Wednesday, July 23, 2008

On the Street….Woman of Arles, France


Close comment

Detach comments


  1. Anonymous

    July 23, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    Amazing- you can have great style at any age! My grandmother could take a page out of her book!

  2. TheParisApartment

    July 23, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    What a pleasure to discover your fantastic blog via This is Glamorous.
    Your photos really capture moments in time.

  3. K.B.

    July 23, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    Not crazy about the hot pink turban with this outfit, but check out those shoes!

  4. Anonymous

    July 23, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    She’s perfect–I love it that you included her. I always look at aged people for inspiration. Thanks for showing us her lyrical dress/sweater/shoes/scarf combo. Lovely.

  5. Abby

    July 23, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    I wonder what she would have looked like if Vincent Van Gogh would have painted her…she looks like a woman that modeled for him all the time.

    She makes my heart warm and fuzzy. :)

  6. Plum

    July 23, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    I love the detail of the orange scarf at her waist, and the pink petticoat peeping out from under her skirt which matches the cardi. Lovely!

  7. Anonymous

    July 23, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    This woman reminds me of Langston’s poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers”. Really, she has this sadness etched into her face, yet her outfit is so light and spring-like…

  8. S Watson

    July 23, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    I’m glad someone else made a Van Gogh reference. This is a perfect example.

  9. Melissa

    July 23, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    inspirational, love this.

  10. t does wool

    July 23, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    beauty has no age boundaries…

  11. Anonymous

    July 23, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    she looks like she has so many stories to tell.

  12. gabriel

    July 23, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    Grandmas don’t have this kind of effortless style in the US, and should. Thanks!

  13. Anonymous

    July 23, 2008 at 11:09 pm

    true “personal style”. doubt she flipped through any glossy and said oooooh id like to try that look.

  14. Jenny

    July 23, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    she looks great..some sort of subtly going on. how was arles? is it worth going to? i’m thinking of going on my trip to france

  15. Anonymous

    July 23, 2008 at 11:37 pm

    I miss regular, non-fashion-industry people being on the Sartorialist–especially the oldies, who are always the most stylish and creative; in the beginning, it was entirely about regular people with a sense of style, no? It feels a lot more special to find style in the everyday. Every other fashion site extols Carine Roitfeld or whoever’s fashions, but this is one of the few sites that show people who aren’t peacocking for the press, like this marvelous lady here.

  16. KittyKatt

    July 24, 2008 at 12:00 am

    what a beauty..ahh..what a great outfit..i like the pale ground with small, well-placed touches of colour..& pink/orange/red..india comes to france..classic!

  17. jen16

    July 24, 2008 at 1:00 am

    Wow! I cannot believe this photograph! It is breath taking. I love everything about it- it has truly captured a moment in time. The lady is so inspiring, she is glamorous and delicate with her beautiful soft clothing, while her face seems to tell a story about her life. This photograph is magical… so is the pink turban/hat

  18. emily

    July 24, 2008 at 1:28 am

    i was in arles a couple of weeks ago. i wish i had seen her!

  19. Autumn

    July 24, 2008 at 1:40 am

    Adorable Beautiful old age

  20. Belle de Ville

    July 24, 2008 at 1:45 am

    Fabulous photo (as always) but she doesn’t look french to me. There are so many people of different backgrounds living in France that I think she is foreign born and not culturally French.
    She looks more like the stereotypical Portugese concierge. Or maybe from a gypsy background. The Arles are is very close to St. Marie de la Mere which is the gypsy capital of France. A lovely place by the way….you can ride horses through the Camargue where they round up the bulls used for bullfighting.

  21. Anonymous

    July 24, 2008 at 1:52 am

    This is why I visit the Sartorialist everyday.
    It’s not the trend victims or fashion people, it’s the ordinary people with a natural sense of themselves.
    Just great.

  22. zuccotto

    July 24, 2008 at 1:56 am

    I’d like to hear what she said after the camera clicked..

    Anyway, a photo that engages me,

  23. steelcloset

    July 24, 2008 at 2:01 am

    I think she really embodies a woman part of a very rich culture, as opposed to being separated from it.

  24. Anonymous

    July 24, 2008 at 2:53 am

    She has the most authentic and cultured style out of anyone you have photographed recently.

    Some people go for unconventional looks that fashion magazines might inspire, however her more conventional look seems more original, culturally rich, and beautiful.

    This woman, who may or may not even realize how much style she has, has a look with so much more substance than rich “modern” women with their noses in the air. Style with substance is style with authenticity. And no, not the sort of “wordly authenticity” one might purchase at Bergdorfs.

