Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Breasts and France

I know next to nothing about French fashion designer Isabel Marant. She is either married to or having an Affair with a handbag designer named Dreyfuss, and her name looks like it would look pretty on a label. That was all I knew, until Clementine and I spotted a plain white cotton crewneck t-shirt - the kind of shirt everyone has somewhere in the drawer, but more washed-out-looking than most - going for (wait for it) 90 euros, with Marant's pretty name affixed to the label. Ah, but it is a Marant!

And now this: "Big breasts and lips. No! I hate those girls." Fear not - speaking on behalf of "those girls," we're not going to be squeezing our busts into your $114.29 undershirts, no way, no how.


Moving along from my new favorite person, there's this, from a very neurotic article in the Daily Mail:

'Breasts are a challenge,' one young male London designer told me last season. 'They spoil the line of a dress, they make jackets difficult to fit, they make a girl look fat.' He spat that last bit. over the past few seasons, we have had the cult of the skinny French girl or, as Vogue calls it, 'the Balenciaga body'.

But what is it about the French and breasts? Why is the frump-skank dichotomy so much more pronounced here than back home? Is the subtle, insouciant (French for "effortless," English for "effortless in the French manner"), gamine charm of the French woman nothing more exciting than, she hasn't got giant tits being thrown in your face while you talk to her? Is it that they're an "ethnic" feature? The belle Juive and Africaine both have, at least in myth, more going on curve-wise than their unhyphenated counterparts. Why are the only women I can picture who fit this ideal not even French? Marion Cotillard, possibly the best-known young French actress today, isn't squeezing into any of those Marant t-shirts, either.

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