Reading Inès de la Fressange’s “Parisian Chic: A Style Guide” is a treat. In collaboration with Elle fashion journalist Sophie Gachet, the premiere Chanel model in the ’80s and the current brand ambassador for Roger Vivier shares her tips and insights on Parisian style.
She starts off by decoding the Parisian DNA, that elusive and effortless style that translates to uncontrived self-confidence. “Her secret? She breathes the air du temps and puts it to good use, her way, and always with the same aim: fashion should be fun.” The Parisian “follows a few golden rules, but she likes to transgress, too.”
She enumerates her wardrobe essentials, the Magnificent Seven: blazer, trench coat, navy sweater, tank top, little black dress, jeans and leather jacket. She gives detailed descriptions of what to look for, how to transform each piece from drab to fab, and the range of fashion faux pas to avoid.
Fressange also shares 10 ways to put wardrobe staples together, such as a pencil skirt with ballet flats, loafers with shorts, or a chiffon printed dress with battered biker boots, among others. If you’re on a tight budget and would rather tweak your old clothes, she gives tips on how to give your clothes a new lease on life, the Parisian way.
Even accessories aren’t spared as she lists down the five essential bags, shoes, jewelry and home décor (from flowers to organizers). If makeup is your cup of tea, she’s got that covered, as well.
She goes on to spill the beans on her recommended boutiques, online sites, spas, hotels, restaurants (even the best seats, must-try dishes and dress codes!), florists, hole-in-the-wall places only a true Parisian would know, and hangouts to keep your children occupied while you do your shopping.
If that doesn’t have you trilling “merci,” maybe the detailed itineraries coupled with exact locations to get the best views, complete addresses and telephone numbers would.
The list goes on and on, but never in a dull fashion, as Fressange keeps readers entertained with illustrations drawn by her and snapshots taken by her and her daughter. Even her witty little handwritten notes will keep your eyes glued to the pages.
What would take more than a few travel guides to figure out is playfully spelled out in this captivating book filled with coveted secrets to keep you company on your trip to Paris. Bon voyage!