Inès La Fressange epitomises the French chic that I have always aspired to, oh how I have tried. OK she is tall (5’11), thin, gorgeous, but even my younger, thinner self failed the French Summer test. It’s easy to get the Winter kit the Parisian’s wear but in Summer they have a look that, at first glance, seems easy to perfect, but is it?
Does it start from the brown slim ankles in tennis shoes or ballerinas or plain sandals? Or is it the perfect white pants, jeans, relaxed pants in linen, cotton, not too tight not too loose, with the simple beat-up belt? Then there is the raft of tops and t shirts and singlets in muted colours, a simple linen or silk shirt, left open. Just add the right amount of jangling gold bracelets mixed with beaded friendship bracelets.
Inès dresses quite conventionally, doesn’t do edgy or bo-ho, but that’s no bad thing. She’s now 55 and I don’t think she has ever put a foot wrong sartorially. The French have an expression for it, bien dans sa peau. What makes her look so effortless is the way she absorbs fashion. She has not changed her style over the years. Is this the answer to her ageless look? Her uniform of blazers, jeans, a capri with shirts, Le Smoking or a long and slinky gown for night, is a look that she repeats over the years. But not of course the same items, it never looks dated because the items themselves are updated and new. Nothing is overdone or too studied and her rigorous polish can be an inspiration to us all.
Her book Parisian Chic sold more than a million copies. Always a muse to designers, she worked exclusively at Chanel and still sometimes walks the catwalk. She began her career as a model, married, and has always lived in Paris. Currently she works with Bruno Frisoni at Roger Vivier.