Why Don't You Channel ... A Gamine French Schoolgirl?

by KATHERINE NEIFELD · October 12, 2010

And why shouldn't Halloween go year-round? Introducing our new feature, Why Don't You Channel...?. Why not inject some sartorial schizophrenia into your look once a week?

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WHY DON'T YOU CHANNEL ... A GAMINE FRENCH SCHOOLGIRL?

Patron Saint: Chanel, obviously. But a more louche demi-grimy Coco than the luxe Kaiser Karl. You also really love Jane Birkin, but more for her bangs than for her namesake bag.

In Your Armoire: This look is all about the attitude. You're working slouchy Parisienne crossed with little girl insouciance. Alexander Wang is neither a schoolgirl nor French but totally spot-on with this particular mood, like he designed with you in mind. In fact, you'd wear look four straight off his fall runway (especially the knee socks) daily. Opaque wool tights from Fogal are a must, as well as captoe quilted ballet flats from French Sole. This box-pleated leather number by Alice and Olivia gets you into an unspeakable tizzy. You don't mind having the ubiquitous PS1 from Proenza Schouler because it was time a designer reinvented the bookbag with an edge. And again, it's as though Jack and Lazaro saw you in their mind's eye.

What to Sleep In: You find the notion of expensive lingerie un peu forced, or perhaps just of a different generation, for women of a certain age. You prefer supersoft to supersexy, so you sleep in a T-shirt from Kain -- that slips off your teeny-tiny shoulder just so -- and a pair of tap shorts from Phillip Lim's Initials diffusion line.

Beauty Regimen: Your hair is glossy and straight, thanks to Kerastase Oleo-Relax Serum, held back by a single bobby pin, bien sûr, and your skin is beyond flawless, thanks to the La Mer Gel Cream you stole from Maman.

Where to dine: Pastis. You charm the garçon into not only giving you glasses upon glasses of sparkling Rosé on the house, but also into not checking your ID.

You're also living for the murals in Bemelmans Bar in the Carlyle Hotel, where Ludwig Bemelman, the original illustrator of Madeline (your animated life story), painted the walls of the lounge.

What to drink: You were made to drink Citron Presse at the Hotel Costes in your native land, Paree, but you'll settle for haute lemonade Bella Lula from Dean and Deluca.

Favorite Flower: You are the flower, ma petit fleur. But you might have bought some spray roses on the street and stuck them nonchalantly in a Missoni for Pellegrino bottle on your dressing table.

Signature Scent: A little too cool for anything too packaged from a Bloomingdale's counter (quelle gauche!), you prefer a one-note dab of Le Labo Labdanum 18 or something super musky. And you wouldn't be a Gamine French Schoolgirl without controlling the scent of the ambiance as well, so you spritz Diptyque room spray throughout your quartiers.

Gadget of Choice: This Gold Leica.

What to Read + Write: You should be seen, in public, journaling in Japanese Composition Books. And you no doubt have this Lolita poster above your bed. But mainly you have a terrible literary crush on Rainier Maria Rilke since reading On Love And Other Difficulties, it's all very emotional, and you pencil love notes in the margins and cry big alligator tears over him.

Modern Incarnation: Clémence Poésy, Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, and Miroslava Duma (at left).

On A Budget: This striped tee from Ashish for Topshop distills the whole notion quite well.

The Cross Dress: La gamine doesn't lend herself so easily to gender crossover, but that isn't to say it's impossible, boys. This bookbag from Valextra should do the trick.

[Pictures (clockwise from above): Clémence Poésy via Vogue Italia; Jane Birkin via The Fashion High; Pastis; Miroslava Duma via Birkin Watcher.]