Thursday, April 21, 2011

Weekly inspiration – Do we want to look like a Parisienne?

Another book on how to look like a perfect french woman hit the American market just recently: “Parisian Chic: A Style Guide” by the style icon and a onetime muse of Karl Lagerfeld Inès de la Fressange.

Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange

An entertaining read, no doubt! Yet, only a few pages into the book and I thought: Do I really want to look like a Parisian woman? Or, actually, do I want to look like Ines de la Fressange?

She “offers 10 lessons to master the “offbeat look à la Parisienne.” Among them: wearing jeans with gem-encrusted sandals, not sneakers; a pencil skirt with ballet flats, not heels; an evening dress with a straw handbag, not a gold clutch; a chiffon print dress with battered biker boots, not brand-new ballet flats; a sequined sweater with men’s trousers, not a skirt; a tuxedo jacket with sneakers, not femme fatale stilettos.”

Well, I like this audacity and this certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ attitude! I also hate matchy-matchy wardrobes, love mixing styles and visual jests; but, entre nous, I would feel awkward in a chiffon dress with battered biker boots, or a tuxedo jacket with sneakers, really. She also insists that a man’s blazer should be a wardrobe staple if you want to look effortlessly chic a la Parisienne. Well, maybe a 6-feet tall former model can pull it off, but me (5.4, with distinct hips), ouch… What I am saying is that there are no ready recipes for style. And this is where the book fails: Ines IS a style icon, a chic Parisian woman, however, in her book, she mostly offers ready recipes on how to copy her style.

I believe that if your style doesn’t come from your heart, if it’s not how you feel about visual you, you will never look effortless. I believe in authentic, original, creative AND confident way of expressing your visual image. Personalities, or abstract style icons (such as a Parisian woman) may inspire, but copying their styles is good for a costume ball only.

What do you think about the ‘Parisian woman’ image? Do you have a fashion icon you look up to? And if yes, how do you express it in your wardrobe?

P.S.: stay tuned for a quick feedback on couture seams and my red boucle skirt this evening.


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