Laura Albouy : A stylish French in Los Angeles
It’s 10 am this Tuesday morning when I hear the gate beeping ! At 10.000 kilometers from my usual Parisian rendez-vous, I took advantage of the summer break to settle down in a magnificent house nested in the hills a few kilometers from Los Angeles.
Coincidence or not! A few days before leaving I came across Laura Albouy‘s interview in a magazine. I was immediately delighted by the proposed looks on her blog Initials LA. Here she is walking in with her son Jules. Starbucks in the hand, I thought that America has engrossed her… I’ll soon realize that no! We head over to the poolside for a chitchat.
Laura, How did you move to Los Angles ?
You won’t believe me but I hated Los Angeles when I first got here ! My blog was a bit of a satire. I wanted above all to promote the French style which is a combination between good basics and strong pieces.
When we talk about the French Style, I think of the striped jersey “Marinière”, trench coat, the jeans with a white tee-shirt and a black leather jacket “Perfecto”. Something very minimalist !
How do Americans perceive the famous French Style ?
That is what is very funny ! Here they sell you French Style like for example a short lace dress with some pumps.
But who dresses like that in Paris ???
We are most likely in flats, and we don’t really wear that short… Or even if we do, it is with moccasins, sneakers, or small boots… We are never necessarily sexy when we are French ! We are always in a contrast what is the same for the make-up. We are more for « Less is more » ! The double layer of foundation like the Americans have is just too much for us !
What do you suggest in your looks ?
When I first arrived here, I was like all Parisians, very Maje, Sandro etc… But that quickly went by. Now I try to buy more « slow fashion ». These are people who make small collections. Why not buy Made in Paris if you’re living in the capital ?
The fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world. I love Zara, but when I look at reports and see how everything is made… It is not bad to try buying local clothes like we do with food.
« And as we get older, we do less mass-consumption. we want to buy less but better. »
What are the French brands that you would recommend for us ?
Take a look at Fabric Hunted and Collected. It is an ex-Chanel employee who was in charge of fabric selection. Une passionnée de textile.
Passionate about textiles, she quit her job and decided to create a new brand that doesn’t focus on design but rather on the textile. She travels to villages in India and Nepal looking for weavers. And then from these fabrics she makes clothes.
I have a lot of followers who sent me a message after seeing my Instagram posts to tell me they’re coming to LA soon. Would you share with them some of your favorite places ?
Of course ! I live in a neighborhood in Los Angeles called Silver Lake. If you like the Marais in Paris then this is the place to go. There is a hipster community. You have to go to the Sunset Junction. Choose the Stella Cafe (3932 Sunset Blvd) for lunch or dinner or the Sawyer Restaurant (3705W Sunset Blvd). If you’re going to the Venice Beach side, you can not miss The Butcher’s daughter who serves excellent veggie cuisine (1205 Abbot Kinney Blvd)
For Shopping : Reformation, it’s amazing ! They recycle clothes from different brands to avoid wastages. (there’s a shop on Melrose Avenue).
Do not miss the vintage market on Melrose and Fairfax Avenue. Preferably on Sundays. You can have lunch there, you’ll find plenty of food trucks. You can also find some beautiful decoration objects!
What are the Instagram accounts that you follow ?
I almost only follow French ! First, there is Jeanne Damas founder of the brand Rouje, then Annie bing. It’s very expensive but it is beautiful ! Who else ? Garance Doré of course ! Who also moved to Los Angeles. I love Deedee Paris, I just love the boldness. And finally, Camille Over the Rainbow and Trop Rouge, the Instagram account of a French girl living in New York !
Photographies : Mélanie Laval