Trends Along the Riviera

Most people think of only Paris when referring to French fashion. The South of France is known for attracting celebrities and other social elites from all over Europe as well as the bigger cities like Cannes, Monte-Carlo, and Nice.  Streetwear is also very prominent, and the Riviera isn’t as behind the high fashion city of Paris as I expected.

Due to the proximity to the Mediterranean coast, you can find a lot of tourists wearing linens, bright colors, and exotic patterns. A popular accessory you find in Cannes, home of the world-renowned Cannes Film Festival, are large statement straw hats, strappy espadrilles, and basket bags. It’s easy to feel out of place when roaming a place of such luxury and high status. All the glitz and glamour can be intimidating at first, but pairing style with confidence will help you stay afloat in these luxurious places.

When I first arrived in France, I was told that the French don’t wear denim shorts. I have been in the French Riviera for over three weeks studying marketing and fashion merchandising. I am constantly eyeing the local fashion trends and seeking out the fashion norms of the South of France. You will never see a French student sporting leggings and a sweatshirt to class; every outfit is well-curated and more formal than what we are used to in the U.S. After already stepping out in denim cutoffs, I immediately felt self-conscious. My eyes searched the streets looking for any sign of denim. Luckily, I wasn’t alone.

French students are always showing off designer pieces or sporting the latest high-end clothes--with the exception of a few lurking Aeropostale and Hollister tees that should’ve been left in 2008.

Women’s style is very chic yet functional. I often see wide-leg pants or trousers paired with graphic tees and chunky sneakers. The French outfit is never complete without a designer bag, mostly Gucci. Guys typically wear skinny jeans with oversized graphic tees, usually paired with a shoulder bag as an accessory, which seems to be a popular accessory here for men. The French seem to take shoes very seriously, fairly similar to America. French students are always rocking the latest footwear. Whether it be Adidas, Nike Air Max’s, or Yeezy’s, the shoes complete their entire French aesthetic.

The French aesthetic always seemed effortless to me from what I’ve seen in movies and magazines. After living here,  I realized that it is in fact a reality. I’m still trying to get the hang of integrating myself with the locals while simultaneously navigating the “do’s and dont’s” of French Fashion. I am enjoying every minute observing the French culture and utilizing the creativity it has to offer me.

Kristina AraujoComment