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French alternative fashion focus: meet Océane

Sep. 5, 2017
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Meet Océane, a Parisian art student and fashion lover. I discovered her through her Instagram page, where she consistently posts snapshots of her outfits, accessories, and inspirations. Océane dresses in a manner that might actually qualify her as a private art gallery. Her style is an amalgamation of the Rococo art movement (think Marie Antoinette) and Japanese kawaii culture, with hints of other vintage influences. I had the great pleasure of meeting and  photographing her during my short stay in Paris this summer, where I found her personality to be just as lovely and bright as her outfits. 

We met at the Square René Viviani, just across the Seine river from the Cathedral of Notre Dame—and she was remarkably easy to spot in a crowd. 

First and foremost, can you please give us a rundown on your incredible outfit? Where did you purchase things, and what is handmade by you? 

A: Most of my clothes are secondhand. I bought this gorgeous gold pants for one euro in a thrift shop; I was so amazed! The blue dressing gown and the top were also thrifted, as well as the hat. I bought the satin gloves on eBay, and the knee socks on Bodyline. I generally don’t like to spend much for my clothes—I think creativity is the key to make a great outfit! Also, most of my accessories are handmade: I made the framed purse and the framed brooch (I actually sell them on my Etsy Shop, BelleLuretteShop) and the Cherub earrings.

Your cherub earrings make such an amazing statement. What did you make them out of?

Thank you! They’re actually Christmas tree ornaments that I turned into earrings.

This outfit features so many different shades of blue. Blue is also frequently in other outfits you've posted to Instagram and of course is also one of your go-to lipstick colors! What does the color blue symbolize to you?

I don’t know why, but I fell in love with royal blue since I bought this lipstick almost a year ago. Now I try to wear it as often as possible. I love how it contrasts with pastel colors—it’s so vibrant. Also because it reminds me of Louis XIV’s coronation robe, I think!


In addition to blue, what are some of your other favorite colors to wear?

Pink, of course! It always gives kind of a boudoir look to an outfit, and I really like that. I love that it’s such a sweet and calming color. I also really like red, which is on the contrary very powerful. In fact, lately I’m really trying to mix pastel and bright colors to give a kind of technicolor vibe to my outfits.

Do you have any style icons?

I get inspiration from so many people, mainly from Instagram. I would say my style is a mix of Marie Antoinette and The Young Girls of Rochefort—very Rococo-esque, but with hints of bright colors. Movies are huge inspirations to me, particularly old musicals and Jacques Demy films. I also tend to focus more on the characters’ outfits while watching them. I have so many favorites, but to name a few I’d say Andie from Pretty in Pink or Judy Garland’s wardrobe in Meet Me in St Louis. However, recently I’m obsessed with Queen Elizabeth I outfits. (We share the same birthday; I think that’s a sign!) 


Your love of art is so inspiring, and I adore how you accessorize with framed art. What is something interesting that you've learned as an art student at Duperré?

Thank you! I just always try to wear what I love as much as possible. When I find an item I like, I will turn it into a brooch or something else wearable. That way I can carry everything I love with me when I go out. It’s the same process with art. Wearing it makes it even more alive than when it’s on the walls. That’s what I try to experiment with the most at my school. For instance, I embroidered sponges and made a collar out of it!

However, in July, I was refused entrance to Le Petit Palais (a famous Parisian museum) because of my outfit. My disappointment made my goal to become a living museum even stronger. It’s a kind of ironic answer to it, and I like to play with that. I’m just like, “Alright, I’m going to be my own museum, then!

What do you feel is your strongest style inspiration?

I always try to mix so many different things, I couldn’t choose only one. I’m mostly inspired by historical references such as Rococo and Baroque, but also by the Victorian era, the roaring twenties, the fifties and sixties, and so many others. I’m a big vintage lover! Of course art is a also a strong inspiration. Classical art, impressionism, surrealism… I try to absorb everything I discover to stay inspired.

However, I’m also influenced a lot by Kawaii culture and Japanese fashion in general. I’ve worn sweet lolita for several years in the past, and I still really love the frilly aspect of it. Even though I got bored with this fashion, I like to incorporate lolita items in my outfits sometimes.


Do you tend to wear different colors depending on the season?

Not really. I actually tend to wear each of my clothes every season of the year, just adding long sleeves under a pastel summer dress during winter, for instance. It is so much easier, and it enables me to play with fashion even more. I don’t associate a color with a season; I wear one if I feel like it. Also, I like to bring colors to the Parisian streets during cold days!

What are a few of your favorite places to visit in Paris? 

I think my favorite place is Le Marais. There are so many thrift shops, art galleries, and great museums there. Also, it's not far from the Louvre and Les Tuileries, which is a really beautiful place. Also, I’d say I love the Passage Jouffroy, just behind Grévin museum. It’s really cute, and the shops are very vintage! There’s even some that sell dollhouse furniture—it’s like a daydream everytime I visit.


If you could plan a dream trip to the United States, what would you want to see?

There’s so many places I’d like to go! It’s probably very cliché, but I think I would make a road trip on route 66. I would make a stop at Disneyland in California for sure. And, finally, I would search for loads of vintage and thrift stores to go shopping!