Frédérique Veysset -fashion photographer- and Isabelle Thomas, personal stylist and fashion blogger, with the help of illustrator Clément Dezelus, are currently experiencing a massive success with their new book-guide-UFO called “You’re so French MEN“. Selected men with a certain style (from 23 to 75 years old) illustrate a very inspiring how to fashion guide, through portraits and morceaux choisis to feed their French Touch. From picking the right shirt, to more lifestyle advice, this book is an open bible for the sort of fashion we love: open, inclusive, teaching without dogmatism. Frédérique and Isabelle accepted to give us some insights.
What are the biggest fears of men when it comes to their style?
Frédérique: When they do worry about their style, men are perfectionist, obsessed even with very tiny details. They learn pretty quickly and are curious. They want to learn the history of clothing and fashion rules. They like to respect them or to distort them with a certain elegance. When men don’t care about fashion, nothing beats them: for some men, wearing a black skirt with pointed shoes is state of the art style!
Isabelle:In our society, image is essential. Paradoxically, taking care of one’s image can sometimes appear suspicious. A lot of people are reluctant when they see someone trying to stand out with style: is he gay? is he a dandy? is he vain or superficial? Certain men can remain feeble with fashion…It’s less risky to be conform, to wear this classic suit with a grey tie! But when men are more confident or control their image, they experience a great pleasure to wear clothes and shoes…They’re definitely more maniac, rigorous, precise than women. Thanks to fashion blogs and forums dedicated to men’s style, we start to get rid of preconceptions.
As a neophyte, how should we start in order to get a proper wardrobe?
Pour un néophyte, par quoi devrait-on commencer pour se constituer un vestiaire?
Frédérique: a nice pair of shoes, actually two first, you can buy them at Crockett & Jones, Caulaincourt, Weston, Peter Sorensen…whatever your style is, just pick quality. And you then need to look after them to make them last!
Isabelle: you first need to reconsider your current wardrobe to get rid of outdated pieces, worn, or that does not fit you properly. A lot of men wear bigger clothes than they should; the jacket fall on shoulders, pants float…Men should see themselves as they really are! Then, men need to buy good basics (a nice white shirt in Egyptian cotton, a raw denim, a dark suite that fits you, jacket and derbies…). Men have then to enjoy, to play with colors, materials and forms.
You’re so French MEN is about this…French touch! What can we bring to the world?
Frédérique: In fashion? A certain way of marrying bourgeoisie codes with a twist of fancy. Otherwise, French used to master courtesy, politeness, gallantry and were recognized for their spirit. It’d be great to bring these qualities back to fashion…starting from France!
Isabelle: French own a certain nonchalance, a way of wearing clothes without this Italian ostentation but with more agility than the British. French know how to surprize, while adapting to codes. He knows how to mix ancient and new, premium with high-street…The French man is more than a brand-lover: he wants to keep his personality. The French knows that even if he’s not the most handsome man on Earth, wearing something chic brings his charm and his sort of intellectual aspect to light. At least he hopes so!
What were the main differences between men and women during the shooting of your two books?
Frédérique: Men were often more available, more flattered and happy to be picked. They did it very seriously, a bit like when you attend a competitive exam: they were scared not to be approved!
Isabelle: Our girlfriends who weren’t picked for the book dedicated to women did not say anything (at least, not loudly) whereas our boyfriends who weren’t selected were grumbling: “why didn’t you pick me?!”
Will there be a next episode to your project?
Frédérique: Maybe if a great ideas comes.
Isabelle: Some people ask us if after men and women, we’re going to take care of children…Actually they already know perfectly how to dress!