Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Book Review: Parisian Chic

I know that most of us seek the little Parisian in ourselves, and why shouldn’t we? Parisians know what to wear and how, but above all they know what not to wear. It seems like French people inherit a special gene that enables them to look good in every situation.
People like us, not endowed by birth with style and an eye for perfect combination sometimes have to find a remedy.
I wasn’t actually trying to find a style guide in form of a book, I mostly scroll through my favourite blogs and try to mix it with my own pieces. But to be honest, I sometimes come to a point when I don’t know what to wear. It’s a rare moment, but it happens from time to time. All the more I enjoyed the surprise Christmas gift I got from a very good friend who seems to know me very good for I like the Parisian way of life and above all their sense of combination.

This so-called style guide “Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange“ features four categories revolving around what a Parisian wears, how she grooms herself, how she organizes and decorates her apartment and a shopping guide of Paris. That seemed like a really good package to me, given the fact that I have been fortunate enough to have been to Paris before and to repeat my visit in the future. Probably a few times.

To go into the actual review:
The celebrity model Inès de la Fressange manages it to reach the reader in a very personal and quite funny way, telling the inside story of how a Parisian woman thinks about fashion, trends, do’s & don’ts. Accompanied by nice little drawings (made by herself) and fashion photography showing potential combinations of a centrepiece with affordable basics, she teaches us how get a variety of outfits out of a few ingredients without paying that much money. What is more is that she also concentrates on what to wear on special occasions (dinner, party etc.) so you don’t need to feel insecure in the future.
The main topics are divided into little hints, nicely illustrated and contributing to the overall style of the guide, designed like a notebook with little photos and scribbling, which I like very much.

I was really excited to have a look at this piece of fashion literature and was even surprised to find a few of my own fashion rules in there (maybe I’m a Parisian after all). Personally it inspired me to save money for a few classics instead of chasing every trend that I see in magazines and after a few weeks on the streets (although street style is an entirely different topic).
However I have to say that “Parisian Chic: A Style Guide” can only be count as half a style guide for the other half contains a tour guide of Paris – shops, cafés, spas, restaurants, hotels… This can sound pretty nice, but the addresses presented here are nothing for a student’s budget and certainly not for mine. Besides that rather makes it to a lifestyle guide, but we don’t want to be pedantic.
To summarize all my impressions of this book I can say that if you are interested in a guide to Parisian style and lifestyle on a light and entertaining but at the same time informative basis I can really recommend this book, but if you are in search of something more profound and professional you may want to look for something different.

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