quite frankly, it is wrong just how right you always, always look.
Perhaps some women are simply born with it, this Riviera Chic
thing. Grace Kelly, for example, I bet she came out of the womb
knowing how to look as immaculate off duty as on. Ditto those very epitomes of contemporary Riviera Chic, Olivia Palermo and Elle
that Palermo girl; would that we could all look as glamorous as she does in a pair of flip-flops and shorts. Has anyone ever managed to take a bad picture of her, I wonder? Guaranteed, though, they will be the right shorts, for that is the basic rule of Riviera Chic: keep everything super-simple, neutral and of the utmost quality.
So then, how can the rest of us learn to give off the impression that we always have a 'handler' at the airport and never pack our own suitcases? What are the essentials? Well, it goes without saying that hair and nails must be of salon standard at all times. Particularly nails; think
about it – all that handing over of passports and tickets? But leave the 'wacky' colors to your daughters, please. Then, of course, you must wear buttery-soft driving shoes from Bottega Veneta or flat leather sandals from Rick Owens to show off your tanned, delicate feet. Combine these with a pair of spotless white jeans from, say, Current/Elliott or J Brand (a must to highlight that toned, taut body you've developed from being so very good at waterskiing) with a barely there silk tank that you own in 20 infinitesimally different shades of ecru.
Bag-wise, it's important to go classic. Hermès, Louis Vuitton and Fendi are safe bets. An Alaïa tote feels very at home here, too, as does a Sac De Jour tote from Saint
“The basic rule of Riviera CHIC: keep everything super-simple, NEUTRAL and of the utmost QUALITY”
Laurent in mushroom leather. Maybe a Cartier watch, a pair of 'everyday' diamond earrings, or a few super-cool Diane Kordas rings sprinkled about your fingers.
Final touches? If I could match a scent to this look, it would be either Calèche by Hermès or Neroli Portofino by Tom Ford. Nothing over the top, that's for sure. By the way, can you speak another language? Being able to segue seamlessly from French to English to Italian, while gently clutching that cashmere cardi around your shoulders is of enormous value.
I saw such a woman once at Mykonos airport, surrounded by her four beautiful children. Blonde without being at all brassy; tanned without being at all leathery; in some killer combination of faded denim, taupe cashmere, white broderie anglaise and, yes, with diamonds in her ears, somehow the height of subtlety despite being the size of small grapes. There was nothing 'show-off' about her demeanor, yet she had everything to show off about – that's the real trick to Riviera Chic.”
Feminine vintage styling for just the right side of demure.
Crisp white denim will offset a subtle, glowing tan.
Espadrilles are the perfect Riviera finishing touch.