NOT YOUR AVERAGE PARISIENNE
A busy Sunday afternoon in a trendy East Village café – as New Yorkers are swarming the sidewalks and crowding the tables, enjoying one of the rare warm days of the winter, one young woman stands out as soon as she pushes the door. There is something utterly cool and stylish about her demeanor, something that you can’t quite put your finger on.
Is it the mom jeans paired with the loose cashmere sweater, the white sneakers and the camel oversized coat? Is it the natural beauty, emphasized not by layers of makeup but by a genuine smile? Or is it just her Parisienne aura shining through? It might just be the explanation after all – that young woman is Marie-Laure Dumon, the French blogger behind From Paris To Milano, quickly accumulating almost 10,000 followers.
An old Parsons friend and fellow French expat, she came to meet me for an overdue catch-up, as well as a casual chat about Paris and New York fashion, bakeries (of course!) and which jeans give you the best butt!
FROM PARIS TO MILANO
SOPHIE (HIGHLARK): Bonjour Marie-Laure! Tell us how you started From Paris To Milano?
MARIE-LAURE: I first moved out of Paris for a year of Erasmus in Milan and wanted to share my experience with my friends and family. I was inspired by the likes of Garance Doré and Chiara Ferragni of The Blonde Salad.
SOPHIE: How would you define your style and aesthetic?
MARIE-LAURE: I don’t really know… I think I can adopt several different styles, tomboy one day, and more feminine the next in a dress and heels – although I do like to pair my dresses with Dr Martens for a rock’n’roll twist. I’m versatile but I like what’s comfy and cute.
SOPHIE: So you don’t see yourself as the typical Parisienne?
MARIE-LAURE: I mean, it depends on what “ typical Parisienne means”. I almost never wear striped tees and never owned a béret. Though I was born and raised in Paris, I don’t have the typical Parisienne style as I’m influenced by New York now, as well as Scandinavian style. I don’t see myself as fitting into a case. I like to mix it up while keeping comfort and simplicity in mind. However I’m a Parisienne when it comes to food – really good cheese and bakeries are definitely missing in New York!
SOPHIE: They sure are! How about fashion? Did you notice any big difference between New York and Paris style?
MARIE-LAURE: In France, we have high-end luxury fashion, we have Zara and H&M, but we also have “affordable luxury” boutiques or brands in between, like Sandro, Maje, Claudie Pierlot or Ba&Sh, with more unique designs and better quality. In the US, these in-between brands are harder to find, or when you do they’re more expensive than in France. As for the way people dress, in New York you see a lot of each extreme- either a super casual/going to yoga style or super put together. French women are more natural, or at least we look more natural, even if we’ve spent an hour getting ready at home.