CB: When was the last time you wondered what to wear?
ILF: This morning! And every day. I am quite good at giving advice – after centuries in fashion you learn – but for this book we wanted to show the looks you can create from generic clothes we all have at home – a sweatshirt, a navy coat, sneakers – by mixing them in a different way. Often women buy extravagant, fun or original things and the plain, simple thing that we need to feel good and look good – we don’t have it.
CB: Which is your favourite look?
ILF: The navy cashmere coat worn with jogging pants. Women shouldn’t revere their clothes – clothes are there to make you look better. It doesn’t matter if something is for day, evening or to exercise in, it’s how you mix it. A chic jacket worn with a silk blouse would look totally square, but with a T-shirt it is far cooler. Women in their 60s think they can’t do sneakers any more, but it’s what you wear them with. Just a pair of sneakers can transform a look.
CB: Where would you find the perfect cashmere coat?
ILF: In your boyfriend’s wardrobe! It’s very good to steal things from a man. When it comes to shopping, women go where they think they should go. I love to go to the men’s department of a store and find a beautiful shirt in extra small. Or I go to a shop in Paris called Soeur, that is supposed to be for young people, with my 17-year-old daughter. There is always a great T-shirt or jacket. I notice that older women who can afford to buy expensive things don’t go to Topshop or Urban Outfitters. It doesn’t mean you should buy leather shorts and bleached jeans with holes, but you can always find a great scarf or bag.
CB: Why do French women age so gracefully?
ILF: You should see me today – I look exhausted. I never said such a thing. But maybe they move a lot, they smile and they talk too much like me and you don’t see the wrinkles. Don’t expect me to be like some beautiful young celebrity and say ‘I love my wrinkles’ when the only line they have is in the palm of their hand. No, no. We all get older but there are ways to dress to look less old, and an attitude to have.