Model and designer Ines de la Fressange, 52, embodies the French and feminine ethic of je ne sais quoi. And she shared her own theory on French style with the Independent UK.
"In England people follow fashion much more than in France," she explained. "I imagine Bridget Jones working in an office and dying to go and buy a pair of shoes at lunchtime, you know. French women have a kind of arrogance. It's: 'I ignore fashion, I do my own thing.'"
And Fressange knows about doing her own thing. Last October, readers of Le Figaro crowned her the most chic woman in France, even ahead of first lady Carla Bruni.
"I was very proud, of course, but my daughters were all giggling because they think of me in front of a pile of dishes screaming that I have nothing to wear."
Fressange has always kept a light-hearted attitude about fashion, once greeting Anna Wintour after changing into the same suit and dark glasses as the Vogue editor...and Wintour laughed. Although she called modeling boring, she did return to the runway last year at Jean Paul Gaultier's couture show.
"People were happy to see that Gaultier likes old ladies too," she said. "There he was showing that he likes all kinds of women. I think people were clapping for that too, to show that it's possible to be fine at 51, as I was then, without botox."
Check out Fressange's French chic:
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more