"Those who have experienced Paris have advantage over those who have not. We are the ones who have glimpsed a little bit of heaven, down here on earth." - Deirdre Kelly

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Parisian Chic: A Style Guide

Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange (2011)

"There are no [age] barriers to beauty." - Ines de la Fressange

Mature women are gorgeous! We come in all sizes, shapes and shades. Mature women have this mysterious confidence - very sexy. Mature gorgeosity is a 'something' that shines from within and works it from without. While gorgeous mature women know no national boundary, Parisian mature sisters have looking and being fabulous down to an art.

When I'm in Paris, I always pay special attention to how women look (I do everywhere actually). Parisian women make the effort to look their best, everywhere doing anything (from grocery shopping, to walking the dog, to going to work) - and they look great doing it. But that 'look' is not fussy or pretentious. It's simple, elegant, hip and real. I've been adapting that fashion-ethic to my everyday look/life for years.

After my 2000 trip to Paris, I was determined to work it like a French Girl Sistah style. Soon after I returned to the states, I gutted my closet and got to work. Unfortunately, American fashion primarily consists of clothes and looks for 20 year olds or ridiculously expensive haute couture. But I did a little research and eventually found a few places that have what a mature, hip, elegant woman needs. Ladies take a look at: J.Crew, Victoria's Secret, and Talbots (yes, Talbots!) I've got quite a closet now, but a SistahDiva's work is never done...

Ines de la Fressange (52) - Jean Paul Gaultier
Spring/Summer Haute Couture Collection, 2009

"Too much tummy, not enough time." - Ines de la Fressange

Along the way I've compiled a tiny but comprehensive library of style: Frederic Fekkai's A Year of Style, Mireille Guliano's French Women Don't Get Fat, and InStyle: Secrets of Style (you can find it at Amazon, 'used like new', for 1 cent). I found each of these books at the exact right time(s) in my life - my Paris Fashion Fairy's looking out for me ;-) The latest edition to my fashion library is Ines de la Fressange's Parisian Chic: A Style Guide - and it's going to be my favorite for awhile:

"How to give your style a facelift: always go for rejuvenating looks, which are just as effective as an anti-wrinkle injection - and much more fun" (Golden Rule #1, page 61)

In the first half of the book, de la Fressange gifts us with her 6 point guide to the Parisian fashion/style gene code, and timeless beauty (that's more about attitude than cosmetics or the latest cream). In the second half, she takes us on a native tour of Paris: shopping (inc. home decor), cafe's, restaurants, hotels, museums, etc. My Little Paris gets a shout out (Hot Tips Online, p. 111); so does my beloved Galignani's (Ines's Paris, p. 166). The Style Guide is filled with de la Fressange's whimsical color pencil illustrations and photos featuring her lovely daughter as model. All from the viewpoint of a mature woman: "I ignore fashion, I do my own thing." I really like this book. It's a grand edition to my fashion library. You can find it at Amazon.com. What say you?

Vivre! Rire! Aimer!


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