The South of France, from Provence to the Cote d'Azur
, is know the world over for its elegance. Home of the troubadours in the Middle Ages, it is still today a land of grace and poetry. In fact, medieval minstrels from this region are credited with glorifying the romantic love in epic poems retelling how chivalrous knights wooed virtuous and noble ladies. back then, Provence was much more civilized than the northern part of France , and Aix
was considered a more sophisticated capital than Paris.
The rivalry between the two cities is legendary. Though Paris is the Capitol of fashion in the winter, during the summer, and particularly August, Aix
is the place to see and be seen. The women look like they have strolled out of a 1930 Lartigue photograph
: Their attire is timeless yet surprisingly modern, adapted to the weather, the season
, and the activity of the moment.
The women of Provence have always inspired me with their incredible sense of style
. It's a look of supreme simplicity that my most stylish clients have embraced well. I don't know if it's the light or the lifestyle, but on the streets of Aix
you'll rarely see a woman wearing too much makeup, flashy clothes, an armful of gold jewelry, or tons of hairspray. It just doesn't happen.
Here are some typical summer ensembles:A Pale Cotton Shirtdress
with leather mules, or even flip-flops. A great manicure and pedicure. A neat ponytail.Ballet Flats
with Capri pants, a straw basket in hand. A chic bob, tucked behind the ears, with long bangs.A Simple Strappy Top
, a slim wrap skirt, hair held in place with a single braid. Ah, braided hair! How cool and romantic.A Striped Top
with natural linen slacks. Sunglasses casually propped on the head, like a headband, with a few strands of hair falling down.Light Canvas Pants
, a blue plaid or crisp
white cotton shirt, a rope belt, espadrilles, and a straw Panama.A Cotton Dress
with a pashmina
scarf, worn with pretty espadrilles. It looks even better if you carry a loaf of bread and bouquet of flowers!
But these fashion tips won't work unless you add a final personal touch: a taste for the unexpected combined with a sense of whimsy. Needless to say, this isn't something that can be dictated
. The only way to learn it is by observing how others do it. This is why Aix
people spend so much time sitting at the terraces of cafes, sipping lemonade, watching the continuous parade of chic local residents, dapper out-of-towers, colorful international tourists, and in-the-know students.