Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What is it about french girls?

What is it about French girls?

What is it that gives Gallic girls that je ne sais quoi

THE SEXY MAMAN: Vanessa Paradis

Her life story is a perfect study in what makes French girls so different from the rest. There are strong similarities between the 36-year-old Vanessa Paradis and Kate Moss (both had a gap-toothed innocence at the start of their careers, both dated Johnny Depp), but then Kate chose the hard-living lifestyle, whereas Paradis had more self-respect, and a plan. She knew when to say no, how much to hold back (something you feel we Brits will never be good at) and at what point to cast aside the leather jacket, slip into Comptoir des Cotonniers, and start baking tarte aux pommes.

Signature look Red-carpet vintage flapper-style dresses. And those teeth.

THE ARTIST: Marion Cotillard

The combination of a very thin skin and an artistic temperament is, we think, quintessentially French, and nobody epitomises this more than the Oscar-winning actress and Dior model Marion Cotillard, 33. If she were British, you’d call her a neurotic drama queen. As it is, she’s French and beautiful, and we just take it for granted that emotions will run high. For her, acting is an intense vocation and real life is a series of fabulous highs and terrible lows, which made her perfect in the role of Edith Piaf. A fierce bundle of childlike energy and adult passion, she makes the rest of us feel as if we live life on autopilot.

Signature look Full-on glamour that still manages to look unexpected. Remember that Gaultier mermaid dress she wore to collect her Oscar?

THE F-IT GIRL: Clémence Poésy

This 26-year-old actress (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, In Bruges) originally got noticed for her style. The darling of cool fashion mags, she is the epitome of a French It girl — pretty and hip, but never to the point where it could compromise her pouty brand of sex appeal. French F-it girls differ from their British counterparts in that they don’t have the self-destruct gene when it comes to drink, drugs and men.

Signature look Don’t expect her in anything truly avant garde (ie, man-scaring). It’s all about skinny jeans, shrunken jackets and a bowler hat.

THE INGENUE: Audrey Tautou

Tautou gets the prize for looking like the archetypal ingénue in the 2001 film Amélie. For ever seared on our hearts as the angel with the haircut that spawned a thousand wannabe kooky French girls, Tautou, 32, has since appeared in a Chanel No 5 ad and is now starring as Madame herself in Coco avant Chanel. The movie’s director, Anne Fontaine, says she chose Tautou because of her “little black bull” side. This is the other aspect of French girliness that eludes many women of other nationalities — their sheer determination. Even ingénues know exactly what they want and grow up to be contemptuous of those who don’t.

Signature look Directional tailoring, petite millefeuille dresses. And that hair. It’s all about the hair.


Never has any great beauty gone to such lengths to hide her assets on the red carpet. High-minded Eva Green (who first grabbed our attention in Bertolucci’s The Dreamers and then somehow got mixed up in Casino Royale) is that other kind of French girl who likes her make-up noir, her clothes noir, her men noir and her work choices challenging (with a few exceptions). Green, 29, is devilishly exotic and talks very intensely on intense subjects, just the way a French girl should.

Signature look Goth make-up, the pale skin and plenty of high-drama, high-fashion, statement outfits.

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