Currently Coveting #11: French Chic

From Catherine Deneuve and Emmanuelle Beart to Josephine de la Baume and Lou Doillon, French women have captivated the fashion world for decades with their unending chic and seemingly effortless style.

A new book out this month entitled ‘Forever Chic: Frenchwomen’s Secrets for Timeless Beauty, Style and Substance’ promises to reveal how our Gallic counterparts acquire (and maintain) that certain je ne sais quoi that doesn’t seem to diminish with age. Fashion journalist Tish Jett who also writes the blog A Femme d’Un Certain Age has lived among the French for years and studied them to learn the secrets behind their wardrobe, beauty, diet, and hair rituals.

While I’m mulling over whether or not to buy the book, I’m happy to get my French style kicks from the new A/W 13 collection by Comptoir des Cotonniers. Under new creative director Amelie Gillier, the label has been given a more modern feel, whilst still retaining an urban twist and feminine edge. The result is a contemporary rock ‘n’ roll inspired collection that bears more than a passing resemblance to Zadig & Voltaire, the cult fashion label that Gillier co-founded when she was just 21.

Here are some of my favourite looks:

Comptoir 1 Comptoir 2 Comptoir3 Comptoir4

Currently Coveting #10: Isabel Marant for H&M

Isabel-Marant-HM-7-Vogue-25Sept13_pr_b_592x888_1

I realise that this is my second Currently Coveting post in as many days (how will my bank balance keep up?) but, with the excitement building over the forthcoming H&M and Isabel Marant collaboration, I just had to put the spotlight on my favourite pieces. Photos from the lookbook – with its impressive cast of models, including Lou Doillon, Alek Wek and Milla Jovovich – leaked online yesterday, plunging most of the fashion world into yet another frenzy over this hotly anticipated collection.

Those who, like me, lust after the inimitable Mme Marant’s ready-to-wear collection but whose budgets don’t quite stretch that far, will not be disappointed. The French designer’s bohemian aesthetic runs through the entire range, which encompasses not only womenswear but also menswear and accessories.

Some fashion commentators have criticized H&M for putting the price points too high (the most expensive piece is a jacket for £199.99) but, while the collection is dearer than the high street chain’s own brand, in my view the prices are justified as it is a collaboration with a designer whose brand of effortless chic is practically a uniform for off-duty models and movie stars in the know. In any case, the prices are still only a fraction of Marant’s mainline collection (and lower than her diffusion line Etoile Isabel Marant).

The collaboration will hit stores (and online) on November 14 so start drawing up your wishlist now as it’s bound to be a sell-out. If I can’t get my hands on the H&M version of last year’s embellished tie-dye jacket (in the main picture) I would happily settle for any of these pieces:

Marant Collage