There are many fashion capitals scattered across the globe, but surprisingly no two are alike. You might think that one well heeled and shiny lipped city could not be distinguished from it’s other couture colleagues, but oh how wrong you would be. Residents of these fashion forward cities are stylish, trendy and decked out in designer duds but in unique and innovative ways. Here is a rundown of the signature city styles of fashion capitols around the world.
- New York City: “Sex and the City” did a rather swell job of capturing the essence of the Big Apple’s style: personality on heels so high you will get a nose bleed. New Yorkers get a bad rap for only dressing in the color of funeral attire, and though we do lover our black for it’s slimming effect and magical ability to match absolutely everything we own, Manhattan gals are known for daring color and fashion choices. Risky ensembles are rewarded if they are donned with pizazz and plenty o’ attitude. The real secret of New York style lies in the grooming. Wear what you dare, but never leave the apartment unkempt or disheveled. Chipped unpolished nails will not cut it. Un-waxed or un-tweezed facial hair may even earn you looks of disdain on the subway. Blah hair will just not do. New Yorkers do not want to look over done, but they do expect you to suffer for you beauty.
- LA: Perhaps the fashion antithesis of NYC, LA is all about natural beauty and comfort…sort of. In LA it’s all the rage to have bedhead, dewy skin and don simple tanks, skinny jeans and flip flops. The trick: the natural and easy perfection is the result of countless hours of beauty treatments and drudgery at the gym. See, in LA one is meant to look naturally stunning, but let’s be honest, who actually wakes up ready for the red carpet or the paparazzi? Unless you are a superstar or decide to start dating one, no one will follow you to the salon to decipher your true beauty routine. Just act as if your long blond hair just happens to have a lovely loose curl and that your butt is always hard enough to crack a walnut on. As long as you tell us this is casual clothes, we will never tell. PS, perky boobies (natural or not) are not mandatory but highly encouraged.
- Paris: Ah, the City of Lights which illuminates us out of the darkness of the less fashionably dressed world. There is in fact an interesting difference between French high fashion and French street style. For all the crazy amounts of couture and catwalks, Parisian style is far more low key. On my last trip to Paris I stuffed my suitcase full of my most fashion-y clothes only to be dismayed that I stood out in my neon yellow Helmut Lang dress, and not in a good way. Paris women favor the dark colors often seen on New England academics, but with flawless design and interesting shapes. The French femme fatale is not afraid of binding or bondage, especially with fashion. The Parisians are also particularly adept with their scarfs. Seriously, this country practically has a national uniform of beautifully draped scarfs. I never understood their appeal until I observed how the Parisian women wrapped them. My mind is boggled as to how they actually get those intricate folds around their neck, but I will continue to try and probably fail to imitate them. An a side note I am utterly confused by French beauty and hair. I literally spent three weeks searching about Paris for hair flattening irons and came up with zilch. Do the French not need to straighten their hair? Do they just wake up with perfectly smooth locks. I was left confused and with funky bangs.
- London: The first word that comes to mind when I think of London fashion is “floppy.” Let me clarify: the girls dress with so many layers that any time a stiff breeze comes along major flapping of clothing ensues. Scarfs, sweaters, vests, hats, gloves…these girls just pile on article after article, but rather than looking like a hot mess their randomness has an offbeat cohesion. The end look is unexpected, and while nothing exactly matches, it always somehow all goes together. I think this trendy bag lady look must be related to the vestiges of punk rock still seen in the heavy dark eyeliner and refusal to wear a look put together by a store or magazine. London style is individual, but there are two almost constant fashion staples: flat shoes and short skirts. Brits live in their ballet flats and flat boots and I suspect this has something to do with the fact that heels get stuck in the cobblestones on the streets. The short skirts, and I do mean short, well, let’s just say these girls have no fear.
- Milan: Perhaps one of the only cities to still value old school glam, Milan has bragging rights as one of the most fashion and beauty conscious cities. There is no pretense of natural beauty, bring on the red lips and hair curlers! The style rules are fairly loose, as long as you have serious style. Trademarks such as super edgy bangs or pin straight hair will earn you extra fashion kudos. It’s hard to determine exactly what defines Milan style, except that when you see it, you know it’s fashion that mean’s business. A word of warning, experimentation is viewed warily. Milan values the classic over “so cutting edge no one gets that you are trying to be trendy since you look deranged.” Updating the tried and true is a safer bet than busting out what you think the hot new look should be. Save that for NYC and come tell us at The Frisky about it!