If there’s one thing we’ve learned with certainty by this point, it’s that the French really, really know how to dress. Since today is Bastille Day—also known as French National Day, which commemorates the storming of the Bastille, and thus the beginning of the French Revolution, in 1789—we figured it’s the perfect time to celebrate the country that’s home to arguably the fashion capital of the world. As such, we’re taking a look at the modern French women who inspire our style every day.
Scroll down to see 11 ladies who continue to kill it on the style front!
A French actress and singer, Cassel is a relative unknown in America, aside from a brief appearance as on an episode of Sex and the City as Carrie’s boyfriend Petrovsky’s daughter. In real life, the 32-year-old is a style fixture, regularly sitting front row at Paris Fashion Week always looking impossibly chic.
When you’re the daughter of Jane Birkin, you’re simply destined for style. In addition to her music career, Doillon has made a career for herself as a model—she starred in H&M’s Isabel Marant campaign, for starters—and the 31-year-old epitomizes an easy, effortless style that is the trademark of Parisian dress.
Doré rose to fame via her eponymous blog, which began with street style photography and has since expanded to encompass everything from lifestyle to beauty to the occasional opinion piece. The 39-year-old has an ease about her style, which also often has a masculine slant to it that transcends the tomboy trend and is simply chic.
Sednaoui is an interesting choice for a French icon because she’s actually not entirely French—also of Italian and Egyptian descent, the 26-year-old actress is also an active philanthropist dedicated to education initiatives. Her style errs on the side of simple, unfussy model-off-duty-inspired looks.
The second daughter of Jane Birkin is officially on our list, and she happens to have with a distinctly different style from her half-sister Lou Doillon. A musician and actress in her own right, the 42-year-old is a rocker at heart, a predisposition that bleeds out in her style.
The French founder of Romy and the Bunnies, art director, and daughter to French fashion editor Carine Roitfeld is also a model to the nth degree, having starred in campaigns for everyone from Tom Ford to jewelry brand Mania Mania. The 33-year-old, put quite simply, is beyond stunning—and her style runs the gamut from easy-breezy French girl to vampy pinup girl.
The French model and actress has been on our style radar for quite some time now—her look tends to be a unique mix of grunge-inspired rock pieces and ultra ladylike staples. The 31-year-old is a successful actress stateside, starring in everything from the Harry Potter series to several episodes of Gossip Girl.
The French star perhaps most familiar to American audiences, Cotillard’s successful acting career has enabled her to be a commercial darling and an indie one too. Her stylish sensibilities and unique glow in front of a camera earned her the coveted role of Dior ambassador, and she’s been fronting Lady Dior campaigns since 2008.
Paradis is much more than the longtime partner (and now ex) of Johnny Depp. The 41-year-old French model has earned accolades for her budding musical career, as well as for her trademark tooth-gap, which has long been her signature.
The French actress rose to prominence in the American collective consciousness when she played the title role in the 2001 indie film Amélie. The 37-year-old is the epitome of contemporary French style—ladylike, sleek, and a little playful.
The 29-year-old French actress has been critically acclaimed for her skills for some time now, and has only recently hit mainstream American cinema as a rising star—her most recent effort being in the Cannes hit Saint Laurent. Seydoux’s personal style tends to fall more on the sex bomb end of the French spectrum—enticing without being over-the-top.
Who are some of your favorite French style icons ever? Tell us in the comments below!