Parisian style has arguably been pored over more than any other. The artful insouciance of French women has served as inspiration for many of us who have woken up not knowing what to wear. Of course, the truth is it all comes down to attitude – it might have taken an age to create your perfectly messy hair or to find a navy jumper that is oversized without being too big – but it should look effortless, even if it wasn’t. French style is about having a uniform, and sticking to it, where understatedness and restraint are the stars of the show. It isn’t the most creative of looks, but it’s enviable in its timelessness and apparent ease. Here, we look at the women who have made French chic one of the most famous terms in fashion history.
Mick Jagger called her his ideal woman; Alexa Chung and Carly Simon consider her a style icon and Bob Dylan fell head over heels for her with no success; the enigmatic Françoise Hardy has beguiled both men and women alike with her melancholic sound and restrained bohemian style. Her look, which is as pervasive today as it was back in the 60s, was characterised by a blunt, thick fringe, shaggy fur coats, classic straight-leg jeans and streamlined mini dresses. She was also first to see the appeal in vinyl trench coats, and ankle boots.