Every week a different FADER staff member will pick a clothing item or accessory that he or she has lately been spending a lot of time with—or would like to—and write a little love letter to it. We would’ve done a column on who we’re dating but that seemed a little bit much. This week Deidre talks about her Swatch Fafi O’Clock watch.
American girls love the city of Paris. We love shopping its broad boulevards, visitng its breathtaking museums, the aroma of crepes in the streets and the romantic Seine winding its way throughout. Which is why, the more we get to know her, the more we’re bound to love Fafi, a grafitti artist originally from Toulouse whose saucy little characters—modern day nymphs in the concrete wild—cover the streets of Paris and show off the fanciful side of French chic. She’s been popping up Stateside quite a bit recently: This month Fafi released a new graphic novel on Rizzoli and a shiny new Swatch. Both are amazing. The book, titled The Carmine Vault, is 96-hard bound pages of trippy intergalactic conquests, pouty lips and rosy cheeks and, as always, really cool clothes. The sassy Fafinette that adorns my new Swatch rocks a classic varsity jacket, curve-hugging jeans and blunt bangs—essentially the Gallic equivalent of the all-American Fly Girl.
This past February I revisited my beloved city. While riding the Metro, in between plotting my afternoon of museum visits and cafe stops and making sure my pockets weren’t being picked, I spotted a real life Fafinette. She wasn’t sporting an overly girly or remotely fancy outfit. Her look was simple: slim blue jeans, a faded camo-printed jacket, a baseball cap, a crisp pair of white sneakers, all topped off with shocking red lipstick. In the wake of her effortless Parisian swag, my outfit instantly was all wrong. I couldn’t have felt more un-cool and American. I ran back to my hotel room and changed, realizing that the French really do do it better, and I’d have to bring some tricks of the trade back in my suitcase with me. Rules like, keep it slim and slinky on bottom, casual and cool on top. Rock a red lip with courage! Be as crisp as possible. Cue this Fafi watch: every minute, it reminds me to stay cool, keep it simple, look fly.
Excerpts from The Carmine Vault.