Sienna Miller was in Paris over the weekend, hosting a party for French label Lancel, who was celebrating "135 Years of French Légèreté." Damn, that is a lot of "lightness" (or "frivolity" depending on your translation) for a culture that is not generally known for its levity. Case in point: most of the women showed up in heavy coats, proving that one can be warm and glamorous, no matter what those glossies tell you.
The host wore Emilio Pucci, whose prints are genius and whose black fringe dresses with illusion lace are less so. Black fringe sometimes risks looking like chemically straightened hair, which I guess isn't the worst thing to trim a dress with, but it ain't the best either. The longer length of the lace sleeves are a nice touch, but the top of the dress belongs to another dress—namely one that doesn't have an empire waist bodycon skirt with unflattering ruching and black fringe. Also, I know that long, tangled, wavy hair is totally Sienna 'still sometimes boho' Miller's thing, but dang girl, your mane is outta control!
Let's get the super classy, super elegant, super flattering long-sleeved black dresses out of the way. French actress Louise Bourgoin has somehow made a cleavage brooch look natural and tasteful. The exaggerated, almost dolman-like shoulders give this dress a bit of visual interest. French singer Elodie Frégé (I'm going to stop saying French after this—just assume they are unless otherwise specified, 'kay?) knows how to make a gathered bodice and spandex shoulders look effortless. I think the neutral pumps work here. They keep her red lips and black dress from looking too severe.
Bianca Brandolini, who I believe is not French, comes from a very, very wealthy family, and is dating a very, very wealthy guy. At least that's what the interwebz told this old bag of bones. Her hair manages to possess the befuddling combination of looking extremely shiny and extremely dirty, which I feel like is a skill unique to those who have enough money to create contradictions on their physical body. Lace-up, over-the-knee boots are all kinds of fierce, no duh, but the rest of the outfit leaves me feeling cold. The outfit is plenty shiny, but it's missing a certain brilliance.
A great investment piece that will also help you look fabulous in the cold months is a fantastic, good-quality coat. It needs to be cut well, made well, and be interesting enough that you won't mind covering up your entire outfit with it. I feel like these three French ladies have figured it out. Zoé Félix is wearing my favorite but infrequently-seen combination of coat and pants—a trench coat with clam diggers! Aure Atika's purple coat is in a classic shape, but the addition of a black ribbon makes it a bit more special. Élodie Bouchez took styling tips from the book, A Wealthy Person's Uniform. Just kidding, no such book exists, but somehow the information was disseminated all the same.
These coat and pants combos were a little less successful in my opinion. Black works best on coats that have a bit of structure and tailoring to them, but Emmanuelle Alt's blanket coat is too shapeless and sloppy looking. I wonder if Pauline Delpech's coat is 1) made of real fur, and 2) vintage? I hope yes on the vintage front and no on the real fur front. There's a real rugged and alluringly masculine feel to Mademoiselle Agnes' white jacket and white pants. She's also wearing what looks like cowboy boots with a stiletto heels. Yowza.
I'm not sure who this woman is (she's listed "Carina Lau," which I'm pretty sure is wrong,) but hot DAYAM, this is how to do a long, black gown. It's deceptively simple and lives in that wonderful fairytale land between "modest" and "sexy." It's hard to tell in the photos, but the dress has a bit of lace snaking up to her neck, and there is some subtle sequining happening at the bottom of the dress. Also, that red bag! Such a cute bag, and it helps to tone down the F-F-FOXINESS of the dress. (This might be Zhang Jingchu? Anyone?)
Will you just look at the lusty French, going at it with not a care in the world? Kidding, sort of. But seriously, this kind of PDA on the red carpet hardly ever happens in the US. Well, unless you are Tom Cruise and trying to prove to the world that you are not a weirdo brimming with repressed rage. François Cluzet and his lady are in love! As for me, I am in love with her quadruple strap mary janes. French designer Ito Morabito and his lady are pretty adorable in matching navy outfits. Writer Gonzague Saint Bris and actress Pauline Delpech are equally cute in black pantsuits, although I'm partial to Pauline's.
Remember when Virginie Ledoyen starred in The Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio? I remember thinking she carried herself like a kitten...whatever that means. Here, she seems to be going more for a glammy, hard-edged look. I very much find myself sucked in by the fitted jacket over leather pants look, though I do feel like she could have rocked better shoes. I don't have a problem with messy, unwashed hair on the red carpet if the outfit calls for it, but damn if Béatrice Rosen's glorious mane of hair isn't putting Virginie's stringy locks to shame. I really want to like Béatrice's silver and lavender number because it's always nice to see some color on the red carpet, and it's a risky look in a sea of black and tailored pieces, but the dress is a mess. The bodice is fussy, the part where the tulle parts in the front looks like a mistake, and the whole thing looks like couture for figure skaters.