By Cristina Boydell
One of the many things I love about living in London? Being able to simply hop on the Eurostar train, with a direct trip to Paris for the weekend! And in early November I did just that to celebrate my friend’s 25th birthday.
It was a classy weekend, full of fine dining and drinks at chic cafés and cool bars.
The Parisians certainly know how to live and dress!
The French, famous for Chanel, Dior and Celine fashion houses, have a certain “je ne c’est quoi” and an air of utter coolness. It all appears effortless in how they put themselves together. Just think of their trademark Breton stripes, quilted bags and cropped tweed jackets.
I noticed that their style isn’t too different in the evening. Daytime looks are normally glammed up with heels and make-up.
Dressed cool, but casual, in fitted skinny jeans and a slouchy T-shirt, paired with leather pieces, fur elements (real or faux) and lots of layering, I took to the streets – from Rue Saint Honoré to Montmartre – to scope out how the French live.
Looking for the hot spots in Paris, I found that the most exclusive places are always inconspicuous from the outside, have tall dark doors, no signs to indicate the name of the place and only a few bouncers.
We were recommended by a trendy colleague of the birthday girl (who works at Ralph Lauren) to check out The Experimental Cocktail Club and David Lynch’s members-only Club Silencio, which both did not disappoint. Club-goers were effortlessly stylish, yet clad in casual chic outfits, in dark hues of black or grey, with pops of this season’s trend colour: red. My favourite way to describe it is that everyone in Paris dresses like a Koople – www.thekooples.com.
With boutiques in France and London, French brand The Kooples was founded by three French brothers in 2007. Very rock’n’roll chic, they dress men and women in sharp, tailored street chic pieces, made for urban living. You can clearly see the French and English masculine influences from Savile Row. The Kooples carry all the must-haves for the season, with everything from dress shirts to party dresses, skinny jeans to suits, jackets to shoes and accessories.
I couldn’t escape them at home either. Living in London, it’s hard to miss their clever ad campaign on city buses, which features real couples and how long they’ve been together, looking unbelievably cool, decked out in matching hipster outfits. These looks include skinny trousers and jeans, tailored shorts, sharp blazers, slouchy cardigans, pointy and studded boots, parkas with fur and leather bomber jackets. My favourite colours for autumn are the dark reds, greens and oranges, which The Kooples do so well.
Oversized floppy hats and graphic tees bring in their indie and rock music influences, an integral part of the brand’s image, not to mention the skull buttons, leather embellishments and lace detailing.
I can’t help but want a boyfriend just so I can make him wear the designs with me, and look just as cool as the models in the ads!
And as for Paris, it is only a three-hour train ride away, and I will definitely be back for more! Even if it’s just shopping and watching Kooples-clad people for a day – totally worth it! In the meantime, browsing The Kooples boutiques in London will act as my French style inspiration.