At 53 years old Ines de la Fressange is a model, designer, businesswoman, muse, single mother and France’s icon of chic. She now shares her tips and inspiration on beauty and fashion with the world in this wonderful red flexi-bound volume.
Parisian Chic is written in collaboration with Elle fashion journalist Sophie Gachet. This delightful book is a style guide to help the busy woman and documents how to dress, act, shop and generally transform yourself into a chic Parisian woman. It shares Ines' sense of humour and frankness and includes fashion photographs of her daughters alongside Ines’ own snapshots. Her charming drawings feature alongside favourite sources for clothing, beauty and decorating finds online and in Paris.
As an accessible reference book Parisian Chic has four main sections:
Firstly Dress Like a Parisian – offers fashion pointers including invaluable advice on how to build a wardrobe around seven affordable basics mixed with a few high-fashion touches and great accessories. Ines’ advice is to “shop with a clear head” and her step-by-step dos and don’ts for the wardrobe make it easy to avoid fashion faux pas.
According to Ines, the absolute worst crime against fashion is wearing plastic bra straps.
“People walk around pretending they aren't wearing a bra and you can see their ugly transparent straps. They think no one will notice but it's ridiculous
“Generally wearing too many accessories is never a good thing. For example, too much jewellery never looks good. Adding too much can instantly destroy a chic look.
“Fashion should be fun. Start your day listening to inspirational music to put that all-important smile on your face - a smile is the best accessory a woman can have and a good sense of humour keeps you young.
“Women should dress up for themselves, not for showing off but to feel better - and if you feel better, you look better.”
Belle of the Ball - offers beauty tips and secrets from head to toe, and outlines all important beauty no-nos.
“French women age gracefully because they don't hide their age. They don't look like they're trying too hard, freshly washed, unfussy hairstyle, clean teeth and good posture is always a good starting point.
“To see old ladies with long hair, very tight jeans and high heels, trying to be sexy is a definite wardrobe malfunction. It's very ugly when women refuse to get old.”
Chez Moi - addresses home décor concerns. “A regular change of décor gives your home a facelift – nothing is more depressing than watching your furniture grow old with you! Ines highlights the power of flowers, the golden rule for small spaces, creating the perfect closet, and how to create a perfect dinner party.
The final section, Ines’s Paris is the ultimate address book of unusual places to visit, hotels, restaurants, and places for family fun!
Still living in Paris today, Ines has never strayed far from her roots.
Ines was born in Gassin, Var, France. Her father Marquess André de Seignard de La Fressange was a stockbroker, her mother Cecilia Sánchez Cirez, an Argentine model - she grew up in an 18th-century mill outside Paris with three brothers.
As a child, Ines wanted to be a psychoanalyst dealing with troubled children, like Françoise Dolto. “I used to read her books when I was 12 and I thought it would be an easy job for me, however at the age of 15 I began modelling.”
In 1990, she married Luigi d'Urso an Italian railroad executive and had two daughters. Violette, 10, and Nine, 16. Tragically, in 2006, aged just 52, her husband died of cardiac arrest.
Ines is currently the brand ambassador for the French luxury label Roger Vivier, where she advises on all aspects of the fashion house and recently launched the new range of fragrances for them.
Her goal was to revive the brand. Her task is to get women out of their loafers and into Roger Vivier's exquisite creations. A pair of black, buckled shoes should be everywoman’s wardrobe basic. “My pet hate is women in 10cm heels. Do they really think they're going to look sexy?” They spend a fortune to look like … bad-life women. Even Brazilian transvestites look more elegant!
Whilst pushing my feet into a classic pair of buckled shoes at the Roger Vivier shop in Knightsbridge and glancing at the immaculate Ines and Sophie Gadet, I could see where they were coming from. Their style was immaculate and chic was most definitely an understatement.
Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Inès de la Fressange – RRP £19.95.