Paris is magical. If you are strolling on the Champs-Elysée, enjoying the view and being in Paris, you will immediately fall in love again with the person walking next to you. Lately, on the news we see a quite different Champs-Elysée... Let's not talk about that, but let's enjoy the stylish world of Paris through the eyes of Ines de la Fressange.
Ines de la Fressange est la plus belle Parisienne
Everybody knows Ines. For years she has been the model of Chanel and she has also collaborated with other great designers. She lives and breathes the splendid style of a Parisiènne. She is now in her fifties but still very attractive and style is her middle name. Is she born with it or did she learn how to dress and behave the Paris way of life?
How to become a real 'Ines'?
Someone must have asked Ines: “Hey, please tell all women about your style and beauty-secrets. How can you be so beautiful your whole life? How do you always dress so tastefully? How do you become such a casual and chic woman of French allure? In other words: how does someone become a Parisiènne? "
Great taste with capitals
The style guide was born. Ines took her camera and photographed her (equally stunningly beautiful) daughter, running through Paris in the casual style that is so typical for a Parisiènne. She took her pen and wrote all her clothing style and beauty secrets on paper. Ines also picked up her colored pencils and drew fun, funny drawings of herself, the clothing and beauty products. Finally, she also wrote down all her favorite shops, restaurants, coffee bars and places to go out and turned them into collages for this book.
And here we have: a nice style guide for women who admire both Ines and Paris. Ines also gives useful tips for mothers with children: feel free to take your children with you during a weekend shopping in Paris.
As beautiful as a Parisiènne, as beautiful as Ines
The style guide is beautiful designed and nice to read. Nice tips alternate with rather obvious tips ("Blue eye shadow: a wrong move if you want a natural effect"). The translation is sometimes a bit weird, but the beautiful photography and her tips are more important to us.
The target group is from young to 50+. This age group is well served because there are a lot of tips in the style guide for ladies who are as old as Ines but want to look just as young as Ines. Sometimes a bit obvious tips: "Don't use glitter eye shadow because it only makes your wrinkles shine?" But yeah, some things cannot be said enough.
Personally, I like this one: “Tip: Sleeping or making love for an hour is better than a Botox injection from the dermatologist.” Ines always looks happy, radiant and looks a lot more natural than many of her generation of former ex-models. Is sleeping or making love her secret? ;>)
Paris for 'tout la monde'
The book by Ines de la Fressange (in collaboration with Sophie Gachet, fashion journalist from the fashion magazine Elle) is a New York bestseller. After all, Paris has always had the image of style and class that is proportional to the ladies from Paris. Paris First!
We only spot the tourists walking in the streets of Paris with shorts, sneakers and baseball caps. Ines or the daughter of Ines are always walking on ballerinas or loafers and always dressed in the style that is so typical of a Parisian lady. Such as: casual, nonchalant, never overdone and slim as a rake. How do they do that, you wonder, but now you know...
Size "Petite" or just Bon appetite ?!
It is though still difficult. We want to look as radiant and slim as a real Parisiènne. But at the same time, we want to visit all those wonderful looking restaurants, cozy coffee shops and have a delicious croissant breakfast on a daily base, (Chapter 4: Bon appetite!) during a wonderful weekend of shopping in Paris ...
"Fashion is not an art, it is a job" Coco Chanel
The lady-boss of the House of Chanel:
Did you know that Coco Chanel was not only very different from most designers, but that she also worked very differently? She did not design on paper and did not have a sketch book. Unlike her successor, Karl Lagerfeld, who designed ALWAYS on paper.
When Coco Chanel started her fashion house, she actually had very little couture sewing techniques. She had taught herself almost everything herself and worked mainly from her feeling and instinct. She had a great sense of how fabrics could be draped around the female body.
Nice lady or a demanding lady-boss?
When she founded her Fashion House and became more and more successful she got assistants and employees. She passed on her instructions verbally and came across as compelling and very demanding. Her models were also not always happy with the job, they sometimes had to stand for hours until Mrs. Chanel was satisfied. (and she was not easy to please)
Coco Chanel is often associated as an unkind woman who only went straight for her goal and used people to be successful.
In the movie "Coco before Chanel", we learn a lot how Gabrielle started her career in the fashion world. She knows how to move up through stubbornness and opportunism. She knows how to enter the world of the chic ladies through a big (rich) friend. This friend later became her big sponsor and he owes her success largely.
