Hard times in New York Town

Tag: Fashion icons

"My style? hm let me think ... Marilyn-meets-the fockers?"

How I have not become a personal assistant

Last week, a fashion blogger that I love opened a job position to become her personal assistant. Oh god, that is so me! I thought with my classic perfect judgment- and I sent a CV. Strangely enough, I got an interview.

At this time, I should probably mention that:

– I wear greyish sub-Gap-TShirts paired with old black jeans. Yes, it has been the case every day since high school.

– I belong to this category of people who have to think twice (or 300 times) before opening a letter from the bank / filing taxes / buying plane tickets.

Bref, I was, as they say here, “the perfect fit” to be a P.A. in the fashion industry.

The interview was scheduled for the next day. I didn’t exactly have time to lose 10 pounds, but I did try eating only cucumbers for one day, just in case. Then I tried to hide my mama belly under a smartly oversized dress. Then I requested my husband to take care of baby Yann while I would live my life as a newly empowered fashion icon.

I left proudly, hair dancing in the wind, elegant Csection scarred-silhouette.


1/ It was my first interview with someone who could almost be my daughter. At some point I made a weird joke about it. The girl quietly smiled behind her pretty glasses.

2/ Note for later: pursuant to a secret NY rule, self-mockery is prohibited.

3/ Note for later: pursuant to a secret NY Fashion rule, self-mockery on outfits is prohibited.

3 bis / when interviewed by someone who works in fashion, you are expected to answer that you love fashion. Not a stupid “bah euh … not really?”

4/ after 10 minutes, the girl had clearly understood how poorly suited I was for the position, but unfortunately, the waiter had forgotten about my latte so we both politely had to wait for another 10 minutes of Bernard-Herrmann-Jaws-Soundtrack-waiting. I lost 17 papilla to drink my latte extra quickly so the poor girl wouldn’t have to struggle finding another subject.

5/ No one should be interviewed in a foreign language 3 weeks after giving birth. Ever. At some point, I might have slurred some indistinctive be-bop nonsense, but I am not too sure- I was too exhausted to listen to the sounds I was making anyway.

I took the subway back and immediately glued little Yann back to my breast – he had apparently been screaming non-stop since I’d left. And I came back to my non-fashion mama life, thinking that at least, this could make a new blog post.

French woman creating a new trend: the snail beanie

French women as fashion icons

By definition, a French woman is supposed to embody “French effortless chic”, as bad magazines say. It does work in New York, but also in Shanghai and I guess everywhere. How do you live up to the myth? Simple.

Option 1 : you are a French woman, too happy to enjoy the French chic cliché: 

– even if you were born on a farm in Montélimar, you are from Paris. All French women are from Paris.

– when complimented on a clothe, look surprised “what, this? Zara!”. Or pretend it comes from a small unknown shop (make up the name if you need to). The idea is to make anybody feel small because anything looks couture on you.

– don’t be silly, no limits. The uniform “red lipstick / little black dress” is long gone. You can ressuscitate everything. Be creative: everything looks good on you. Including Birkenstocks. including the little square of plastic bag old women put on their hair when it rains. Don’t worry, it’s probably hot in Red Hook anyway. Forget you were bullied because you looked like an 80 year old in 3rd grade. Anything is possible

Option 2 : you are a French woman, decided to go against stereotypes 

First, let me tell you that this is completely stupid: there are not that many good stereotypes. Even if you try very hard, you will suffer from the bad ones anyway (and be treated as arrogant – yet romantic -).

However, I can very generously help. Become pregnant. Do not go hesitate to put on weight. Lots of weight. Dress exactly the same everyday, half Gap, half Girls. It’s a precise science, but after a while, nobody will remember your French chic-ness. Regarding hair, it’s easier. The “effortless tousled hair” is too low-key: just don’t brush your hair. The idea is to look like a dog, or like Britney Spears in Womanizer (the absolute master of the dog-hair universe).

Option 3 : you are a French male

This simply doesn’t apply to you. Regarding males, the stereotype of elegance works solely on italians (grease+ tight suits, ouh yeah) or English (tweed, ouh yeah).