With her latest Uniqlo collaboration available today, French fashion icon Inès de la Fressange gives us a glimpse of breezy spring style by way of the seaside resort town of Deauville (where she spent many holidays when she was a child, hanging out with her undoubtedly stylish grandmother). The collection — the 15th between de la Fressange and the Japanese mega-brand — includes separates like slouchy blazers and charming blouses, sailing-inspired knits and UV-blocking hats.
Meant to reflect a sense of effortlessness and calm when getting dressed, the looks all exude the same subtle sophistication the model, designer and perfumer is known for. “Many famous designers went to and were inspired by Deauville for a long time, and many photographers went there too,” de la Fressange said in a press release about the collection. “The city is very much linked with the fashion world. I saw many pictures of elegant ladies walking along the beach. It’s part of my culture.”
Here, De la Fressange shares with FASHION how she’s been spending her days in lockdown and what she’s optimistic about both for the fashion industry and life at large.
You’ve been considered a style icon for much of your life; what’s one thing people might not know about you?
Ah, thank you! Actually, I’m rather surprised when I hear that people know me, so I rarely think about what they don’t know. One thing that I’m always surprised by is that many people think the beginning of my modelling career was when I worked with brands like Chanel. I consider this to be more like the end of my modelling career!
What are you optimistic about now that we’re out of 2020?
People had time to think about their lives, their priorities and what they were missing. Today, with the vaccine, I hope things will get better and we will all be happy to find a sense of normalcy in life again with restaurants, museums, cinemas, travelling, kissing, et cetera. I think the fact that [because] most of these things disappeared during the pandemic, people will now appreciate how precious they really are. Now, I hope that everyone will be more grateful for what they have.
What do you think are some of the most important changes in the fashion industry in recent years?
Many things have changed over the last few years, like the fact singers and movie stars have become the biggest influence on fashion. I also think that e-commerce has completely changed the fashion landscape. With online shopping, the demand has changed, and designers have to shift clothing shapes and sizes to make it easier for consumers to find the perfect fit.
Did you pick up any hobbies during the pandemic? How did you keep busy and stay positive?
I have been very lucky to be in lockdown in Provence because I think it’s impossible to get bored in the country. There’s always something to do around the house! I did a lot of decluttering my closets and storage rooms. I also did a lot of gardening: cutting olive branches and planting vegetables. I found out quickly that growing vegetables was quite hard!
I also did a lot of work — drawing jewellery and doing virtual fittings. I always like to keep busy!