“I grew up in Paris, near The Galeries Lafayette”



In honor of National French Week, organized by the American Association of Teachers of French, meet Emilie-Rose, a 22-year old, who was born and has lived most of her life in Paris. Now living in Canterbury, England (an hour outside of London) while she attends her last year of University, Emilie-Rose and I talked about how the French view fashion and style and beauty and what is what like growing up in the fashion capital of the world …

Here is Emilie-Rose

Growing up in Paris, I was always aware not only of fashion, but of shops and shopping. We live in a part of Paris that is very near the huge department stores, like Galeries Lafayette and Printemps. I have always been really girly, even from a young age. I went to an International bilingual school and looking back at it now, I wish I had been required to wear a uniform. There was a lot of pressure to dress a certain way and many of the students were from wealthy backgrounds and could afford to wear high-brand designer labels. It was tough …

It’s really important to me to dress for myself. Perhaps because I am an only child, I hate being like everyone else. I don’t want to wear something that others are wearing; I prefer to look unique and individual. Clothing can boost confidence. When you are careful with what you are wearing, you feel good …

Some of the things people say about the way Parisians dress is true. We are not a sweat pant society. You will never find French women or men stepping out in sweats and very casual attire. In fact, what is considered dressed-up to Americans is actually casual by French standards. Also, French women do wear black often. I love wearing black; I find it so chic and flattering. I will accessorize black with color and brights, but my go-to is always black …

French women are natural and appreciate natural beauty. You will not find a French woman with fake hair extensions or colorful manicures. They like well-manicured hands but will opt not to put color on their nails …

My favorite French designer is Isabel Marant. She is fashion-forward and innovative and I like that. She was the first to come out with the sneaker-wedges before others started to copy her. She is a woman women’s designer: She designs with women in mind. I also like the brand Sandro for it’s classic French style: Tailored dresses, cute boots, etc. I’ve never worn Marc Jacobs’ clothing but I think his handbags and wallets are so beautiful. My most prized possession is my handbag by Marc Jacobs

I geniunely appreciate fashion. When I was 16 I was very lucky to intern at Louis Vuitton and although I loved my experience I did sense the tension among the women. Although there are many male designers, it is an industry of women. I am hoping to go into Fashion Public Relations and I am aware of the tensions I might experience. It concerns me ..

My style? I would describe it as classic. My perfect outfit is skinny jeans, boots and a cashmere sweater. I admire Alexa Chung because she dresses in a classic way but always with a twist. I can relate to her gender-mixing style. I love big, wool sweaters myself. I have been working at Jack Wills, a high-end British brand. I love the men’s styles as much if not more than the women’s. I’ve never been preppy, but since working there I have begun to appreciate the value of prep style and chinos as an alternative to my skinny jeans! ~ Emilie-Rose




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4 thoughts on ““I grew up in Paris, near The Galeries Lafayette”

  1. I was in Paris this summer and my hotel was in this area-lots of fabulous shops. I came home and made a change in my summer wardrobe. All the ladies in Paris where wearing dresses-even just running to the market! So I added a few simple dresses to my wardrobe-very chic.

    • Thank you, MAB, for sharing your experience! It’s fun to hear about the style in Paris and how sweatpants are just not seen on the streets. I love the beauty of dresses. There is nothing better than a simple, chic dress. xx Mel

  2. Oh what a wonderful life! Sounds like such fun, especially as a teen growing up there!
    Almost like living in an Audrey Hepburn film 🙂

    I do wonder if I could pull it off though…I am such a slob, most of the time. Found in either sweat pants and a t-shirt or a tennis outfit! Doesn’t seem too Parisian! Ah well, C’est la vie!

    I love how you bring us into other people’s fashion worlds! She sounds like a lovely young lady! Best of luck in her fashion endeavors!

    • It does sound fun, doesn’t it? And how I love Audrey Hepburn! My all-time favorite! Don’t be too hard on yourself: Even Emilie-Rose, who is now a student in her last year of University, finds herself dressing down more often. I think it’s something to strive for; to look and feel our best all the time and give ourselves permission when we need to opt for casual. We’re only human. Thank you for the kind words Kylie. xx Mel

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