The French may be snobby to a fault, but don’t they have a right to be? Their clothes are amazing, Carine Roitfeld walks among them daily, they eat butter fearlessly, they get to take
long actual vacations, and they act like they don’t care about pedestrian things like exercising or the harmful effects of smoking. A lassez-faire attitude in France seems honest, whereas in America everyone knows it’s a mask for a multitude of deep-seated insecurities and nagging daily fears about how one’s hair looks on a given moment. Inès de la Fressange is the quintessential effortlessly stylish French woman. The ex-model and 52-year-old mother of two was once a muse to Karl Lagerfeld, and recently walked the runway for Jean Paul Gaultier. She’s the kind of French woman who probably gets out of bed without brushing her hair, throws on a cardigan and a necklace or two and looks like she stepped out of a haircolor commercial, even when dropping her kid at school at 8:30 in the morning. But we can’t hate her because, as the Independent reveals, she’s amazing and delightfully blunt.
• She eats club sandwiches.
• She told a British reporter, “I imagine Bridget Jones working in an office and dying to go and buy a pair of shoes at lunchtime, you know. French women have a kind of arrogance. It’s: ‘I ignore fashion, I do my own thing.’”
• At a private Chanel viewing, she greeted Anna Wintour by changing into the same red suit the Vogue editor wore along with dark sunglasses and mimicking her to her face. Anna laughed.
• She says the highlight of modeling for her was “when I stopped. It’s boring to be a model.”
• She loves flats: “[S]ome people think that shoes are ladders. No man is going to say, ‘I would love you so much more if you were 10cm taller’. Women are suffering, you know. Elegance is about feeling nice, how can you feel nice when you have shoes that are like a prosthesis?”
• At 51 she walked the runway for Jean Paul Gaultier. “There he was showing that he likes all kinds of women. I think people were clapping for that too, to show that it’s possible to be fine at 51, as I was then, without botox.” She adds, “[It’s] impossible to find a woman who is more than 30 years old in magazines. It’s like being older is hidden, there’s no one for women to identify with.”