FASHION FROM ABROAD: Oui oui, Rue de Montaigne

In Paris, the one most important things I learned is that the city doesn’t have as much unique street style as one would think. The Parisians live a life of simplicity, and “Parisian style,” as I learned in my studies, is described to be “effortless.” As much as I admire every person’s laid back ensemble as they go about their day, I couldn’t help but photograph this gem, who I found cooly smoking a cigarette on Rue de Montaigne (a street famously known in Paris for having all the luxurious designer stores).

What I saw first were her shoes, which may look like a normal Chelsea boot at first, but if you take a closer look, you can see a single spike coming out from the heel. As I began to fully recognize her whole ensemble, it was evident to me that this girl held a style unlike any other Parisian I had seen or met up to that point. I approached her and told her I was a fashion student studying at the American University and asked to take her photograph. Her friends  nudged her encouragingly, and she welcomed me to take as many photos as I liked.

In the midst of my photo-taking, I perceived that she had a tougher exterior; however, as her friends talked with her and made her laugh, I caught a photo of her smile that truly showed me a softer side to her personality. She mentioned to me that although her bag was Balenciaga, most of her clothing were from vintage shops. As I learned while studying abroad, vintage shops in Paris were the treasure chest of hidden gems for personalizing one’s style. They were located all throughout Paris, and if you looked hard enough, you could stumble upon a vintage Céline cropped trench coat for only 40 euros.

In my month that I spent in Paris, this girl stood out to me among all the others I had the pleasure of meeting. Her punk style and bold makeup really showed me that although enjoying the simplicities of life comes with being a Parisian, it also means being comfortable in your own skin and expressing your style regardless of social norms.