Saturday, June 17, 2006

Paris Fashions

Okay, so now for the really important question about France: "what are they wearing in Paris this summer?" Well, I've only just started my field research here, and was only in Paris for about two hours. But, I can talk about Nantes. And, if you've ever been here you know, that everyone's just as fashionable here. In fact, literally everyone I run across is fashionable, which is a bit unnerving- like they're been replaced by a race of aliens, the Fashionistas, from the Planet Queer-Eye. Don't you kind of expect 50 year old men to be dressed like they have no idea what's chic, or are getting even after years of being expected to dress up for family events. But, unfashionable old people? Quelle horreur!

The French love fasion. You have to remember that this is a country in which the fashion show season is as big a deal as sporting seasons are in the states. I'm not kidding either. Teenage kids are fashionably dressed, of course. But, so are moms and Grandpas. And, being someone whose personal style could be described as "grad student shabby", I feel a bit out of place. I mean, there's nobody else here over the age of 14 with so many tee-shirts. But, no matter- I come to praise fashion, not bury it.

For one thing, I like that there's nobody here over the age of 14 with so many tee-shirts. I like that there are age divisions. One of the most annoying things in the states, and Canada for that matter, is going to some big summer public event and every 45 year old man is dressed like they're 15 with a goofy tee-shirt and baseball cap. It's frustrating because I would like to be old and dignified one day, and it's almost impossible in a country that thinks it's paradise to be a teenager. America is a great place to be a child, and France really isn't. In fact, many adults here seem to want to have very little contact with kids, which is very funny to watch. You'll see a parent walking along at a brisk clip with their four year old child desperately running to keep up with them. I guess they figure that life is hard, and once you're 4 you're old enough to fend for yourself!

Anyway, from the look of it, silk scarves are still in style, of course. It's like 30 degrees here and you see men walking around with the scarves on. And those sort of peasant blouses that are in style everywhere are still in style here. But, Parisian women are also wearing these boots that come up to their knees on the outside of their pants. They're sort of like go-go boots, but without the heel. I've been telling Claire that they're like riding boots.

I want to take a picture of them, but how can you take a picture of a French woman on a sidewalk? It's suicidal.

Anyway, I'll have other fashion reports. And I'm sure that Claire will help when she's here.

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