With the current health crisis, there is a good reason to believe that fashion will open a new era, even more responsible and local. And as in any transition in movement, why not return to the French symbols which participate in the fashion of today and even more that of tomorrow?
Here is a quick and fun look at 5 French symbols that make France one of the leading figures in fashion.
1. The marine style
Initially, it was primarily a style of British naval inspiration. In the 18th century, in fact, King George II has been inspired by his wife’s red and white Amazon clothing, for him and the uniform of the Navy. Very quickly, the Americans followed suit followed by the French who brought a touch of blue. Because the sailor uniform fascinates. It is sober, elegant and above all practical to allow movement and action. With the burgeoning growth of cruises and seaside resorts at the start of the 20th century, the marine style overwhelmed fashion with a very French style.
And it is above all, a great French fashion designer, Coco Chanel who gave a real naval inspiration to the fashion of yesterday and today: the feminine flared pants, it is her and the striped sailor sweater too!
2. The striped sweater
It is especially the striped jersey that most symbolizes, the sailor clothing. Did you know that originally, the striped sweater displayed twenty-one indigo blue lines to illustrate the number of Napoleonic victories? Brittany, meanwhile, made it from the 19th century, the working clothes of shipyard workers and fishermen.
Then in the 1920s, as said above, it was Coco Chanel’s turn to take it. She wears a sailor sweater and a male jacket, a very avant-garde sign for her time. Then it’s Brigitte Bardot’s turn in the 1950s, notably in the film Viva Maria. It must be said that there is something very elegant in this French-style t-shirt. It is undoubtedly for this also that Jean-Paul Gaultier places and revisits, in the 90s, the theme of the striped sweater at the heart of his parades!
3. The emblematic hats
Originating from the Pyrenees and more precisely from Béarn, the beret is THE most used French fashion symbol abroad. Worn by Occitan peasants from the 17th century, the beret is an accessory that is still worn today. In wool, cashmere or covered with pearls or buttons, the beret has its fans. It is also probably because it is the smallest French hat that it inspires the biggest!
From Elsa Schiaparelli through Chanel, Maison Michel or even in 1967, Brigitte Bardot for the video for “Bonnie and Clyde”, the beret is the most French of hats, mythical and inspiring. Without forgetting Jane Powell and her dancing beret with Fred Astaire in the film Royal Wedding!
The Cloche hat
Made inseparable from the boyish style during the roaring 20s, this hat is a true example of a French symbol. Imagined by the talented French milliner Caroline Reboux, it embodies a form of femininity that is still relevant today. The Cloche hat is a timeless best case! Particularly suitable for short hair, as practical and space-saving as the beret, it highlights the face like no one. This is certainly why its shape has become a model of French inspiration. Notice to fans of hats for a guaranteed Parisian style!
4. The gingham
This fabric and its checkered pattern have origins that are not very identifiable. That said, as early as the 14th century, we already find traces of this motif. The checkered canvas was made by Flemings and Burgundians living in Burgundy. A kind of Europe before Europe! Later, it was Napoleon III who brought it to light. While traveling near Vichy he fell in love with this motif by visiting a factory very close to the city. The baptismal name is sealed because the fashion is then in lilac and white, the two favorite colors of gingham!
But still in Europe, this motif would also be a Franco-British mix! Indeed, the gingham fabric before becoming that of the city of Vichy, where it was mass produced, would be that of the checked linen fabric of the city of Guingamp in Brittany. And that’s why in England this fabric is called Gingham, because it was imported from Brittany! Except that in Manchester, where it was copied, the English gingham was primarily blue and white and not pink and white. Queen Victoria adored her as much as Brigitte Bardot in a gingham skirt in and “God created the woman”!
5. Blue white red
Because we cannot evoke the emblems of French style without its colors! First white, universal color even if for France, it is the royal color. Then the blue and red which at the time of the revolution represent the city of Paris, quite a symbol! Finally, let’s admit that these three colors are harmonious and bright. Jean-Paul Gaultier at the risk of over-citing it in use and abuse it for our greatest pleasure. And I especially remember that a fashion that reinvents itself, makes consumers useful, responsible and local must precisely draw from its origins!