Ask a French Girl in London About August

Just because our Ask a French Girl, Laura, moved to London doesn’t mean I’m going to stop asking her the kinds of questions that literally anyone could answer but for some reason sound so much more supremely satisfying from her mouth — or her fingertips, really. So since it’s August and I’m trying not to stress over that calendrical fact, I turned my focus toward your friend and mine and asked her lots of things. Such as…

You’re in London! What’s the most tourist-y thing you’ve done so far?

I am very much in London! Indeed.

Funny enough, the most tourist-y thing I have done so far was see a Broadway show in Soho. I saw The Book of Mormon and loved it. I actually never saw a musical in NYC. It’s a little backwards to see it in London, which made me enjoy it even more.

Does it feel like summer there? Where do you go to feel summer?

Amelia, are you sure you want to talk about the weather?

I’ll be super honest: the weather has been very nice to me since I moved here. It hasn’t rained much nor has it felt super cold (and thank god, since my clothes are still in transit from NYC), but it doesn’t feel like summer in the same way it did in New York. In NYC, you see dresses everywhere, people complain about the heat, the AC, the I-dont-know-what-to-do-with-my-skin type of conversations…

Here, in London, it doesn’t feel like summer, it just is summer. It’s common to receive an email back like, “We’ll take care of your request in September when back from summer vacation,” or, “Can’t do this as I’m leaving on holiday tomorrow.” I love it.

The reason I’m asking is because we’re all starting to get a bit of end-of-summer anxiety over here. Are you feeling that? How do you deal with that?

I actually don’t. I’m fine with September arriving. Maybe it’s because it’s a good time to get organized again and back to some sort of routine. Maybe it’s because I just moved to a new city and am looking forward to settling down. And I’m excited for fashion month in September because it means I get to see my friends…

All I know is that while in NY, I was feeling the end-of-summer-anxiety as soon as I saw fall shipments in stores in JULY. New York is too cool in the summer!

What’s the best way to extend summer regardless of where you live?

Listen to good jazz, open the window, invite friends over and cook.

Organize “after work drinks.”

Continue to wear white tees and jeans, even if it is “back to school” time.

Keep organizing brunches with friends, go for walks in the park, keep getting pedicures…do I sound like a women’s magazine?

Outfits can help, right? What’s your ideal Endless Summer Outfit?

Cut-off jeans and a white t-shirt. Add a biker jacket because, you know, it’s London. (No, I didn’t say the weather was shit, I just said “add a bike jacket.”)

A midi floral skirt and mariniere sweater

A gray oversized sweater, vintage Levi’s and big earrings… (Mercedes Salazar or Bonbon from Rebecca are my go-to)

A slip dress (in silk or linen) paired with a long sleeve t-shirt underneath. That’s always a good trick for “what to wear to work.”

And adding prints or lurex or an unexpected color to any outfit always makes me happy.

What’s your summer beauty routine? Any products I should be copying from you?

My routine doesn’t change much from summer to winter, but my summer every day cream has a higher SPF.

I use the micellar water from Garnier when I first wake up. I love the water mist from Chanel, too, which refreshes and just kicks the cheeks a little. Then I apply a moisturizer — it’s never the same one. I do love Ecological Compound from Sisley, but sometimes I wear the traditional Nivea from the blue jar as well.

I’m currently using a “Belle Mine” stick from Chanel that I just bought and love. It’s super easy to apply.

On my body, I use Nivea cream and a Nuxe oil that I mix. It’s easy and efficient.

Oh, and I recently discovered something that I have become obsessed with. The name is funny but the result is mega serious: Say Hello to Sexy Legs — it’s a body illuminating fluid and it somehow changes the shape of my legs by playing with the light. Super cool.

Finally, part of my “back to Europe” routine, is the Garnier “Utra Dolce” “Oliva Mitica” shampoo. I love how the packaging and smell both remind me of my childhood.

What’s your ideal endless summer song or playlist or soundtrack?

Any song that I put in a playlist that I created called “Celebration des Citrons,” which I started after I decided that my birthday theme should be a citron celebration. Don’t ask me why.

What’s on there? A little bit of Chopin, a lot of Rihye, Ludovico Einaudi, Creole Jazz, Santana, Raphael, Christine and the Queens, Vanessa Paradis, Stevie Wonder, Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, Otis Redding…

What’s an easy-to-make drink that tastes like summer?

Vodka, loads of ice and lemon. Add ginger if you have time, but you said easy so that part depends on how far the nearest grocery shop is from you.

What will be your takeaway memory from this summer so far?

My goodbye to seven years in NY, my arrival to London, a trip to Italy, my sister’s birthday in our summer house, my FaceTime moments with the girls, and probably realizing that this summer has officially asked me to close the Peter Pan attitude that New York taught me to have.

Friendship needs to be cherished way more than anyone will ever mention it to you. This summer really taught me how my friends are really important…

Last question: Have you found the perfect swimsuit yet? You’ve been on the hunt all summer…

I have found two that I loved. One is from Matteau: a one-piece with perfect, thin lines; it looks like an architecture drawing. The second is by Eres and it’s a deep, happy, green color. A one-piece as well. It’s like the passion fruit you might find in a basket of grapes. It just makes everyone happy!

Photographed by Samir Benson. Follow him on instagram at @MisterBenson_.


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