Four fabulous, smart, savvy French women offer up their highly amusing insider take on Parisian life, love and liberty.
How to Be a Parisian brilliantly deconstructs the French woman's views on culture, fashion and attitude. Unlike other books on French style, this illustrated handbook is full of wit and self-deprecating humour. Authors - Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline De Maigret and Sophie Mas – are bohemian free-thinkers and iconoclasts, and they are not afraid to cut through some of the myths. They say what you don't expect to hear, just the way you want to hear it. They are not against smoking in bed, and all for art, politics and culture, making everything look easy, and going against the grain.
Including 80 black and white and colour pictures, many taken by the authors, How to Be a Parisian explains those confusing subjects of clothes, makeup, men, culture and lifestyle as only a true Parisienne can.
On the style front:
You don't always have to be made up, but you should always be well dressed.
Your look should always have one thing left undone - the devil is in the detail.
Either go all grey hair or no grey hair. Salt and pepper is for the table.
Or on how to answer the phone when he finally calls:
The Parisienne lets the phone ring. (She's not waiting by the phone.)
She feigns surprise upon hearing his voice. (She wasn't expecting his call.)
She asks if she can call him back in five minutes. (She's in the middle of something.)
The thing is, she's not alone... (Et oui: you should never have kept her waiting.)
What the Parisian won't let near her wardrobe:
Logos. You are not a billboard.
Ugg Boots. Enough said. Don't even ask.
Skimpy top. Because you're not fifteen anymore.
The fake designer bag. Like fake breasts, you can't fix your insecurities through forgery.
The ideal man to be seen with:
He's not muscular (You'd rather think of him reading a book than lifting weights)
He's unshaven (Just enough so that you never fully see the man behind the stubble)
He's funny (Until he disappears)
He's got something special (And it's not a car)
There are many books on a Parisian's bookshelf:
The books you claim you've read so many times that you actually believe you have.
The books you read in school of which you only remember the main character's name.
The books that you've been promising yourself you'll read next summer...for the past ten years.
The books that you think make you cool.
The books you keep for your children, just in case you ever have any.
The books you own simply because you must and, taken together, form intangible proof that you are well read.
About the Author
ANNE BEREST is the author of two novels and a biography of Françoise Sagan published this year; she also writes for television, cinema, and theater.
AUDREY DIWAN became a scriptwriter after studying journalism and political science. She wrote the screenplay for Cédric Jimenez's La French with Jean Dujardin and is now directing her first feature film; she is also editor-at-large for the magazine, Stylist.
CAROLINE DE MAIGRET studied literature at the Sorbonne before moving to New York to model. She returned to Paris in 2006 to found her music label. De Maigret has been an ambassador for Chanel since 2012 and supports women worldwide through the NGO CARE.
SOPHIE MAS was born and raised in Paris. After graduating from Sciences Po and HEC, she started her own film company and now works as a producer in Los Angeles, New York, and São Paulo.