Julia Restoin Roitfeld En Blanc
By Sarra Salib
It is undeniable that Julia Restoin Roitfeld likes to dress in white as much as she does in black and leopard print. I began thinking of writing about Julia’s love for dressing in white a while ago, and ironically enough, Vogue Spain recently styled an editorial featuring Julia appropriately titled "La Dama de Blanco." A month later, Madame Figaro released their April issue with Julia on the cover clad in a white ensemble. I have officially decided to take the emerging pattern a bit further to showcase some of Julia’s noteworthy white outfits, perhaps that will spark inspiration for this summer!
It would be more befitting to start with her daytime looks in white, which are styled in the signature French simple yet feminine light. When summer gets too hot, it’s all the more appropriate to show your tanned skin in form-fitting and cool silhouettes. Julia does just that with Alexander Wang’s white jersey dress, which she styled slightly differently but still with Yves Saint Laurent pumps and a gold cuff on the two separate occasions. What’s admirable about Julia Restoin Roitfeld is that she stays true to her style. Nothing is ever overdone for the sake of being “fashion” or following trends and looking like a complete replica of the runway. It is the essence of Julia's style that still hasn’t faded away.
Next is one of my favorite looks, a lacy mesh dress with the beloved Miu Miu sky high peep toe platforms. Another thing to admire about Julia is that she is not afraid to repeat an outfit or wear the same shoes more than once or twice. She is practical and wise to understand that these are investment pieces that are meant to be worn several times. We will see these accessories as common elements in the next outfits. The oddball in this outfit is the oversized purse — such a heavy looking thing is out of character for Julia, but perhaps she had a little extra to carry.
If you want a look that is more flowy, but still simple and light, there’s the Topshop one shoulder A-line dress paired with Balenciaga sandals. This is extremely chic and comfortable for a summer day out in the city with friends and family. I like how Julia added the green fringe purse for a pop of color against the white.
If you are not partial to dresses, there’s the silk shirt and short skirt ensemble. Here Julia Restoin Roitfeld wore an Equipment sheer silk blouse — her father’s line — with the sleeves rolled up as always, paired with a classy skirt and Miu Miu strappy shoes. Only Julia can dress up a sheer blouse and manage to look elegant at the same time. Once again, the key is to keep it simple! If you are going to wear a sheer blouse, make that the statement piece and simplify the shape and everything else so as to stay effortless and breezy.
Not only does Julia have an array of daytime looks in white, there's also a plethora of evening wear to admire. First is this beautiful dress that emphasizes the waist, accessorized with a beige clutch, Givenchy shoes, and — my favorite accessory of all time — the Pamela Love gold talon cuff. This could even double as an appropriate formal outfit for a work function.
Next is the classic little white dress with the leather jacket. We’ve seen Julia Restoin Roitfeld do this look before, but now it is more edgy, sophisticated, and grown-up. The shiny leather biker jacket with zipper detailing is a definite statement piece that adds edginess and breaks up the femininity and fragility of the dress. This look is a perfect combination of austerity, masculinity, and delicacy. Notice how Julia has taken it to a higher ground by doing a prominent cat eye. It is the perfect touch to tie the whole outfit together.
We all know that Julia is famous for borrowing from the wardrobe of her maman, Carine Roitfeld. She did not hesitate to borrow this statement Dolce & Gabbana number in white with flawless cut-out detailing for her appearance at the launch of the Savelli Smart Phone in Paris. She paired it with Miu Miu’s pointed pumps, which I believe she had repaired after they broke because she loved these particular shoes so much.
Last is a strapless dress gathered at the waist with the slightest hint of volume at the bottom, worn with Tom Ford shoes. This look is different from the others because we rarely see Julia go strapless or with her hair up, but she looked fabuleux.
This leads us to long evening wear, where we must begin with the angelic curve-hugging dress that Julia Restoin Roitfeld wore to Natalia Vodianova’s White Fairy Tale Love Ball. Notice how the look was kept to the absolute minimal with only a ring and a silver clutch at hand. Julia knew that the dress itself was the perfect statement piece for the theme; therefore, there was no need for superfluous accessories that might have dominated the look. Well done, Julia, and what a figure!
And who can forget when Julia stunned us all with her post-Romy figure in a crop top with a matching long pencil skirt for a dinner celebration of Romy and the Bunnies? Julia wore the same look recently, but paired it with a long black cape. Crop tops are tricky enough, much less adding the element of a cape to the mix. It’s amazing how she managed to convert this look for an outside party to an ultra-glamorous night party by adding and taking away a few things. The main thing we ought to pay attention to is the confidence that Julia exudes. A woman cannot simply wear a crop top and be insecure in her skin. You must be confident and know that you look as fabulous as ever.
Setting the bar for the sheer and lace trends, Julia wore a sheer dress with tiny flower details finished with minimalist makeup and her bespoke "Julia" clutch in Lucite by Edie Parker for the premiere of the film Mademoiselle C in New York City.
Finally, Julia Restoin Roitfeld donned a white satin pleated and embroidered dress at the Tribeca Film Festival and accessorized with some dangerously sexy studded heels and a leather clutch.
Voila! There you have a number of daytime and evening looks in white as inspired by the most beautiful Julia. I could add many more to the list, but consider this the more modern and updated lookbook of Julia Restoin Roitfeld wearing white. It is always interesting to look back and analyze how Julia's style evolved from pre- to post-Romy; however it evolves, her style will always be timeless, classy, and epitomize the French effortless chic glamor. Happy summer!
[Editor's note: Notice that Julia Restoin Roitfeld is also wearing a white dress in the IWTBAR masthead illustration by Isabelle Oziol de Pignol.]
Julia Restoin Roitfeld photographs courtesy of models.com and Fashion Spot.