Four women, four icons and four reasons to believe that you don’t have to be born in Paris, to be Parisian, just “reborn” there as Sacha Guitry argues. Caroline de Maigret makes her Parisian picks with Marie-Antoinette, Josephine Baker, Romy Schneider and Jane Birkin topping the list.
Marie-Antoinette, Austrian A symbol of French flirtatiousness if there ever was one, the Austrian Marie Antoinette was the very first French royal to show an interest in art and fashion. When she wasn’t performing on the personal stage that was her Trianon palace, she was dreaming of life as a shepherdess in her bucolic hamlet home, far removed from the pomp of the Versailles court.
Josephine Baker, AmericanJosephine Baker didn’t just adopt French nationality, she also adopted the country as her own, body and soul. Liberal and very avantgarde, she lived and breathed intelligence and sensuality. With legendary shows at the Folies Bergère and many a popular song release including the hit “J’ai deux amours…Mon pays et Paris” she made her mark as a true Parisian idol for her generation.
Romy Schneider, German Comfortable with sleepless nights out on the town and the freedom that came with typically Parisian anti-conformity, actress Romy Schneider touched the hearts of the French with her charm, elegance and delicate demeanour. So much so that during the 1960s she became the ultimate archetype for Parisian femininity and beauty.
Jane Birkin, British Without a doubt the most Parisian of them all, Jane Birkin with her beloved English accent has become a veritable part of the national landscape. Her daughters Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lou Douillon have also followed in her footsteps in cultivating a distinctly Parisian take on style with ripped jeans, trench coats and sneakers.