The new ask is for “French ditsy florals”…….. but what are they ?
For us this harps back to the 1980s and the French style of Bon chic, bon genre , French for “Good style, good class”, which was shortened to BCBG. This look, as the Sloane Ranger in the UK and “Preppy”in the USA, was a back lash at the rather crass champagne Charlie image of the young new monied stock brokers and their partying crew and a rather snooty rebuttal.
In France, the idea was to appear conservative and classic, to “de-emphasize ‘sexiness’ and the ‘flashy’ signs of wealth”. It was heavily influenced by the British country set. Barbour Jackets, tweeds, pearls, scarves, liberty prints and M&S wool round necked jumpers and cardigans worn or tied around the shoulders. Big hair and shoulder pads were for the vulgar loud mouths while this lot preferred to look more demure with sharp bob cuts and Alice bands for the ladies and floppy fringes for the gents. Thierry Mantoux even wrote a book as to how to look and behave correctly as a BCBG member published in 1985. The look was still going strong in the early 1990’s amongst the well heeled French set.
Below is an illustration from ”arte” a monthly magazine alongside the Franco-German TV network arte. In every issue until august 2015 one phenomenon of french special behaviour or tradition was explained for german readers. The main colours of these illustrations were blue, white and read, like the French tricolour flag.
Today you can now find a plethora of sites selling vintage Cacharel blouses from this era. Cacharel was an immensely feminine brand at this time, with misty advertisements for Lou Lou and Anais Anais perfumes to match their classical floral blouses. As the trend grew the fashion house sourced their prints from Liberty of London, a stalwart look of British respectability.
Etsy.com Cacharel Vintage
Paradise of Print, a French company, specialize in Cacharel vintage garments which they sell exclusively through etsy.com.