|Jeans, classic shirt and lots of bangles for C'mas style- and why not?|
Chanel muse Ines de la Fressange shows how it's done
It was the late Phyllis Diller who said the thing she didn’t like about the office Christmas party was having to look for a job the next day. Looking Our Best has learned over the years to stay a safe distance from the communal party bucket of mulled wine; possibly the most hair-raising experience was once witnessing a former colleague tipsily grabbing scissors and cutting the telephone flex on the reception switchboard, post party on the night of 23rd December. For some reason, it didn’t seem all that funny come the subsequent 2nd January inquest.
Although austerity has curtailed the works' parties, there will always be an Aldi mince pie and glass of Lidl plonk to welcome festive merry-makers at LOB Towers. As for sharing those other age-old traditions such as putting so much thought into a gift for that special someone that you’ve left it too late to buy it, there are always books. Real books to read on paper, that is, not on-screen. And while buying online is all very practical, one of the pleasures of this pre-Christmas madness is taking time out to browse your favourite bookstore where you are sure to find something to please the woman who has everything – or indeed, the woman who has nothing.
First off is a new publication one of LOB’s ultra-stylish pals has drawn her attention to: The Killer Detail (published by Flammarion in both French and English). The authors, real life couple François Armanet and Élisabeth Quin, are well known journalists in their native France, and, as can be seen from their photo here, can talk about style with some authority and confidence.
Fifty-year old Quin does not dye her grey hair; for an interview to
publicise the new book, the New York Times quotes her as wearing “a short
black Vanessa Bruno dress, a black Balenciaga coat and black Prada motorcycle
boots." Mutton monitor, be damned.
|Don't forget the French Dressing: François Armanet and Élisabeth Quin|
Still with La Belle France, LOB was the lucky recipient a couple of Christmases past of Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange (Flammarion). Ines was a former Chanel model and muse – which probably tells us all we need to know. She wears those little boucle jackets, Breton striped tee shirts, skinny cigarette pants and flat pumps with nary a hint of French cliché. She can even wear a string of pearls without looking like a Sloane. The book includes her top Paris addresses for shopping – both designer and vintage.
Although no longer a catwalk fixture, Ines (56) is currently brand ambassador for Roger Vivier
(check out her video shopping diaries). She has also teamed up with Japanese label
Uniqlo for a new collection coming out in Spring 2014, no doubt injecting their
bright fun clothes with a dash of her own easy elegance.
|Vive la accessories a la Ines|
When it comes to DVD’s as a gift, anyone, whether interested in style or not, will be intrigued by Bill Cunningham: New York. This documentary is a must see because of its endearing central character. LOB must confess that she was unaware of this eccentric 80-something-year-old photographer until this film (directed by Richard Press) was screened in cinemas in 2012. Clad in his blue utility jacket (as worn by Paris bin men), cycling through the streets of Manhattan on what is his 29th bicycle (the previous 28 all stolen), the sprightly Bill shoots using film (not digital) for his regular New York Times features on the city’s most individually stylish citizens.
|He's just our Bill|