Parisian Chic book signing with Inès de la Fressange in New York

Inès de la Fressange’s Parisian Chic was given to me as a Christmas present by Maman Ritournelle. With its great number of must-see addresses, relevant style advice and sassy writing, the book instantly became my bible and I’ve been recommending it to all my Paris-loving friends. So when I was shopping at Saks 5th Avenue last Monday and saw this poster in the elevator, you can imagine how surprised and excited I was.

Inès de la Fressange would be signing her book right next to my office the next day! Must see, must do. Especially if cocktails were involved. So Tuesday I dressed as the ex-Parisian that I am by following Inès’s advice (a silk T-shirt with a raw trim, dark blue slim jeans and white Repetto Zizis) and off I went to the Roger Vivier Saks store to meet the fashion icon.

The French version, La Parisienne, and the English one, Parisian chic. I much prefer the American cover: the French one looks too much like a missal for my liking.

After getting ahead of the queue thanks to early co-workers, it was finally my turn to get my precious book signed by Inès and Sophie Gachet, co-author and French Elle journalist. These ladies were happy to chat briefly and leave a note in French. Apparently, I am their new best friend.

To my new best friend, Anne. A thousand kisses. Love, Inès. Best wishes, Sophie

Who is Inès de la Fressange? Do you know? Muse to Karl Lagerfeld in the 1980s and face of the Chanel Coco fragrance, she recently reconciled with the designer. Her appearance was one of the highlights of the sumptuous spring 2011 Chanel show and she currently features in the collection’s advertisings. Inès also graced the catwalk for Jean Paul Gaultier’s spring 2009 couture collection. At 53 years old, only she can pull off such an allure and elegance that women of all generations may look up to.

Chanel spring-summer 2011 show (source vogue.com)

Inès is also a mother to 2 beautiful daughters: Nine who actually models her mother’s style advice in the book and Violette who was photographed by Hedi Slimane for Vogue Paris.

Her major role is now the position of « brand identity consultant » for Roger Vivier, which explains the location of the book signing. A quick look around the store makes it clear Inès overviewed it: the displays are chic, Parisian, colorful, elegant yet fun. All I knew about the brand was its square-toe shoes with the buckle and this memorable scene with Catherine Deneuve in Belle de jour so I enjoyed discovering these beautiful luxury items.

Inès de la Fressange is also the new global spokesperson for L’Oréal Paris and is featured in Galeries Lafayettes ads. I dare say, this woman is unstoppable!

So what is Parisian Chic all about, you may ask? Very important things: how and where to get that Parisian look the whole world envies us, whether style-wise or beauty-wise; where to dine, snack, sleep and stroll while in Paris; how to decorate your apartment as if you lived in the City of Lights; and Paris for kids. The whole book is full of pictures, illustrations, anecdotes and a piquant humorous tone. J’adore! And it happens that Inès and I have favorite places in common like Merci and La Maison Guerlain which I told you about through my blog.

Book extract shown in the Roger Vivier store

It’s a good thing I stayed late at the event: Marie-Hélène de Taillac, who is mentioned in Parisian Chic, stopped by to say hello. Do you know this French jewelry designer based in India? Her collections are sold on Net à Porter and I can’t wait to visit her store in Paris this summer!

How about you, do you have a favorite Parisian spot or element of style?

La Parisienne d’Inès de la Fressange m’a été offert par ma chère Maman à Noël. Avec ses adresses chics, ses conseils de style pertinents et ses bons mots, ce livre dévoré d’une traite est devenu ma bible et je l’ai conseillé à toutes mes copines. Alors quand je me baladais au grand magasin Saks de New York le lundi de Pâques et que je vis cette affiche dans l’ascenseur, imaginez ma surprise et mon excitation.

Inès de la Fressange venait dédicacer son livre le lendemain à deux pas de mon bureau ! Impossible de manquer ça. Surtout s’il y avait des cocktails en prime… Alors le jour venu je m’habillai en ex-Parisienne que je suis en suivant les conseils d’Inès à la lettre (T-Shirt en soie Darel, jean slim brut et Repetto Zizi blanches pour twister le tout) et filai tout droit à la boutique Roger Vivier de Saks pour rencontrer cette (grande) icône du style.

Après avoir coupé la file grâce à des collègues arrivées en avance (héhé), ce fut enfin mon tour de faire dédicacer mon précieux livre des mains d’Inès et de Sophie Gachet, co-auteur et journaliste à Elle. Ces dames furent heureuses de me laisser un petit mot en français. Apparemment je suis leur nouvelle meilleure amie. Wow, quel honneur !

