August 31 2014

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“I Still Buy Stupid Things That Maybe I Won’t Wear. One Would Be A Very, Very Sad Person Not Doing That”


President Obama and Charlie Sheen—both in town for visits of varying diplomatic necessity—were the cause of traffic jams all along Midtown, but on Madison Avenue, Inès de la Fressange was traffic’s raison d’être. The model, Roger Vivier brand ambassador, and newly minted style scribe was at Vivier’s uptown boutique to fête her new book, Parisian Chic, to a packed house of society dames and fashion types including Lynn Yaeger and Joe Zee of Elle, whose magazine co-sponsored the event.

The evening was all about France, but de la Fressange asserted her admiration for the American sartorial sensibility. “I do think the casual thing that’s done in America is fantastic. Loafers…You just have to see the queue at Abercrombie & Fitch. In very casual things American people are so good. But not only casual things!” To wit: “Just today I was in a shop, and suddenly I saw one of these old ladies that you can see on Madison—really very tall, tight pants, flat shoes, gray hair…She was walking a little bit like a cowboy, however, and I thought she was so chic!”

Cowboy casual? A little odd, but de la Fressange defended the virtue of the occasional faux pas. “I still buy stupid things that maybe I won’t wear. I mean, one would be a very, very sad person not doing that. You have to! It’s fun, you know?” And style, she was quick to note—Madison Ave. environs notwithstanding—doesn’t require piles of cash; on the contrary, it’s the great leveler. “Usually it’s not really celebrities and it’s not really wealthy people,” she said of her inspirations. “There’s a justice in style, in fashion. Don’t you think so?”

Photo: Billy Farrell /

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