All month long, we’ll be mining the inimitable style secrets of La Parisenne — from the gamine with dewy skin and a perfect bed-head to the model with the irritating ability to exist on a diet of wine and cheese without ever gaining weight. How does she do it? What are her secrets? In a four-part series, we ask some of the capital’s most authentic inhabitants for their insider tips. For our first installment, we caught up with model, muse, and music producer Caroline de Maigret. Click ahead for her thoughts on lingerie, exercise, and the particular joys of taking a French lover.
What do you like most about the lifestyle in Paris?
Taking my time. I finally understand that it is the biggest luxury. Taking the time to eat, to talk, and to read …
Are you a smoker?
I’m a party smoker; and I smoke when I’m stressed; and if I want to lose a few pounds. Okay, yes.
What is your drink of choice?
Martini Bianco with a slice of lemon.
Do you drink most days?
I’d say three out of seven days.
What do you have for breakfast?
Do you exercise?
I just started, at age 39. I’ve had a coach coming to my house for six months now. I hate it, but it feels great.
Favorite film of all time?
L’Incompreso, by Luigi Comencini. It makes me cry so much.
Favorite musician or band?
I love Elvis.
Favorite restaurant in Paris?
What does a perfect Sunday look like for you?
Friends and family gathered around a great lunch.
What are your five wardrobe essentials?
Perfecto blue jeans, sneakers, a large white T-shirt, and black stilettos.
Flats or heels?
One or the other, it depends on my morning mood.
Do you save lingerie for special occasions only?
Everything I own is for the now.
What is the best style advice you have ever been given?
Dress as if you’ll meet the man of your life anytime, anywhere.
Do you shop by the season or whenever you feel like it?
I enter a shop when I see something in the window that excites me. I don’t care for trends and I don’t like to shop.
What items have you bought/will you be buying from the spring/summer 2014 collections?
Black Chanel “heels with socks” shoes.
What is the biggest myth about Parisian women?
Ha! I wrote a whole book about it! I don’t know where to start, really. Let’s say the one about the fact that they don’t do anything to their face. They do, but in moderation.
Where do you like to spend your summer holidays?
Anywhere by the Mediterranean Sea: Greece, Italy …
Is it true that French men are better lovers?
I’d say French men have this strange balance of being macho and feminist at the same time that I find really appealing.
Finish this sentence: A Parisian woman would … never say never — she’s too curious for that.