Mais qui est Inès ? Le savez-vous ? Muse de Karl Lagerfeld dans les années 1980 (rappelez-vous la pub pour le parfum Coco), elle a renoué avec lui il y a peu. Le Kaiser l’a remise à sa place d’icône de la maison Chanel (elle ressemble un peu à Gabrielle, non ?) et l’a castée pour le somptueux défilé printemps-été 2011 et la campagne publicitaire de cette saison. Ca fait du bien de voir une belle femme racée avec du vécu mise en avant par une telle marque de luxe. Inès a aussi arpenté le podium pour Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture en 2009.

Mais Inès est aussi la fière maman de deux belles filles : Nine, qui démontre comment avoir le style parisien dans son livre, et Violette qui a pris la pose dans le Vogue français.

Mais Inès est aussi « brand identity consultant » pour Roger Vivier. Que de casquettes, cette Inès ! Cela explique le lieu de la séance de dédicace. En tout cas, l’impertinence chic et parisienne de l’égérie et de son livre étaient bien mises en avant dans la boutique. Comme je ne connaissais de Roger Vivier que ces fameuses chaussures à boucle et bout carré et surtout ce magnifique plan sur les pieds de Catherine Deneuve dans Belle de jour, c’était l’occasion de découvrir de beaux modèles de luxe.

Inès de la Fressange est depuis peu la nouvelle égérie de L’Oréal Paris et des Galeries Lafayette, mais je vous avoue que ça ne se voyait pas spécialement ce soir-là.

Qu’il y a-t-il dans ce fameux bouquin me demanderez-vous ? Plein de choses intéressantes : comment et où avoir l’allure de Parisienne que la Terre entière nous envie, que ce soit dans les vêtements ou question beauté ; dans quels endroits chics dîner, loger et se balader à Paris ; comment avoir un intérieur parisien digne de ce nom ; le Paris des tout petits (bon, ça honnêtement ça ne m’intéresse pas du tout). Le tout illustré de photos, d’illustrations, de petits conseils et d’un humour piquant. J’adore ! Et j’ai le plaisir d’annoncer qu’Inès mentionne 2 lieux dont je vous ai déjà parlé sur Ritournelle : Merci et La Maison Guerlain.

Heureusement que je suis restée tard : j’ai vu en personne Marie-Hélène de Taillac qu’Inès mentionne dans son livre. Connaissez-vous cette créatrice de bijoux française installée en Inde ? Ses créations sont vendues sur Net à Porter et j’ai très envie de me rendre dans sa boutique parisienne cet été !

Et vous, quel est votre endroit ou élément de style parisien préféré ?

32 Comments

Filed under Books, Fashion, Shop

32 responses to “Parisian Chic book signing with Inès de la Fressange in New York

  1. Lovely post Anne! I simply adore Ines and I’ve been wondering whether this book would be worth buying (I can’t get enough of Parisian style books/stylish books set in Paris), so you’ve convinced me to jump on Amazon right now and order one. Would love to hear any other stylish book recommendations you might have!

    And I think the thing I love the most about Parisian style is that the women there always look so chic and groomed and put together, but at the same time so effortless and never OTT or ‘try-hard’.

    Briony xx

    • Thanks Briony! I’d definitely recommend this book for you. While I wouldn’t follow Inès’s fashion advice blindly, it’s full of addresses I’m dying to discover although I lived for a few years in Paris. And while it’s not the main topic of Parisian Chic, I found her home decoration advice quite useful.
      Actually, if you like such stylish books, you should have a look at the new Assouline store in Liberty London. I discovered the one in New York not long ago and loved it so much I’ll be posting about it soon!

  2. Wow Anne!!! I just bought the book and am absolutely in love it! Très Parisienne! It doesn’t have any of the usual tourist rubbish and you can tell that really was written by true Parisians.

    x

    • So glad you enjoyed this book Milla! See, Paris isn’t so bad ;-) I can’t wait to try out one of the places in the book when I meet you this summer X

  3. Ooo, so jealous you got to meet Inès! How very glamorous. My copy just arrived on Friday, I immediately devoured it and was confronted with a bit of Paris envy. I must return as soon as possible, armed with this insider’s guide.

    Completely love the style guide as well. Timeless chic with a sense of humor and an appreciation for the unexpected. J’adore!

    Bests,
    M.

    • Meeting Inès was a lot of fun indeed, especially with a DJ, champagne and gorgeous shoes involved ;-)
      Remember, I’m still in for a Paris invasion…

  4. I am dying over all the photos of the event Anne! I should have come to NYC for it! Another fabulous post, another fabulous event, more fabulous Parisians. I will clearly have to pick up some Vivier shoes in Paris too. So much to see and so many places to shop….thanks to you and this book!

    • I thought about you since we exchanged so much about Parisian Chic and it’s such a shame you couldn’t be there, you would have totally enjoyed it! Thanks for your comment :-)
      Are you really going to pick up a pair of Roger Viver?! They look fabulous; it’s one of those timeless items that you will cherish forever.

