What would Ernest Hemingway do in Paris if he were here in 2018? How would he dress? And what about Napoleon, Marie Antoinette, and Edith Piaf (and more)? Fashion expert and co-host of The Earful Tower honeymoon season, Lina Nordin Gee, has tackled these probing questions…
Some of the most prominent Parisian faces through the ages were all very much associated with their individual style – from banana skirts to sideway hats. But I’m curious, how would that translate into the fashion and lifestyle of 2018?
I’ve given it a lot of thought. Too much, probably. But join me for a look at some of the most famous Parisian faces, reimagined for today.
Marie Antoinette: The Kardashian
Marie lives for the ’gram (Instagram) even though she claims not to care. She has 120 million followers at the moment but will probably delete the app tomorrow for a much needed cleanse.
She shares her time between the “Suite Impériale” at the Ritz, sipping Bellinis at Hotel Costes and shopping escapades on Avenue Montaigne with her girl squad.
Marie adores “le bling”, whoever said less is more must’ve been insane, or worse – poor!
She favours brands like Balmain for the sparkly wow factor, but navigates towards Givenchy if she wants to look expensive but also fierce.
Louis (the “Sun king”) XIV of France: The CEO
Louis lives in a large, lavish villa in the posh Parisian suburb of Saint Germain de Près.
He had it renovated and extended a couple of years ago and is now confident in knowing it’s the fanciest in the neighbourhood.
He is the CEO of the largest solar power company in France – a company he inherited at the tender age of four.
Even though his hairdresser David Mallett insists that “perms are totally passé” Louis sets aside several hours a month to said activity, it gives him a feeling of satisfaction in knowing his hair is higher and fuller than the next homme.
Louis is no stranger to the luxurious department store “Le Bon Marché”, having taken the famed escalators between diamonds and furs for as long as he can remember.
Edith Piaf: The Parisienne
Edith is SUCH a Parisienne. She drinks more wine than water and more coffee than wine.
She lives in the 19th arrondissement with a cat called “Vie-Rose” and she spends most of her evenings in Belleville, smoking home-rolled cigarettes with her very intellectual friends.
She invests in a few, high-quality, classic wardrobe pieces each season, mostly black of course.
She loved the fashion brand Céline during the Phoebe-era, and managed to snap up a black tux from the last collection. She plans to wear it without a shirt (maybe a bra if it’s a bit nippy outside…), a vintage cream clutch bag, and a red lip.
Edith is vigilant about her beauty regime, daily sun screen is a must for her creamy complexion. She has a history of over plucking her brows, so she’s now using growth serums religiously.
Napoleon Bonaparte: The Entrepreneur
Napoleon is an IT entrepreneur and investor. He’s also a fashion blogger on the side (although he prefers the word ‘influencer’ to blogger).
More than anything, he enjoys being the talk of the town (his therapist would call it a coping mechanism for the bullying he endured as a child).
He gravitates towards clothes with visible logos (sooo hot right now!) – if he spent €200 for a t-shirt he sure as merde wants people to know about it!
He recently found this “lit” independent online brand that makes high-heeled boots for men (in a cool rock ‘n’roll kind of way – the extra inches are just a side effect of course!). He’s pretty sure he saw Harry Styles wearing them in the last edition of Paper Magazine.
Josephine “Jo$$y” Baker
Josephine is rarely seen while the sun is up.
The only exception is when she’s stepping into an Uber after exiting her favourite underground club in Pigalle at 6 in the morning.
Her wardrobe is very much reflecting her lifestyle, custom-made, colourful, marabou-feather trimmed silk robes from Sabbia Rosa are wrestling with transparent mesh dresses from ASOS.
Josephine can often be spotted lounging by pools in music videos, she’s currently recording a video for A$AP Rocky’s latest single.
She has a hectic lifestyle, running between shoots, clubs and her charity meetings (those poor kids are just too sad, she might adopt the lot!).
As a result she often forgets to eat a proper meal – a banana is usually the emergency solution.
Joan of Arc: The Pant Suit
Joan wakes early every day.
She’s prepared a bowl of overnight oats, it’s simple, nutritious and cost efficient.
She packs a lunch of last night’s lentil-salad leftovers and takes her second-hand bicycle from her 13th arrondissement chambre-de-bonne to her office in La Défense.
She is quickly rising in the ranks within the company. Even though she is earning a decent salary, she would never dream of moving to a bigger apartment, nor wearing anything other than her trusted pantsuits.
In fact, she owns four pantsuits in different colours but all the same style, they are the perfect office armour.
Every Tuesday after work she sees her therapist, she used to hear voices, but now she feels she’s got them under control.
Ernest Hemingway: The Hipster
And lastly, Ernest is an auto entrepreneur and works full-time as a travel blogger.
He spends most of his days at Café Mericourt drinking filter coffee and writing about “The ten most Instagrammable streets in Paris” on his MacBook Air (it’s small enough to fit in his “Kånken” backpack).
His typical evening is spent on rue Saint Maur in the trendy 11th arrondissement, drinking happy-hour beers with his mates, discussing social media algorithms and the latest Kusama exhibition.
He often peruses the “frips” (second-hand shops) in the Marais – you can never have too many checkered flannel shirts! He is currently letting his beard grow (more than his usual week-old stubble) for “movember”.
So. There you have it. Parisians reimagined. Who did I miss?
Lina Nordin Gee is a Paris-based Swede and the founder of the Deuxième Studios shoe brand, where Swedish simplicity meets Parisian playfulness. Check out her site here and follow her on Instagram here.