By Nirit Sumeruk
When it comes to writing about Paris’s fashion scene and the names of people who have both in the past and in-the-now inspire, create, and make us want to wear – it’s tough deciding where to start! This is after all the capital of fashion and the perfect place forcing one to always want to look, simply fabulous!
To make it ‘easier’ I’ve selected a choice of names that have become synonymous with fashion….and people whose fashion style I enjoy following…
The obvious icon to start with would be none other than Coco Chanel (born as Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel) who revolutionized the fashion industry by liberating woman from the stiffness of the corset and replacing it with sporty, casual chic elegance…
Today, it’s the beloved Paris-based German fashion designer, artist, and photographer Karl Lagerfeld (born Karl Otto Lagerfeld) who is the head designer and creative director of Chanel, Fendi and his own namesake fashion label.
French model Baptiste Giabiconi is currently the male face of these three fashion houses, and French singer, model and actress Vanessa Paradis is the spokesmodel for Chanel. French model, fashion designer and perfumer Inès Marie Lætitia Églantine Isabelle de Seignard de La Fressange was the first model (in the 1980’s) to sign an exclusive modeling contract with a haute couture fashion house, Chanel by Karl Lagerfeld whose muse she became.
Yves Saint Laurent (born Yves Henri Donat Mathieu–Saint–Laurent) is regarded as one of the greatest names in fashion history, credited with making ready-to-wear reputable and having introduced the tuxedo suit (le smoking) for women.
Loulou de la Falaise (born Louise Vava Lucia Henriette Le Bailly de La Falaise) was a close friend, designer, partner and muse to YSL and helped inspire that famed 1966 women’s tuxedo as well as his see-through blouses.
Carine Roitfeld is the former editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris whose fashion style is admired and hailed throughout the fashion world (today she is the founder and editor-in-chief of CR Fashion Book). She always looks sharp, sets her own trends and carries off that French ‘je ne sais quoi‘ perfectly!
Then other icons who have made a large impact on the fashion world and who are personal favorites of mine for different reasons are the likes of Brigitte Bardot (her messy big hair), French-British actress Charlotte Gainsbourg (I love her effortless slightly quirky look). French fashion model and actress Clemence Poesy (remember her in Harry Potter as Fleur Delacour?). Italian-French singer-songwriter, former model and former first lady of France, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy (born Carla Gilberta Bruni Tedeschi). She worked for designers and fashion houses such as Christian Dior, Paco Raban, Sonia Rykiel, and John Galliano…
British model Cara Delevingne (born Cara Jocelyn Delevingne) is one of the most familiar faces on the Parisian catwalks (she’s walked for brands such as Oscar de la Renta, Burberry, Dolce & Gabana, Stella McCartney, Lanvin and Givenchy to name but a few…)
French model and actress Laetitia Casta (born Laetitia Marie Laure Casta) has modeled for designers like Jean–Paul Gaultier, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Louis Vuitton, Roberto Cavalli, Lolita Lempika and Vivienne Westwood.
I could carry on and on – there are so many people and faces who are shaping and re-inventing the Parisian fashion scene – bringing about wearable beauty that has become part of the French culture and a source of inspiration to films, books, romances, travels and yes, even baby names. (I’m expecting a baby girl this month…..could her name be inspired from the fashion world? Name still to be revealed!)