Cole Porter might have written the classic tune “I Love Paris,” but perhaps someone ought to think about penning a new version: “I Love Paris Fashion.” Fine, it might not have quite the same ring, but when it comes to style, French fashion is tops.
At once classic, effortless and supremely confident, women such as Brigitte Bardot, Catherine DeDeneuve, Lulu de la Falaise, and of course Coco Chanel have made it clear why French women are known for their impeccable sartorial sensibilities.
While those women are (and always will be) style icons, there’s a new crop of French women who are inspiring a whole new generation of fashion followers. Between established actresses like Audrey Tautou and Marion Cotillard, fashion industry players like Carine Roitfeld and Ines de la Fressange, and It girls like Lou Doillion, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey, we’ve rounded up 12 modern-day French fashion muses to know.
Emmanuelle Alt. The Editor-in-Chief of French Vogue and a bonafide street style star, Alt is partial to cropped low-slung jeans, sharp blazers, button-downs, and pointy pumps.
Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey. The 27-year-old French actress made her English-language debut in the "The Pirates of the Caribbean" sequel, and is often spotted at high-profile fashion events (ahem, every event Chanel ever holds.)
Marion Cotillard. The Oscar-winning actress is known for her glamorous, high-fashion sense of style, appearing on red carpets in labels like Erdem, Nina Ricci and Jean Paul Gaultier, but she's most often spotted Dior Haute Couture, as she's the face of the brand.
Lou Doillon. This 30-year-old French actress, singer, and model could be considered fashion royalty: Her mom is style icon (and Hermés muse) Jane Birkin, her half-sister is Charlotte Gainsbourg, and she's been the face of Givenchy. Her style is a perfect mix of masculine and feminine, and she embodies that innate sense of French effortlessness. “I’ve always just sort of stumbled upon fashion,” Doillon told Vogue in 2012.
Carine Roitfeld. Formerly the editor in chief of French Vogue, and currently the force behind high-style magazine and website CR Fashion Book, Roitfeld, 58, is as revered for her personal style as she is for her work in the industry. Often spotted in sleek and daring all-black looks, Roitfeld embodies the very French ideology that women can only get sexier with age.
Caroline De Maigret. This stylish French model (and Chanel muse) has quite a lineage. The granddaughter of Prince Michel Poniatowski (former Minister of the Interior and Health in France) and the daughter of Count Bertrand de Maigret, Caroline was a runway presence for Chanel and Marc Jacobs in the late '90s, and has recently walked again for Alexander Wang and Chanel. De Maigret, 37, also acts and a runs a record label called Bonus Tracks.
Charlotte Gainsbourg. The daughter of English actress and Hermes muse Jane Birkin and French singer Serge Gainsbourg, this actress, singer, and former Balenciaga muse has become a fashion It girl in her own right. Like so many French women, she's a fan of the no-makeup and messy-hair look, and often wears laid-back staples.
Audrey Tautou. High on the list of modern-day French fashion icons, Tatuou is best known in America for her roles in "Amelie" and "Coco Avant Chanel" (she played Coco, obviously!) "The Da Vinci Code." Her style is a bit more classic French gamine than some of the other ladies on the list: Think a pixie cut, cropped trousers, nautical tops, ballet flats, and sleek suits. Tatou also was the face of Chanel No. 5 and appeared in a film for the scent.
Elisa Sednaoui. This model and actress isn't only beautiful, she's also a muse to Karl Lagerfeld, appearing in Chanel fashion films, ads for the label's eyewear, as well as acting as a Chanel ambassador. The well-connected 25-year-old can also count Christian Louboutin as her godfather.
Josephine de la Baume. This model, actress, and singer is best known for her Agent Provocateur campaign, though she's a regular fixture at high- profile fashion events. Married to Marc Ronson, the 28-year-old's style is glamorous, sexy, and always chic.
The Courtin-Clarins girls. Sisters Claire and Virginie, and their cousins, sisters Prisca and Jenna are heiresses to the skincare brand Clarins' fortune, and the jet-setting Parisian foursome repeatedly sit front-row at international fashion shows, attend glamorous galas and always look impossibly chic.
Ines de la Fressange. De la Fressange first rose to fame in the '80s as a model for Chanel Couture and as a muse to Karl Lagerfeld. From there, she designed, acted as a brand ambassador for Roger Vivier and L'Oreal, written a French guide to style, and was involved in the revival of Schiaparelli. Embodying Parisian chic to a T, De la Fressange, 55, always looks impossibly stylish and classic.