I visited Paris when I was 16 years old. When I wasn’t out drinking cheap wine with semi-dangerous French strangers, most of my time was spent walking around, gazing with envy in the large windows above my head. I remember those walks vividly, along endless streets lined with glorious, ancient buildings, as my mind wandered inside these houses I was never going to visit.
I fantasized of large apartments with sky-high ceilings, every single one of them equipped with a dozen boudoirs and five fancy living rooms opening into each other Versailles style and, obviously, a bunch of bidets, which made me giggle (and still does). Of course, I had no notion of rent price back then.
I was fascinated with the inside of these magnificent buildings and by the people that lived there. Especially the women. Because if there’s one thing Paris does not have a shortage of, it’s women. An infinite supply of gorgeous, stylish, skinny, classy, modern women. This awkward teen was regularly intimidated by the hundreds of beauties I crossed in the streets every day, blending perfectly in their surroundings, walking much faster than me, smoking, carrying shopping bags, laughing on the terraces of cafés, getting into cars with their skirt in the wind, leaving nothing behind but a trail of perfume. The women of Paris were as timeless and perfect as the city itself and I can almost hear their heels resonate on the pavement when I look at pictures from that trip.
French photographer Baudouin, whose work has been seen in pages like Elle and Libération, has made my teenage voyeur dreams come true with his 75 Parisiennes project. He shot 75 Parisian women in their apartments, over the course of 6 years, with his signature 6×6 frames, exploring the subjects themselves but also their home. The models are young, old and in-between; students, wives, business women. Every single one of them beautiful and fascinating in a hard to define, alluring Parisian way. Beaudoin has found a way to immortalize women and their homes, both a revealing mirror of each other, as one entity.
There’s something about this intrusion in the subjects’ visually flawless environment that reminds me of old portraits, where everything was staged to look as perfect as a painting. However, here, staged doesn’t mean stiff in the least: we’re shown eccentric, urban, modern women in an array of gorgeous homes that would put any interior decor Tumblr blog to shame.
Following an exhibition that took place in Paris at the end of last year, the book is now available on Amazon. If you’re a fan of women, décor and Paris, this book is sure to make your day.