Chantilly lace

Screen shot 2015-04-16 at 12.09.21 PMIt is no secret, my fashion idol is Inès de la Fressange. Yes, her easy elegance takes a lot of hard work and I do not follow here advice as if it was scripture. I have been known to go bra-less, I have no problem with not wearing make-up in my home and I have never worn my grandmother’s diamonds with jeans in the afternoon. Ok, that last one: I would if I could.

One piece of advice Inès gives in Parisian Chic is to add authentic, ethnic pieces you’ve purchased on your travels to your standard wardrobe. Yes, madame! I have been doing that since my first trip to Paris 35 (gulp) years ago, but with globalization, it has become something of a challenge.

This summer, while strolling through Corsica, we stumbled upon inspriation: antique lace linen tops, skirts, and nightgowns. As late as the 20th century French women were sewing lace in to linen, making exquisite pieces to be worn in layers. The tops are cut in an A-line for generous volume that fits many sizes and the stitching is a wonder to behold with initials often embroidered into the garment.

Always white, the tops are easy to wear this jeans in the afternoon, or can dress up a pair of black pants for a dinner date. Add a red velvet blazer and you’re ready for the opera.

In Paris you can find local pieces at the flea markets, but my favorite source is  Chercheminippes consignment shop, where they always have a rack of these lacy accents. Yesterday I stopped by and found one that was frillier than most and could not resist. The prices are as vintage as the garments, with 25€ enough from something really spectacular to add to your closet.

The shop has several addresses, you’ll find the lace linens (not just fashion, they often have household linen, too) at 109 rue du Cherche Midi.

Open Mon – Sat // 10h-19h

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