Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Spot the difference

From Badaude

The 6.30am London-Paris Eurostar last Monday must have been the chic-est train of the week. As it was Paris fashion week, it may well have been the chic-est train of the year.

I notice it immediately. The groups of powerful-looking older women in black coats, big scarves and bags with plenty of hardware; buckles, bag-charms, chain handles. I even see a reasonably heavy-looking padlock. (OK. I'm not stupid. I know these hang outside bags. But why is she carrying one inside?)

Each group is attended by one or two unnaturally fashionable, very young men. They run along the platform as the train's about to leave, trailing flying accessories.

So what is the famous difference between French and British fashion players? Let's play the game of, 'Is she British? Is she French?'.

Ok. The French are wearing trousers; the Brits are wearing skirts. Their skirts are mostly knee-length and flare out a bit at the bottom. The French trousers are uniformly black. The Brits are wearing colour; the French won't touch it: strictly black, grey and cream. One crucial difference: British pashminas are bigger, MUCH BIGGER, I mean SO MUCH BIGGER than the French equivalent. They're so big that, if bounced from their hotel booking, I think the Brits could camp under them. The French compensate for this by adding odd rows of little bobbles, crinkled textures and embroidery to theirs (so long as they're in a neutral tone). Oh - and the British tend to wear novelty knitted and felted hats. Cute, huh?

That said, the Brit look is fantastically difficult to carry off - and some of them are even managing it.


phyllis said...

Oh that was fun! I could spend all day reading fashion tribes observations like this one.

Duchesse said...

Did you notice the hair colour?French women get incredible six-shades-of-blonde-with-even some-grey.

Badaude said...

By odd coincidence I'm just about to post about what happened when I got my hair dyed in Paris. The post should be out later this week, by which time the dye may have washed out...

lagatta à Montréal said...

badaude, j'adore vos dessins - tellement d'esprit ... parisien!

And at the same time, somehow a view from outside, looking in.

Shryh said...

Oh, I so want to be in that train!