Paris may be known as the City of Lights, but we think that City of Style is far more fitting. As the birthplace of Haute culture, this french city is home to some of the globe’s most famous designers.
Admired for names like Christian Dior, Coco Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent, Paris is always catching the eye of keen fashionistas. You only have to take a walk down a Parisian street to see effortless chic and turn a corner to spot a famous fashion-inspired landmark.
Hosting one of the largest fashion weeks every year, Paris is admired by the rest of the world. As we say goodbye to 2023’s fashion week installment, let’s have a closer look at why this designer city still continues to inspire the globe’s year-round style trends.
Paris has a historical past with fashion. Home to the first bikini invented in 1946 and the iconic Little Black Dress (LBD) released by Coco Chanel in 1920, many of us recognise Paris as the birthplace of some of the world’s greatest style trends.
Although, it’s outside of the city, in a place called Versailles when the french fashion journey first began. Louis XIV’s reign in 1643-1715 was dominated heavily by the arts, bringing ‘high fashion’ into the spotlight.
Believing the ideology that great fashion meant great power, “Louis XIV wanted to make sure that his appearance and the appearance of his courtiers were in accordance with his idea of being a modern, powerful, civilised monarch – no longer just a warrior king from the Middle Ages, but a real kind of ‘Sun King’ with all kinds of mythological connotations. And obviously fashion and ceremonial dress were a big part of that.” says designer Kenzo Takada.
While the first French Empire eventually fell, their superiority surrounding fashion only grew. Making room for key icons like Marie Antoinette to shine, french fashion grew to revolve around this idea of la Parisienne, otherwise known as the ‘ideal Parisian woman’, dressed head to toe in stylish chic.
This brings us to today. French fashion still revolved around ‘Haute Couture’ and the idea of dressing powerfully, still rendering the country and indeed the city of Paris a force to be reckoned with.
Paris fashion week
From YSL’s take on 80’s glamour to Dior’s blast to the past in their 50’s inspired couture, 2023’s Paris Fashion Week was another one to remember.
As one of the ‘Big 4’, Paris competes against Milan, London and New York every year for the title of the most fashionable city. However, it’s Paris’ designers that give the city teh edge when it comes to global glamour.
Home to some of the best design houses the world has to offer, Paris is responsible for the likes of Chanel, Vuitton, Balenciaga and Céline, just a few of the luxury powerhouses we know and love.
That’s why Paris fashion Week makes such a statement. As we see our favourite design houses walk in their own city, the atmosphere feels euphoric. With a fashion-week buzz across the city months before it commences, it’s no surprise that Paris Fashion Week remains the finale of the ‘Big 4’ every eyar.
Last but not least, you can’t forget about the people. The french are the true reason Paris shines in all it’s fashionable glory.
Whether we imagine the classic striped top or a sun-soaked parisian dressed in elegant black, one thing is for sure, you can bet that they look effortlessly stylish.
While we associate bold colours, geometric shaping and statement accessories with high fashion, the french have a different idea of signature style. Choosing classic pieces and neutral colours, Parisian people make a statement with how they style their clothes rather than the clothes themselves.
This idea of haute couture (high dressmaking, high fashion), was not only invested in Paris, but drives Parisian style to today. Used as a catchall term for high-end luxury clothing, you won’t travel far before you see a designer bag or branded shades in France.
Whether you’re a follower of parisian designers, a lover of haute couture history or a Paris Fashion Week megafan, there’s no denying that the residents of Paris themselves make the city the stylish hub it is.