|Ines de la Fressange — shirt out, sleeves unbuttoned and pushed up with the sweater. . . details, details, details.|
It has been brought to my attention that some of you are fed up with seeing and hearing about Ines de la Fressange as the quintessential French style icon.
|Unbutton the blouse so that the camisole peaks out, try to have lunch with a man.|
I’ve taken this apparent Ines fatigue into consideration and tried to find another French woman who would, could remotely fill her Roger Vivier clad feet, and I can’t. She is, like it or not, the epitome of confident, ageless, exuberant, very, very French style. By moments she can be casually classic, so classic in fact that on the face of it — dissecting the ingredients — her look seems to be an “oh well, so what. . .just a blazer, white blouse, jeans or tapered pants, ballerinas, maybe a scarf. . . and then what?” But the thing is, it’s always nonchalantly perfect.
At other times she is pure elegance, but again in the simplest way. Bottom line:
It shouldn’t be difficult to reconstruct her style because the elements are basic. It’s about the cut, the careless way she seems to throw on her clothes and then, of course, there is her long, lean frame that makes nothing look like something. Even without that body I maintain we can steal some of her tricks and we’ll all look smarter.
My point you’re wondering? It’s this. . .all the clothes I’ve chosen for our sojourn in Paris are, when worn with her off-balance, carefree attitude become very, very French indeed. Collars turned up; sleeves pushed up; shirt cuffs turned up over the sleeve of a jacket or a sweater; a boyfriend sweater belted over a white shirt; a shirt left untucked under a sweater or beneath a jacket; the top of a blazer closed up tight, maybe with a scarf, it changes everything; a well cut white silk blouse opened to reveal a camisole, both tucked into a pair of simple trousers or jeans; impeccable tailoring; a pant cropped to reveal a slim ankle; unfussy hair; minimal makeup; and a smile, always a smile.
|Ah-ha. . . You couldn’t resist. You bought those black and white Roger Vivier ballerinas. Who could blame you?|
If you take the clothes that we’ve worn on the plane and the ones we’ve packed, the idea is that they can reflect a sublimely French aesthetic. The word in French for the attitude that produces this stylish laid-back, relaxed look is, décontracté. That’s our goal.
|Another shoe purchase in Paris, Bensimon sneakers. While strolling around Saint Germain, do pop into the French concept boutique, Gab & Jo, absolutely everything is made in France and just a few steps away the Assouline book store. You will swoon when you see the books. I bought a Proust questionnaire book (there are several) for a friend which the charming saleswoman wrapped in shiny white paper, a red ribbon and a hot wax seal — unspeakably elegant.|
As promised, today we’re going shopping — on both sides of the Seine. Please think of the clothes in these templates tweaked to make them French. Remember as always, it’s always all about the details and in this case the details are there to steal.
“Imitation is the highest form of flattery,” Coco Chanel.