Inès de la Fressange, a Frenchwoman’s Parisienne

Check out Elaine’s NY Times review of Inès de la Fressange’s new style book on how to look French. I must admit, its the best guide I’ve seen in a long time on attaining that certain “je ne sais quoi”. English version available in Paris at W.H. Smith.

THE perfect Parisian woman is an illusion, bien sûr. But learning to pretend to be one is a serious business that dates back centuries.

It is an enterprise that continues to thrive with profitable how-to books like, “How to Become a Real Parisian,” “The Parisian Woman’s Guide to Style” and “All You Need to Be Impossibly French.” Now Inès de la Fressange, ex-runway model, former face of Chanel, Legion of Honor winner, designer, businesswoman and daughter of a marquis, offers yet another take on how to dress, shop, eat and act like a true “Parisienne.” This onetime muse of Karl Lagerfeld has spun her beauty and style tips into a confection of a best seller, “Parisian Chic: A Style Guide,” which has sold more than 100,000 copies in French and has just hit the American market.

The book might have withered and died on the shelves, except that Ms. de la Fressange combines a “je ne sais quoi” audacity with a sassy tone, and leaves readers believing that, by following her rules and experimenting with confidence, they, too, can be just like her.

via Inès de la Fressange, a Frenchwoman’s Parisienne –

For the love of french women




Napoleon’s dream of invading England will finally come true in 2011. With a handful of truly French fashion labels like Maje, Sandro, Vanessa Bruno, and the Kooples opening up shop, the frenchie fashion invasion is clearly underway in London. Vive la look française!

If you are an admirer of french women… here are your essential addresses for shopping the look in London. Check out article below:

Nailing that effortless elegance is a big part of the desire to buy into Parisian dressing. ‘The thing about a Frenchwoman is she never looks like she’s tried too hard,’ says Laura Fantacci, Red magazine’s fashion and shopping editor. ‘Chanel did the same thing half a century ago when she teamed a sailor’s stripy tee with men’s palazzo trousers.’

via Indulge in some French dressing |

How French Women Do it


Cafe de Flore is a microcosm of Parisian society, and always brings out the social critic in me. Today, I found myself pondering the mystique of French women.

I was sitting on the terrace, pretending to read my fashion magazine, but really staring at the 2 tables of people in front of me. Both tables had 3 french men, but at one was seated a French woman, and at the other, an American woman. I observed, and once again my hypothesis was reaffirmed:

French women win. They win on sexiness, intellect, style, and just about every other criteria except perhaps lung capacity (though they do work the cigarette-temptress look to their advantage).

Almost as if by fate, I came across a book a few hours later, on another part of my Sunday ritual, which includes a stop in at the Village Voice on Rue Princesse. The book, entitled Fatale: How French Women Do It, is an incredible analysis of French women from the days of troubadours to maintenant.

Its author, Edith Kunz, examines every aspect of the French woman’s charm: her diet, the culture she is raised in, the ideology that shapes her, the decor of her bedroom, her role as wife and mistress, the issue of age and what she calls “the art of brilliance” which Frenchwomen use to dazzle French men. It is a fast and fascinating read, and essential to any woman who wants to understand how these frenchies become masters of their domain. Kunz even explores the disheveled hair look, or as she calls it, “seductive disarray,” (a look which I find myself adopting, more out of laziness than seduction).

Beware: This book may corrupt certain readers into taking additional lovers, becoming a mistress, or booking a vacation at a thermal spa. It will certainly inspire new perfume and lingerie purchases.

Note: click here to check out the rest of my juicy francophile entries~ :)