At the time when Grace Jones and Jerry Hall were a hit, Inès’ look – perfectly black and no makeup – wasn’t pleasing. It’s Jean-Jacques Picart (luxury marketing consulting agent) who decided that Inès Marie Laetitia Églantine Isabelle de Seignard de La Fressange, going by Inès de la Fressange, would become the incarnation of old France. He made her in demand.
Born in Saint-Tropez, raised in the countryside, I arrived in Paris at 20 years old. Real Parisians are foreigners or provincials who dreamed of Paris and do not have the Parisian accent. A shirt from Monoprix, a Céline bag and a pair of motorcycle boots, that’s a Parisian. That is me today. My Paris is the . Before living there I thought there were only strange longhaired students; that was not true. It’s incredibly authentic. Haussmann didn’t disfigure this corner, or elsewhere, when Woody Allen filmed Midnight in Paris (2011), it was rue Mouffetard. Hemingway knew this neighborhood as it is today. I love the Savoyard fondue restaurant, right next to the Indian deli and the sandal stall open on Sundays. This touristic side makes me feel like I’m on vacation in Arles.
A journey of Parisian bookstores?
I go to Galignani (224 rue de Rivoli, Tel. 01 42 60 76 07) for really beautiful books and foreign press; Delamain (155 rue Saint-Honoré, Tel. 01 42 61 48 78), right across from the Comédie-Française, for plays; to the bookstore 107 Rivoli (107 rue de Rivoli, Tel. 01 42 60 64 95), in the heart of the musée des Arts décoratifs for research; to the Archives de la presse (51 rue des Archives, Tel. 01 42 72 63 93) for old versions of Vogue and other women’s magazines, and to the tiny bookstore of J.N. Santon (18 passage Verdeau, Tel. 01 42 46 41 09) to spend hours in the middle of its old books by Jules Verne or its encyclopedias.
A visit to an unbeatable art merchant or decorator?
La Galerie Réfractaire (26 boulevard Saint-Germain, Tel. 01 43 54 39 90) because Francis Dorléans is a shy being, charming and with an impressive modesty. He is a refined type. This term like his taste is on its way to extinction. In a completely different genre La maison Darré (32 rue du Mont-Thabor, Tel. 01 42 60 27 97) invented by Vincent Darré, a designer of furniture and objects, in line with Jean-Michel Frank or Gio Ponti. The value of his work grows with time. As a person his is fantastic, generous and adorable.
If I let you do anything in your city?
Paint the Eiffel tower pink, the color of frivolity, childhood and happiness. Organize another show with Jean-Paul Goude. He had such a success with his “Marseillaise” in 1989 (celebration on the Champs-Élysées of the bicentenary of the revolution) and France has forgotten it. Paris could organize a parade of the glory of fashion; as it is fashion that made this city so well known around the world. And then, if you gave me the keys to the city I would organize a car-free day: we would go out on horses, skateboards and rollerskates! Take a horse-drawn carriage or a donkey pulling a cart would be so exotic. Transportation is a trip in itself.
Extracts translated from French into English from “Paris Du Tout Paris” by Alexandra Senes.