Yes, yes, you’re proud to be American, or British, or Spanish, or whatever else—after all, who else in the world boasts smiles as big, or accents as charming, or personalities as passionate? But as happy as we all are to wave our native flags and celebrate our roots, there is a girl deep down inside us all who wishes she had been born a Parisienne.
Women everywhere have spent centuries attempting to emulate the effortless beauty, style and grace that seems to come naturally to the French. The classic Parisian sense of fashion and taste for fine dining, their notorious dramatics, their way of loving—traits we all lust after ferociously, but that very few of us have mastered.
So in this modern day and age, when the Parisienne still reigns over the worlds of style and beauty, to where and to whom do we turn for guidance? The world is in hot pursuit of a French-inspired lifestyle, and these are the femmes fatales leading the way.
1. Jeanne Damas
Model and founder of e-shop Rouje—a clothing line named for its owner’s love of red lipstick and dedicated to bringing Parisian style to the masses—Jeanne Damas is an established icon in the world of French fashion. After years of being compared to icons from Jane Birkin to Charlotte Gainsbourg, it’s no surprise that hers is one of the first names that comes to mind when one imagines a modern Parisienne.
2. Caroline de Maigret
Like a fine wine, Caroline de Maigret only gets better with age. She was beautiful in her youth when she first signed to NEXT Model Management as a young Parisienne come to New York, and she remains to this very day the perfect example of a French woman: classy, playful, and wonderfully carefree. Although we may never discover the magic behind her long locks and messy blunt bangs—a haircut we all wish we could achieve and that de Maigret has managed to master— for now, we’re perfectly content to ogle over her endless travels and timeless fashion sense without spoiling the secret.
3. Irene Noren
Originally hailing from Spain, model Irene Noren is the playful, “Moi Je Joue”-side of the French woman, her sweet but sexy image the perfect example of the Parisienne-next-door. With her fantastic looks and charming personality, the only thing her French persona lacks is an abundance of baguettes and pastries; she is known for her strict vegan and gluten-free diet, which she documents on a second Instagram account all for your viewing pleasure.
4. Taylor LaShae
The second of two non-native French fashionistas on this list, American-born model and actress Taylor LaShae is the spitting image of the cool French woman we all imagine we become the first time we cut our hair and sport blunt bangs. Although she resides in sunny Los Angeles, California, rocking distinctly West Coast-style clothing (and, of course, an American accent), LaShae’s dark, chin-length bob and alluring gaze positively scream 1920’s Paris.
5. Louise Follain
Signed to Ford Models New York and Paris and Premier Models London, Louise Follain, from her name to her style, is as young and effortlessly beautiful as it gets. Her photographs speak for themselves: colorful French villas, summers by the sea, soft locks of hair caught in light breezes and natural makeup with just a hint of red lipstick litter her online presence—the prime example of a fabulous lifestyle that could only belong to the most perfect Parisienne woman.
When you’re dreaming of vacationing in the south of France and strolling through the streets of Paris, who comes to your mind as a source of inspiration? Let me know in the comments below!
Cover image: Taylor LaShae