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Dream a Chic Little Dream: Isabel Marant

December 2010

By Stephanie Wells, Paris

Left photo by Barbra Austin

As an intern in Paris, even my daily two Euro espresso makes my wallet cringe. Needless to say, the closest I can get to owning the chicest prêt-à-porter is to loiter in branché boutiques and longingly finger the garments I can only dream of adding to my wardrobe. At the top of my (long) list is independent designer Isabel Marant.

Women and girls wait for nail-biting months until her seasonal sales, which are invitation only. I have one French friend who times her flight to Paris from San Francisco to coincide with the sale of the season. Why all the brouhaha?

Isabel Marant’s collections capture the insouciant, tousled persona of a ‘60s rock star who needs to dress for the office. Her impeccably tailored trousers are paired with Ziggy Stardust-esque gold mesh blouses or a floaty silk creation that whispers of mom’s 1970’s getups, with the icing on the cake being a cropped two-toned leather jacket that can go from lunch at the in-laws to a late-night jam session. Although, with prices ranging from 600 to 2000 Euros, you had better count on a #1 single in the music charts to afford the designer’s duds.

How does Marant pull it off? The designer recognizes that women want to look elegant, but not overly polished, and want to indulge in a little rock-star rebelliousness no matter what their age.

Santa baby, if you’re listening, a quilted gold brocade jacket with silk lining, pretty please? Or a draped metallic miniskirt? Honestly, I’ll take anything from the fall-winter 2010-2011 collection over that pony I asked for last year.


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