On my last trip to Paris, I had the pleasure of meeting the wonderful Valerie, owner of Chez Valérie, where she invited us into her charming 16th arrondissement home.
Valerie is not only an exquisite cook and hostess, she is a former buyer for Galleries Lafayette. Naturally, I had to pick her brain and probe into the style secrets of a Parisian woman.
Here is what she had to say:
Sanci: How would you describe your personal style?
Valerie: Relax, modern, sexy (without being ridiculous regarding my age).
Sanci: What is your favourite piece of accessory you cannot live without?
Valerie: I always keep my little diamond around my neck, it enlightens and fits every outfit.
Sanci: How do you decide what jewelry to wear?
Valerie: I just try them and check in the mirror if it fits or not.
Sanci: Do you have any "secret" small shops in Paris that you absolutely love?
Valerie: Many! They are multi brands boutique, with a nice selection I know I will find the little stylish piece.
Sanci: Do you have a favourite pastry shop in Paris?
Valerie: Yes. Maison Caffet, rue Duban 75016 paris, Maison Adam, rue saint placide in the 6th.
Sanci: How did you start Chez Valerie?
Valerie: Coming back from London, I was looking for a part time activity. I always wanted to get inside home’s people when travelling abroad, this is how I got my idea to host a lunch.
Sanci: What is your favourite book?
Valerie: Not one favourite. French littérature is far too rich: Mémoires d’Adrien from Marguerite Yourcenar or La Peste from Camus are great literature masterpieces.
Sanci: Women around the world always try to emanate the look of a Parisian woman. Do you have a typical beauty routine you can share?
Valerie: Not really except no excess. I always finish my look removing things (make up or accessories). Parisian woman hates being overdressed or too sophisticated. Our purpose is to look wonderful without giving the feeling that we spent 2 hours getting nice.
Sanci: What is the biggest misconception other women have of Parisian women?
Valerie: No idea! Maybe you can tell me?
Sanci: I have always admired how Parisian women have their own unique style. They don't seem to follow any fashion trends. Do you have any tips on how to achieve your own personal, unique look?
Valerie: A good mix between fashion and basic, between relax and sophisticated, comfort and sexy. We hate total look, we look for a nice balance and for something which looks like ourself. If you don’t look yourself, just start again.
Thank you Valerie for allowing us to learn a little bit about your Parisian lifestyle! I absolutely love your last sentence: "If you don't look yourself, just start again."