Our lovely ambassador, Ine from Norway, took on the new year by getting some new style inspiration. You can read how she did it with the help of a Fashion designer and stylist below:
Know Your Colors
When I got the opportunity to get a personal guidance by a professional fashion designer, I was very excited. Walking around in Paris, I am often amazed by the simple, yet seemingly flawless, style and elegance of French women. Especially in the Marais and Canal Saint-Martin areas, Parisiennes dress up in a mix of high fashion pieces and vintage, with heavy bangs and red lips they hang out on the sidewalk cafés accompanied by the mandatory wine glass and a cigarette. So elegant, so effortless! Personally, I often stick to one type of garments, often loosely fitted, monochromatic Scandinavian style pieces, practically buying the same clothes over and over again, not really knowing how to challenge myself. So, this is exactly what Robyn – a young Canadian designer based in Paris – is going to help me with
When meeting with Robyn at the café at Merci, she is already prepared with multiple color schemes, scales, and categories. Her philosophy is that instead of buying tons of new clothes, you should build up a functional wardrobe based on already purchased (best) items, and pick what looks good on you, independent of short-lived trends or certain brands. She explains the difference between warm and cold tones, and that based on one’s natural skin, hair and eye color, one can be categorized as being either spring, summer, autumn or winter. And furthermore: Wearing the wrong colors close to ones face can create the appearance of being pale and contourless. Robyn quickly draws the conclusion that I am both light summer and light spring. This explains why wearing black, as well as earthy autumn tones makes me pale often compensate with loads of make-up. Eureka! As for fabrics and shapes, Robyn explains how I can use different stayed garments to make the best out of my figure, as well as what I might want to avoid. Yeah – I admit to already have had an idea that oversized sweaters combined with culottes and sneakers won’t do my petite figure any good, but habits are hard to break. And it’s fun to have Robyn presenting some alternatives based on her background as a fashion designer.
Now it’s time to put theory into practice. The concept store Merci is filled with amazing design, fabrics, and colors. Robyn presents different items and also explains how different details make each piece stand out, and what could fit me based on the analysis. If my wallet had no limits, I would get them all!
We continue our expedition down the streets of the Marais, visiting various small local design stores in different price ranges, the kind of stores one must know where to look for, to find. At the store Peony on Rue Charlot, they specialize in unique items of jewelry and clothes made by different young designers. Robyn shows how I could style a gorgeous Japanese-inspired jacked over a simple silk top.
Then we move on to the boutique Gang of Earlybirds on Rue de Normandie. Here the style is more fashionista-like, with hats, long dresses, velvet boots, and chic accessories. Robyn challenges my perception of shimmery fabrics as by definition ‘too much’, and suggests ways of using shiny accessories.
Last stop is the tiny store of Sally Bejaoui on Rue de Turenne, a vintage store packed with high-quality items from a great variety of brands and designers. Each piece of clothes is carefully chosen, creating a colorful mix from different decades. As a suggestion of trying something more playful than my usual black/white style, Robyn composes a fun outfit based on the light spring color scheme as well as items that fit my figure, topped with a vintage handbag. We play around with different shoes and accessories, everything from gold boots to fake fur coats, to look at the effects they make.
This activity has been a very fun and interesting experience, far away from the mainstream chain stores and the mass-industry of clothing. Having a personal fashion coach has made me learn what to look for and hopefully create some new habits!
If you want to do what Ine did, you can contact Robyn through her activity Find Your Personal Style with a Fashion Designer.