C’est chic…?!

Well, hello lovely readers! I do hope there are still some folk reading this blog. It seems to have been an awful long time since I wrote my last post. It’s mainly a question of life getting in the way – especially where family is involved.

Anyway, I’ve been planning this post for some time and it’s mainly thanks to one of my favourite bloggers, Catherine https://atypical60.com/ She is a very funny, feisty and opinionated American blogger who happens to have a French husband. She loves France, too and has some interesting thoughts about French style.

Why chic? ‘Chic’ is a word that is bandied about a lot but what does it actually mean? I decided to do some research via the dictionary.

Here’s what I found: ‘elegantly and stylishly fashionable’.
“she looked every inch the chic Frenchwoman

And there’s the rub. Is this a myth, a stereotype or the truth? Chic is an adjective often applied to French women and you only have to look on Pinterest, for example, to see countless boards telling us ‘How to be Parisian’ or ‘How to dress like a French woman’.

 

blog

But, as someone who has a home in France, I have to tell you that not every French woman is chic. I love people watching and I am on the look out for some local chic French women so that I can take their photo and put them on this blog, assuming they don’t mind! Unfortunately, I haven’t spotted any yet… I think this is because there is not a lot of money in the area where we live and perhaps all the chic people are at work… If we go to the nearest city, Toulouse, there are lots of chic and stylish people around but there are also lots of people who are less so. Toulouse is a university town and has a feeling of affluence, so perhaps this is the reason.

I believe that ‘chicness’ – is there such a word? – varies considerably from town to town, place to place, country to country. I know of Italian, Spanish, Brazilian, Indian (I could go on) women who are incredibly stylish. There are even some in the United Kingdom!! JOKE…

But, I would suggest that there is a classic look that we ascribe to French women; including simple black dress, white tailored shirt, trenchcoat, striped top … Ah, striped tops. We all know of my love of the striped top!

photo (1)

https://wordpress.com/posts/fancyingfrance.wordpress.com?s=breton+tops

But is this accurate? Anecdotally, when I was working as a primary languages consultant, in the UK, I was observing a French lesson and I heard one of the pupils comment that I must be French because I was wearing a striped top! Vive les stéréotypes!

While looking at the original definition of chic, I decided to look at synonyms for this word. What should appear but ‘stylish’? If you put ‘French style’ into a search engine, page after page are available to tell women how to dress like a French woman. I’m sure this advice is all very helpful should that be your goal but, as far as I am concerned, it is more important to find one’s own style, whatever that may be. I feel I’m going off on a bit of a tangent here…

As a more mature woman, I do get fed up with being told what I can or can’t wear because of my age. Not that I take any notice! A subject for another blog post, perhaps?!

As I’m beginning to ramble and this post risks turning into a dissertation, I’ll finish by saying that there are certain French style ‘icons’ whose style I do admire. These include Coco Chanel, Catherine Deneuve, Françoise Hardy, Juliette Binoche, Ines de la Fressange but there are many other style icons I could name who are not French.

I’d love to know your thoughts about French style and French ‘chicness’ ! Is it a myth, a stereotype, a generalisation or the truth?! Do please share!

 

 

 

Advertisements

Only in France…

It is no secret as to how much I love an aperitif! It’s such a lovely precursor to a delicious meal. For me, sitting outside a café, in the sunshine, enjoying a Kir Royal is bliss!

Several of my blog posts have already focused on this quintessentially French tradition.

However, I was surprised to discover recently that there is a ‘Fédération Française de l’apéritif ‘.

IMG_0094

It is situated in Paris and has its own Facebook page. Here’s a link if you want to find out more:

https://www.facebook.com/ffaperitif/

I must admit I ‘liked’ their page and their recent post concerning the Paris marathon bought a smile to my face. Europe 1 interviewed Christine, a seventy-eight year old marathon runner, who enjoys an aperitif, every evening! If you speak French and want to hear her interview, here’s the link (although I’m not sure about the smoking…)

http://www.europe1.fr/sport/marathon-de-paris-la-doyenne-lassure-elle-fume-et-prend-laperitif-tous-les-soirs-3288152

What about you? Do you enjoy an aperitif? If yes, I’d love to know which one!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Midnight in Paris

Are you a fan of Woody Allen films? I loved Annie Hall, Blue Jasmine and Midnight in Paris but there are others that I haven’t enjoyed so much.

Woody Allen won a Best Original Screenplay Academy Award for Midnight in Paris but for me it’s all about the location as it’s a wonderful homage to Paris.

This clip says it all… And the accompanying music is beautiful.

Have you seen this film? What did you think? I’d love to know!

Bonne Année !

Some of my happiest New Year celebrations have taken place in Paris.

This traditional song, by Joe Dassin, brings back many marvellous memories.

I was always surprised by how much my students – of all ages – used to love this song!

It is an ‘ear worm’, after all.

Happy New Year xx

Champagne is good for you!

image

This headline has been appearing all over the place and as someone who is partial to the odd glass or three; I thought this would be worth investigating! Talking about champagne after the terrible attacks in Paris, might seem inappropriate perhaps, but if you read on to the end of the post, you will find that there is a link.

Apparently, a recent study suggests that drinking three glasses of champagne every day can help to prevent the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers at Reading University discovered that a compound in red grapes is the important factor. However, it appears that the research was carried out on rats…

Drinking champagne can also improve your memory, it is claimed. I’m not convinced of this one! I would suggest that if you drink too much, it would have the opposite effect. Well, in my case, anyway! Much has been made of red wine’s benefits for the heart, but champagne also contains high levels of polyphenols – antioxidants – that can lower blood pressure and prevent heart problems.

However, I don’t see champagne being prescribed by the NHS, any time soon. If you want to find out their take on this research, follow this link:

http://www.nhs.uk/news/2015/11November/Pages/No-hard-evidence-champagne-can-prevent-dementia.aspx

The events in Paris are still very much in my thoughts and I found this very moving: Joann Sfar, a cartoonist for Charlie Hebdo, has shared a touching drawing on Instagram.image

I hope you can make the link, too. Thanks for reading and comments welcomed!