No matter where you are in Paris, it's not hard to pick out the real French people -- something about the way they stand on a street corner, exchanging phone numbers, with the handbag carried, just so, the scarf draped, just so.
This older woman, stepping out of the bus, has her fur hat placed on her head, just so, making her fairly ordinary wool coat and sensible shoes suddenly become an elegant ensemble.
I was thinking about this when I was in the BHV the other day, how the most attractive outfits, even the most casual, are almost always the most simple, how the use of colors pulls everything together, just so!
Before I got busted for taking snapshots, I managed to snag a few photos in the exhibition, including these two adorable afternoon dresses from the 1930s from Martial and Armand Jean Dessès...
Givenchy (on the left) from 1954 (think Audrey Hepburn!), with a Dior evening dress from the 1940s behind it...
and a Jacques Heim cocktail dress from 1951 in dark grey wool, with a hot pink midriff.
Some of the displays showed how a good design never goes out of style. The suit on the left is Thierry Mugler from 1998, the one on the right is from 1951, designed by the house of Carven!
In the second half of the 20th century, "prêt à porter" (ready-made clothing) began to take over from haute couture, and gowns like these by Jacques Fath and Marcelle Dormoy disappeared. By 1967, the number of "maisons du couture" had shrunk from 106 to just 19. Today, there are barely a dozen.
But, luckily, there's always the new generation to keep us stylish. This little 13-month-old Brooklynite came on her first visit to Paris last week. Check out those polka-dot "plus-fours", the purple tights and the green shoes...
...not to mention the snazzy shades, as she and her parents bundled themselves up in sunny, but still very cold Paris!!
In spite of the weather, Clio was definitely ready for the Easter Bunny in her pretty smocked frock!