Tuesday, 9 August 2016

BCBG / Bon chic, bon genre

Bon chic, bon genre (English: Good style, good attitude) is an expression used in France to refer to a subculture of stylish members of the Paris 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"

Parallels are often seen between this subculture and similar upper-class social groups in the United States ("preppy") and the United Kingdom ("Sloane Rangers"). 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").

The style of BCBG tends towards the conservative and classic, to "de-emphasize 'sexiness' and 'flashy' signs of wealth", and is influenced by "Anglo-Saxon" styles.

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 Auteuil-Neuilly-Passy, from the 16th arrondissement to the Bois de Boulogne, as well as the 6th arrondissement closer to the centre of Paris, and the 7th and 8th arrondissements for shopping.

In France, if someone: Salutes kissing hands, resort to the "vous" when dealing with one's parents, wear Hermes scarves and use Hermes notebooks for taking notes, use a Montblanc fountain pen, have a French car, play bridge, love rallies, write letters and answer them in due time, say "at home" even if that person owns a castle or an apartment in Neuilly-Sur-Seine, read the social news published in Le Figaro, talk English with and Oxbridge accent, only wears clothes and accesories made of natural fabrics like silk, cotton or tweed, wear ties of the colours of that person's club, like gaming, play golf and tennis, disregard fashion in all its expressions, don't talk about one's social origins, prefer dressing in a conservative fashion, say "la tour", have a priest as a friend or a relative belonging to the Catholic church, being simple when entertaining friends, refering to him/herself in a simple manner, don't like showing his/her feelings, prefering good taste rather than confort, that person would be called "BCBG".

Béatrice Goulard de Montmirail “Les Visiteurs”

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