Friday, February 13, 2009
This particular posting has been in the works for several weeks, months even. I was waiting to collect the perfect photographic examples which I believe I have now finally acquired.
As I packed my bags for Paris last year I was worried about my wardrobe. Did I have enough chic clothing? Should I buy a few outfits here before leaving? Should I wait until I get to Paris? I decided it was best to wait until I got to Paris to be sure to buy the latest local fashion...in retrospect I should have bought more clothes in Seattle while I still had a paycheck and a husband with a job...but never mind that.
When I arrived, I kept my eyes peeled for fashion trends. My mother soon came in to town and we put our heads together to figure out what women in Paris were wearing these days. I was feeling a little lost but mom, as usual, nailed the trend "It seems to me that in Paris you can wear whatever you want, you just have to own it!" Not own it as in it is in your closet but own it, as in hold your head up high and rock it.
I wasn't so sure, can you really wear whatever you want? Boots, braids, pink jeans, ray-bans, floppy hats and suede boots... potentially all in one outfit? That answer apparently is yes. Yes you can. All you need to do is tilt your head up, walk with purpose and paint an half smile on your face that communicates, "That's right, I know you are jealous but stop staring" or "Oh, you haven't heard that blue fur and army boots are the new must have, well you will and then you'll feel silly".
Exhibit A: Platinum blonde buzz cut, black leather pants with a raised design on the back pockets, a deconstructed metallic down jacket and boots with four in heels before noon. I crossed this same extraordinary woman the following day at the supermarket, she was wearing exactly the same outfit except she choose her orange purse that day.
Exhibit B: Fur lined shiny black down jacket, perfectly bleached jeans, playboy bunny sculpted in hair and sunglasses despite the fact that he is indoors and it was December.
Exhibit C: Fur, fur and a little mohair.
Exhibit D: Blond lighter-than-air bouffant, wool coat with blue fox fur cuffs, pointy high heel boots with a blue military motif at well over 65 years of age.
In Paris you can wear whatever suits your fancy. Seriously. I have already tested the theory. My first test was to wear a dress, heels and lipstick to a morning coffee date. No one batted an eyelash. No one asked me why I was so dressed up, unlike in Seattle. I then pushed things a little further. I have a black knit hat with a pompom the size of a grapefruit, would that be too much for these Parisians if I paired it with a giant 8 foot long wooly black scarf? No. It was a hit. Then this week I wore a controversial pink sweater that has a high ruffled collar similar to the styles of the kings and queens of England....it was a huge success. I had a few stares, a few smiles, and a few compliments. My friend Emilie told me she really liked it, I thanked her and said that I know it's a little different but that I enjoy wearing it. She said, "As you should Mary. It's Paris, anything goes!".