Thursday, August 23, 2012

Channeling Sophie Marceau

Few nights ago I was looking for a a movie to watch and I spotted 'Anthony Zimmer' on the Netflix. It is a older (2005), rather fluffy French flick, categorized as crime/drama/romance on IMDB. The movie itself was quite unsubstantial, albeit entertaining and exactly was I was looking for.

But suddenly, Sophie Marceau character became my new style icon.  I realized that this is exactly in line with my sartorial tastes and aspirations. What she is wearing in the movie is timeless and sexy, but also super simple and minimally accessorized. She wears almost no jewelry and prefers neutral color palette. Her clothes do not steal attention from the woman inside. 






Well, except for some fabulous shoes and a gorgeous handbag (fashion editors breath a sigh of relief).


When tried to analyse what do I like so much about her style, I realized that there is not that much to it. Mostly, she looks great because she is beautiful, with fabulous body and great hair (feeling a little deflated here, sigh). Her clothes are basic, fit well and have fluid simple lines that do not distract from her natural beauty. She does not need any embellishments.

But how about us, mere mortals?

Can I dress like Sophie and still look good? Well, certainly not as good as she looks in those pictures, but would dressing like her make me look better, or will I be missing some 'enhancements', provided by statement necklaces, pops of color, belts, bangles and interesting color combinations? 

Let me tell you, it is not an easy feat. I tried a simple black tank but it seemed than I did not own the right kind of black tank. My tank was giving me a muffin top. Even with Sophie's face (and hair!), she will not look as dashing, has she suddenly developed a pot belly, I am afraid. I almost gave up and resigned myself to forever distracting the eye with pattern mixing, camouflaging my jiggly bits with neon belts and sassy bereted (French, like Sophie) chickens...

Here is another, I dare say slightly more successful attempt. I decided to stay with my linen separates, which I have donned for the last couple of weeks. It is French Riviera hot here in New Jersey.

No color popping!!!

Minimal color. Minimal jewelry. Simple lines that still cover muffin bits. Not sure if it completely works. But I feel this is somewhere in the right direction.
  
Wide movie shot
Sunglasses help. Do you think I should I add a cigarette?



***
That's all folks!

Do you think this only works for Sophie-like fabulous creatures?
Can we benefit from shedding some accessories or is it just plain boring? 

Please share, it would be no fun without you!!!

27 comments:

  1. That has always been my style too and trust me I have a huge muffin top!
    Every body can look good with the right underwear and properly fitting clothes.

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    1. Oh Tabitha, but you are one of the fabulous creatures, you practically look like Sophie!

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  2. I think it's boring and blends in with everyone else... and by everyone else, I mean people who don't care about their appearance/don't know what looks good/don't know how to dress appropriately/buy all of their clothes at farmer's markets. I much prefer your style... you always look chic and pulled together, and never over the top with accessories or anything. Stick with it!

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    1. Thank you J.CrewJD! But I would kill robe this boring :) I think clothes like that are very deceiving it is not easy to make something so simple look good. I did not mean to say I don't want to make an effort or just wear any old tank and shorts. But sometimes I wonder if I need all the extras because those are not the outfits I am attracted to in magazines or movies. I do agree that it is a tricky balance sometimes.

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    2. I knew what you meant, totally :) I would never think you'd be the type to slap on a plain old tank and shorts! It is a tough balance. Being overaccesorized is definitely worse than being plain and simple!

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  3. It totally works for a movie where there is a full lighting & camera crew, not to mention a stylist who is ensuring every hair is in place. I think a little more is more fun. It's our responsibility in these times of people wearing pj's out to run errands. ! ;)

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    1. Civic duty Gigi! That a good way of putting it. I realized I forgot to write something that was on my mind when I wrote this post. You are right that there are stylists on the set and all that. But on the other hand, the stills do not capture how the garments move and this is probably where you most see the beauty of them. And on the blog/photo end, some things do not photograph well, like subtle jewelry but they can be quite striking irl.
      I know, I am sawing off the branch I am sitting on, lol

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  4. ack! sophie marceau is amazing - and i think a minimalist look is both easy and hard to pull off. while it may not photograph well (without alot of studio lights and screens) it is really effective in real life. xox P

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    1. I agree. With regular camera or iPhone it is very hard, at least for me, to capture simple outfits and white and black are the worst. They can look great irl but they are not editorial.

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    2. if only we could walk around with 50 mm lenses on us everyday!! :) xox P

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  5. I'm in the minimalist camp and my wardrobe is mostly black, white, beige, navy and grey. I do not wear jewelry except for a watch, my wedding ring, and either pearl or diamond studs. With a slight dusting of powder and red lipstick, I'm good to go. Simple does not mean sloppy. As I grow older, I realized the more I edit, the younger I looked.

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    1. I believe minimslism can be achieved even on the budget. But maybe it is hard to make it look interesting with budget photography for the blog purpose. I find that sometimes adding a necklace improves the picture but spoils the style.

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  6. I agree she looks very chic but the thing is the drape of those tank tops tells me that the material is VERY expensive, clothes like that look amazing, but they cost big and they are hard to maintain. On the movie set they came out of the box, were steamed and carefully worn. In real life you'd have to dry clean them all the time, what a commotion, I think this kind of high-end look is very deceptive, it is not simple but in fact high-maintenance.
    And what a sulker with her cigarette etc! I much prefer your style and your beautiful face with your signature big smile!!
    Oh but I do like your all-white linen outfit, that is perfect for the heat and linen is precious but not high-maintenance, I love the way it washes up.

