Browsing Tag

Ines de la Fressange

Posted on January 15, 2014

The French Way of Live – The Greatest Deception of All?

Current Affairs/ Love & Relationship/ Movie & Books/ Romantique

Marion Cotillard for Dior

In the past two years, I’ve lapped up information on Parisians and their way of life – from fashion style to love lessons:

–  Ines de la Fresange’s French chic – My Style Bible
–  Why French children don’t throw food – How not to raise neurotic and spoilt Anglophone kids
–  What French women know about love and sex – My trusted guide on how to hold your own in a  relationship

Additionally, I interviewed two of my French friends to let our readers in on the “je ne sais quoi” of French women.

The authors of the above books such as Pam Druckerman and Mireille Guiliano (her new book, “Why French women don’t have plastic surgery”, has just been released) have been riding the “French women know it all” wave successfully and even created a new genre of book, the French way of life.

This week, Australian magazine “Women’s weekly” raised the righteous question: “Are French women and culture really that superior in all they do?” After all, obesity rates in France have doubled in the last 15 years. Leading French ladies like Catherine Deneuve have succumbed to the plastic surgeon knife just like their American counterparts. The author who initiated the craze, Mireille Guiliano, admitted herself her books only contain “commonsense” advice (eat small portions and fresh produce only, wash your face before going to bed, take the stairs instead of the lift, etc). Generally accepted knowledge the French haven’t innovated. So is all the Hype around French women a well-marketed scam invented by smart Americans cashing in on the myth?

I say no, naturally.  It is true that France hasn’t entirely resisted the wave of junk food chains that swept the world. However, France as a whole is still the slimmest nation in Europe. The streets of Paris are still dominated by family butchers, bakers and restaurants rather than American food chains. Take Starbucks, for example. While the American coffee chain has most of Europe tightly in its grip, it struggles to make money in the mother country of coffee culture. The French like to “sip and sit”, not carrying paper cups. French bakery chains like Paul’s and Le Pain Quotidien are hugely successful in London, but looked down on as “chains” in their home country.


French icons, surgically enhanced: Carla Bruni, 45, and Catherine Denueve, 70.

French icons, surgically enhanced: Carla Bruni, 45, and Catherine Denueve, 70.


French actresses are not unreceptive to surgery. However, plastic surgery is nowhere near as widespread in France as it is in the US and the extent of the surgery is more natural.

Where do you stand? Have you read any of the French way of life books or do you refuse to believe that the French are God’s gift to the rest of the world? Let us know your thoughts and let’s discuss!

Rebel and myself in two quintessential French styles: Vichy/Gingham and Breton stripes!

Rebel and myself in two quintessential French styles: Vichy/Gingham and Breton stripes!

Posted on September 13, 2012

French Fashion Lessons

Rebel Alexa


Inès de la Fressange is French chic personified and we love her book Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange. It’s not true that the Germans and the French can’t stand each other, it’s an old cliché, times have changed – we love France, especially the Parisians!

Buy things that seem boring

Like a man’s V-neck sweater, a white shirt, black jeans that you maybe cut at the ankle, a black bag, black sunglasses – that look is fantastic. Remember the picture of Princess Diana in the black turtleneck? Buy things without thinking they’re funny – buying a navy sweater isn’t fun, it really isn’t. But afterwards, when you wear it with nice neat hair and Converse, you can look really beautiful. And that is fun. Look at how simple fashion people are – we always say “less is more”.

I WEAR: Man’s navy Sweater by TK Maxx, white pants by Gant, blue Converse, Betsey Johnson Sunglasses

Extracts from an Interview:

S: In everybody’s mind. When you ask people anywhere who represents French elegance, you’re the one they mention.

IF: I’d take my father’s V-neck sweaters and some
topsiders, which were the ancestors of Converse sneakers, and I’d wear those with jeans and a fur coat.

S: You were improvising then.

IF: Absolutely. One day, I just had white pants, a big white jacket, a white fedora. On a whim, I took a burnt cork and gave myself a big moustache, Aldo Maccione–style, all bent over like an old playboy, and I was clowning around with my big fat moustache. It was so much fun. Now everybody says “sexy” all the time. We absolutely never said “sexy” back then. I was being silly, so I didn’t really stand out, but I was a clown.

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Posted on December 15, 2011

Xmas wish list

Accessoires/ Romantique/ Shoes

The countdown to xmas has begun. If you are one of the last minute shoppers and still looking for special xmas presents, here are my favourites ideas, gathered from last week’s shopping trip in Central London!

