Think of French fashion, and the same names have been steering the country's style ship for decades. Many of the global industry's most revered fashion houses reside within the arrondissements of Paris: Chanel, Givenchy, Hermès and so on, meaning the status quo hasn't changed much over the years, bar a few significant breakouts such as Isabel Marant.
So, to see that there's a new young guard who are striking out on their own rather than forever staying behind the curtain of a big, established brand, is very exciting. French women are forever a source of inspiration when it comes to everything from looking casual through to giving our closets a strict detox, but the addition of new fashion labels and designers means we've got all the more opportunity to feel even more genuinely français with our outfit options going forward.
Have you noticed the hashtag #lesfillesenrouje dotted around Instagram? Founded by street style icon and model Jeanna Damas, this adorable new launch is already a firm favourite among the jet-set crowd for summer 2016. From the perfectly-fitted printed tees to the flirty this could come undone at any minute summer dresses, Rouje is an affordable French brand to not miss.
French girls don't, in general, wear a great deal of jewellery. But they do pick up on sculptural, elegant, understated pieces like those of new designer Charlotte Chesnais. She worked at Balenciaga under Nicolas Ghesquière—and it doesn't get cooler than that.
Simon Porte of Jacquemus has been maving waves through the French fashion scene for quite a few seasons now with his conceptual and often surreal iterations on classic tailoring. The warped shirts and deconstructed dresses are street style crowd-pleasers, as is his very handsome face on the Jacquemus Instagram account…
If you've long been searching for wearable shoes that make people look twice, Amélie Pichard is your go-to girl. Her silhouettes and detailing are always slightly off kilter, like these curvy, high-shine slingbacks. She's recently worked on a sassy collaboration with Pamela Anderson—so you can imagine how joyfully random her range is.
The bags of Tomasini Paris, created by Emanuel Tomasini, have been toted by the likes of Karlie Kloss and Kendall Jenner, but just as many fashion editors are fans of the luxe suede construction techniques (they are handmade in Italy, don't you know) and sporty, signature stripes.
Y/Project, under the creative direction of Glenn Martens, is yet another part of the country's new avant-garde design clique along with Jacquemus and Vetements. Offering both men's and women's—many pieces are unisex—you'll head here for items blown into different proportions or a theatrical take on urban-wear staples.
Etienne Deroeux describes his namesake brand as refined French sportswear: We're not talking about leggings here, but snug sweaters, sporty miniskirts, relaxed suiting or the kind of handy outerwear you can belt over pretty much anything.
Created out of the modern woman's need for a wardrobe that works from first coffee in the morning to last cocktail at night, Jour/né is the brand that helps you get through the week with an extra chic—and often ironic—super-cute outlook, like the pom-pom trimmed separates available now.
Which of these is your favourite? Let us know in the comments box below…Opening Image: Rouje
Hannah Almassi is the editor in chief of Who What Wear UK. Hannah has been part of the the Who What Wear brand since 2015, when she was hired to launch a UK sister site and social channels, localise content strategy and build out the editorial team. She joined following a seven-year tenure at Grazia magazine, where she led front-of-book news, fashion features and shopping specials as fashion news and features editor. With experience in both print and digital across fashion and beauty, Hannah has over 15 years in the field as a journalist, editor, content strategist and brand consultant. Hannah has interviewed industry heavyweights such as designers including Marc Jacobs and Jonathan Anderson through to arbiters of taste including Katie Grand and Anna Dello Russo. A skilled moderator and lecturer specialising in the shift to digital media and e-commerce, Hannah’s opinion and work has been sought by the likes of CNBC, BBC, The Sunday Times Style, The Times and MatchesFashion.com, among many others.
Hannah currently resides in Eastbourne with her photographer husband, incredibly busy toddler and highly Instagrammable cat.
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