Thursday, 25 November 2010

Make Do Life Laundry week - fashion forward

Given I've now recovered from my Valentino shock (thank you The Outnet) I thought I'd best return to the theme of the week. I've been looking forward to doing this post and I'm sure the Francophiles will be very pleased.

You know I've been struggling along a fashion journey (a three year one to be precise!) and I'm on the final hurdle. A year long style challenge to buy only quality and designer ones at that. The reason I think I got to this place is due to a reaction against more and against the pace of trends. Then of course I had a MA to undertake and fund so that challenged my resources as well.

What I'm trying to achieve is a step away from my high/fast fashion penchant of old towards a more considered, luxurious and classic yet stylish wardrobe. In short I'm over rad and killing it.

My favourite Coco Chanel quote is 'innovation! One cannot be forever innovating. I want to create classics.'

And do you know what she is right. There comes a point when you need some satisfaction and stability in your wardrobe. Which leads me on to a stalker-ish confession. I'm a very observant person. I never forget a face and I always take in what people are wearing. Whilst dropping off the petit garcon at school I spotted a French women at 50 paces. Everything about her style said French.

When I finally did my 'hi I'm a stalker but these days we get called bloggers' bit it got better. This is the coolest response ever to 'Are you French?' Her reply 'Well yes, well actually I am Parisian (but said in French the Parisian bit), not that I'm a snob' Then she laughed. I actually just wish I had La Belette Rouge on speed dial so I could do a transatlantic *sigh* and share the moment.

If that wasn't enough to make me wish I could say that to someone, I then asked her name which is Melusine. Melusine is one of the most magical names ever! She is a legendary figure in many European, particularly French and German folk legends. Melusine is a fresh water spirit of sacred rivers and springs.

The reason I had been 'observing' Melusine is because she does and has achieved the style nirvana of quality over quantity. Her Max Mara coat worn with flat black patent boots, a quality orange scarf - sometimes with her Louis Vuitton shoulder bag, sometimes not coupled with perfect grooming is a winner. She stands out not because she is fierce fashionista but due to her classic but stylish air. It is the perfect example of why fashion forward is about simplicity but style. Why it doesn't always have to be about new or innovation.

Ah the surprise detail!

The wardrobe life laundry seems to be well under way and in the right direction. If you are starting with a wardrobe sort out then you can check out my post on this here

Meanwhile I'm lying in a darkened room practising my French faining a Parisian accent stylishly of course.


  1. She looks great, i love a classic coat xxpastes

  2. A style savvy laundress after my own heart. I absolutely loved this post probably because its exactly the sort of thing I'd do..stalk someone whose style I adored then pretend I'm french LOL. Even the window displays in Paris are so much more De la classe than anywhere else.
    MFS xxx

  3. Absolutely agree: sometimes it's about picking something that suits you and will always suit you.
    Having a classic 'base' also means you can experiment with detail and trends (like with the gloves) and get the balance 'just so'.
    Just discovered this blog off Penny Dreadful Vintage and will be visiting again!

  4. Tres chic! Love the quirky gloves.
    It's the slicked back hair and beautifully applied mascara that gives it away.
    I noticed when I stayed in Pondicherry (former French colony in Southern India) that the French women are never without their mascara and it's not worn in that vile clumpy Jordanesque way. xxx

  5. Hi there-she looks so poised and elegant, that coat looks so stylish and snug!! Well done with the wardrobe life laundry too, you've been very inspirational my dear!!

  6. Oh Melusine is so gorgeous, I can but only dream about looking that good at school drop-off time. She has style to aspire to for sure.
    When I was in Paris with my sister she got mistaken for a French woman several times, you can probably only imagine the level of sulky jealousy I reached.

  7. I agree with Vix - this sort of look only looks good if your hair and make-up are perfect. The ncie thing about throwing on a loud vintage frock is that you can look scrappy and hideous and no-one will notice your face!

    ps You can go one better Kate - you can answer 'Well yes, actually I am a Londoner'

  8. Oui, oui and OUI! J'adore this aesthetic, and am working toward this in my own wardrobe. I loved her response, too.

  9. It's the makeup and hair that I noticed too. The coat and accessories are beautiful (especially that fab scarf) but it would look nowhere near as pulled together and chic without the immaculate face.

  10. My brother works for a French company in the USA - so has a mixture of French and American colleagues and I can always tell who's who!

  11. I definitely hear your plea/desires for stability. I'm still trying to find the balance as I always seem to flit between wanting something more permanent and enjoying the temporary fun of trend-dabbling...
    Love that she made the distinction between Parisian and French, something that always confuses the whole myth about 'French chic' in fashion...

  12. Dear Kate, Melusine does look great and I love the gloves, nice touch.

    I'm with you - I love vintage and classic pieces and I jazz them up with accessories. I only buy styles that suit me and never follow fashion. I think why my wardrobe has lasted so long! I must finish organising it. I have a meeting bang in the middle of the afternoon tomorrow when all I want to do is spend the day finally finishing it. It's still a total mess. Have a lovely evening xx

  13. I have gloves almost like this only the studs dont go up the fingers are only on the backs of my hands. I love her name too. Sounds like a song. By the way I think you have done very well with your pic's. Xxxx

  14. LOL! Oui, I am fluent in the transatlantic sigh!xoxo
    p.s. Must send you my # just in case you ever need me again.;-)

  15. Oh yes, I adored this post !
    Sometimes I dream of cleaning out my closet and bringing in classics that are to last a lifetime.
    She does look magnificent and I had never heard that quote from Coco Chanel, it is right on the spot.


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