 MUST-HAVE: Velvet cat slippers from Topshop. Available in green, red and black. If you can’t afford Alexa’s Olympia kitten flats, these are the next best option for snuggly nights in.


Cashmere jumpers from Uniqlo: They are heavenly soft and come in all colours of the rainbow and shapes: Crewneck, turtleneck, cardigan. Uniqlo cashmeres are famously hailed as one of must have basics by our favourite French style icon Ines de la Fressange. And what is good enough for the muse of Chanel will do for us!

The wintery, classic fair isle pattern spiced up in bright colours to lighten up the wintery gloom. From Juicy Couture


Cute Parisian chic: Beret with bow from Topshop


 Is there a more romantic way to say “I love you” than with those trendy black snake Pretty Ballerinas with red suede hearts?!


Socks must be THE most boring xmas present ever. But let’s be honest: Socks are something everyone needs and Tabio offers a huge range of cute, quirky, unusual styles with frills, buttons, glitter, you name it!

 Happy shopping!

Posted on August 19, 2011

Forget Botox, simply go threading!

Beauty/ Rebel Alexa/ Romantique

“I will try Botox if I see results”. True words from Parisian Fashion icon Ines de la Fressange. Let’s take a few leaves out of the French book on how to age gracefully without Botox and surgery and without desiring eternal youth.

A first easy, surgery-free lift for your face is to get your eyebrows shaped by threading – this simple beauty routine can take 10 years off your look!

Threading is the Indian art of shaping  eyebrows by plucking the hair out with a thread. This art is softer on the skin and lasts longer than plucking hair with a tweezer. This instant beauty lift is very common in the UK, where you can get this done conveniently in every drugstore during your lunch break.

We can only hope that France, Germany and other countries on the Continent, will soon follow with more beauticians and outlets offering threading for beautifully groomed eyebrows.

Below: This pic perfectly illustrates the lifting effect of a shaped eyebrow: Rebel’s left eyebrow is threaded, the right one is untreated.

Tip: Always ask the Indian ladies for naturally threaded eyebrows, don’t have them done too thinly, as this can have the opposite effect, and actually age you instead!  Ouch!

Below: Romantique happily smiling with beautiful, natural shaped eyebrows.

Posted on August 9, 2011

How to wear white jeans

Denim/ Romantique/ Trousers/ Wardrobe

Right, it’s easy for Ines de la Fressange to say that white jeans are an indispensible basic of every fashion wardrobe,  since she has endless legs like a gazelle!  However for us girls next door, with our imperfect, but fairly skinny legs,  the look can still work if we remember the following:

  • Buy white jeans in a flattering boot cut, made out of stretchy material and never too tight
  • Combine white jeans with flat shoes, wedges or sandals, not high heels,  to avoid a trashy look
  • Lenght: the best lenght for this look is ankle length (see Kate Middleton in the picture)
  • Any colour top goes with white but make sure the it’s not too short or revealing, this can scream “trailerpark”

Below: Myself and fellow Londoners Claudia Schiffer, Kate Middleton and Liz Hurley in white Jeans.

Ines de la Fressange hat gut Reden, dass sie die weiße Jeans zum unerlässlichen Basic jedes Kleiderschrankes erhebt, schließlich hat sie endlose Gazellenbeine! Allerdings auch für uns Normalo girls sind weiße Jeans tragbar, wenn wir diese Regeln beachten:

  • Am besten sehen weiße Jeans im vorteilhaften Boot cut aus, aus stretchigem Material, aber niemals zu eng!
  • Kombiniere weiße Jeans mit flachen Schuhen, Keilabsatz oder Sandalen, NIE mit High Heels, dass kann schnell billig aussehen
  • Länge: Die beste Länge für diesen Look ist Knöchellange, siehe Kate Middleton im Bild unten
  • Zu weiß passt jede Farbe Top, allerdings sollte es nicht zu kurz oder zu freizügig sein, wir sind ja nicht im Trailerpark

Posted on August 6, 2011

Parisian Chic: Ines’ Beauty Tips

Beauty/ Romantique

Ines de la Fressange, French styleguide author, topmodel and muse of Karl Lagerfeld, just looks amazing at 51! Here are her tips on Beauty:

“The Parisian loves talking about beauty, but hates spending hours in front of her bathroom mirror. She is not a devotee of multiple mask and day creams, preferring a healthy application of natural good sense….and, of course, these top ten tips.”

  • “Dont go bankrupt buying expensive face creams – the best beauty parlor is your local dentist. An attractive smile and great teeth are the best way to forgive and forget the rest”! – I couldn’t agree more, invest in an electric toothbrush – I use the Queen of toothbrushes, the Oral B Triumph – teeth are the focus of our face and should be well looked after – see a hygienist twice a year and brush regularly.

