If anyone can provide an insight into how to ooze Parisian chic, it’s Ines de la Fressange. The French former model, aristocrat, designer and long-time muse (and sometimes close friend) to Karl Lagerfeld was inducted into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1998 and is currently ambassador for luxury shoemaker Roger Vivier.

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Fressange (far right) FROW at Stella McCartney AW14 with the designer’s husband Alasdhair Willis and Rihanna in March 2014
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“To be Parisian, it’s a question of attitude, and pleasing yourself above pleasing anyone else,” Fressange, who still models in her fifties, told GRAZIA. “Parisian women are self-confident. If they don’t want to wear stilettos, they don’t. We French women don’t feel we need sky-high pumps to look great  and you can still be very feminine and very sweet with kitten heels or even ballet flats. It’s all in the way you feel about yourself and how you act, not what you wear.

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Widely considered the two most fashionable women in France: Ines de la Fressange and Carine Roitfeld at Paris Fashion Week in September 2015
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“With the mixing of pieces, in Paris, you see women wearing a sweater from a store like Carrefour, but with Prada sunglasses and sneakers. The idea is to mix: wear gym pants with ballet flats and a nice jacket. She will then be carrying a basket as a handbag, just for something a little different.”

R GettyImages502325651Lagerfeld with friend and muse Fressange when she was a Chanel house model in the 1980s
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Three decades later: Lagerfeld with Fressange and her two equally chic daughters, Violette and Nine d’Urso, backstage at the Chanel Haute Couture AW14 show
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Fressange believes that Parisian women are able to creatively mix their clothes with such a sense of style because of the French capital. “It comes from the city. It’s because of the mix in Paris. There are many different types of architecture  you can see buildings from the eighteen century and new ones popping up – and a different ambience in the north to the south, and the east to the west. There’s a mix of old and new. Because of this, you will find Parisians wearing an extremely eclectic mix of garments.”

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Fressange at the Chanel SS16 show at the Grand Palais in Paris
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“Ladies in France aren’t interested in timeless or classic pieces. And if you label something “timeless” suddenly it makes the piece slightly boring,” Fressange says.

“Fashion shouldn’t have anything to do with being reasonable. Most of the time we buy something because we want it, not because we need it.”

She adds: “The Parisian woman lives like this. Clothes, handbags and shoes are there to make you feel wonderful.” We at GRAZIA would argue that Lauderee macarons fall into the same category.

About the Author Australian writer Kate Hutchinson is currently the deputy editor of Grazia Middle East. Follow her on Instagram.

 
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