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  • Photography by Mr John Balsom
  • Styling by Mr Dan May, Style Director, MR PORTER
  • Words by Mr Chris Elvidge, Senior Copywriter, MR PORTER

Like many, Mr Sebastien Andrieu has often felt the urge to get away from it all. As a teenager growing up in Aix-en-Provence in the south of France, he'd indulge this desire with frequent escapes to the surrounding countryside. "I'd sometimes feel, as many teenagers do, the need to rebel. I'd feel that society wasn't built to accommodate me. In times like this, I'd always go back to nature. I'd go hiking and surround myself in it, absorb its energy." Now in his thirties and living in Paris, the model and actor's teen angst may have subsided, but his wanderlust has not - and he still feels drawn to the wild, disordered, rugged France of his childhood. "That proximity to nature," he says, "is something that I really miss."

With wild, wintry weather gripping the shores of western Europe, MR PORTER headed out to the French coast to capture the romantic allure of the outdoors. Just north of Biarritz, we found what we were looking for: a coastline still reeling from the ferocious Atlantic storms that had blown in only two days previously, where beaches lay strewn with driftwood. Against a backdrop of choppy seas and storm-weary skies, Mr Andrieu modelled a series of looks that took these raw surroundings as their inspiration.

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