      • My list is getting really long for shopping in Paris. Last year I got an Hermes bracelet to mark the trip and was hoping to do the same and expand my collection. We’ll have to see what else husband authorizes;)

  5. I still have a post-it on my desk reminding me to buy Ines’ book from the last time you mentioned it to me (in the comments of your Guerlain post). Now I’ll have to move that purchase higher up on my priorities list ;)

    Sounds like such a fun event for you. It’s always nice when the people you love do small events where they are accessible and you can exchange a few words with them. What a great opportunity!

    And is that you in the picture with Ines? You look amazing! And it’s so nice to finally put a face to a name ;)

    • Yes, I remember I told you to get that book! I’m glad I drew you one step closer to it ;-)
      The event was a lot of fun indeed. That’s what I love about New York: so many things going on and the opportunity to meet people whose work you admire. I love Paris but there’s no such thing there.
      And yes, that is me with Inès. Thanks for your comment *blushes* I’m the most camera-shy person but I thought I’d put myself up for once.

  6. Meingast

    Hi, Anne! Magnifique ce billet! What a great experience. Loved the pictures – including the beautiful photo of you. It´s an honor to have “Parisian Chic” personally signed by Inès de la Fressange and Sophie Gachet! ;-)
    Oh, I´m wondering… In your opinion, what current French female personality better represents the French woman´s unique style and aesthetic?
    À très bientôt!
    F.

    • Merci Flavio! Yes, this book is one I’ll treasure even more as it bears the signature of Inès de la Fressange, that’s for sure!
      To answer your questionn, I was trying to find a single person, but in reality the “French woman” is so diverse you can’t do it! I’m thinking of Emmanuelle Alt, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Catherine Deneuve, Farida Khelfa, Clémence Poesy… Women of other nationalities living in Paris like Carla Bruni, Jane Birkin and Sofia Coppola also have this “je ne sais quoi”.

      • Meingast

        Thank you, Anne! Once again, I loved your answer. That special diversity is an invaluable richness! :-)

  7. How perfect! And you met Ines herself! It must have been an amazing event!
    I was pondering whether or not to by the book but you convinced me that I need it! :)) I’m finishing Luella’s book on English Style at the moment, so, this book could be perfect continuation. :)) Now style wise, of course, but subject wise. :) Reading Luella’s book has been fun, she’s the best sense of humor out there, but British style is just not me. So, I need to read something that’s more me. :))

    • How did I not know about Luella’s Guide to English Style? I need to check it out ASAP!
      The event was a lot of fun indeed. And I’m glad I convinced you to get the book; you won’t regret it!

  8. Wow Anne, I must get the book. I aspire to be Parisian Chic! Thanks for sharing your fab evening. I wish Saks was next to my work:) Hmmm on second thoughts that could be dangerous!
    M

    • Thanks Michelle :-) Having Saks next to your workplace is dangerous indeed; apparently they have similar events pretty regularly and I learnt this afternoon that Stella McCartney will be there to open her new store. Must see!

  9. Green with envy! That book sits on my bedside table and I have devoured it several times. It’s a fashion bible…and you have a signed copy!
    Cupcake
    xo

  10. Oh I’m so jealous you got to attend this event, how fabulous! I’ve been after this book since it launched but it’s currently out of stock on Amazon :(

    I’ve just blogged about my latest obsession with French Pharmacy products after our Twitter discussions – you must try Nuxe, it’s by far my favourite French pharmacy brand at the moment! De x

    • Out of stock? I can’t believe how popular this book is. I hope you manage to get Parisian Chic soon; you’d probably enjoy it from what I know about your style and the shops you like in Paris.
      Can’t wait to read your post about French pharmacy brands! I actually used to have mostly Nuxe products (which are mentioned in Inès’s book!) but I’ve moved on to Caudalie. Anyway both brands are really good!

  11. Anne, you know I admire your personal sense of style and this post was a pleasure to read. I find the simplicity of ‘Parisien chic’ very appealing; I’m doing my best to apply some of the ideas in the book in my life.

    • Thanks Sarah. It’s funny you say that because I find my personal style so plain; it’s one of the reasons why I don’t find it blog-worthy!
      No need to change yours; it’s fab as it is ;-)

  12. La chance ! Il faut j’achète ce livre, il a l’air léger et les bonnes adresses à Paris, je suis toujours preneuse !

  13. Chere Ritournelle, merci pour votre gentil commentaire sur le travail de Marie-Helene. Elle etait a NY parce que nous ouvrons une boutique en ville a la rentree. Je vous tiendrais au courant. Je suis ravie d’avoir decouvert un nouveau blog de mode a suivre…

    • Merci pour votre commentaire et cette bonne nouvelle. J’ai hâte de voir cette nouvelle boutique! Pour info j’ai un billet sur Cire Trudon en préparation; le magasin à New York est une belle réussite!

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