  25. PS

    July 24, 2008 at 4:53 am

    This lady has such grace and dresses in such a colourful combination with ease. I love the orange sash round her waist and the watch on a chain, I think the pink turban lifts her too.

    Sart, as a relatively new convert to your blog I am enjoying the varied and stylish people you show us every day, thank you for taking the time to find them.

  26. Petite C

    July 24, 2008 at 5:01 am

    She is beautiful !

  27. greendressinDUBLIN

    July 24, 2008 at 5:34 am

    i think of the musical genre “fado” and cesaria evora when i look at this woman. she just looks dignified.

  28. Jorge from W Palm Beach

    July 24, 2008 at 7:46 am

    Although her dress is all about practicality and comfort, she manages to add a couple of “pop” items like the metal pearls and the silver accents on her shoes. There was a woman in my old Cincinnati neighborhood who was always sewing fake pearls onto her dress, and she was the most fabulous vision in the zip code! I am all for people making their own clothes, or making things work for them. Love the picture. Jorge from W Palm Beach

  29. Nini

    July 24, 2008 at 7:56 am

    She is so beautiful… “Zina” like we said in my country. She remember me my grandmother in Algeria. This is why I love you Sartorialist!

  30. Anonymous

    July 24, 2008 at 8:04 am

    So much detail, she sure knows a thing or two about dressing.

  31. Miguel

    July 24, 2008 at 8:06 am


  32. The Domina

    July 24, 2008 at 9:20 am

    I love how she uses color to make a comfortable dress really look pulled together and appropriate!

  33. Anonymous

    July 24, 2008 at 9:51 am

    what style! love her and the shot is amazing.

  34. Anonymous

    July 24, 2008 at 10:24 am

    I agree with the postings thanking you for spotlighting ordinary people who have extraordinary style. This photo belongs in a museum with other works of art. Thank you.

  35. simplyolive

    July 24, 2008 at 10:36 am

    i love how this generation dresses. they are still concerned with accessories and looking “good”. (well, except for those –usually seen in the midwest– who have given in to the embroidered t-shirts/sweatshirts and stretch pants…)

  36. lintmag

    July 24, 2008 at 11:02 am

    I always think designers could get their greatest inspirations from older people. When Woolworth’s used to be open in San Francisco, I would sit at the counter with mostly senior people and marvel at so many great outfits that could’ve been on the runway that season with very minor tweaks.
    This lady looks very Dries or Marni to me – really pretty colors.

  37. Anonymous

    July 24, 2008 at 11:26 am

    so lovely… a look for any age. thanks

  38. Anonymous

    July 24, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    I appreciate that you included a photo of an older woman. I think she looks quite attractive. I think the pink head scarf really pulls together the outfit.

  39. Anonymous

    July 24, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    Yeah, that kinda rocks.

  40. Suzette

    July 24, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    She looks like a real rip-snorter, with a heart of marshmallow. And I’ll bet she makes a fabulous fruit torte.


  41. lis

    July 24, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    I love her. She reminds me of a fortune teller that used to work on the Santa Monica Pier, when it was still fun and dodgy.

  42. AnonymousJK

    July 24, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that dress! Perfect for afternoon tea, with her of course… I picture her smoking cigarettes and telling simply delicious stories! She’s my kinda gal for sure!

  43. cami falcĂŁo

    July 24, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    this is what i call style… it!

  44. Anonymous

    July 24, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    I bet she was a wild one in her day. I have a photo of three old women talking clipped from the NYer, I think its by Bresson. She looks like the woman they’re gossiping about.

  45. Maggie May

    July 24, 2008 at 9:39 pm


  46. Anonymous

    July 24, 2008 at 11:55 pm

    She looks quite Roma (Gypsy) to me….she shows that age is nothing to be feared and life to be enjoyed. Now THAT’s style!

  47. Observer

    July 25, 2008 at 6:00 am

    I wonder what this woman would think if she knows she is regarded as a fashion icon!

  48. ina

    July 25, 2008 at 9:24 am

    This is awesome!! The kind of photo that makes me like thesartorialist so much…

    This lady has obviously put an effort in all the details of her look, and the result is to me so surprising… A touch of daintiness to a mature look, light-colored but with weight, complex… and pensive too. Contradictions? Perhaps, but there have to be, in a look and style that have probably grown and evolved under complex “forces” and influences.

  49. Anonymous

    July 25, 2008 at 10:08 am

    im going to arles in two week!!!!! its my first time going to europe. maybe i will see you on the street in paris or london:D

  50. nicole

    July 25, 2008 at 10:55 am

    More of these types of photos please! I love seeing “real” people and how they bring flair to their personal style. It’s a refreshing change from the fashionista parade.

