5 Things to Thank France For On Bastille Day


There's a certain je ne sais quoi about French culture. Be it the revered film scene, the intricate architecture or those romantic accents, America's always been enamored with France. Sure, the mustaches are just begging to be made fun of, but you likely don't realize how much we've adopted from our friends across the Atlantic.

In honor of Bastille Day, let's salute our favorite French fancies.

1. Phoenix and Daft Punk

What would your summer radio sound like without some French stylings? Paris natives Daft Punk churned out perhaps the catchiest song of the year with "Get Lucky," while Versailles band Phoenix's new album Bankrupt propelled through the charts.

Both acts incorporate adventurous elements of electronic music, and though they hail from France, both frequent big American festivals. Phoenix's refined sound and Daft Punk's funk call for big thank yous to the French. We owe them something in return.

2. French kissing

Well duh. One of the most romantic gestures in the world began in 20th-century France, where sexuality was more open and passionate kissing was encouraged between partners. Although it's since trickled into American love lives, we have to give props to the originators.

Perhaps the French kiss helps propel that idea of French romanticism, which is still prevalent today. Sunday's your best excuse to find a willing partner to celebrate.

3. Chanel and Louis Vuitton

You probably owe your swanky threads and four-figure jackets to France, which stands as the fashion capital of the world. The French have given us everything from Lacoste to Lanvin, and both Chanel and Louis Vuitton keep Hollywood looking pristine.

Chanel, founded in 1909 and headquartered in Paris, was partially popularized in America by Marilyn Monroe. Louis Vuitton's been named the world's most valuable luxury brand for the past six years, and Kanye West's not shy about his affinity for the clothing line.

4. Statue of Liberty

One of America's most iconic landmarks and the de facto welcome mat of the country, the Statue of Liberty was designed by sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi in 1866 and given to the U.S. as a gift. Bartholdi worked on the design while France was amid political turmoil, and finished the torch-bearing arm of the statue before the rest of the body.

The statue was used in World War I propaganda when America joined the side of French forces. Now, you probably forgot where it came from.

5. Crepes

The trendy thin pancakes that are stuffed with cheese, chocolate, fruit and anything else imaginable, crepes are another French invention. Popular in Quebec and northwest France, creperies are continuing to sprout up in the U.S., and their deliciousness deserves French recognition.

Perhaps French fries is the most popular Americanized French food, but fries actually originated in Belgium.