Monday, August 22, 2011
Brigitte On The Street
For years, long before I met Brigitte, I would see her in the brocante she ran with her husband, in the boulanger, having a drink on one of the many terraces in the town near ours and I would think -- "she is divine, she is so comfortable, so unfussy, so easy in her casual, personal style." I couldn't stop watching her, wondering what she would wear next.
I sought her out in the most contrived ways, just to see what creative way she had put herself together. One of my favorite winter ensembles was a long, full black skirt, boots, black turtleneck sweater worn out over the skirt and loosely belted at the hip with a wide brown belt. She never worries about repeat performances. It was clearly one of her favorite outfits -- and with good reason.
Years later, when we finally met, I asked her about her omni-present accessories. They are always the same: an arm-load of silver bracelets she has collected over the years and usually several silver chains with various trinkets and amulets, plus a collection of rings. Never earrings.
"I never wear earrings," she said. "I never have, I love them, but they are not me. I look ridiculous in them."
She lightly makes up her eyes with the merest hint of grayish liner and black mascara on her lush lashes, in the winter a minimalist's stroke of blush, and that's it. She never wears lip color or other artifice.
Another accessory, and, yes, we talk about this often, is her smile. Brigitte is never without a smile. She looks happy, she's bubbly in conversation, she's a joy.
A quick question -- no cheating, only first reactions without thinking about your first response: How old do you think she is?
Ed. Note: Please come by for The Big Reveal on Wednesday.