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Parisian Chic Paperback – April 5, 2011

4.0 out of 5 stars 218 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“I love everything about Paris.... This book will help me find lots of surprising things to do. I will never be bored!” - Misty Copeland, Porter

“Ines de la Fressange's offerings...are winsome, as is she, but also extremely practical. de La Fressange is Frenchness made as palatable as a Breton T-shirt."
-Daily Telegraph

"...a treasure trove of the French tastemaker’s favorite spots in Paris, for shopping, eating, and more." - Women's Wear Daily

"Thanks to the ladies for bringing a slice of Paris to your nearest Internet accessing device…Not only are the suggestions creative and well researched but there is a great wit accompanying most of the entries." - New York Journal of Books

“Le vrai chic parisien” - Sphere 

"Runway model of the 1980s, face of Chanel and style icon Inès de La Fressange epitomizes French beauty and flair. So when she divulges her favorite Paris shops for splurges and bargains in apparel, beauty and inspired interiors, the fashionable world listens."
-SARASOTA MAGAZINE --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Inès de la Fressange started as a runway model, became the face of Chanel, and launched a clothing line; she is the essence of Parisian style and elegance. Her drawings have regularly appeared in Elle. She is creative consultant for Roger Vivier shoes and is designing the interior of a new Parisian hotel. Sophie Gachet is a fashion journalist for Elle in Paris.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 239 pages
  • Publisher: Flammarion (April 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 2080200739
  • ISBN-13: 978-2080200730
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (218 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,070 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I bought this based on the reviews, product description, and product video here on Amazon, and was very surprised when I actually received the product. Everything suggests that this is a guide to dressing like a Parisian. For the most part, it is not. Here's why

1. My most important point is that most of this book is not a guide to fashion or style, it's a guide to shopping and travelling in Paris. I did a breakdown, of the 239 pages in the book (many of which are blank, or contain very little text and big cute drawings) 77 pages is comprised of shopping guides (for clothing, housewares, children's goods, almost exclusively shops in Paris, although many have websites), and 55 pages is an idiosyncratic travel guide, listing hotels, restaurants, and some museums and other tourist stops. There is a 16 page guide to home decor and entertaining, 14 pages of beauty tips, leaving only 62 pages discussing fashion and clothing.

2. The fact that only 25% of the pages address the apparent topic of the book wouldn't bother me if those 62 pages provided some really keen observations and solid advice, but the whole thing is very glib and basic. Almost all of the information can be found in nearly any modern style guide. I was hoping for some advice on composition - putting clothes together and accessorizing well - which seems to be the real skill of French dressers. The closest I got was the "mix high and low" chestnut, and advice to dress simply and not be too matchy matchy. So essentially a basic description of what French style is, not how to achieve it. Most of the other advice was of the truly revelatory "you must own a trench and an LBD" variety. Um... thanks.

3. Like many guides to dressing, eating, whatever like the French do, the text is annoyingly reductive.
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I anxiously awaited this book. I knew of Ines and and as an ardent Francophile (Francomaniac by my friends), I couldn't wait for this book to appear. What a disappointment. She gives no meaningful advice or insights into her chicness, beauty or style. The photos are all of her daughter.Is it meant to be for a 20 year old? Ines missed a good opportunity to really define the Parisienne and her je ne sais quoi. Instead, the book is filled with generalities. It repeats itself far too much. How many times do we read that it's so chic to push your sleeves up 3/4 or to tie one's belt rather than buckle it (yeah, right; like that looks "chic" on anyone other than a 13 year old Twiggy). I was so disappointed that she did not write a book that shows the progression of French chic from young women to the woman of a "certain age." She's in her 50s. How great it would have been had she shown how she was able to become the style maven and keep that allure well into her 50s. The "advice" on clothing is meaingless. It's not really advice either. The section on beauty is okay but again, the most substantive advice she gave in this section is don't use soap. No big surprise there. Why not say what her beauty routine is or discuss the "principles" of sound skin care, no matter what the age ? It was such a disappointment to say the least. I checked out the on line links she gave for shopping (my trips to Paris, while frequent, do not include for the most part shopping at those addresses). The on line sites where valid (and many were not) would mean shelling out $478 for a skirt. Not too many of us are planning on that kind of budget. The book (physical book) itself is aesthetically attractive. The sketches, even the neat little ribbon book mark, make the book itself a delight to hold in your hand. But this is surely an example of not judging a book by its cover. The interior is banale, superficial and basically "nul" as we say. A sore disappointment.
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Format: Paperback
The book is dedicated "to my new best friend" and then there's a dotted line for you to fill in.


Yes, if the author of a book intended to get you up to speed on Parisian style was just any old supermodel.

But Inès Marie Lætitia Églantine Isabelle de Seignard de La Fressange --- let's call her Inès --- is not like the others. Despite her impeccable breeding (she's a distant heiress to the Lazard banking billions) and her privileged upbringing, she's astonishingly down-to-earth, smart and friendly, with a goofy good cheer that suggests a refusal to take herself very seriously. Proof: at 53, she walked the runway for Lagerfeld, never having had plastic surgery or even Botox.

Interesting story there. In the `80s, Inès was the first model to have an exclusive contract --- with Lagerfeld. A few years later, she was asked to be the image of Marianne, the native beauty who is the symbol of the French Republic. Lagerfeld ended their relationship, saying, "I do not dress up historic monuments." Inès went on to start her own company and consult for Roger Vivier. But it wasn't until she was named the chicest woman in France by the readers of Le Figaro and became the French face of L'Oreal that Lagerfeld had to have her back.

"Parisian Chic: A Style Guide" is like a visit with a friendly, clear-eyed woman you trust immediately. It's the best kind of guide book --- you not only get information, you get it in context. That is, you learn quite a lot about the author and how she came to her opinions:"In the magazines we see the latest fashion, on gorgeous girls, but in my book I just wanted to help the busy woman --- a woman who is not thin, and not that fat, but in a hurry, in a hurry, in a hurry!
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