The embodiment of Parisian cool, fashion’s super muse Ines de la Fressange is the ultimate proof that real style has no age limit
Ines de la Fressange is a rather exceptional woman. Not only was she one of the first models to sign an exclusive contract with Chanel back in 1982, but the French writer, socialite, designer and intergenerational muse boasts a decades-long career that shows no sign of slowing down. Renowned for setting the benchmark for French girl style, de la Fressange is well known in the industry for her loyalty to those she admires the most — most notably Roger Vivier, for whom she is still a brand ambassador. Here the original street style icon talks MOJEH through the top 10 style tips she has picked up throughout her time in the industry, some of which may very well surprise you.
Always Have Fun With Fashion
Luxury brands don’t have to be uptight and stiff, they can be great fun too, and Roger Vivier is the perfect example of this. When we first launched the brand, instead of sending limousines or huge black cars to collect our celebrities, we would send a yellow cab or double decker bus instead and they loved it. We also had a mix of well-known and unknown names at the launch party — hairdressers, assistants, lawyers, researchers. We wanted to show that fashion can be both cool and luxurious, so that’s exactly what we did.
View this post on Instagram
Nobody Feels Confident All The Time, So Don’t Beat Yourself Up
It can take a lifetime to feel confident within yourself and your style, to not feel like you don’t have the right clothes at the right moment, or to think that other people have better wardrobes than you. Just remember that at the end of the day, people aren’t paying as much attention to you as you might think.
Make Wise Investments
While I believe objects aren’t important to our lives, there are a few purchases worth taking into consideration. Invest in quality over quantity, be it a good jacket with a great cut, an expensive watch or a nice pair of shoes that can bring together a whole outfit. Case in point? Roger Vivier’s Belle de Jour shoes in black varnish with a buckle work well for all occasions. They are like the Burberry trench coat or the Hermès Kelly — these are iconic items that can last decades, and you will treasure them much more than a T-shirt or pair of jeans that you don’t really need, but purchased because they weren’t expensive.
Choose Happiness Over Style
Perhaps you are on your holidays with your newborn baby, with every intention to get dressed up for a nice dinner. In reality you find yourself in your sloppy T-shirt and jeans with messy hair, but in that moment, in the car, when you open your window and there is a warm breeze, you feel happy. You don’t care. This is the moment you feel your best.
View this post on Instagram
Always Pack Your Essentials In Your Hand Luggage
By doing so, it’s not such a problem if the airline loses your case. For me, if I have my Gucci sunglasses to hand then I will manage. I can always find an extra-large men’s shirt in any supermarket, or in the rare cases when there are no shops, I take linen from the bed and make a dress from it. There’s no quick replacement for a good pair of shoes, though.
You Can’t Cheat Good Accessories
It’s better to walk around with a shopping basket than a copy of a designer piece. It’s better to wear espadrilles than a pair of fake Diors. Roger Vivier has been copied a lot, but never to the same quality. As they say, though, imitation is the greatest form of flattery.
Quality Accessories Can Turn Any Outfit Around
I remember once when a 60-year-old woman came into Roger Vivier with her hair undone and no makeup on, just wearing a black sweater, black pants and, sorry to say it, really awful shoes. She tried on one of our styles in black varnish with a buckle and immediately she looked so stylish. It was the combination of all black with a really beautiful pair of shoes — she looked extremely elegant. Yves Saint Laurent used to say it all the time — you really don’t need much, just a well-formed skirt and black sweater pulled together with a belt and you are good to go.
View this post on Instagram
Sexiness Is Overrated. In Fact, I Would Say Sexy Is The Worst Word In Fashion
Sensuality, however, is interesting. If you ask a man what he loves in his partner, he won’t say her huge nails or red lipstick. He will say he loves it when she puts her hand in her hair, or when she laughs. It doesn’t have to be all about tons of makeup, long nails and piles of jewellery. I think the women of Dubai realise that too.
Teaming Luxury Brands With Unique Finds Is The Definition Of Elegance
When a woman only buys luxury brands, it’s just not very elegant. I remember Loulou de la Falaise, one of Yves Saint Laurent’s closest friends, would wear YSL trousers and jackets with a bag from Morocco or an old belt she had had for years. I love the mixture of country and city, it is much more interesting to me. No one should look like they have just walked out of a magazine.
You Can Never, Ever Have Too Many Pairs Of Roger Vivier Shoes
I must own around 100 pairs of Roger Vivier shoes and it never feels like enough. One of my favourite pairs of shoes, however, are my 70s-style black boots that are a little bit luxurious and a little bit rock n’ roll. I feel comfortable in them and they go with everything. They are my safety shoe. I love fashion and I love shoes — I am crazy about them. But in reality, it’s boots like these that I wear most days.