A French Toast: Carla Bruni Exemplifies True Parisian Fashion

May 24, 2011

It’s been a busy few weeks for Carla Bruni, first lady of France. Last week, the former supermodel’s father-in-law revealed that she’s pregnant, which, perhaps, is why she wasn’t in Cannes to mark her film debut, in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris,” out this Friday in Washington.

She has only three brief scenes, but in them, she exemplifies modern French style. In tailored jeans, a gray tee and polished accessories, she looks the part of a tour guide at the Rodin Museum.

Many of the other characters (for reasons I won’t spoil) don glittery fashions of bygone eras — clothes that represent how Francophiles like myself envision Paris: magical and otherworldly. Americans often have a similar perception of French fashion, believing that the flamboyance of runway couture is what defines the French aesthetic.

But true Parisian style exists on the streets of the Marais, not just in the windows of Chanel or Dior. Paris’ tailored, understated street style makes its women look refined. In a film full of French caricatures, it’s refreshing to see the country’s figurehead representing they city’s minimalist and elegant style so perfectly.

Photo courtesy Sony Pictures Classics

Katherine Boyle reports on arts, museums and culture for the Style section.
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