brits use as an excuse not to take care in their appearance. The French know how to dress according to their frame, whatever their shape. Now why is that? Is it the natural aesthetic beauty in the French architecture and urban streetscape that les enfants grow up with? No, I think us Londoners can easily rival our Parisian friends. What is it? What is their secret? It is the emergence of lower-end stores such as 99p stores or the US inspired budget chains that seem to have recently taken over our High Streets in the UK? As I didn’t see these types of retail units in France, in the droves as they are here. I can’t quite put my finger on it and I haven’t even mentioned the stylish Italians – don’t get me started on them, even if they arrive on a vespa, dripping in sweat, or glowing, if they are females – they look fantastic. I long to walk down a British High Street and see us Brits looking good, some do and it’s great to see, but just not enough! Trinny, Susannah and Gok are all great in promoting people to take care in their appearance, but they can only do so much. What’s amusing about this, is most of the people reading this article are the stylish ones, who know how to dress – so what can we do? Answers on a postcard please.