Wednesday, 29 June 2011

La Petite Anglaise

When I was a student I spent six months in living in Paris as part of my degree in modern languages. It doesn't feel like it was that long ago but in fact it's nearly 11 years now. I had an absolute ball during my time there: I rented a tiny attic 'studio' (doesn't that word sound so much better than 'bedsit' which is exactly what it was!) up six flights of stairs (no lift) close to the Gare du Nord which I shared with a friend, studied French at the British Institute in Paris where my classroom had a picture postcard view of the Eiffel Tower and, in true Parisian style, spent a lot of time drinking petits cafes (cafe cremes were far too expensive) and being moody in cafes. I'd love to go back and do it all again. I still love the city - it's one of the most wonderful places I've been to. If anyone would like to whisk me back there for a weekend (major hint here) I'd be so happy! 

When not studying incredibly hard (ahem!) I did a lot of window shopping and generally wandering about through the streets of Paris and although I was actually a very skint student so rarely bought anything I developed a real love for French fashion, in particular a few of the high street shops that are probably the equivalent of Whistles over here, Comptoir des Cotonniers and Sandro to name a couple. Some of these brands have since come onto the UK high street to bring a little French chic to us Brits. I love the effortless style of many of these brands: there's something very 'French' about the clothes that's difficult to pin down. I think it's to do with the simplicity and the fact that they are not as 'fashion' focused as many of the UK brands: instead there's an emphasis on style that lasts longer than a season. 

I've recently discovered Maje but no matter how much I adore their clothes, I simply don't have the budget right now. I have plastering, garden gates and car repairs (ugh) to pay for. How depressingly grown up. Anyhow, someone in the North Leeds area who is conveniently the same size as me clearly is buying a lot of Maje clothes and then kindly depositing them in my local charity shop after one season and as a consequence I am now the proud owner of a cream silk blouse (will post at a later date) and the dress I'm wearing in these photos. I have to admit I saw it and thought acid yellow, really? But I have worn it so much and it's really easy to wear on those days when I have to look a little smarter. I imagine this dress would have cost over £100 new so at £5 it was a true bargain. 

yellow and grey Maje dress: £5, charity shop
cream tuxedo blazer: Twenty8twelve at Urban Outfitters
vintage Danish necklace: gift from my husband
brogues: Next
watch: Triwa

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