But let's take a closer look at everything.
Coco Chanel was a passionate woman who had a goal in mind. Her dream was unusual for the time. She did not want to get married and have children, but started a business and influence the world of the rich and the famous. There would be nothing wrong with that today. People would admire her and knows what it takes to work day and night at a goal in life.
There were few women at the time who chose careers, who could take the opportunity to build this up and persisted at all.
If Gabrielle had lived in our time, her 'character' might have looked or judged very different.
Coco Chanel would have Social Media to create influence, she could probably found money or sponsors in other ways and maybe she would have been a great candidate for Dragons' Den.
It is bad to be unkind, opportunistic and driven? Not at all. Coco Chanel got her success and she earned it by working hard and having creative and completely new ideas about Fashion, exactly in the right time when women needed something new and inspiring.
Anyway, we wish Coco Chanel, still retroactively, its success. And whether she was unkind or not, she has created a Fashion label that still matters. Perhaps she would never have succeeded if she hadn't had her 'bitchy' qualities.
It is not a secret that Coco Chanel did not like 'prints'. At most a 'Breton stripe', but nothing more than that. According to Chanel, chic was mainly austerity in the design of the fabrics. Except for the tweeds and bouclé fabrics, these were luxurious and 'colorful' enough.
Either you love it or you hate it
Who likes prints? Most people love it. From tropical flowers to a 'tiger print', it can't be colorful enough. Especially in the summer we are crazy about to prints. It makes us happy and it looks great as a blouse or summer dress.
But read Ines de la Fressange's books and one thing becomes very clear: prints are NOT DONE! According to her, you will not easily find a real Parissiéne dressed with 'a print'. The Parisian style is more about the monotonous colors, the creative combinations of trés-chic and elegance of the timeless classics.
Chanel style jackets and prints
If we want to look stylish but occasionally deviate from the 'rules', then combining a Chanel-style jacket (self-made of course!) With a print underneath is definitely a nice idea.
Who says that this can't look be chic and casual at the same time? Bouclé and tweeds, but also summer tweeds, are often very busy in terms of appearance. The fabrics are woven and there is always a beautiful mix of colors and sometimes even patterns.
A blouse with a printed design underneath can easily come across as very 'busy' and a bit cheap.
Fringes, edges and prints?
Apart from that, the Chanel style is often characterized by a lot of fringes, beautifully finished trims and two or even four pockets stitched on the jacket. They should of course be the eye-catchers of your outfit.
Taking all this into account, we would like to point out that a printed blouse, t-shirt or even pants, under a Chanel jacket, is fine if you observe the following rules:
Prints will never go out of style and occasionally combining with them may not be 'Paris' chic, but again not as 'not-done' as suggested in many style books and guides on Chanel couture and Parisian style.
We love prints ... occasionally.
We love this little book about the 50 modeclassics, their history and styling tips. Unfortunatly it is written in the Dutch and German language.
For those who can read it: herby the book review and hopefully you will enjoy it anyway...
The Chanel booklet is a treasure. Written by; Isabel Sánchez Vegara and illustrated by Ana Albero. It summarizes her life in a nutshell and has an eye for detail and her unique style.
"Gabrielle was different. While the other girls played, she liked to sew with a needle and thread"
We read and see how Coco Gabrielle Chanel built her empire through her unusual and renewed style. She created outfits for women that were stylish but above all gave the woman more freedom to move. The hats were practical and minimalistic, and the corsets were banned. Coco designed clothes for the modern woman who was not standing still in life but on the move, perhaps working (this was very unusual at the time). Her choice of colors, minimalist style and specific accessories such as the famous Chanel 2.55 handbag are still very popular and expensive 'must-haves'
It is not (yet?) the time to go to Paris. It is not time to travel at all. All cities are closed and Social Isolation is an emergency to get the Corona virus under control.
But we have a different idea for you.
To feel a bit of spring in Paris, we recommend a few nice books.
Enjoy the beautiful photos, the terraces, the beautiful boutiques and especially all the tips and tricks to be stylish as a Parisian!
Everything will pass, and sooner or later we will enjoy Paris even more than ever.
Paris je t'aime ...
Now it is time for sewing, reading books and watching a movie in the evening. have you already sen the movie 'Coco before Chanel?'
