When Coco Chanel replaced the corset with the casual elegance of loose fit sailor tops and the suppleness of tweed, she set a tradition of effortless French elegance or French chic. Luxury, made comfortable. Sexy, but never vulgar. A style proven timeless by the flirty insouciance of today?s French actresses who mix simplicity with sophistication, defy convention and make expensive clothes look casual and cool.
With her characteristically short jet-black hair and lips in femme-fatale scarlet, Audrey Tautou?s style can be best described as pixie Parisian. Whether she walks the red carpet in a girly cocktail dress paired with a leather jacket, an YSL blue peasant dress along with black suede pumps and oversized black clutch or by simply wearing jeans, fitted jackets and ballerina flats, her gamine-charm turns heads.
Dior chose Marianne Cotillard to represent the glamour, intrigue and the heroine that captures ?Lady Dior?. Indeed Marion Cotillard owns a cinematic allure, expressed in the glamorous gowns she picks for the red carpet. When she's off camera, she turns into a true urban bohemian, wearing comfortable denims paired of with knits, tweeds, scarves and hats.
Charlotte Gainsbourg, daughter of the British actress Jane Birkin and French singer Serge Gainsbourg prefers designs by Balenciaga's creative director Nicolas Ghesqui?re. Her wardrobe in romantic comedy ?I Do? consisted mainly of Ghesqui?re's military jackets, while she embraces both pauper and prince wearing skinny slouchy jeans with the decadence of Balenciaga?s grey raccoon fur coat at Chanel?s Haute Couture show. Little sister Lou Doillon, has a style credo of never making something too pretty. A little bit bohemian, a little bit sexy tomboy, we can spot her in layered style of leather leggings underneath a cut out dress and grey coat paired with ankle booties and signature top hat.
Also Cl?mence Po?sy exemplifies ?je ne sais quoi? in both casual en couture. Never seeming complicated with tousled hair, yet always intriguing. When wearing a light-hearted yellow Chanel dress with tight bodice and feathery skirt at Chanel's Resort 2012 presentation, she emphasizes her youthfulness with champagne peep-toe heels and accessories, a relaxed updo and barely-there make-up.
Despite differences in their effortless style, ranging from pixie to rock and roll, French actresses seem to have one thing in common: they know what suits them. Making fashion not what they wear, but how they wear it. Just as how Coco would?ve wanted it.