I have been slightly obsessing about a book recently. It is a wonderful book written by none other than Karl Lagerfeld's muse and model extraordinaire Ines de la Fressange. The only thing I don't like about it is the title Parisian Chic. I know that the Italians and the French are often competitive when it comes to fashion, but here Ines describes a quintessentially chic way of looking and living, which I don't think is just Parisian, actually I don't think it's just French at all. This book is a true style guide for anyone out there who loves to look understated but never obvious, classy but never boring, in other words, for anyone who wants to be
There are so many great tips that I might do another post soon, or ever a series of posts, because this book should be a must-read for all of us who want to look nice and stylish whilst being able to go about our lives effectively, being that having to tend to a baby, going to a toddlers' class, doing the school run or jet-setting around the world from party to party (I wish!). This books is especially a must-read for all those muttons dressed as lambs and for all those women who have had a kid and become old before their time. It should be made into compulsory read for all those overly made up ladies who wear two inches of foundation but whose teeth are yellow (Ines has a strong view on this) and for those who don't think that wearing too much jewellery is too much, or, as Ines would say non, non, non! (see photo below). Here is one of my favourite pages in the whole book and it is all about Lingerie and Jewellery faux pas, it shows that the advice is good and the layout of the book is quirky and interesting, a true little style journal. I agree with ALL the points below, especially the lingerie ones, transparent bra straps and thongs with low rise jeans? Yuk, is all I can say! Actually, I ranted about the bum cheeks flashing the other week, so here is what I did
Anyway, going back to the subject of this post, here is what Ines describes as the Magnificent Seven must haves of any chic lady out there:
- a Man's Blazer
- a Trench Coat
- a Navy Sweater
- a Tank Top
- a Little Black Dress
- a Leather Jacket
I think most of these items are self explanatory and fairly simple to get right. Having said that, even the Magnificent Seven are not faux pas-proof. A frilly miniskirt with a masculine blazer kills its impact, a trench coat buckled belt (as opposed to knotted) says 'I'm no fun', skin tone or patterned tank tops are a no-go, a biker leather jacket is cool, but adding biker boots makes it all go wrong in an instant. There is plenty of sensible advice to be found and to remind ourselves of.
This book is a pure simple style guide, it transcends cities let alone countries and it would make the perfect read and the perfect gift. If you have a soft spot for Paris, the second half of the book is all about the best shops in the City of Lights. From fashion to beauty, from kids wear to interiors. With addresses, pictures, and, more importantly, web addresses. Oh la la!