Bon chic bon genre

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Bon chic, bon genre (English: Good style, good sort) is an expression used in France to refer to a subculture of stylish members of Paris's upper class. They are typically well-educated, well-connected, and descended from "old money" families, preferably with some aristocratic ancestry. The style combines certain fashionable tastes with the appearance of social respectability. The expression is sometimes shortened to "BCBG"[1] (the fashion company BCBG Max Azria was named in reference to the subculture).

Parallels are often seen between this subculture and similar upper class social groups in the United States ("preppy") and the United Kingdom ("Sloane Rangers").[2] As with these groups, BCBG drew mainstream attention during the 1980s. Thierry Mantoux published a handbook for BCBG style (BCBG - Le Guide du bon chic bon genre) in the 1980s, a French equivalent to The Official Preppy Handbook and The Sloane Ranger Handbook, both published earlier in the decade.

The BCBG social group is not to be confused with the "bobo" Paris fashion subculture (short for "bohemian bourgeois").

Fashion[edit]

The style of BCBG tends towards the conservative and classic, to "deemphasize 'sexiness' and 'flashy' signs of wealth", and is influenced by "Anglo-Saxon" styles.[3] Some brands trendy with the BCBG group include Gucci, Max Mara, Le Bon Marché, and Chanel.[4]

The BCBG social group is associated with certain residential areas in Paris and Versailles. BCBG are often identified with the "NAP" area formed by the triangle between Neuilly-Autueil-Passy, from the 16th arrondissement to the Bois de Boulogne,[5] as well as the 6th arrondissement closer to the centre of Paris,[6] and the 7th and 8th arrondissements for shopping.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Adeleye, Gabriel G. (1999). World dictionary of foreign expressions: a resource for readers and writers. Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers. p. 50. ISBN 9780865164239. 
  2. ^ Hughes, Alexandra and Keith Reader (2002). Encyclopedia of Contemporary French Culture. Routledge. p. 54. ISBN 9780203003305. 
  3. ^ Raissiguier, Catherine (1994). Becoming Women, Becoming Workers: Identity Formation in a French Vocational School. SUNY. p. 186. ISBN 9781438416762. 
  4. ^ Fallon, Stephen (2010). Paris. Lonely Planet. p. 55. ISBN 9781742203980. 
  5. ^ Hughes, Alexandra and Keith Reader (2002). Encyclopedia of Contemporary French Culture. Routledge. p. 54. ISBN 9780203003305. 
  6. ^ Alexiou, Joseph (2011). Paris for Dummies. John Wiley & Sons. p. 261. ISBN 9781118038741. 
  7. ^ Fallon, Stephen (2010). Paris. Lonely Planet. p. 55. ISBN 9781742203980.