Vicky Tiel’s Paris Journal: Anything Goes!

All photos Vicky Tiel


The streets of Paris are crowded with young people out at last. There may be new pandemic rules but leave it to the French to make fashion fun for the summer of 2021 and to take our minds off the global tragedy.

Summer is in full swing, and FULL FASHION is bigger than ever. Women are either wearing FULL or NAKED. Full dresses with waists were the 50’s, but women have never worn full-full dresses unless pregnant as women have always wanted to be sexy for men. Still, today the male designers ( starting with Issey Miyake in the seventies) wish to desexualize women and make them into FASHION DOLLS, their fashion fantasies.

I remember the sixties as I was part of the mini, bare bra look, but we wore the bras at night! Mine was see-thru black lace and diamonds, and I wore it with a black wool mini skirt. Today, that outfit is worn during the day with the drop skirt stops below the waist to include a bare belly button. This bare look is worn in LA or the Hamptons, but it is the hot trend in the city of Paris. Naked is back, and so is the naked back dress.

To go along with Naked Fashion is the extreme opposite, Full Fashion, puff skirts, puffier sleeves, and a puff purse. Also, turning your body into ART by mixing 3 prints on your ensembles or just wearing arty coats of mixed prints as done by my artist friend Mireille Berthereau. Her “piece unique” coats are selling out. Mireille now uses my studio next door, where my fashion shows were held in the eighties and nineties on the Rue Visconti to sell her coats. Amy Zerner, my Bergdorf artist buddy, also makes art into coats in New York.

The seventies hippy look is back, especially at the beach where I just holidayed on the Riviera. The classic beach look is topped off by kimonos and Mireille’s arty coats.

While young women can’t get enough of shocking the streets of Paris, older women are having their fun wearing vestiges of days past pulled together to form a heritage ensemble of youth and age combined. They are fun to spot, and they love being photographed on Paris bridges, certainly remembering those romantic days past.

Men in Black rule. While women are colorful, the hottest trend in menswear is to wear all black, as tight as possible, and have a perfectly worked-out tanned body to match. This all-black look allows women in their colorful fashion to stand out and for men to be the backdrop. 2021 may be the pandemic, but 2021 is the year woman proclaim their artistic power, and the cool, powerful men accept it and wear all black.

Black for the Ladies too! Black is Power, and this half-black half jean jacket is my pick for the one item I must have this year. The full white dress would also be my choice for the complete look as I love the cinched waist on this skirt.

The black leather motorcycle jacket was my look in the sixties and seventies when I had my bikes…I belonged to the Beverly Glen Motorcycle Club in LA with my future husband Ron Berkeley and Paul Newman, and I wore this look…it’s how I got him to leave LA and move to Paris. It took a bike and a black leather jacket over a curvy body and a Paris T-shirt with gold glitter.

Anything Goes!

Vicky Tiel

Vicky Tiel is an American born French couturier designing since 1964, when she went to Paris with her partner, Mia Fonssagrives. They created a storm with their miniskirts, hot pants and jumpsuits. Vicky did the costumes for 15 films and in 1975 she sold couture to Henri Bendel’s and 45 leading shops In 2011 she joined HSN TV, wrote her first book “Its All About the Dress” and has written a second book “The Absolute Woman It’s All About Feminine Power” which she recently launched on HSN.

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