Rue Saint-Placide, Paris. After dinner in a little brasserie, I prepared to leave, took my bag and headed towards the door. Suddenly, the waiter asked: „You are not Parisian, are you?“ A little perplex, I smiled and answered: „No, I am not. Is it that obvious?“
„Not at all. Actually, I thought you were Parisian, with your appearance, your fluent french.“
Then came the statement that just wouldn‘t get of my mind: „Mais vous avez souri. La Parisienne ne sourit jamais“ („But you smiled. A Parisian never smiles.“).
Parisians never smile?
Those five words got me thinking. Could he be right? Is it true that Parisians never smile? I started to recap my days here and realized, he was probably closer to the truth with his statement than I thought. Don‘t get me wrong, that does not mean that everyone in Paris is sad and crabby. But I guess the waiter summed up the parisian mentality pretty well.
Proud, confident, nonchalant, somehow an aloof attitude. Never overacted though. Exactly what Parisians are communicating via their clothes.
We just have to look at french mid-market labels like Sandro or Maje, never overdone, mostly dark, muted colors but never unoriginal or expressionless.
There is always a little twist in each piece, not obvious at first. If we take a closer look though, we suddenly get an image of the proud and nonchalante attitude, that is meant to be wearing it. And I guess here is the big difference between Paris and a lot of other cities: Parisians stick to their style as they communicate an attitude, a personality. Whereas in Munich, or Vienna, cut, colors and patterns vary strikingly depending on seasons, financial or sociopolitical situations.
In Paris, people know they have something they can hold on to, that gives them confidence and even maybe hope: their style. Or, to quote the embodiment of elegant timelessness Coco Chanel: „Fashion fades, only style remains the same.“
CR Fashion Book
Talking about Paris, I finally found CR Fashion Book! I followed its creation since Carine Roitfeld launched it, but the book (it truly is more book than magazine) is so hard to get.
I believe Carine Roitfeld is one of the most talented and passionate people in the whole fashion industry. I admire her a lot. Her own fashion book is really something that was missing in this wide and colourful palette of magazines. It is filled with such aesthetic and expressive photos that I just couldn‘t give it out of my hands. You could go through it over and over again, it stays fascinating and capturing like no other.
Playboy and COVER
Back at the AMD, I had the chance to meet some very interesting people. An editor from the german „Playboy“, as well as an editor from „COVER“ came to visit us. We had the chance to gain a closer insight on the editorial work, the people behind the magazines. Interesting was for example, that the majority of Playboy editors are women. Especially the shoots are exclusively in women‘s hands, which was kind of surprising to me thinking of the female image that is transmitted throughout these pictures.
Furthermore, we are currently working on designing a new, innovative cover for an established magazine. Each group could choose the magazine and decide what had to be changed, improved, so that it would appeal to new readers (without loosing the old ones, of course). In my group of three, we chose unhesitatingly the german VOGUE. We want to win younger readers with our new designed cover, without loosing the aesthetic quality that defines VOGUE. Looking forward to present it here when it will be finished!
Nadja herscovici, Fashion Journalism Student at AMD, Munich