28 Mar 2011

Do French Women Wear Python?

Alber Elbaz has given a very large nod of approval to the python this year and an obvious round of applause to the lightening leopard. This window display grabbed my attention…not because I could or would wear all printed pieces together….but because I would never. Appreciating fashion and wearing fashion are two different things….The first should take you completely out of your comfort zone and the second should plonk you fair in the middle of it. Knowing what you love and what works for you is the key to stylish dressing but the visual stimulation that talented designers like Elbaz offer up is what maintains a freshness and modern edge to our style.

Style is not ageist, style is individual. It would seem to me that French women refine their style constantly. Like their interior decor, they manage to blend items of contrast to arrive at their personal signature. There are no set rules other than that of remaining distinctive and unique. The French have mastered the art of dipping in and out of current fashion trends; they tend to take the lead from the designers without plunging head first. Moderation, like much about life in France, is the key.

A little python, a touch of leopard….most definitely…but just a smidgeon. xv

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I love both these patterns but as you say – as an accent, not an overriding cacophony of clashing style. I approach fashion rather as you describe the French – I have my underlying basics (for me) and then add a little bit of whatever is current. I seem to be the queen of moderation in all aspects of life.

carolyn bradford

I remember that while we were in France ( Paris to be exact! ) I have never felt so UNSTYLISH! I loved seeing the french women look so effortlessly stylish if that makes any since at all!! I agree with you 100% that any animal print needs to be worn with ease…or in moderation! I am simply on the hunt for a python purse to use! That's about as far as I can take it! Loved this post and have especially enjoyed looking back at your older posts on the french markets…as we are starting to talk about another trip! I may be contacting you later for advice on where to start or I will just make alot of notes from your wonderful blog posts and books! Thank you for your lovely blog…it is so enjoyable!


Well said, Vicki…"just a smidgeon"says so much. My favorite "smidgeouns"…gosh I love that word- thanks for resurrecting it–are a scarf and a wide belt…and I would never wear the two together. My daughter Haleigh told me that you were not only beautiful but also elegant and your advice here clearly backs that up.


Boxwood Terrace

I do like leopard shoes or python shoes. A touch for accent is nice, but I'm not one to wear leopard or python patterned clothing. It's all about the individual, as you mentioned Some women can carry those looks, but it's just not "me".


Good point! That leopard-print body suit? Um, no. Never. But the huge leopard-print scarf I bought in Paris last time? Yeah – almost every day this winter!

Renée Finberg

not me….lizard yes, snake no.
i guess because i think they are so incredibly creepy.
nothing would make me happier than if python were made into anything and everything.

the florida everglades are over run with them from people who bought them as pets,
and whether they changed their minds….or just could no longer handle them….
that's where they dumped the snakes.

the pythons are actually dying sometimes from trying to swallow alligators whole.
I SWEAR. it is in the news here.

i think we should cover the sidewalks with them.

on a lighter note…. kisses to you vickie.
sorry for my tangent xxxx


One if the hardest things about traveling to France I have found I'd knowing what to pack. The French just seem so effortless in their styling, when I am traveling I just never seem to have packed the right thing for Paris, this time is a little different, I am keeping it simple and leaving plenty of room to find that special something. You are so right, style is so personal. I do have more of a groove with me own style now and it helps. Have a wonderful week x Suzi

blue roses

you touch upon some key points, most importantly being if you are not comfortable in it, it will show, and you will not look effortlessly elegant and stylish. it has to, at some point, be an extension of your interior, even maybe a small, more obscured part of your interior that does not come out every single day.

mixing animal prints can be quite the trick, but i like the images here, for they remain within a single color palette, keeping some type of unity and balance.


L'age moyen

So with you on this. A smidge is all that's needed. It's fun to see hit head to toe in a magazine but disaster to see it on the street. One of the fun things about going to Paris is seeing the 'it' colour/print of the season. My first time in Paris (1987?) it was emerald green. So it was the foulard, the portfolio, gloves – one single item in the colour of the season – just letting everyone know they were on it. How thrifty!


I agree, a little bit goes a long way! {although I will admit to loving leopard more than python, it's a little creepy} The French women are masters at elegance and style, and taking the best current trend has to offer, without going overboard. Happy Spring, Vicki!
xo Lidy


You are a brillaint woman and writer! Love what you said here "Appreciating fashion and wearing fashion are two different things….The first should take you completely out of your comfort zone and the second should plonk you fair in the middle of it." I could not agree more. Have a great week. xo


I've just had a flashback to the 70's Vicki, where some blokes thought leopard print Speedos were the height of trendiness. I swear anyone who was unlucky enough to be exposed to this sight on our beautiful beaches is still in therapy!
Millie x


I suppose some can pull it off…but it doesn't work for me either. I'm in the moderation category. Perhaps why I, too, am attracted to French style. Vive la France! P.S. Just got your book, French Essence, and je l'adore!

Prêt à Porter P

I read somewhere once never to wear snakeskin clothing as it's in bad taste, and you know what I agree. I have no problem with them on shoes! And to add my own rule is that when using animal skins in the most part to stick to them in their natural colors.


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