You may not know this but Sophie (our Social Media Manager) and I (Andrea, Copywriter) come respectively from Bordeaux and Rome. We both moved to London by ourselves and although we’re in different stages of our lives, we have similar experiences when it comes to fashion in the British Capital.
We thought of sharing this little chat we had, where we go on and on about how London allowed us to be more ourselves. Our experience definitely says a lot about the city, and very little about the rest of the UK, but we found it interesting to discover the differences between our countries. So, we thought you might enjoy it too.
Sophie: ‘The biggest difference between Bordeaux and London is that here, you see a lot of different people. Different hair colours, makeup, fashion. In Bordeaux is more casual and simpler, not a lot of people dare to wear coloured hair for example’
Andrea: ‘It’s the same for me. I remember being in school as a teenager, in Rome, and it was literally two of us having bleached hair out of more than 2000 students. When I moved here, I definitely became less noticeable, and my bleached hair was just the norm’
S: ‘I bet. Here, people even wear different colours on their hair!’
A: ‘Because here no one really cares what others do’
S: ‘That’s what I was thinking as well. In France people will notice if you wear something different — you can see it on people’s faces’
A: ‘Absolutely. In Rome, I got pointed at because the ends of my hair were green! Living here definitely made me feel like I could do whatever I wanted, including not doing anything. If I don’t want to wear makeup, I don’t and no one cares, because there’s a way stranger thing happening just next to me anyway’
S: ‘It’s the same for me. Living in London changed me in only one month. I feel more comfortable wearing what I want. Getting ready in the morning is not about what other people think, it’s more about myself. I wear more dresses, instead of opting for trousers or jeans as I did back home because I didn’t want people to stare’
A: ‘It’s funny how you got the exact opposite effect than me, feeling like you can finally dress up as much as you want, and I just stopped wearing makeup all the time’
S: ‘Well, it means that you can indeed do whatever you want here. What I miss, though, is how makeup counters are respected and well-presented back home. We have actual rules that they teach you in school on how to treat cosmetics and you see it when you walk in any shop, no matter how small. Everything has to be in a certain way. Here, they don’t treasure it the same way’
A: ‘That’s so foreign to me. In Rome, people will touch all the products, from the testers to the packaged ones, and not really care about the damage they do or ruining a product’
S: ‘I guess it’s a French thing, you know. We do have big names, like L’Óreal or Sisley, maybe that’s why. But I really miss it, it feels really fancy when you enter any makeup shop’
A: ‘You know, in a certain way, I do miss the importance we give to presenting ourselves. I mean, I don’t miss feeling like I have to wear makeup even to do some grocery shopping, which is a bit excessive in my opinion, but I do miss the ‘dressing up’ even when you go to see your family. It gives you a weekly excuse to dress nicely and feel a bit fancier than usual’
S: ‘Another thing that I noticed is nails. Here people don’t really notice if you have your nails done or not. I used to do them all the time because back in Bordeaux is very important to have nice hands’
A: ‘Wow, I haven’t worn nail polish in so long. Well, I’m glad you noticed that if I decide to start again!’