When in Paris, do as the Parisians do.

Paris.pngHere’s a fact: anyone with a few million pounds in their bank account can stroll into Selfridges and become Fashionable with a capital F. But here’s another fact: very few people—substantial bank account or not— can be considered people of genuine style.

When you have a quick scroll through Instagram or check out any of the multitudes of fashion blogs that exist today – you’re inundated with people clutching onto the latest trends in a dizzying attempt to keep up with the times. And that, ironically, results in hordes of beautiful, talented young men and women looking, well, exactly like everyone else. These types of people are not the genuinely stylish people with whom we should take our fashion inspiration from.

And that’s why I like Paris.

It’s home to the Eiffel Tower,The Palace of Versailles, The Champs Elysees and and has birthed some of the worlds most stylish people – including Coco Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld. But the people of Paris (and France at large) arguably possess the best knack for fashion I’ve seen in all my travels.

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I’ve been fortunate to have visited France a few times, and I’m consistently reminded of how much I just love the way French men and women dress. I love how the French flirt with androgyny and embrace the elegance of simple sophistication. Perhaps it was ever since my first visit to Paris in grade 6 that my fashion choices have been precast today, but over the years my observations of French women’s style have definitely been a catalyst for my own very personal style.

Here are a few reasons why I like the way the French do Fashion:

– Trends –

Echoing the previous point, French people are not slaves to short-lived, high frequency fads such as trends.

In London – you’re so aware of trends because the moment something becomes ‘on trend’ – every second girl or guy is wearing it. I don’t have an issue with that – but what I like about France is that the French tend to stick to timeless, well-cut pieces that are classics.

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I also love French architecture. We passed this building on the way to The Louvre – it’s part of the Grand Palais. C’est magnifique!

In a 2014 Vogue research analysis of French Ready-to-Wear style, it was not only revealed that French women aren’t slaves to seasonal trends, but it also proved that they found style inspiration from the streets — not magazines or TV.. I love that.

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My stylish travel buddy, Indigo.We loved spotting the differences/similarities between the French and English cultures.

– Simplicity – 

It’s as simple as that.

They eat simply, they drink simply and their attitude towards fashion is – beautifully – simple. They don’t try so hard to adorn and embellish things the way us English naturally do – they stick to what they know and they stick to the essentials. This is where the true allure of “Frenchness” lies.

In today’s consumerist culture we are constantly bombarded with a kaleidoscope of aspirations; we need to keep up with the Joneses – to look this way or act that way, to have certain beliefs and portray certain strengths. And then the French culture comes in as a breath of Fresch air (oh you’re quick if you got that.. 😉 ) and they seem simply immune from the assault of Western Culture – somewhat virginised in their approach to style and free of all 21st Century pressures.

It’s as if the French take the modern day fashion world with a large pinch of salt (because, obviously their food wouldn’t be the same without salt) and instead have simplified their approach to encompass a more authentic and “chic” style that has no Westernised frills and tassels.

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Ile De La Cite – my favourite nook of Paris. Dressed in black – all day, everyday

 – Femininity – 

This is personally a point that resonates most with me. I must admit, and I know a few readers will condemn me for saying this as it’s a modern day society etc etc – but I think women are to embrace being just that – women.

I am not a feminist. At all.

Even though I believe in gender equality, I appreciate that men and women are just different. And they should dress differently, too. I like men to wear the pants! And while I love a wardrobe that has a slight flirtation with androgyny – I think women look best when they dress femininely.

Androgynous femininity is one of the core elements of a French Girl’s wardrobe and is the perfect interplay of masculine and feminine.That is why the French style is so alluring and interesting and captivating. Androgynous femininity is somewhat of a genius style that the French have mastered.

Perhaps it all began with Coco Chanel, who revolutionised the female wardrobe by incorporating the relaxed styles of menswear into her designs for women.

Having said that, I know this is a contentious topic in today’s climate but I’d love to hear your opinion. Comment below and let me know your thoughts!

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I bought this (super cheap!) off the shoulder top on sale from Boohoo a while ago.

 – Basics – 

Parisians have a penchant for good quality basics. I’m talking about crisp white collared shirts, black trousers, trench coats, the perfect tee, black leather loafers, soft cashmere sweaters and a great pair of jeans. And let’s not forget a black blazer.

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My favourite black blazer these days is a military-inspired one from Zara. It reminds me of my dads school blazer.

 – Perfectly Imperfect – 

Perfection is boring and the French are easily bored.  They don’t want to look perfect, and I love that.

Where the English are constantly searching for some objective level of perfected beauty, French women pointedly optimise their own level of attractiveness – and this lends itself to a perfectly imperfect appearance.

The biggest fashion faux pas in France is looking like you tried too hard.

Don’t take your self (or your style) too seriously in France and you will fit right in.

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These jeans are my perfectly imperfect wardrobe essential 😉

What is your favourite thing about French Fashion? Comment below and let me know, I love to read everyone’s messages and comments.

If you liked this post then follow my blog to stay in touch

HH xx

Praise for Pernille

Pernille Teisbaek is a model / stylist / blogger who’s increasingly been cropping up on my radar as one to watch..

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It’s easy to wear an oversized shirt and look like you’re drowning in a heap of extra material – but I think that she has reinvented it to not only appear feminine but comfortable as well.

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What she wore to the recent Paris Fashion Week is actually my favourite one – she always looks like she casually put her outfit together at the last minute but yet looks polished. Perfectshunnnn

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She merges the essence of a fun tomboy with a modern city gal and somehow manages to look sophisticated and refined all the more for it.

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Another thing she’s a master at is pulling of her perfectly imperfect blonde hair. But I’m definitely carrying a case of fashion envy because she’s got one kick-ass wardrobe!

Whatcha think?

HH xx

Man buns : yum yum yum.

Man-buns are simultaneously controversial and appealing at the same time. They are the essence of a gender subversion and are a little bit arrogant – which I like. When a man puts his hair into a bun and walks through the streets of Cape Town, he declares to the world that “Yes, I am comfortable in my masculinity”. He doesn’t give a rats ass what you think and he’s backing himself — to me that is the most attractive thing of all.

A reappropriation of the hard semi-androgyny of a ballet dancer’s hair and the messy ‘dos of a fashion runway, an iconoclastic moment of genderfuck, it’s a style choice that is both high- and low-maintenance at once. 

The Guardian

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Ahhbsessed!

Hollyhocks x

Golden Girls

Getting inked is not just for bikers anymore. It’s actually not even trending to be permanent anymore because of the rise of Flash Tattoos which enables you to wear a tattoo and look glowy and pretty, instead of edgy and emo. It’s almost like you have accessories painted onto your skin – they look like jewellery buuuut they’re not : ) They take the boho-hippie style to a new level and look really beautiful. And they only last for a week!

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I first noticed them when I was at Rocking the Daisies – they look really great if you’re at a deep house festival and compliment most people’s skin tones which is an epic bonus!

If you’re interested in buying some – Lovisa sell them in South African stores for about R140 but then there’s also an online website called Flashtat that will import your tattoos for you and they have a fresh assortment to chose from.

I can’t wait to put some on 🙂

Holly Hocks xx

Ripping it up

It’s bright as a summer daisy here in South Africa but still I am coveting these winter trends in Europe.  This always happens..

IF it were winter here, then I would be wearing ripped jeans – because whyyy not? Life is too short, wear ripped jeans and own it. And you can turn those old jeans into new jeans through some DIY cutting here and there.

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