Pret-a-Reporter

This Is Where Legendary Model Ines de la Fressange Hides During Paris Fashion Week

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Cinema du Pantheon's chic cafe

When the Roger Vivier brand ambassador and Chanel muse needs some down time from the hectic week, she likes to have her afternoon tea at a hidden cafe in the city's 5th arrondissement.

Model, Chanel muse and Roger Vivier brand ambassador Ines de la Fressange literally wrote the book on Parisian style, so she knows a thing or two about staying chic through fashion week.

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She has a highly edited calendar and only attends Hermes, Chanel and Vanessa Stewart — you know, “the basics” she tells Pret-a-Reporter — in addition to her duties at Vivier. Fressange also takes plenty of time out for friends and family. Her escape? The hidden gem of a cafe tucked above Cinema du Pantheon in the city’s 5th arrondissement.

"You wouldn’t know it’s there unless you know it’s there. You have the impression that you are going to the theater, but there’s a few steps and you are in the restaurant. I love the couches and big chairs for a lunch or afternoon tea," she says.

"Even Parisian people don’t know this place. It’s a bit secret, and that’s what I like about it," she said, though happy to share her love of the space with us. One of Paris' oldest theaters in operation for over a century, the loft-style lounge was interior designed by French acting legend Catherine Deneuve and boasts a leafy patio and vintage bar alongside its comfy couches and stacks of stylish books.

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Fressange has made a uniform out of understated and perfectly accessorized outfits and a best-seller out of her anti-trend tome Parisian Chic. Though she appraised our all-black outfit as "perfect" she shared her advice for an American in Paris.

"It’s not less is more, but it’s what you select," she said. A simple cotton tote is better than a big branded bag, she suggests swapping logoed sunnies for simple black ones. Showing off is verboten and the fashion up-and-down is frowned upon.

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"You see, people in fashion say ‘Hello, how are you,’ but look you up and down. What a look!" she said after a passerby stopped for friendly bisous. Dressed in a man's button down, she added that she doesn't worry about origin or labels: "This shirt, it comes from the flea market." A forever chic chick.

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