FUSION INSPIRED BY | CÔTE D’AZUR

To this very day, the Côte D'Azur still represents the same jet set of the early 1960s. Along vibrant boulevards, ladies stroll around carrying straw bags as they head for the beach. Wealthy tourists find their way to the smaller boats that bring them to the large yachts at sea, to spend a lovely afternoon under the French sun. Think of evening parties or 'soirées' full of champagne, oysters, caviar - and plenty of designer eyewear. The South of France is the ultimate timeless setting for experiencing luxury, nonchalance and above all: exceptional enjoyment. A setting that SUITSUIT's design team has implemented in the FUSION collection, with its elegant collection of totes - wheatstraw and natural cotton bags, which breathe the charm of the Côte D'Azur.

We previously told you all about the style icons of that era, who loved to spend their time in the sunny south. And how women had - and still have - a major influence on fashion and pop culture. So, lean back and enjoy today's tour of the present and age-old subculture in a region that has shaped interiors, lifestyles and travelling.

BON VOYAGE

With no less than three hundred sunny days a year and a 350-kilometre-long coastline, the Côte D'Azur is a popular destination for thirteen million tourists every year. The south-west coast of Provence was named Côte D'Azur by writer and poet Stéphen Liégeard. By doing so, he wanted to make it known to English and Italian tourists that not only Italy, but also France had its own Riviera.

It is remarkable how the calmest fishing villages have grown into popular seaside resorts. How Brigitte Bardot, for example, turned Saint-Tropez into an attraction and nowadays millions of people find their way to the holiday destination, consisting of places such as Nice, Marseille and the (after Vatican City) smallest country in the world: Monaco. It is also home to several famous events such as the Cannes Film Festival, the Monaco Grand Prix and the Menton Winter Carnival. The latter is also called 'Fête du Citron', in reference to the 145 tonnes of citrus fruit used to build the most diverse sculptures during each festival.

Besides the 'see and be seen', it is also a great place for those with a smaller budget. For example, hotels in seaside resorts such as Nice, Anitibes and Frejus are great places to stay.

CÔTE CHIQUE

Madame Coco Chanel is one of the most famous people to have lived in the French Riviera. Her beautiful seaside villa 'La Pausa' is - to this day - located in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. Salvador Dalí was a frequent guest there and stayed in one of the nearby 'guest villas'. The interior was characterised by one of the three well-known Côte Chique styles: the French Riviera. The house was a palace full of beige and white tones, contrasted with soft pink tones and oak wood. The minimalist style focuses on beauty from the outside and lets the sunlight do the most work, highlighting the sense of space with light shining through large windows.

The neo-classical style is also widely known in the Côte d'Azur and is characterised by calm colours and sharp lines. There is still room for some chic, extravagant items such as expensive armchairs and dressers; as long as the flowing lines in the interior add to the elegant feeling. Think of a modern large table and a big chandelier on the ceiling, high walls with plasterwork - decorated with mirrors and ornaments - next to a tableau of sleek furniture and a beautiful grand piano (which may never be played...). Anything for decoration, as long as it serves a contrasting purpose.

Last but not least - and not entirely unexpected - the Mediterranean style is a common interior style, as the French Riviera borders the Italian coast. The Mediterranean style of interior design is characterised by raw stonework and subtle tile floors contrasting with a calm palette of neutral earth tones. It doesn't have to be perfectly aligned to experience its beauty, it is more about a stylish way of bringing natural warmth and structure into living rooms.

LA VIE EN ROSE

The very place where Mick Jagger said his vows in Saint-Tropez, where Picasso died in his beloved villa in Mougins, the spot Grace Kelly had as a setting for her so-called "show wedding" to Prince Reine III and where former James Bond actor Sean Connery put his million-dollar villa up for sale. Why do all the celebrities visit the Riviera to this very day? Simply ask Beyoncé and Jay-Z, the star couple that spends several times a year on the Riviera. The luxurious Côte D'Azur attracts hundreds of film stars, artists, fashion designers, millionaires, and celebrity chefs every year.

Its harbours are full of expensive yachts owned by the world-famous celebrities, and its streets are packed with the newest cars - it's no surprise that the paparazzis consider summers on the French coast as ''hunting season''. It's fascinating how royals, film stars, and artists have powered the culture of luxury since the 1960s with a desire for wealth and luxury. However, in addition to luxury, they were mainly looking for endless freedom. The coastal towns were the perfect place for stars to completely unwind. Dozens of stories can be found of escapades and wild parties on the French coast. With the mindset of 'je ne sais quoi' and 'laissez-faire', it's inevitable that the hotspot was a source of extraordinary adventures.

BON APPÉTIT

The Mediterranean coastline, especially known for its glitter and glamour, is as luxurious as it gets. A life of luxury should obviously have the finest cuisine - and spending a day on the promenade is an excellent way of exploring the delicious French cuisine. As well as the chic wineries and terraces right on the harbour, there are plenty of local restaurants to sample regional specialities. True classics are dishes such as the fish soup 'Bouillabaisse', from Marseille, or 'Salade Niçoise', named after the famous city of Nice.

The city of Menton is known for the tasty lemons it produces, Ventoux turns the 'muscat' grape into wine and Sault is the best place to eat nougat. And what about the dishes prepared with 'the black diamond'? This exquisite name describes the black truffle, which is a true delicacy because of its outspoken flavour. Last but not least, the well-known dessert "Tarte Tropezienne" is a must. The sugar brioche filled with orange blossom and cream is often eaten in Saint-Tropez topped with a soft dessert wine.