Inès de la fressange - The quintessential Parisienne
She is to Paris what Jackie kennedy was to America: the very essence of attractiveness, the personification of elegance.
3 questions for Inès de la Fressange
How does one define the Parisian attitude?
The Parisian woman is imaginative, a little rebellious but still classic. She isn’t
conventional but she has a sense of tradition, a delicate blend to which I attempt to give therecipe in my guide. I don’t pretend to be a sociologist, I just describe what a Parisian does and doesn’t do.
The Parisian has a mythical style and often gives the impression of creating fashion as she goes and fleeing trends. is this true?
She doesn’t exactly flee trends but she knows how to follow, how to adapt them, to assimilate and re-create. The Parisian has a light-hearted, playful approach to fashion. She dares to combine precious accessories and clothing with more ordinary elements. She is, above all, aware that creativity is not born of conformity.
You played Paris guide for sharon stone a few years ago. What surprises does the french capital still hold in store for visitors?
The Ritz Hotel is still a discovery for many, but the covered passages that often house
luxury shops, such as the Passages Jouffroy and Panoramas, have a different sort of charm. And then there is Monoprix, a department store where one finds food, clothing and reasonably priced beauty products, which remains a treat for many visitors.
The Parisienne ...
- Doesn’t walk, she runs... But still makes her way to work in heels. Inès recommends
capezios. And the capezios preferred by most Parisians? The celebrated Repetto, the square nosed Roger Vivier, the gorgeous Polder or the ultra soft Swildens.
- Likes to tweak her style with some vintage. For example, a well-worn leather bag, a man’s trench coat or a 50’s top coat. The address recommended by Inès: Mamie, a retro shop that furnishes French cinema with clothing and accessories from the 1920s through the 60s. Inès calls it “a real treasure trove.” ( 73, rue de Rochechouart, Paris 9th )
- Doesn’t skip lunch. “And she doesn’t only eat sushi either,” jokes Inès. A spot she likes? One of dozens in the guide: Bread and Roses ( 25, rue Boissy d’Anglas, Paris 8th ). “It’s close to my office and has become my new lunchroom.”
- Likes the museum tea rooms. Inès’ favorites? Those of the Musée de la Vie Romantique and
the Musée d’Orsay. “Even though the Parisian,” explains Inès, “is really sorry she doesn’t have more time to go there.”
- Knows unusual places. “And is always looking to make a new discovery,” adds Inès. Her
best find? The public toilets of the Madeleine, situated just to the right of the church of the same name. This “Belle Epoque” construction in wood and ceramic is in stark contrast to anything being done today.
- Loves artisanal perfumes. Original creations, extraordinary concoctions, beautiful bottles engraved with her initials . . . “It’s particularly French and it still exists in Paris,” explains Inès. A few of her favorites among them: Maison Francis Kurdjian, Éditions de Parfums Frédéric Malle and Les Parfums de Serge Lutens.
- Takes tea with Catherine Deneuve. “Well, not exactly . . . but you can go to the restaurant of the Pantheon Cinema, which she herself decorated.” You might almost think you were in her home. It’s the perfect spot to have lunch. ( 13, rue Victor Cousin, Paris 6th).