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How to be a gentlewoman | The Press

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Vanessa Seward has been evolving in the fashion world for 30 years; she worked at Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Tom Ford and Azzaro. Fashion designer, she launched her brand, and even dressed Nicole Kidman and Natalie Portman. In the form of a primer, it publishes The Gentlewoman’s Guide, in which she offers thoughts and advice on living with panache and elegance, in a balanced way. Interview.

What is a gentlewoman?

“A woman who has restraint, subtlety and who is honest is what defines her best. The gentlewoman puts others in value, she is not showing off. In a world that constantly pushes towards narcissism with social networks, it is good that there is another option, it is the gentlewoman. »

In the form of an alphabet, here are some reflections from Vanessa Seward in connection with the themes covered in her book.

C for surgery

“I come from Argentina and cosmetic surgery is almost part of the country’s culture. It’s a shame, I’m not criticizing, but when you finally resist it, when you turn a corner, you age better. It scares me to see how much it can distort faces. Let’s assume our faults and our personality and cultivate the difference! »

C for fifty years

“It’s good to claim your age. Many women, beyond a certain age, no longer want to say it! It’s silly ! I am 52 years old. Isn’t it better to look good for 50 years old than typed for 40 years old? This obsession with always wanting to look young leads to hell… It’s not easy to grow old, nor easy, but it’s good to claim it and to be in your age. Each age brings different things, we can reinvent ourselves. I read a lot of biographies and I see that we can have several lives. You know, the Comtesse de Ségur published her first book at 57! »

E for empathy

“It’s important to think of others and that’s what defines the gentlewoman. I like that we are turned towards others, it is perhaps qualities that we value less and yet, it is so important. I like the ideal of a world where we are empathetic towards the other, it is what makes the charm of life. In Denmark, empathy lessons are compulsory for children aged 6 to 16. »

I for timelessness

“For me, being very shy, clothes have always been a wonderful means of communication, it was a way of getting noticed and a way of expressing my personality. And that’s where the clothes are interesting, because it’s a shame to suffer from fashion, you can have a timeless look. As Gabrielle Chanel recommended, before leaving your home, look in the mirror and remove an accessory. »

P for Parisienne

“I have been named the most Parisian of the Argentines! The image we have of the Parisienne is sometimes that of a somewhat arrogant woman who cultivates chic effortlessly, and who is not always friendly. Lots of attitude, little sympathy! I wanted to give another option because Parisiennes aren’t just that, you can have style and be empathetic! »

S for sports

“Sport isn’t my thing, but that’s okay! The fact remains that the demonstration on social networks of the efforts that we multiply to keep our bodies in shape, the fact of always showing what we eat, all this goes to extremes. Result ? We are always turned on ourselves. Sport like dental floss must be practiced discreetly [rires] ! In my opinion, sport and style are hardly compatible! I know, it’s provocative to say that. “Sportswear” fashion is everywhere, that’s good, but you have to be careful not to be completely slouched. It’s good, comfort, but you have to dose it and keep a certain pace. I like the casual style, but it’s good to keep a certain elegance. »

V for vintage

“I collect dresses and clothes vintage since I was 16. We have access to high quality parts, that’s what has always attracted me to the vintage, wear beautiful fabrics and beautiful prints. We find wonders! You have to be careful not to fall into disguise and look like you’ve come straight out of a 1970s movie! It’s good to appropriate the pieces and mix them with more current clothes. I am very sensitive to the elegance and sensuality of women in the 1970s. Today, on the red carpets, women want to show everything. It’s a bit too much! I am nostalgic for a sensuality that leaves mystery. »

The Gentlewoman's Guide

The Gentlewoman’s Guide

JC Lattes

201 pages



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