BY LAUREN DAVID PEDEN/THE FASHION INFORMER
On Wednesday night, the Roger Vivier boutique hosted a party for the book Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange. I received a review copy a week earlier, and had been savoring it like a delicious box of chocolates, reading a chapter or two each night before bed, trying to make the experience last as long as possible (what can I say, I’m a sucker for an illustrated fashion guide, and this one is especially insightful, informative, and irreverent).
Ines, as you probably know, is a legendary French style icon/model, designer, muse to Karl Lagerfeld and Jean Paul Gaultier, International Best-Dressed List Hall of Famer, brand identity consultant for Roger Vivier, and the newly-appointed face of L’Oreal, a gig she nabbed at the ripe young age of 53 (she turns 54 in August and has been modeling since the 80s).
So when I received an invite to the book signing with Ines and her co-author, French ELLE fashion scribe, Sophie Gachet, of course I said yes. American ELLE was co-hosting, and editor-in-chief Robbie Myers — whom I first met ten years ago when I began writing for that magazine — was also on hand to pay her regards.
Stacks of the little red books beckoned from the window, and more copies were on display throughout the shop, surrounded by silver Eiffel Towers, gorgeous bouquets of flowers and (my fave) sexy RV sandals and buckle-trimmed flats — Vivier’s signature shoe, which Ines has made one of her signatures as well.
Upstairs, Ines and Sophie signed copies of Parisian Chic while cute waiters plied partygoers with champagne and hors d’oeuvres, and French/American jazz quartet Bon Musique entertained the crowd, which included fashion insiders Joe Zee, Kate Betts, Lynn Yaeger, Jamee Gregory, Fabiola Beracasa, Derek Blasberg, Mark Holgate, Amanda Ross, and Andrew Rosen.
I asked Ines how she hit upon the “Not-So-Basics/Magnificent Seven” wardrobe must-haves outlined in the book (aka, a blazer, trench coat, navy sweater, tank top, LBD, jeans, and leather jacket). “Opening my closet!” she said. “I’ve been working with Sophie and she’s blonde, she’s young — just the opposite of me — and we agreed about all of these things; that they can be solutions. These pieces work for everyone.”
So what makes a trench coat more Parisian than New York in style? “It’s the way you wear it,” Ines replied. “In the evening with a chiffon dress it can be really great. And maybe some women think for evening they need to put on heels and diamonds and a fur coat. It’s much chicer with a trench coat, non?”
“I thought it was really chic,” Robbie Myers said of the book. “And it’s very her – it’s down-to-earth but also sophisticated. It is a very French thing; it’s a cliché but it’s true: they’re very relaxed about how women are — how they should be — in the world. That you should pay attention to your own needs and desires. And, of course, have a good skinny white jean and blue sweater.”
Done and done. Thanks, Ines!
Lauren David Peden writes for Rue La La as a Contributing Editor.