Home Horror 3.0: How to Look French, Even If You Aren't


by Tiffany Lee Brown


So you want to seem French. You want the savoir faire of the glamourous Parisienne, the joie de vivre of a Provençal schoolgirl doing penance. Most of all, you ache for the suave, snooty spirit of the French Artiste, who gets laid no matter how pretentiously he opines. STIM's Home Haute Horreur shows you how: but first, you must acquire an appreciation for French decadence, the root of all great French looks.

Tiffany, you cute little bug.American decadence is all about bad drugs, sloppy clothes, and watery beer. Our Kerouacs and Carrolls attach romance to such pedestrian accessories as heroin and homelessness. Les Françaises, on the other hand, indulge in polygamy, prostitutes, perfume, fine wine, and furs. So trade in your crib for an opium den, your overgrown Friends shag for a sleek gamine 'do, your clunky laptop computer for a flea market fountain pen and a bottle of violet ink.

Attitude is the most important accessory for the would-be French decadent. Avoid potential pitfalls by adapting your tastes to your new rôle. Lose your Tarantino habit; insist that La Haine is far superior to Reservoir Dogs. Your favourite bad boy can no longer be WS Burroughs—adopt Jean Genet instead. While your common American pals swill microbrewed pale ale or martinis, you'll be sipping red wine or cognac. While they drop acid and play in the park, you'll take absinthe and paint in the dark. (Hint: do not chop off your ear and send it to your sweetheart. This has been done before.)

Feeling naughty? Climbing the scoreboard at the football stadium and flipping off the TV cameramen simply won't do. Choose a French form of mischief instead: decapitate an aristocrat, perhaps, or seduce your father. Going wacko? Don't join some cult or start taking out movie stars: folks like Charlie Manson and Patty Hearst make great role models for American kids, but not for artistes françaises. Take a cue from the Surrealists instead. Talk about how shooting into a crowded gallery would be the ultimate work of art (but Just Say Non to actually packing heat). Write heated poetry about your digestive system. Insist that everyone call you "Momo."

Once you've got the attitude, you're ready to achieve a panoply of classic French looks.


Choose your look from the gallery below and click for simple instructions! Some fashions do require assembly.

Polaroiding and modelling by Syd Jesus and ms. magtif


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