11 January 2015

a little more grace, a lot less kardashian please

For me, one of the great pleasures of the summer break is reading.  While during the school year I read a tremendous amount – it’s not always material that I want to read.  During the summer months however I am free to read whatever my frivolous little heart desires.

A recent read is Paris Street Style by Isabelle Thomas and Frédérique Veysset.  Along with a string of gorgeous photos of even more gorgeous women dressed in even more gorgeous outfits (so jealous!), came a particularly thought-provoking interview with Christophe Lemaire, artistic director of Hermès women’s ready-to-wear department and founder of the Christophe Lemaire brand name.

According to Lemaire, “The notion of sexiness has become sad, impoverished, and synonymous with “cheap.” …  It’s like having breast implants and showing them to the world.  “Sexy” today is the aesthetic of expensive prostitutes.”

For some reason Lemaire’s words struck a chord with me.  Has “sexy” been totally redefined?  Are the Kim Kardashians of the world really considered sexy?  And if so, does this mean the word itself has become tarnished?  That we have come to equate sexiness with way too much cleavage on display and skirts so tight that the outline of one’s thong is clearly visable?  Or, does there still exist a sexy linked to elegance and grace?  Is this more subtle sexy still around, but just less recognized, less publicized – mostly because this sexy isn’t standing around with their butt hanging out having been rolled in more oil than a Glick’s ponchke (jam doughnut), waiting for the cameras to go ‘click’? 

Today Little Fashionista and I cuddled up for a bit of a Marilyn Monroe love-in, and for the first time she witnessed the indisputable screen presence of Miss Monroe.  Even at the tender age of six, LF was struck by Monroe, Becall and Grable – by their grace and elegance.  By the way they exuded sex appeal, despite being relatively covered up by today’s standards.  Clothing accentuated a feminine silhouette, highlighting small waists and shapely hips without revealing too much.  Bosoms were not hidden, but they weren’t out on a platter.   

Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable and Lauren Becall in How To Marry a Millionaire

At the end of his interview, Lemaire comments:

“I prefer things to be hinted at - by a lovely nape, delicate features, perfect skin, magnificent hair, or a certain way of moving.  So corsets and skintight clothes are not necessarily pleasing to me.  I believe you can be sensual as well as modest.  Modesty is in itself desirable.”

I’m with you Mr Lemaire.  A little more grace and a lot less Kardashian seems to be exactly what our world needs.


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