Celebrating France's New President with a Nod to an Old One

Celebrating France's New President with a Nod to an Old One

The election of Emmanuel Macron, whose charm has been the subject of much media attention, got me thinking about my introduction to the concept of French presidential charm: Jacques Chirac. I am not alone here. Le Figaro has dubbed him a style icon. A New York Times Magazine piece referred to his custom of kissing women's hands as a portal to understanding the art of French seduction. There's even a Tumblr dedicated to documenting his "suave" ways. His political legacy may be questionable, but his charm is not. Here are 10 moments of Jacques Chirac je ne sais quoi.

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Is this the let them eat cake of the 20th century? Being interviewed as Prime Minister of France in 1987.

Photo: Getty Images/Francois Lochon

Photo: Getty Images/Francois Lochon

 

Strutting on land...

via FYJC

via FYJC

 

...Swagger at sea. On the French Riviera as Prime Minister of France in 1987. The draped sweater adds so much.

via FYJC

via FYJC

 

Leading by example jumping a metro turnstile as Mayor of Paris, 1980.

 
via FYJC

via FYJC

 

 

Aboard the Concorde, wearing the Jacques Chirac equivalent of sweats- and a notable pair of slippers. 

Photo: Getty Images/GAROFALO Jack

Photo: Getty Images/GAROFALO Jack

 

Lighting the cigarette of a certain Simone Veil, none other than the French Minister of Health, at a cabinet meeting in 1974. 

Photo: Getty/Keystone France

Photo: Getty/Keystone France

 

French goverment official by day, cast member in The Godfather trilogy by night. According to Le Figaro, the way he held his cigarette between his thumb and his forefinger (or in this case middle finger) was a trademark. 

 
via FYJC

via FYJC

 

 

A career in politics should never hinder one's interest in the arts.

Photo: Corbis/Getty via FYJC

Photo: Corbis/Getty via FYJC

 

...nor in sports. Also, this look is so good.

via FYJC

via FYJC

 

And finally, demonstrating an appetite for fashion forwardness...and pulling it off.

via FYJC

via FYJC

Vive La France! 🇫🇷✌🏽

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