Cannes Film Festival: What do Parisiennes really think of the Riviera style?


Jane Birkin walking down the Cannes Film Festival red carpet with a basket bag in her hand. A Brigitte Bardot in mini shorts for a walk in Saint-Tropez. Sneakers scattered on the decks of the yachts. A Jacquemus hat large enough to live under. As I sporadically dream of the French Riviera from my home in Los Angeles, as far from Europe as I could be, a phantasmagoria of these images comes to mind. But is this some kind of Instagram-fueled revisionist story?

After all, my own scattered experiences in the south of France don’t quite live up to these projections. They include: an evening in Nice, the former Fitzgerald refuge which has since turned into a breeding ground for all things silicone; queuing for Jimmy’z in Monte Carlo while watching a sequence of women dressed in Hervé Léger strolling with promoters adorned with chains; a brief visit to Club 55 in Saint-Tropez, a showcase of wealth manifested through Royal Oak watches and pink magnums.

As the world begins to reopen and we collectively watch the vaccinated and the fabulous descend on the French Riviera for the Cannes Film Festival, the question arises. What is the Riviera style, and how do the chicest of them, the Parisians, approach it?

It turns out that I am not too far off in my initial observation. “The Southeast region, not to be confused with the southwest and surfer’s paradise of Biarritz, is full of gorgeous local women who can be slightly less on the spectrum effortlessly than what you typically associate with a French woman. “, explains Lola, creator of Pompom Paris. Rykiel, noting that “a little too much bling, tan, and faux snakeskin” is far from a rare sight.

Writer and creative director Julia Reiss, who lives in Paris and frequents the south of France each summer, agrees the style is definitely “stronger”. “Parisians would probably call it vulgar, but it’s not too catchy for an American,” she says. “Bellies and tight figures abound, the dresses are much shorter, and there is so much more color. While she supposes that some Parisians find it cheesy (she was once advised to reserve her beloved leopard print for trips to the South), she points out that Parisian brands like Jacquemus have built all their iconography on archetypes Riviera style. “Like most things in Paris, it’s a dichotomous love-hate relationship.”


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