The French Fashion Icon Imparts Her Style Bon Mots in a New Book
A goldmine of beauty secrets, dinner party expertise and insider Parisian addresses, the first book from Inès de la Fressange, previewed in the images above, sees the style authority outline her enchanting brand of joie de vivre. Parisian Chic: A Style Guide is illustrated with images of the onetime Chanel muse and current creative director for Roger Vivier frequenting her favorite spots: Cire Trudon for candles, Café de Flore for Welsh rarebit, Causse for elbow-length gloves and more. Her poised daughter, Nine D’Urso, also appears, photographed by Benoit Peverelli in De la Fressange’s prescribed basics. Sprinkled with bone-dry witticisms, Parisian Chic goes beyond the obligatory city guide terrain to more revealing territory such as her position on Botox (against) and formula for the glow of youth (sex, carrot juice). NOWNESS caught up with De la Fressange, recently named the chicest woman in France by the readers of Le Figaro.
Who is Parisian Chic aimed at?
In the magazines we see the latest fashion, on gorgeous girls, but in my book I just wanted to help the busy woman––a woman who is not thin, and not that fat, but in a hurry, in a hurry, in a hurry! Because we are all a lot like this—too much tummy, not enough time.
Fishnet T-shirts, flip-flops and Hello Kitty nightgowns are a few of your “don’ts.” So what's your must-have?
Nice black, buckled shoes. The clothes you can always steal from the boyfriend—it’s the easiest thing. But shoes? Non! Imagine you go somewhere for a wedding, and you lose your suitcase. If you have your shoes on you, you’re safe. It’s like perfume.
At the age of 53 you walked for Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel show, and you did again for the spring 2011 show. How much has changed since you were the house’s muse in the 80s?
It was nice for Karl to show that he liked mature women. Age is not that important, however. In my time, I only remembered the names––Pat Cleveland, Marpessa Hennink, Jerry Hall––I never knew their ages!
What is your favorite must-stop shop outside of Paris?
In Tarascon in Provence there is an equestrian shop, T Rodeo Les Amphores, where I find boots, ponchos and belts.
What piece in your closet means the most to you?
None: clothes are made to disappear. They lose their magic with time, and one shouldn’t treat any object with devotion—which doesn't mean that you don't appreciate quality, beauty, rarity, refinement and talent.
Your beauty philosophy seems based on ways to live, rather than products to buy.
Yes, indeed, but I am still a shopaholic! Shopping means enthusiasm, a taste for life, curiosity, joy. All of these things are the clues for staying young.