Thursday, 2 June 2011

Effortless Style; Parisian Chic

Image courtesy of Orange Square PR
Back in April I attended the Knightsbridge launch of Ines de la Fressange’s new book, Parisian Chic. For those younger generations unfamiliar with this French fashion stalwart’s name, Ines de la Fressange started as a catwalk model in the late 1970s; becoming Karl Lagerfeld’s muse and the face of Chanel in the 1980s, going on to launch a clothing line in the 1990s. Fast forward twenty years and Fressange now works as an illustrator, creative consultant to Roger Vivier shoes and is an interior designer for a new Parisian hotel. As if all that wasn’t enough to keep her busy, aged 53 Fressange most recently returned to the catwalk to star in Chanel’s SS11 show, solidifying her position as a key influencer on style and international fashion.

Offering readers a variety of top tips to becoming the all-round sophisticated wardrobe mistress, Parisian Chic capitalises on Parisians international reputation for their chic approach, not only to fashion but to lifestyle. Bound in a beautiful and luxurious red leather-effect cover with gold writing and quirky – Quentin Blake esque – illustrations drawn by Fressage herself filling the pages, Parisian Chic is the modern style bible. Covering everything from choosing your wardrobe staples, what to pack for a weekend in the country, how to wear a blazer, shoe shopping pointers, how to choose the perfect jeans, and so much more! An all-round guide, the latter pages (also known as the ‘black book’), detail the best stores in Paris to find everything from the most exquisite jewellery and flowers to the best salons and cafés.

In the Dress Like a Parisian section there are 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. Offering step-by-step do’s and don’ts for the wardrobe make it easy to avoid pitfalls, going one step further with a guide to avoid fashion faux pas for those who are 50 plus.

In Belle of the Ball, beauty tips are abound as well as an outline of beauty no-no’s. Chez Moi addresses home décor concerns for the studio apartment or the château. Ines underscores the power of flowers, how to create the perfect closet, and how to construct a sensational dinner party.

My favourite quote of this inspired book has to be within the Parade of Shoes, All About Heels section:
“Many women think they look better in heels, but this is quite wrong. Just ask any man. No man would ever say, ‘I’d love you more if you were four inches taller!’ And remember, many women have no idea how to walk in high heels. Nothing looks worse than a girl tottering about on unimaginable heels! So she wants to look sexy? The key to sex appeal is a feline walk, not a precarious wobble. I know girls who have ended up on crutches because they wanted to walk tall without mastering the rudiments of striding with confidence in eight-inch heels. Practice first, at home!”

My sentiments exactly. Learn how to add some je ne sais quoi to your personal style. Parisian Chic, published by Flammarion and priced at £19.95.

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