  51. In Style Gal

    July 25, 2008 at 11:10 am

    This old lady literally rocks! Do you think she knows just how cool she looks as she perches on that little stone wall?
    The natural gothic eyes, Prada style turban, floral frock and over-sized cardi – she is so on trend it hurts!
    I am going straight to my Nana Doris’s dusty closet when I next visit for a wardrobe update!

  52. just Me

    July 25, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    She’s great!!! I doubt whether anything she’s wearing cost very much and I doubt very much whether she gave any thought to being ‘stylish’ but she seems to have a natural instinct for colour and pattern and what suits her. The wisdom of age?

  53. Mathieu

    July 25, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    I love her look – Just goes to show that cool can be achieved at any age.
    Usually in North America when we think of “older people” style we think of Palm Beach – goes to show there are other ways of doing it!

  54. Maeva

    July 26, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    It is so good-looking, so cute.

  55. Chocopunk

    July 27, 2008 at 4:28 am

    I agree with Nicole and many others, it’s very refreshing to see everyday people with their own style. Very inspiring.

  56. Anonymous

    July 27, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    Yep, typical Aglerian grandma.

  57. Anonymous

    July 27, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    Is there a story behind this picture?
    I have a feeling this is not her normal-day dressing, like she considered the day to be special. Wonder what the occasion is..
    Your picture speaks and draws curiosity :)

  58. johno

    July 27, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    The women in the photo is almost certainly Algerian. I met a number of these wonderful women when I was there.
    And re the “turban” comment: it’s a head scarf—she’s a Muslim.

  59. nyc/caribbean ragazza

    July 28, 2008 at 3:10 am

    Very inspiring. I agree with the comment that said it reminded her of Marni.

  60. Sharanya Manivannan

    July 28, 2008 at 12:03 pm


  61. Jeffrey Byrnes

    July 28, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    I sincerely appreciate how you capture people. The way you make a photograph of them conciously aware they are being photographed. Where as there are the moments when they appear to just be in your composition as if they were unaware they have been photographed.


  62. SpejoryMama

    July 29, 2008 at 9:22 am

    Love her! I was just shaking my head at how all the women you feature are young, thin, etc. The men you you feature are wonderful…please do more to feature more women of different ages, “normal” women, and those who are just plain intriguing.

  63. Gus

    July 29, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    Beauty and Charm, definitely from “le maghreb”.

  64. Sad eyed lady of the lowlands

    July 30, 2008 at 10:43 am

    What a beautiful combination of colours.

  65. TurtlesFly

    July 30, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    Interesting Photo. You can see her character with just how she dresses. I’m not crazy about the shoes but it wouldn’t be as interesting if she had something else one her feet. I love the colors on her and on the surroundings. Nice.

  66. Anonymous

    July 31, 2008 at 11:22 am

    I want to echo the thanks for (finally) showing a woman who is NOT tall, thin, young, etc. You are so good at showing men of all ages and builds, but not so much with women. I find little I can aspire to emulate when so much of the look of women you capture depends on being young and/or thin.

  67. Anonymous

    August 1, 2008 at 2:51 am

    Yes Gus,

    it-s not at all a Arles Woman but a Muslim from Maghreb (mainly Algeria but perhaps Maroco)…
    Anyway she look great….but typical of Maghreb !

  68. Anonymous

    August 2, 2008 at 3:35 pm


  69. Anonymous

    August 3, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    she looks absolutely beautiful. she has a typical north african style, similar to my grandmother who also wears such dresses with a narrow belt.

  70. miss ghesquiere

    August 7, 2008 at 9:31 am

    oh this is so precious! she is like a soft strawberry pastry! beautiful!

  71. Anonymous

    August 22, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    shes like my gran in algeria and probably is of that origin. i can go to algeria and take a bunch of photos of my gran and older relatives and have you swoon how stylish she is. i doubt she takes care on how she puts together her look and im guessing her aim is primarily for comfort.

  72. Anonymous

    March 9, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Yes, to clarify she's an Algerian Berber – most likely of the Kabylie region – as evident by the belt she wears and the lack of facial tattoos. The headscarf has nothing to do with being Muslim, it is not worn as an Islamic headscard, and most Berbers are not religious, its part of the traditional wear of many older Algerians. The best thing about the photo, aside from the story and mystery she presents through her eyes, is looking up and down and seeing the change from a traditional scarf and dress to the flats and necklaces around her neck. Love it. Need to include more photos like this – most of your photos seem to be outside of fashions shows – and let's be realistic; most "real" people don't look or dress like those at a fashion show/in the fashion industry; they seem to have a lack of individuality seen in others.

  73. the best women dress shoes

    August 5, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    It’s truly a great and helpful piece of info. I’m glad that you shared this helpful info with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

Leave a comment

Related posts