Grey hair mixed with the fox fur of a coat, Isabel rolls up on a red Piaggio, smokes, drinks a little glass of red at noon, doesn’t like bags. And doesn’t like perfume apart from the basic, Chanel Nº19, kind of like Proust’s madeleines, that she puts on if she remembers, for a night out. “A small bottle lasts me 5 years. I have to throw it out because it goes bad”. Isabel brings to life through her collections a style as trans-generational as trans-cultural. Following Versace, Rykiel or Margiela, the huge Swedish clothing chain, H&M, invites Isabel Autumn 2013.
I spent my childhood in the 1st arrondissement. I just set up my office, very close to Victoires square (la place de Victoires). I like this bit of Paris between the Comédie-Françaises, rue Chabanais where my mom lived, the little Japanese grocery store Kioko (46 rue des Petits-Champs, ) where I buy my rice and my seaweed, and the little wooden toy shop Vilac (9 rue de Beaujolais, ), in the Palais-Royal, that makes me go crazy like a little girl. I love the artisanal ambiance of the Bonnet house and it’s tortoiseshell sunglasses and (5 rue de Petits-Champs, ) or rare vintage pieces at Didier Ludot (24 galerie Montpensier, ). The two brands that I adore, Rick Owens (130-133 galerie de Valois, ) and Martin Margiela (23 rue de Montpensier, ), make this area the most beautiful Parisian walk. I cannot go, let alone buy things from avenue Montaigne or rue Saint-Honoré. If I want to go on a “heavy-artillery” shopping trip I prefer La Brea or Melrose Avenue; they are much more spread out.
How would you “change” Parisian men?
I would replace the taxi drivers, the smoke shop clerks and all the ill tempered, badly raised guys. Now and then I’m ashamed! The idea that the first image foreigners have of us is a negative one, really makes me sick.
How would you “change” Parisian women?
I rather like the Parisian woman. She’s cheeky, she eats and drinks what she wants and is yet just as efficient as an American. I have lots of love for her. She has an attitude unlike that of the Italians, the Americans or the English. A kind of feigned I don’t care attitude. She has the air of being untouchable and yet her unique look does not. She makes a point to appear so that you do not notice her makeup or the three hours spent on her hairstyle.
Extracts translated from French into English from “Paris Du Tout Paris” by Alexandra Senes.