Real Women Wear Plaid with Anne Bourgeois-Vignon
Words by Harriet Quick
In the first in our series 'Real Women Wear Plaid' we speak with Global Digital director of iconic collective Magnum Photos, Anne Bourgeois-Vignon
What’s are your memories of plaid?
Being eight years old and forced into wearing a pair of plaid culottes. Looking at the photographs now, they were damn cool. My mother wore plaid too – it was part of the uniform in Paris. Now, I love it - plaid is both classical and subversive with the scale of the pattern and colours forever changing. It’s also democratic, worn by everyone from US construction workers to royal princesses.
What’s in your wardrobe?
I have a voluminous dress from Shrimps and excellent plaid PJs from Pendleton, an old school American brand based in Oregon.
How does your role at Magnum impact on your style?
I work in a visual environment and the way I dress reflects that. I have a kind of uniform. Usually, it is a long skirt or dress with a scarf or sweater on top. Easy. My eclectic background - growing up in an international environment, working in diverse areas from documentary to art, publishing and style - is reflected in what I wear.
What are your style milestones?
My first pair of DM’s. I was living in Paris and had to convince a friend of mine to go to Shelly’s in London to buy them. My first pair of 501s as a teenager, my first mini skirt and at Cambridge University, it would be my first ball gown. As an undergraduate, I would cobble things together – a glittery boob tube with a big skirt and the combination is not so different to the voluminous dresses and tops I wear now.
Lets talk about the Anglo/French confluence?
The London scene has definitely influenced my way of dress. I have become more relaxed as my background is quite traditionally French. I feel free to choose – if I want to feel French, I might wear my grandmother’s Hermes scarf. The career I’ve enjoyed in the UK is varied. In France, the career path is much more fixed and predetermined.
What do you wear when you are bored?
A big red cashmere sweater from a thrift store in NYC. It’s important to feel bored as it gives your brain some space.
Women who influence you…?
I have always admired Jane Birkin as she has that cross channel vibe and expresses both androgyny and sensuality. But I’m a visual person and find my personal style is influenced by shapes, colours and textures, photography, magazines, and scrolling through Instagram. Over time I’ve become more comfortable with my own personal style – and finding it, I think, is more important than ever. You should wear what you feel great in.
The hardest style challenge.
The interstitial moment of moving from day work mode and straight to an evening event. You have to change a little in personality, in energy, as well as the clothes.
Images by Bernhard Deckert