We were surprised by Inès de la Fressange's fashion tips and you will be too

We were surprised by Inès de la Fressange's fashion tips and you will be too

Talk is chic

Text: Jolene Khor Buro. Singapore

Ignore fashion trends, always shop high street, smile to hide your wrinkles and other fabulously French tips to the je ne sais quoi life

The most frequently amulated must be the French. The foodies with its haute cuisine, the sentimental with its romance, the flirtatious with its easy charm and the soigné crowd with the wardrobe of one Inès de la Fressange.

De la Fressange, fashion designer and style icon, is an individual whose spirit cannot be captured with words, her style inherently inimitable. Because, the answer to what makes those Roger Vivier shoes she walk in so covetable, the reason her Uniqlo sweater looks better tenfold, is not in the physical components of the products. Their success outsourced, their secret ingredient, her — her essence, the wit, that breezy laugh. De la Fressange's X factor is her personal brand; she is not made-to-order, she is limited edition, her number being 1. 

Most Parisians will tell you that there is no straight formula to Inès-ism. They're right. But we inch closer by embracing some of her creed, which she shared exclusively with Buro 24/7. Take notes.

What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion is something that when I understand it, it's already too late, so it's impossible to follow. But, even if I don't like it now, maybe later I will!

You have been involved with the design process of many different brands, from Roger Vivier to Uniqlo, to your own label. What makes one's style stand out from the rest?
Ignore fashion — it's the best way to stay fashionable. And never copy but stay informed. Also have courage.

What are 5 key items in any stylish women's wardrobe?
A nice pair of shoes, like the patent ballerina flats from Roger Vivier; a pair of white jeans (perfect everywhere, in all seasons); a navy blue sweater (looks good on everyone and gives us nice complexion); a basket bag (often better than an expensive handbag, it gives a breath of freshness); a navy blue coat (works with sneakers and just about everything!)

Is courage the secret to the je ne sais quoi, for which you are so well known?
Dress up for yourself to feel good and you will look stunning. French girls dress up to find self-confidence. They know that if they feel good, they will seduce and that it's not their clothes that are going to do the seducing.

Is style born or bred?
I never care about brands. I mix up vintage with the new, sophisticated and casual and I do it with freedom. Maybe style is when you don't want to show off and love fashion without being obsessed to be trendy. It's a spirit — everyone can catch it. The best thing to do is educate yourself and have good thoughts.

You will be turning 60 this summer, what are you most proud of from a career perspective?
Oh yes. How well informed you are! [Laughs] Listen, I am proud that you asked me that question! I've been around since the late '70s and you think I still have something to say! That's an achievement to me.

What advice would you give women regarding ageing beautifully?
Number one, don't try to look young; only old ladies are obsessed with that! Secondly, keep visiting high street shops and non-expensive places to buy clothes. Thirdly, always smile because your wrinkles won't show as much. Never wear all your jewellery together, avoid fur (it makes you look older) and lastly, listen to The Rolling Stones and dance in your dressing room!

Your daughter is turning 18 — what is the greatest thing she has taught you?
To not wear that leather jacket my friend told me to buy. "It's not your style!" she said.

Roger Vivier is credited with creating the stiletto, still widely worn today. What do you think makes the stiletto heel so timeless compared to other styles that have come and gone?
Because it's an exclamation point! The stiletto heel means surprise, joy, enthusiasm.

What is your favorite piece from the new Roger Vivier FW18 collection?
The Black Patent Podium Square Bootie. Wearing them is the best way to be elegant, trendy and rock and roll all at the same time. They twist every outfit into something great.

Roger Vivier's fall/winter 2017 collection, below.