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The endless summer of the French Riviera

A timeless style of luxury and effortless chic that combines Francis Scott Fitzgerald, Brigitte Bardot and Jacquemus

The endless summer of the French Riviera A timeless style of luxury and effortless chic that combines Francis Scott Fitzgerald, Brigitte Bardot and Jacquemus

The French Riviera as we know it was born in 1882 when Queen Victoria chose Menton, a pretty little seaside town, as her buen retreat, opening the door to royalty and English high society. Then came Coco Chanel and her beach pyjama sets to make tanning fashionable and, almost simultaneously, a crew of expatriate artists turned a group of fishermen's cottages into the summer playground of the international jet set, a place to "forget or rejoice, hide your face or have an adventure". Picasso painted it. Cole Porter sang it. Francis Scott Fitzgerald celebrated it like no other. And since then, at least in the collective imagination, it has remained crystallized in time, like an eternal and nostalgic Instagram feed in which summer never ends, the sea is blue, the sun shines every day, the palm trees sway slowly, leaving their shadows on the white walls of the houses, the women and men are always beautiful and chic, at the exclusive parties rivers of champagne flow and at the port there is a host of yachts ready to set sail.

The history of the Côte d'Azur reads like a Who's Who of the last century. Cary Grant and Grace Kelly speed by on a sapphire-blue 1954 Sunbeam Alpine; Romy Schneider and Alain Delon, beautiful and in love, relax by the pool; Jeanne Moreau, in a white Cardin suit, eats ice cream while strolling on the beach in Nice with Claude Mann. Brigitte Bardot scandalizes the well-meaning in her micro bikini; Liz Taylor and Richard Burton argue in their suite at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc; Mick and Bianca Jagger get married while a crowd of paparazzi wait for them outside St Tropez town hall; Jane Birkin walks the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival in a transparent mini dress and basket bag, hand in hand with Serge Gainsbourg. Pierce Brosnan plays Baccarat in the casino; Julia Stiles explores the south of France trying to discover her husband's secrets; Lily Collins tries to forget her love troubles by spending a weekend in Villefranche-sur-Mer.

The atmosphere in Monte Carlo, Nice, St Tropez, Hyères and other Côte d'Azur towns is one of hedonism and understated luxury, a mix we call French Riviera style aesthetically. Take the classic Parisian effortlessness and add a little colour, an overtly luxury twist and a ringard detail such as an animal print, a high jewellery earring or another bling bling touch. The codes of this style have remained unchanged for decades, the same essentials on which brands like Rouje and especially Jacquemus have built their entire iconography: Breton stripes; crochet; cropped pants; shirts knotted above the navel; kaftans; white trousers; sensual midi dresses with slits and necklines, cut-outs and asymmetrical draping; minimal bikinis; scarves that become tops or headbands; straw buckets; rope wedges, mules or elegant flat sandals and oversized sunglasses.

Nowadays, all that remains of the dazzling, decadent Côte d'Azur spectacle of queens, eccentric artists, movie stars, playboys and bored billionaires, intrigue, romance, over-the-top parties and scandals is a faded postcard. Instagram and the nostalgia effect have frozen it into a timeless loop where summer is beautiful, glamorous and endless. The French Riviera style has been reduced to a perennial moodboard that Simone Porte Jacquemus, it-girls and influencers such as Jeanne Damas, Tina KunakeyAngèleLouise FollainLeia Sfez or Loulou De Saison try to bring back to life and shine. One outfit after another.

MAX&CO Maxi scarf with artwork print

MAX&CO Maxi scarf with artwork print

79€
CLUSE Fluette Leather Coral Lizard, Gold Colour

CLUSE Fluette Leather Coral Lizard, Gold Colour

89,95€
VALENTINA FERRAGNI BRAND Caro

VALENTINA FERRAGNI BRAND Caro

210€
MAJE Straight ripped bottom jeans

MAJE Straight ripped bottom jeans

175€
CASTANER Carina wedge sandals

CASTANER Carina wedge sandals

110€
ROTATE Bebe straight trousers in crochet cotton

ROTATE Bebe straight trousers in crochet cotton

270€
JACQUEMUS La robe Saudade

JACQUEMUS La robe Saudade

540€
PATOU Woven bucket bag

PATOU Woven bucket bag

395€
NENSI DOJAKA Ruched bikini top

NENSI DOJAKA Ruched bikini top

230€