One of my friends, who is currently studying abroad in Paris, recently had the amazing experience to attend one of the most highly coveted and anticipated shows in the fashion world: Chanel. Naturally, she said the show was unreal and that the collection itself was genius and breathtaking as usual. What had the biggest impact on her however, was the ensembles she spotted by merely people watching outside. While the world of couture and fashion opulence obviously compelled her during the show, the creativity of the street looks she found outside of it and the potential to actually imitate these looks, is what really struck her.
Look #1: This trio of Fashionistos she spotted look beyond chic (and additionally, color coordinated!) in their eclectic range of pieces. The Fashionisto to the left looks extremely sophisticated in all black, as he sports an effortlessly cool leather jacket paired with super skinny jeans, adorned with a circle scarf and pointed loafers. To imitate this timeless ensemble, pair this Zip-Trim leather jacket by Diesel with these Skinny Nash Guilty jeans by Rock and Republic. Add a circle scarf from American Apparel and these black patent leather dress loafers by Dolce and Gabbana. The Fashionisto in the middle is wearing a pale blue oxford under a camel toned mens tuxedo wool cape and faded denim skinny jeans. He tucks the jeans into a pair of tan strap-up ankle boots along with an iconic monogram Louis Vuitton bag in the Speedy style. To get this look, pair a pale blue oxford like this one from Marc by Marc Jacobs under a jacket cape like this vintage one from Rusty Zipper. Add a pair of Bruised Indigo skinny jeans by Calvin Klein. Complete the look with a pair of Bed Stu Colonial Duck Boots from Urban Outfitters and a Speedy monogram bag by of course, Louis Vuitton. Finally, the Fashionisto on the right rocks a white oxford, fur shrug, dark denim skinny jeans, and black loafers. To attain this look, simply get the same imitation pieces suggested for the latter Fashionisto, yet substitute the hues accordingly (a white oxford in lieu of pale blue, dark skinny denim in lieu of faded). You can even stick with the same Dolce and Gabbana loafers as the former Fashionisto. In terms of obtaining the fur shrug, try going to a local vintage store, as there aren't many conventional ones on the mainstream market.
Look #2: This Fashionista she spotted wore a crisp white tee, a knee-length black skirt, and an oversized tan wool trench-coat. She adorns the look further with a pair of black tights, black lace-up oxfords and a beaded bib necklace. This outfit is fairly simple to imitate, and i'm sure most of us have some version of every piece, as they are all in classic color hues that justify timeless wardrobe staples. To start, you could pair this simple white American Apparel tee with a black Necessary Objects skirt. Add this camel hue trench coat by Mackage and your outfit is complete. For accessories, try these black tights by American Apparel, these wedges by Jeffrey Campbell and this ice cluster bib necklace by Madwell.
Look #3: This Fashionista she spotted looks darling in her buttoned pale blue oxford and grey knee length skirt. She enhances the ensemble with a grey beret, chunky black belt with gold buckle, peep toe wedges, and an oversized black leather duffel bag. The way this Fashionista paired each piece is extremely smart. By fusing common wardrobe items together with her own twist, the look is creative, unique and polished. To imitate, first pair a simple button down like this in pale blue from the Gap with a grey skirt like this one by Gabriele Strehle. Add a knitted beret like this one by Calvin Klein and a belt like this by Ralph Lauren. To complete the look, add a pair of funky striped peep toe wedges like these from House of Harlow and a oversized black patent Muse bag by Yves Saint Laurent.
Look #4: This Fashionista she spotted looks regal in red, as she is donning a wool red and black striped blazer with its knee-length skirt equivalent. She adds a braided headband, oversized bright yellow fold-over clutch, and strappy green stilettos to complete the ensemble. Since the blazer and skirt are vintage couture, it is not likely that you will come across the exact pieces at a local mall. However, to get a similar look, invest in a simple red suit like this one by Tahari. Though it may be plain, it is classic and its subtleness will give you more liberty to play it up and enhance it with colorful accessories. Add a gold headband like this Cleopatra style one by Eugenia Kim. Try a macrame knotted yellow clutch by ASOS and some Farran heels by 7 for all Mankind in the color combination of black, green, and light grey.
Look #5: The final Fashionista she spotted looks casual and cool in a black blazer with the sleeves rolled and camel toned harem pants. She completes the look with a braided brown leather belt and matching brown oxford shoes. Probably the easiest look to acquire yourself in terms of everyday wear, take a black blazer like this one by Corson and pair it with some suede harem pants by Roberto Cavalli. Add a version of a braided leather belt like this one by Ralph Lauren Blue Label and some brown oxfords like these classic ones from Urban Outfitters.
While not all of us may be lucky enough to go to fashion week in Paris or snap photos of inspirational street style in the most fashionable city in the world ourselves, we should still take the Parisian example of style and incorporate their panache for creativity and individuality into our everyday wardrobes, regardless of whether or not our environments are as chic. Obviously we can't all afford couture on a college budget, yet this is no excuse not to play with the avant-garde and scour a spectrum of looks to mimic ourselves. Sometimes searching for each piece and incorporating designers with thrift store finds and vintage items with conventional ones, makes fashion all the more rewarding and fun. Take risks and pay attention to trends, yet don't let them dictate your style. The confidence you give off when you wear clothes is the main indicator of style, something no Chanel piece will ever replace.