Style Lola Rykiel on Motherhood, French-Girl Style, and Her Line PomPom Paris
Why everyone should keep a French on hand — and how I found mine
All coffee drinkers should keep a French press in their kitchen. Here’s why.As a true coffee lover, one of my favorite things to do is unwind at a coffee shop — some of my favorites include Blue Bottle and Black Brick in New York City, Menagerie in Philadelphia and Kona Purveyors in Honolulu. Of course, my semi-weekly visits all came to a halt with the onset of Covid-19. To fill the void, I’ve been making my own coffee at home. Sometimes I opt to use my Nespresso coffee maker — a go-to when I’m in the mood for a hot latte or am otherwise feeling indulgent.
“French women do not dress for the category of being a mother (more conservatively), but more according to our bodies and our personal style,” says Lola Rykiel, the French designer and founder of sportswear line PomPom Paris. Rykiel is, of course, the daughter of the queen of knitwear,but she’s also a —she gave birth to her daughter at the end of 2020. Throughout the conversation, Rykiel, who is considered the epitome of French-girl style, helps demystify the alluring and esoteric label, and she redefines the term with in mind.
Rykiel refers to PomPom Paris, which she launched in 2019, as a collection of “dramatic sportswear for everyday life.” With a history in dancing (Rykiel attended the Martha Graham School in New York), she was inspired by what dancers wear behind the scenes at rehearsal or backstage. With that in mind, Rykiel dreamed up effortlessthat works just as well at a dance class as it would a night out dancing. The PomPom woman is “elegant and sensual” in loose clothes, she says.
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According to Rykiel, the recipe for achieving peak French style in the many stages of motherhood is simple in theory: “Maternitywear is not widely used, at least for women who want to be fashionable,” she says. “I think that French women always want to stay stylish, chic, and true to their identity. French women want to keep their style while being fully pregnant, not hide for nine months wearing clothing made for maternity. Although it is not always easy to do, especially with the changes happening with your body, they try.”
Staying true to personal style amid a changing body depends on comfort level, but Rykiel points to simple,that she has personally turned to throughout her pregnancy and postpartum for inspiration. “After giving birth, I have been drawn to wearing , which I never really wore before being pregnant, unless [I was] going out. I had to avoid my favorite 501 jeans because of my C-section, so I quickly discovered dresses as my new ally.” She also found joy in light, colorful silk dresses throughout her pregnancy last summer, as well as a large off-the-shoulder dress paired with a bright, minimalist . “I gravitated even more toward shapes that showed the shoulder or décolleté,” she says. “I tried to put the accent on my face because my skin was glowing and on my hair because it was healthier than ever.”
Gigi Hadid is city chic in grey while taking baby Khai to the aquarium
The cover girl, 25, bundled up in a long ash-hued wool coat worn with soft pants, a black blouse and fancy Birkenstock sandals. She pushed her little girl along in a Bugaboo stroller, which cost well over $1k.The new mom, 25, started the day by fetching coffee with supermodel Helena Christensen, 52, before going on an adventure to the New York Aquarium with partner Zayn Malik in the afternoon.
She’s also swapped outfor flats and a tight edit of sandals that still have some pizzazz, like her favorite embellished Miu Miu and -inspired Chloé pairs. “I haven’t worn heels for such a long time, but it is due to COVID too, not only motherhood. Although I carry my baby a lot, and I would never do it with heels because I would be too afraid to fall!”
While the French are largely about polished investment pieces, there’s still room for some flare. Many of Rykiel’s designs for PomPom Paris incorporate sequins and other shiny embellishments. “I wear even more sequins than I used to because my daughter loves them, especially when they reflect the sun. She touches the reflections and is mesmerized by the effect.”
Rykiel’s own designs were impacted by her learnings throughout her pregnancy: “I realized how difficult it was to find comfortable and chic clothes that would let you breathe. I am also hyper-conscious of the material I use because while pregnant, my skin was extremely sensitive and I couldn’t bear not having natural fabrics on my skin.” This pushed Rykiel to make jersey cotton T-shirts for her line, one of which, her Monica long-sleeve tee, comes in a very supportive stretch fabric that “gives the chest a beautiful frame.”
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While the French may seem effortless while staying true to their personal style, a key takeaway about French style secrets from Rykiel is “the talent to pretend that French beauty and style is effortless. But trust me, it isn’t!”
Lily Collins looks stylish as she films Emily in Paris' second season .
The actress, 32, shot scenes alongside Call My Agent star Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu and French actress Camille Razat at a cafe in the French capital on Monday. The actress, 32, transformed into her effortlessly chic character to shoot scenes alongside Call My Agent star Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu and French actress Camille Razat at a cafe. Lily looked glamorous as she slipped into a green jacket that she wore over a polo shirt that had a pink, blue, and green striped design.