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Wednesday 11 July 2012

A Little of What You French Fancy for Bastille Day

There's that crazy statistic that London is France's sixth biggest city, coming in behind Nice in the number of French people living here. Well, that makes Bastille Day this Saturday a fairly big day in the UK too, and as far as I'm concerned an excellent excuse to tuck into some ripe cheese, red wine and possibly totter out for a game of boules if I'm feeling particularly active.

There's another reason why the British, somewhat jealously, celebrate the French: their supposed innate chicness. It seems something of a cliche, but once I started thinking about it, I was surprised exactly how many of my favourite independent boutiques and fashion brands are French. So, in honour of 14 July, here's a small selection of French fancies that are readily available, even to British types.

Siany introduced us to the goodness at Cachette earlier in the year. There's an awful lot of that site to covet but I'm especially found of this Learn to Draw Animals set. For £3.19, yes you get to draw animals but you also get to learn the names of said animals in French. Educational AND fun.

More French animals thanks to this APC Madras cotton skirt. From afar it looks like a normal pattern but peer at the detail and you'll realise that the pattern is actually bunnies and squirrels. Or according to google translate, lapins et les écureuils. Whatever way you want to say it, the skirt currently on sale at ASOS for £41. 

Bodie and Fou is a great site to browse for present inspiration. It's also run by two French sisters. As well as the cool homewares and prints, they stock the Côté Bastide cosmetics range, specialising in natural, old fashioned ingredients. The Orange blossom body cream, selling for £34, sounds treatily delicious. For that price, you also get pretty French writing on the packaging which everyone knows is worth at least an extra 20 beauty points.

If I was in the south of France, I'd want to be swanning around wearing this simple sweet sundress from Sessun, which has actually been named by them Tamarillo in Paris. It's currently in the Glass Boutique sale, reduced to £89 and I'd definitely snap it up if I knew I was destined to see the sun any time soon. I'm a fan of those huge buttons and the Liberty print fabric, which proves the prettiness that can result from a Brit/French entente cordiale.

Another example of Brits and the French working together in perfect harmony: the Anglo/French duo behind Famille Summerbelle. You'll probably remember their exquisite paper cuts. You can get a tote bag printed with the Paris city map for only £19.

It's been an age since I bought anything from Kookai. Perhaps I am missing a trick by ignoring one of France's biggest fashion exports. This leather weave bag is a classic design, currently reduced to £45. It's also available in a shocking pink - ooo la la la. Just what you need to celebrate Bastille Day in style.


  1. I had no idea Kookai did online over here. You've ruined my bank balance now... (well a bit more than it already was!)

  2. Ladies, I was also surprised about both these facts - it's a good site actually, quite a few pretty bits in the sale.

  3. I'd completely forgotten Kookai existed! I'll add it to my online highstreet.


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