Read our review. we absolutely loved the movie because of it styling, the wonderful clothes and the story. Just enjoy the movie and get inspiration for sewing a Chanel-Style jacket. We are very sure you won't regret.
"International Women's Day contributes to making the importance of International Women's Day visible. Equality between men and women and therefore a basis for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. Women must be given equal opportunities to participate in politics, economics and public life. Violence against girls and women such as human trafficking and sexual exploitation must be stopped. "
This is the objective of the International Women's Day, which we at SewingChanel Style fully support.
We therefore wish every seamstress, designers, fashionata, Chanel-lovers, bloggers, shopowners or co-stasr, artists, workshopowners and all those other thousands of women we have not mentioned, a nice day!
Read more about ALL (women) people behind the Chanel couture:
Read more about Sewing ChanelStyle supports small female businesses:
Who is Karl Lagerfeld? Everyone "knows" this man or at least recognizes his portrait. "Isn't that the Chanel's man?", perhaps most people will answer. Or: "Isn't he the fashion man with sunglasses and ponytail?" His name and appearance are known. But who was Karl Lagerfeld really?
Karl Lagerfeld, the person behind the fashion icon
As a Chanel lover, I could not let this book pass me by. After all, Karl Lagerfeld has for many years been the brain behind the Couture house Chanel and ensured that Chanel did not fall into oblivion but became an unprecedented - timeless - success.
Karl: I try to bring Chanel style evolution by thinking of Goethe's saying: "create a better future by building on the past."
The designer liked to quote philosophers and writers. He was a well-read person and owned a few hundred thousand books. Karl was a great talent with a big ego and a completely own created image.
Quote or be quoted
Karl (German by origin) started his career as a fashion designer in Paris around 1955 and it didn't take long before he became known and was quoted himself. His statements were always surprising, testified by great intelligence, but could also be hard and offensive.
Such as a false remark towards an actress, who he thought was "too fat".
Or a kick in the back of Ines de la Fressange (who turned his back on him after many years of collaboration). Not so nice... He was therefore a complex person, let's just say it, because we also know very well that statements by famous people are often pulled out of context and start to live their own life.
A savant idiot
Karl Lagerfeld was a genius with a vision. Like his friend Yves Saint Laurent, he was able to design clothes that the whole world loved for decades. He was hyper intelligent and had a sense of style, beauty and art. However, his intelligence made him difficult as well. Apart from all this, there were more things by Karl Lagerfeld that did not make him a beloved personality. His extravagant life also disappointed many people. Spending a fortune on a cat, deliberately not wanting children (supported by yet again 'surprising' statements) and living a life of extreme excess and opulence ... It made him as cold as his flawless appearance.
Read after all, get inspired and enjoy
However, this book was an eye opener for me. It is so easy to judge a person by his or her image. But you can only understand what lies behind an image, if you take a look behind the scenes.
Laurent Allen-Caron has made this book a simple, truthful and easy-to-read book. Laurent is a journalist himself and you notice that as a reader. He writes briefly and forcefully and stays close to the facts. His sources and notes are carefully mentioned.
The quotes make the book lively, as if you hear Karl talking. The book causes a smile here and there, for example:
"At the end of the sixties, fifteen years after his arrival in Paris, the press could finally spell the name Karl Lagerfeld flawlessly."
To Karl or not to Karl?
I just wonder if Karl Lagerfeld would have been happy with it... The book is compact, not too thick (240 pages) and is sober.
Karl probably would have preferred a thick, heavy coffee table book, full of photos, luxury and extravagant photos of his creations and himself ...
But there are more than enough of those books too. I love this book. This book is an honest and well-written portrait of an impressive life and man Karl Lagerfeld.
I want to be a Parisienne ! I want to be as stylish as she is. As nonchalant, relaxed and always looking perfectly 'casual chic'. She is clever, well-educated and enjoys eating (but never too much, because she is she the perfect size 8). She knows all the interesting galleries, musea and the Tuileries Garden is her backyard.
But I am blonde and do not live even close to Paris....
read it all
Paris is magical. If you are strolling on the Champs-Elysées, enjoying the view and being in Paris, you will immediately fall in love again with the person walking next to you. Lately, on the news we see a quite different Champs-Elysées... Let's not talk about that, but let's enjoy the stylish world of Paris through the eyes of Ines de la Fressange.
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Pardon my English