Vive York: Campus goes Parisian

explores the growing french fashion subculture at York

When people think York, they think history, they think Whip-Ma- Whop-Ma Gate; I highly doubt they think Française.

What I see emerging, (albeit in subtle forms) in my limited time at York so far is a sizeable contingent of innovative, dynamic but most of all highly fashionable French fancies.

All of this points towards the emergence of a French fashion subculture on campus, one I am positively ecstatic to report on.

In preparing for this piece, I drew upon the talents and delights of three wondrous but crucially very French individuals.

The first of these, a man named Idris, has come to be known as ‘the frustrated aristocrat’ in fashion circles, due to his occasion- ally disgruntled complexion mixing well with his Tom Baker/Georgio Armani style. This devilish cocktail of mood and nobility made

him the perfect choice for this piece, his style as distinctive as it is effortless.

Second, came the wonder that is Sorhna. Sorhna, like Idris, is a Parisian, and oh isn’t it just so. Her fashion comes from what is in many ways a bygone era. Reminiscent at times of Marilyn Monroe while at other times resembling Shakira, Sorhna has the kind of style that only comes about maybe once or twice in a generation. Needless to say, she is a delight to work with.

Finally, we come to Swaélie. Born in Paris, and of Russian blood, Swaélie is more subtle in her style but still very authentically French. Light colours and simple textures make up her wardrobe, one that while understated provides perfect balance with Sorhna’s radicalism and superbly compliments Swaélie’s thoughtful nature.

In speaking to the French contingent, I came to learn much of what it can be like to be French and fashionably minded in a nation such as Britain. Sorhna gave the fascinating insight that when she dresses she’s “not just wearing clothes”, she’s “wearing an education and a culture”. This speaks to the patriotism held by many French students entering into British university life. Nonetheless, its not all snails and snogs when these models speak of their time in York. For example, Idris com- mented: “I often felt overdressed for classes or just to get some grocery shopping done.” Amusingly, Swaélie launched a minor dig against Brit style when she added “I started seeing that the British people preferred com- fort to style” (Nouse Fashion editors exempt obviously).

Part of the beauty of university life is that these subcultures can grow up and emerge in places one could never have forseen. I love the colour, energy and spirit of this group and I think York should begin to recognise that a French Renaissance hath unfolded.

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