Let's Be BCBG

By Connie Marshall

Photography by Gordon Shishodia

“Bon chic, bon genre”: a glorious, French expression used to designate the eternally glossy, upper echelons of the Parisian bourgeoisie. It also conveniently stands for “bon Connie, bon Gordon” - a delightful coincidence, which obviously authorizes me - and internationally celebrated photographer, Gordon - to judge this exciting style phenomenon.


Our BCBG journey began one sultry Sunday afternoon as the early September sun blazed through our windows and heated our already-sweltering apartment. We’d run out of ice, our fan was faltering (to say the least), and we’d munched our way through our last box of Haagen-Dazs cookies and cream. It was time to get out.

So, we arranged an impromptu rendezvous with expert Parisian style connoisseur, Manuela, and trotted down to our nearby park, Les Jardins Luxembourg, for some fresh air and open space. Apparently, all of Paris had struck upon the same idea…

Once we’d tiptoed our way through the maze of arms/ legs/ picnic blankets and found a spot to sit down, it occurred to me that our very own Manuela perfectly encapsulated what it is to be BCBG.

With her look as our trusty guide, we can tailor the style down to three golden rules:

1)     Keep it to beige/ black/ blue/ bright white
2)    Bring out the bling (and make it bold)
3)    Work the bag (in other words, a Louis Vuitton – well, quite frankly, why would a girl dream of purchasing anything else?)

Equipped with these three BCBG must-haves, anyone can flaunt it, whether that be down Cornmarket street, or in and around the twisting, turning streets of Le Marais- our next stop, whereupon we met up-and-coming fashion designer, Rosalind. Here, we flounced around with Gordon’s state-of-the-art camera and took daringly artistic pictures of fellow BCBG advocates. Most were more than happy to pose “casually” for our pictures. After all, any experienced BCBG will tell you that posing comes hand-in-hand with the job…

Thoroughly pleased with our day’s progress, we headed home via the Rue du Rivoli, whereupon we came across the ultimate BCBG accessory – how we had hitherto failed to remark upon it, totally escapes me.

Our fourth golden rule:

1)     The bike

A white Vespa is our preferred vehicle of choice. If you can get your hands on one, do. If you spy one on the street, pose next to it. If you see one speeding by, wink at the handsome driver and hope he gives you a quick spin…followed by lunch.

Failing all else, purchase a yellow “velo” and learn to hop on and off like a pro. (You could even ride it from time to time, looking both chic and purposeful on your way to a tutorial – oh yeah, those things…)

So, my dear fellow fashionistas, remember your four “Bs” and you’re well on your way to the sumptuous world of BCBG. And don’t forget the attitude to match, for one will never be “bon chic” unless one is also “bon genre”…

Until next time,

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