  • “Never use pink on your lips. Transparent gloss is always the best” – Or use a gloss close to your own lip colour – I use Bourjois’ 3D Effet lipgloss in 42 Rose Symbolic.
  • “Terracotta moisturizing tan powder from Guerlain. The most effective way to a healthy, sunny complexion. Why go to the Bahams when you can shop at Guerlain?” – The 4 season Terracotta bronzer is great, use the paler shade in winter and the darker colours for summer.
  • “Dior’s apricot nail cream: I apply it at night before sleep. It keeps the cuticles perfectly moisturized. The next best thing to a professional manicure. “
  • “Apply matte powdered eye shadow with a fine brush. I prefer shades of brown, but the choice is yours! One thing is certain: Natural colours give a natural look” – I love Sisley eye shadows – they are devinly textured with just a  hint of fine sparkle – Quarz is a great grey-brown shade for a natural, every day look.  I have also been using “Moccha cup” by Estee Lauder for years – a grey-silver-brown-slightly violet eyeshadow.
  • “Dont overpluck your eyebrows: Afterwards, you are tempted to draw in the missing hair with a pencil – never a good idea” – When I get my eyebrows threaded in London, I always make sure to have a pic of Kiera Knighlty with me – that way I can show the threading lady what I want my eyebrows to look like and avoid overplucking!
Posted on July 31, 2011

Romance meets leather jacket

Blazer / Jackets/ Romantique/ Wardrobe

As you might have noticed, I do love romantic fashion and frills, flowers, pink colours, and everything girly you can think of! To not get stuck in a style rut though, I decided to try wearing a leather jacket, something I have never owned before. The Leather Jacket is also one of the 7 basics described in Ines de la Fressange’s style guide “Parisian Chic” so I thought I needed to give it a go. Ines advises combining the jacket with a flowery dress (to avoid the garden party look). In the pics above she models the jacket with another one of her basics, the white jeans. I also love the combination with a white frilly blouse as seen on the Vogue cover worn by Ines.

To not look like a biker’s girlfriend, I only ever wear it combined with a bright coloured top or dainty skirts. I must admit I do not wear it often and still prefer a blazer or cardigan. I might just need some more time to get used to it!

Wie Euch warscheinlich schon aufgefallen ist, liebe ich romantische Mode, mit Rueschen, Blumen, rosa Farben und allem maedchenhaften, das es gibt. Um nicht immer den ewig gleichen Stil zu tragen hatte ich mich entschieden, eine Lederjacke zu kaufen, ich hatte noch nie vorher eine besessen! Die Lederjacke ist eines von 7 basics beschrieben im Pariser Style Guide Buch von Ines de la Fressange, also dachte ich, probier es mal aus. Ines empfiehlt eine Lederjacke zu einem mille fleur Kleid zu tragen, um den “Garden Party” Look zu vermeiden. Auf dem Foto oben modellt sie die Jacke mit einem der 7 basics aus ihrem Buch – der weissen Jeans. Ich liebe auch den Look vom Vogue cover – schwarze Biker Lederjacke kombiniert mit weisser Fransenbluse.

Um nicht auszusehen, wie eine Rockerbraut, trage ich die Lederjacke nur mit hellen Farben und fliessenden Roecken. Ich muss zugeben, ich habe sie noch nicht sehr oft getragen und entscheide mich meist fuer einen Blazer oder eine Strickjacke. Was meint ihr?

Posted on July 23, 2011

Miu Miu Straw bag

Accessoires/ Bags/ Romantique

My best friend is my Miu Miu straw bag which I love dearly. A few years back I bought it brandnew from ebay. I don’t only wear it on sunny days but often on  those notoriously grey London days to keep the promise of summer alive.

Wear a straw bag  together with an evening dress to shake things up. Ines de la Fressange includes it as one of the basics style items of Parisians in her style guide.

Meine beste Freundin ist meine Miu Miu Strohtasche die ich innig liebe. Vor ein paar Jahren habe ich das gute Stueck bei ebay erstanden. Ich trage die Tasche nicht nur an sonnigen Tagen sondern gerade an den beruechtigten grauen Londoner Sommertagen um die Erinnerung an den Sommer wachzuhalten.

Trage eine Strohtasche zum Abendkleid um den Look zu brechen. Ines de la Fressange beschreibt die Strohtasche als eines der Basics in der Garderobe jeder Pariserin in ihrem style guide.

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