Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Le giraffe


Ines de la Fressange has been given the Legion d'honneur. I saw her at the party to launch the Golden Age of Couture show at the V&A. Tall women are sometimes called giraffes, this was the only time I have seen a woman who did exactly look like another species. You could see her everywhere you looked around that crowded, fashionable room. And I'm sure she eats only little leaves from tall trees.

(Which reminds me. On an entirely tangential note, it's official. Jews can now drink giraffe's milk.)

The ageing process is greatly helped when you're tall, thin and look a bit like a boy, albeit one with excellent hair, because let's face it, there's simply less of you to go south/downhill/wrong. So I actually believe her when she says she's reasonably relaxed about getting older, partly because she doesn't appear to have had any work done, and partly because age doesn't seem to be compromising her taste in clothes and accessories at all.

“That's not quite true,” ripostes de la Fressange in her perfect, idiomatic English. “I can't wear really short shorts any more, or fluorescents. Actually, I'm a bit of a navy jumper maniac now. But I'd certainly never go to a shop for 50-year-old women. And I wouldn't go really classic - it's very ageing.” This from the woman who used to live in Chanel, before Lagerfeld unceremoniously fired her as the house's face. But that was when she was still in her twenties, and even then she would mix her tweeds with T-shirts and jeans. Standard practice now, this was considered une vraie scandale at the time.

13 comments:

metscan said...

I really think she is beautiful. It is not her fault to be tall. I wonder how would she look like had she that height and would be fat? I think we all are just a bit jealous.

Toby Wollin said...

Actually, I don't agree that the ageing process is easier or more kindly to tall thin women; yes, there is less to "go south" but I tend to think that really thin women start looking really gaunt when they are older.

Deja Pseu said...

Heck yes, I'm envious, but I don't begrudge her her looks. I disagree with her that classic styles are inherently aging; if you follow her other rule to mix in a little "punk" and mix hi-low having a classic element keeps the look grounded.

Anonymous said...

Er, sorry. Who is she? I do agree that classic dressing on older women is very ageing, though. Pearls look great on teenagers but dreadful on women in their forties/fifties/ sixties. They start to look all right again when you hit 70.

Geri

metscan said...

Geri: I disagree about pearls with you. Yes, artificial pearls might look good on teens,but r e a l pearls are so perfect on women,regardless their age. The grander the better. Tahiti and south sea pearls are wonderful!!

Miss Janey said...

No bones about it, metscan. Miss Janey is TOTALLY jealous. She's sensational looking!

greying pixie said...

Geri: there are pearls and there are pearls. A single string of small pearls does look very 1980s Sloane Ranger, but to wear several strings with a beautiful sheen is as flattering to any age as candlelight. The whole point of investing in good jewellery is that it can be worn all your life.

I've always loved Ines de la Fressange but I'm surprised to hear her reject the classic look as it is the look I most closely associate with her. Straight jeans, little twinsets, hand made mocasins and trenchcoat.

And I agree with toby wollin, an extra 3 or 4 kilos really does help the pad out the wrinkles - witness Catherine Deneuve, an inspiration for us all.

Anonymous said...

I agree w/ Ines that it's not necessarily easier aging based on being tall or thin, it's an individual thing. Frankly, I think a HUGE amount of it is your attitude. Envying her is a waste of time, just work w/ what you have.

I've never thought of Ines as "classic"...she's always been a rule breaker and did what works for her.

Anonymous said...

Catherine Deneuve has had alot of work done on her face, so keep this in mind.

Anonymous said...

Ines always looks so effortlessly cool. A good part of that for me is her deportment. I think she makes the clothes look good.

greying pixie said...

I don't think we know for sure how much Catherine Deneuve has had done, although she does admit to a touch of Botox. I mentioned her originally more for the fact that she is evidently much heavier these days but really carries it well.

A friend of mine saw her in a restaurant in Paris about five years ago and said she looked fabulous.

I guess I see her as an inspiration because she is so classic.

Anonymous said...

I'm not her Dr, but she's had more than just Botox...one can see that clearly. Nothing wrong w/ that...her biz, but I think it's worth mentioning because so many women have a tendency to compare themselves to others negatively, esp. movie stars.

I don't see her as especially classic either. Nobody who goes to Jean-Paul Gautier is seeking to look the stereotype of classic, she just knows what looks good on her.

greying pixie said...

OK anon, I see your point and would not disagree with you. I suppose the word 'classic' is open to debate anyway. Maybe what I mean is 'elegant'. What I love about her is that her look is so obtainable. I'm of an age where looking at movie stars no longer makes me feel negative about myself, but looking at Catherine Deneuve actually makes me feel quite positive about my own looks.

I guess I just wanted to share this which is why I mentioned her in the first place as a source of inspiration for older women. (The only thing I really don't like is her bizarre choice of handbags!)