Fashion Lessons from Self-Service's In-house Super-girl, Claire Thomson

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Above, from left: In Parc Monceau wearing an Isabel Marant dress, 3.1 Philip Lim belt, Marc by Marc Jacobs shoes, and a Loeffler Randall bag; In the kitchen wearing an Isabel Marant shirt, Gap shorts, and Stephane Kélian boots. Enlarge Image
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Girl-about-town Claire Thomson has the French girl cool look down to a science—even if she is a British lass living in Paris. It's no wonder she developed that je ne sais quoi allure considering her time is split between being an assistant to editor-in-chief of the brazen Paris-based glossy Self Service and to the creative director of Petronio Associates, the art direction agency catering to Chanel, Chloé, and YSL. In and around her expressive little lair in the 8th arrondissement, the easy-going beauty shows us how she masters the modern version of laissez-faire style.
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Above: In a cafe near La Madeleine wearing a vintage Dior jacket, Urban Outfitters T-shirt, Marc by Marc Jacobs jeans, and Chloé shoes. Enlarge Image
Describe your style in three words or less:
Classic, bohemian.
What are your five key wardrobe pieces? 1. Isabel Marant skirts and shirts
2. American Apparel T-shirts
3. Black studded biker boots
4. Chanel Ultra ring
5. Chloé shoes
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Above: Claire wears an Isabel Marant blouse and Dior ring. Enlarge Image
Do you find anyone particularly inspiring from a style perspective? I love Carolyn Bessette Kennedy's wedding style (I'm getting married next year) and Jane Birkin's classic, '70s boho chic.
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Above: In the living room under a poster for the Sarah Morris film Los Angeles wearing an Isabel Marant dress and Ash boots. Enlarge Image
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Favorite thing about your job?
Working with inspiring, creative people.
Whose closet would you most like to raid, living or dead? Emmanuelle Alt and Kate Moss—They have effortless style.
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Above, from left: Outside a restaurant in her neighborhood wearing a vintage Dior jacket, Urban Outfitters T-shirt, Marc by Marc Jacobs jeans, Chanel bag, and Chloé shoes; On the street outside her house wearing a top from St. Tropez market, shorts by Alexander Wang for Gap, and Isabel Marant boots. Enlarge Image
What are your favorite places to hang out in Paris?
1. Hotel Costes—to meet friends for dinner.
2. La Société in Saint Germain for lunch.
3. L'Entrecote in the 8th. There's only one thing on the menu—salad then steak frites with their secret sauce. I was vegetarian for 15 years, this place converted me. I always recommend this place to friends from out of town. It's amazing!
4. Blaq Out in the Marais for DVDs—I recently bought The Passenger by Antonioni, Rosemary's Baby which I only recently watched for the first time, and All about Eve with Bette Davis. And I enjoy a good disaster movie…
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Above: A Ligne Roset bookcase displays some of Claire's favorite art and fashion books. Enlarge Image
What are your favorite stores in the world? I love Rellik in London for vintage. When I'm home visiting my parents I'll go to The Famous in Cheltenham, England (to raid for traditional school blazers, scarves, gray V-necks), otherwise I find interesting pieces at Opening Ceremony, NY—I just bought their Chloë Sevigny buckle boots. I'm always in the Isabel Marant boutique on Rue Saintonge.
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Above: Sitting in a retro chair from the local garage sale wearing a vintage T-shirt, Maje skirt, and Chloé shoes. Enlarge Image
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Do you have any particular dressing philosophies or strategies?
I love looking at vintage French Vogues from the '60s and '70s for inspiration.
Favorite song at this moment: "We are the People" by Empire of the Sun.
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Above: In the entry to her kitchen wearing a top from St. Tropez market, shorts by Alexander Wang for Gap, and Isabel Marant boots. Enlarge Image
Reading material you can't live without (fashion or otherwise)?
Self Service (of course), Style.com, Vogue Paris, Vanity Fair, Vogue US and the fashion/news blogs. I regularly check Bleach Black, Tavi, Sea of Shoes, Suzy Menkes, The Moment, Models.com, Fashionologie, Fashionista, Café Mode, Refinery29, Garance Doré, and Jak and Jil.
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Above: In Parc Monceau wearing an Isabel Marant dress, 3.1 Philip Lim belt, Marc by Marc Jacobs shoes, and a Loeffler Randall bag. Enlarge Image
How long have you been in your space?
I've been living in the 8th arrondissement for almost a year. Before that I was in the 16th. My area is very quiet and central and I like the Parc Monceau nearby. The building used to belong to the Rothschild family, and the old stables have been converted into a car park.
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Above: Some of Claire's jewelry litters a bookshelf. Enlarge Image
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What's your perfect Sunday? Playing golf with my fiancé at my club in Saint-Germain-en-Laye.
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Above: In the kitchen wearing an Isabel Marant shirt, Gap shorts, and Stephane Kélian boots. Enlarge Image
How do you put your home together?
I'm still working on my apartment. The style is inspired by things I like! The mirror chairs I picked up at my local vide-grenier (garage sale) and I like thrifting at the flea market in Clignancourt.  I also like furniture shopping at Merci in the Marais and Le Bon Marché.
What's your favorite room in your house?
My bedroom. I love my bed!
To see more of Kava Gorna's work, to go her website, www.kavagorna.com.
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