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    1. She definitely has a simple, yet stunning appearance. I agree with Dani..there is quality here and one knows it when they see it. I think of the ads for high-end designers with a simple aesthetic. The fabrics are impeccable. The drape and the tailoring are spot-on. Add some Italian leather shoes, fantastic bag and chic sunglasses and you are set. One doesn't even need a lot of jewels--studs, a nice watch and simple necklace.

      But I think you'd almost have to chuck the fun of J Crew (and likely a great deal of ones wardrobe) and start fresh with the best you can afford. Thinking one piece at a time--the nicest fabric and fit and then move on to the next. It wouldn't take a ton of pieces but again, I agree with Dani, it's much more exhaustive to take care of these "fine" items. You would definitely lose the fun and personally, I would feel so cautious all of the time. I like the aesthetic but it would never fit my lifestyle..it's the imaginary one I sometimes find myself buying for;)

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    2. I agree Dani that the clothes she is wearing are probably expensive and that the overall effect is easier to achieve with high end clothes but I think we can still get inspired and approximate, we do it with over the top stuff as well. The high maintenance is something indefinitely avoid, if I have to worry about ruining something I am not going to be comfortable and enjoy it, there goes effortlessness.

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  7. I always think of her in Braveheart, which is the sartorial opposite of how she is dressed in this movie. I'll guess that neither is her own personal style outside of the movies. I like this look a lot, and it looks great on you too, but I like color and pattern too much to stick with it. Fashion is a form of creativity, too, and I think you could be bored if you settled down with this quiet style and palette.

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    1. You are right cate, I should have titled it channeling Chiara, that was the name of the character. And yes I definitely would be bored if I only dresses like this, it is just something to consider.

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  8. "Mostly, she looks great because she is beautiful, with fabulous body and great hair." This has a lot to do with why she (or rather, her character) can get away with a very minimal look. Those arms alone are worth about 50 Bubble Necklaces. But remember: Sophie Marceau gets paid to look like that. Actors and models get paid to work out 5 times a week with a trainer, visit the salon every other day, and eat poached salmon and steamed broccoli for every meal so that we can envy them and want to buy whatever product they are pushing. Some of them truly are exquisite genetic freaks who would even look good in the proverbial paper bag (Giselle, WTF), but for the most part if you took away all of their assistants and gave them a $40k per year desk job, carpool duties, and a haircut and highlights from the local mall, they would look just like everybody else looks in a black dress.

    Also, as DaniBP mentions above, Sophie's wardrobe for this movie is probably all high-end designer stuff and all tailored specifically for her by on-set seamstresses. If she didn't look like a million bucks in a $300 tank top, I'd think that something was seriously wrong.

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    1. PS - You look gorgeous in your Riviera Linens.

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    2. Hehe Whitney, arms alone worth 50 bubble necklaces, so right. Definitely easier together away with anything when you look like her. But don't all models, fashion editorials and celebrities do it to us? But we always try to decipher it and take something away. And they usually end up looking better anyway but I guess this getting inspired and trying is where the fun is.

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  9. Honestly, it's all smoke and mirrors to get the look she has in the movie. Well a lot of smoke in this instance.... I agree that to carry off the neutral thing needs expensive fabrics etc. Oh and a big fan blowing your hair back all the time. Even Angelina Jolie who used to never wear colors has been wearing something other than black lately...I say stick to what you are doing (although there was an ad on my screen for one of those weird electric cigarettes the other day?! :)

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    1. Oh I don't think I could go totally mInimalistic. I get bored too easily and I don't have the discipline.

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  10. Really informative and useful information.
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  11. I do think European ladies, at all economic levels, take more care of their clothes than we do. Nothing is put away without being aired. And when seasons change, even the simplest item is gone over to see if a stitch is needed here, a button there... There's much less reliance on machines, whether dry cleaning or laundry. If there's a spot, it's attended to. I've watched "crash carts" and "emergency technicians" go charging over to a table where someone's spilled something, in the finest of restaurants. Or a waiter will accompany you to the Ladies', where there's an attendant with a sewing kit and some mysterious little bottles and sponges. A friend was dating an exchange student, apologetically asked me if it was weird that she looked her clothes over as she was taking them off. I explained that she had arrived with a small wardrobe and a small budget. And in Paris, strolling down the Avenue Foch (v. fancy residential street), you can still see little balconies - facing the street! - with clothing airing/drying.

    This attitude toward clothing has generated its own class of literature, how to look Parisian/French in number of your choice easy lessons. And frankly, most of it's common sense. Oooh, a black skirt. Oooh, a v-neck sweater. Ooooh, clothes that fit. Buy one or two things that look good and will last with the same money that will get you 17 pieces of junk,

    I do believe that the attitude towards conserving clothing is rooted in wars, revolutions, rationing, scarcity, and unstable economics. So I ask: isn't the idea of making the best of what you have and making something out of nothing, what used to be called Yankee Ingenuity?

    Love the linens on you. You look comfortable and self-assured.

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    1. Thank you Fred! I think you are right. The minimalism is the best weapon of the stylish French women. When you don't have space in the closet and money in your budget you pick the best what works for you, take care of it and reuse in creative way. I believe art and fashion many times benefits from limitations, maybe we simply have too much of everything, it is a curse sometimes.

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    2. Sewing kits in ladies'room! Civilization. I love this idea. I worry that my own girls will never be as good at mending and sewing. I was taught to embroider and knit as a small child, but I had European grannies.

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