Happy Bastille Day!

Fashion blogger Cee Fardoe of Coco & Vera celebrates Bastille Day with a picnic on the quais de la Seine wearing an Ivy & Oak dressA Bastille Day picnic in Paris, hosted by fashion blogger Cee Fardoe of Coco & VeraStyle blogger Cee Fardoe of Coco & Vera sits on the banks of the Seine river in Paris wearing an Ivy & Oak white dressParis' left bank reflected in a glass of rose wine held by fashion blogger Cee Fardoe of Coco & VeraFashion blogger Cee Fardoe of Coco & Vera celebrates Bastille Day in Paris drinking rose on the Seine wearing a Krasnova Modiste hatFashion blogger Cee Fardoe of Coco & Vera celebrates Bastille day in Paris wearing a Krasnova Modiste hat and Ivy & Oak dressA Bastille Day picnic hosted by fashion blogger Cee Fardoe of Coco & Vera, featuring jewelry from Keltie Leanne DesignsA Bastille Day picnic in Paris with fashion blogger Cee Fardoe of Coco & Vera, who wears a Krasnova Modiste hat and Ivy & Oak dressIvy & Oak dress (similar)
Steve Madden sandals
Hat via Krasnova Modiste
Celine sunglasses
Camelia Roma handbag (similar)

Keltie Leanne Designs ring (c/o)
Leah Alexandra ring
Leah Alexandra earrings

We were supposed to celebrate Bastille Day in Paris this year. My calendar sent me a reminder about it late last week. It seems that when I changed our return flights, I neglected to update my schedule accordingly. We originally planned to stay in Paris until the end of July, but a sense of creeping dread at the prospect of applying for visas made me change my mind. Instead, we came home in May, on the last of the ninety days we could spend in France without a visa. And so, we had to celebrate Bastille Day a bit early this year.

To be honest, I am not very comfortable with national holidays. If you follow me on instagram, you may have read my thoughts about the Canada 150 celebrations that took place a few weeks ago. The idea that we should celebrate the piece of land we inhabit, most often by chance rather than by choice, seems somewhat absurd to me. The concept of celebrating national identity, an identity which is invariably established by the exclusion of individuals who do not meet certain criteria by virtue of their skin colour, native language or religion, goes against everything I believe in. But, I admit it – I love a good party.

And so, despite my misgivings about the demonstrations of military strength, the flag waving and chest beating that comes with national holidays, we had a Bastille Day picnic on the banks of the Seine before we left Paris. For a few hours, we pretended to forget the racist, classist, sexist vitriol that was the hallmark of the French election only a month before. (Mostly because it was windy, and we were too busy trying to keep our picnic blanket in place to think of much else. Photoshoots are often far from glamorous in reality.) We ate fresh cherries and baguette with salted butter. We drank rose. And we toasted all the wonderful memories Paris has given us over the years.

Like Canada Day, Bastille Day is not a celebration for everyone. France’s lengthy history of colonialism left deep wounds that have not yet healed. I freely acknowledge that my appearance, and my ability to speak French fluently, make life in Paris easy for me in a way it isn’t easy for many others. People often say love is blind, but I don’t believe that. We can recognise flaws and still love someone, or something, despite them. France still has a long way to go to become the country I know it can be. So does Canada. And so do all nations, really. But just for today, I’m celebrating the good things. Happy Bastille Day!

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  1. National celebrations make me pretty uncomfortable as well (don’t even get me started on Canada 150) but while they’re not really for me, I think if done with sensitivity and at least a thoughtful acknowledgment of the “uglier” side of them (so to speak) then I can appreciate them a bit. So I think it’s great that you were able to reflect a bit on Bastille Day and its meanings, and then celebrate the positives of it (and, as of course I would have expected, you did it in the most stylish way possible – even if it was an early celebration).

    Courtney ~ Sartorial Sidelines

  2. Oh this shoot is lovely, and yay, my favourite jam too!! <3 Plus, as always, loved reading your beautifully articulated thoughts, and couldn't agree more! While we have a long way to go as a country, we can still love something despite it's flaws, and take time to celebrate the good!! Happy weekend to you & Ian loves!! xo


  3. Such a perfect little picnic, lovely dress, and happy celebration. As you are right, we celebrate to celebrate. Many holidays have changed from what they started as or what they really meant because we like to have excuses or picnics and presents and traditions.
    Chic on the Cheap

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