The French Riviera style is iconic. It has been cultivated over many decades but remains an elegant, timeless, yet casual look. It originated when affluent holidaymakers from around the world began visiting southern France and Italy. They required attractive yet pragmatic clothing for leisurely activities in high temperatures, and thus ‘Riviera chic’ was born.
Today, the Côte d’Azur’s sophisticated style is just as relevant and sought-after as ever. To uncover the heart of this look, we spoke to Louise Prieto from the blog Loving Life with Lou. An international model and actress turned blogger and entrepreneur, Louise shares some of her fashion secrets and top tips with us.
How would you describe Côte d’Azur style?
I have lived in the south of France for many years. Having spent a decade in the beautiful world of models and fashion shoot, I’m passionate about fashion. But there’s no style quite as recognisable as you find on the Riviera. In essence, I would describe it as casual chic. That is to say, a ‘laid-back, doesn’t wear a watch’ look. No one needs to keep track of the time here!
What are your top style tips for looking chic in the summer?
All seasons in the south of France are wonderful in their own way. However, I do enjoy dressing to impress in the summer. Before heading out, I always make sure I pack a beautiful sun hat and some Mimikita sunscreen. I never leave without sunscreen because it’s important to take care of your skin, especially if you’re not used to sun exposure. If I’m going to the beach, then my 209 Mare blazer and a great book are also essential.
What are your favourite trends at the moment?
Riviera chic is timeless, but I am particularly loving the 209 Mare style this summer. It represents all the best bits of 1970s French Riviera. In other words, laid-back beachwear that goes beyond the beach – thus being effortless. My go-to item of clothing for this look is their Terry Towel Beach Blazer. This looks great thrown over a swimsuit or bikini, whilst still keeping things casual. I love a look that says, ‘I’ll be spending all day lounging by the water’. But, is then transformed in the evening when you throw your blazer over a summer top for dinner in a fine restaurant. Read here for ideas about where to dine out in style.
What is essential to have in your Parc du Cap suitcase?
It’s tempting to party and live the good life with the incredible social scene here. However, I actually love nothing more than keeping fit and healthy. And the facilities at Parc du Cap are perfect for just that! So, I would make sure to pack my workout clothes for the fantastic gym area or yoga by the pool. The morning local runs by the sea are spectacular too. From my experience as a model, I have come to realise how important taking care of my body actually is. In addition, I’d also bring my swimsuit of course for the spa and indoor and outdoor pools. However, I couldn’t forget a pretty summer dress or two. It’s good to be prepared in case an invitation arises for the iconic Eden Roc Hotel!
Which local fashion boutiques do you swear by?
This is a tough one as there are so many to choose from. However, it would have to be French brands like Maje, Sandro and Claudie Pierlot. You can find all of these in Cannes, Cagnes-sur-Mer and Nice. They’re all in easy reach of Parc du Cap, in case you’ve forgotten to put something essential in your suitcase.
We’re all dreaming of an escape…where will you be off to as soon as you can travel?
I adore travel. Certainly, I’m dreaming of places I’ve been fortunate enough to visit as well as new destinations on the bucket list. Right now, I am dreaming of Formentera – the smallest of Spain’s Balearic Islands. I love the calm and laid-back approach to life. That said, I’m lucky to live on holiday in the South of France so I cannot complain!
About Louise Prieto
Louise is a former Miss France who has graced many glossy magazines and featured in an array of movies. Her love of fashion had taken her all over the world. However, after years of travelling Louise has set her heart on staying in the Côte d’Azur for good. She is a South of France lover and currently resides in Monte Carlo. She’s the happiest she’s ever been in her new-found lifestyle in the Riviera sun, close to Italy and the mountains. Follow her on Instagram.
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