If you look at any pictures of Vincent Cassel and Tina Kunakey, they are always draped all over each other with intense, smouldering eye contact. When I met them in Paris last month, their love was just as intense and magnetic as they slouched into their chairs, draped all over each other. This connection, combined with their Parisian sensibility and innate style, makes them the perfect pair to be a Kooples couple.
There have been hundreds of articles and books decoding French style, but still there remains an unfaltering fascination and mystery. So I had to ask them why they think French style is so captivating and what it means to them. “You said earlier French style is about wearing something that looks nice but looking like you didn’t do it on purpose,” Kunakey says. “Yes, it’s effortless. It has to look like that. It’s really all about discretion. The French never brag about wealth or like to talk about money. We complain about everything and are snobs. The mix of all that makes something where you never want to be caught in an act of narcissism. ‘We are above that,’ even though it’s not true. Does it look like I made an effort this morning? No. It’s more about posture and the attitude than the actual clothes I think,” explains Cassel.
“It also looks a little slobby all the time,” Cassel says. “You cross over the border to Italy, and everyone has the perfect jawline shaved and neat collar, and everything is perfect. Here, it looks like we don’t care, even though that’s not true. French people pretend like they don’t care in more or less everything.”
They both explain that they personally lean towards simple and classic Parisian pieces. “I love the Kooples’ cream knitted dress, as it’s simple, chic and minimalist, and the Tina bag,” says Kunakey. “I live in heels. I really love heels. I love simple outfits and then change my bags and shoes. I like to keep it simple and easy—black, white shirt, T-shirts. I can do colour-blocking too, though, and feel super good, but when I’m in a rush, I wear black all the time. I really need to like how I’m dressed to feel comfortable and have a good day. I like to be comfortable in what I am wearing and feel free to move properly. In fashion shooting, sometimes you wear things that you really don’t feel comfortable in.”
“I love all the knits,” adds Cassel. “I’m pretty classic and discreet in my way of dressing. Everything that has this basic look but with a twist in a discreet way, that’s what I wear. When I go to work, my bag is the size of a small box. I take the same small bag everywhere. But I’m always chic! It’s something you learn, and it becomes too complicated having too much stuff. I always need a black shirt, black jeans, leather jacket and low-profile sneakers. But saying that there can be so many different cuts and looks—it has to look basic, but the little twist is so subtle. So you can buy similar things, and they won’t look exactly the same.”
As part of their collaboration with The Kooples, Kunakey designed a line for Cassel, and so I had to ask if they give opinions on what each other wears.
“We both have strong personalities, so one won’t tell the other, but she asks me to choose things, and most of the time, if I say one thing, she says she likes the other better,” laughs Cassel. “Sometimes I get it right. For myself, sometimes she doesn’t even have to say anything, but she gives me a look, and I go, ‘What? and go change. She says it with a look.”
“The difference is when I like his outfit, I will always say it,” adds Kunakey. “Once I had short hair and had extensions in and a long ponytail and was looking at him to see something, and he didn’t even realise.” And to that, Cassel comes back with the smooth response you’d expect from a superstar actor: “The only thing I look at is the soul—the soul has no hair!”
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