Book Review: Paris Undressed
ABOUT THE BOOK (the blurb)
French women seem inherently more confident in their bodies, able to embrace the sensuality of life and love. What’s their secret? Lingerie. Yet, despite an insatiable curiosity for all things French, most women still find lingerie an enigma, a tangled melange of silk and lace, and are confused about how, when, and where to wear it. (Hint: it’s not just for special occasions.) Many aspire to having a drawer full of silky, lacy undergarments, but have no idea where to start: How should my bra fit? How exactly do I wear a garter belt? Do bras and knickers always have to match?
With illustrations by French lingerie designer Paloma Casile, Paris Undressed: The Secrets of French Lingerie will help women feel at ease with their figures and show them how to integrate a lingerie lifestyle a la francaise to enhance their own femininity, confidence, and joie de vivre. It will transform the way women perceive their undergarments – and their bodies – and reveal how to co-ordinate a lingerie wardrobe to reflect personality and to meet lifestyle needs with the right dose of reverie. The book also includes a hand-selected guide to the most confidential addresses and lingerie boutiques in Paris, and discloses where to find the perfect bra, couture camisole or cheeky knicker.
Paris Undressed goes behind the seams, combining cultural references, expertise, and practical advice to inspire every woman to reconsider her underwear drawer.
” For all the women who have ever wanted more from their lingerie “
KATHRYN KEMP-GRIFFIN is a journalist and entrepreneur. She has been living in Paris and working in the lingerie industry since 1990. She started her own lingerie company, Soyelle, which specialised in accessories and beauty products, before founding Paris Lingerie Tours ― the ultimate luxury rendez-vous for helping women fulfill their lingerie dreams. In 2009, she founded Pink Bra Bazaar, a charitable organization dedicated to breast health education and supporting women with breast cancer. Born in Canada, she lives in an old millhouse outside of Paris with her husband, five children, and assorted pets.
PALOMA CASILE designs a line of eponymous lingerie. She graduated top of her class from ESMOD Paris, the oldest fashion school in the world. She apprenticed in houses such as Chantal Thomass and Cadolle, before winning the lingerie prize at the Dinard Festival of Young Fashion Designers. Her illustrations are as graphic, modern, and sensual as her collections. She lives in Paris.
I (try to) never judge a book by it’s cover, if I don’t like it I simply remove it – and that is exactly the first thing I did with this book! The scripted font, frilly border and illustrated lingerie-clad-woman-reclining-on-a-chaise-lounge made me cringe inside. I imagined another dubious ‘style bible’ with patronising and potentially misogynist views… but it is not everyday a new lingerie book hits the shelves. And I was far too curious.
Unlike what the cover suggests this is actually an intelligent, insightful and informative book – perfect for the uninitiated lingerie enthusiast or aspiring designer. For the lingerie enthusiast there are great chapters on lingerie heritage, sizing, brand guides and how to spot the most luxurious laces. For the aspiring designer there is invaluable information on lingerie fabrics, the anatomy of a bra and a even a Do-It-Yourself knicker pattern.
The only downfall is it’s questionable self-help angle and infantile chapter on ‘lingerie journaling’. I feel the book could have conveyed the importance of lingerie, self-love and body positivity easily without these elements.
My favourite Chapters are Three: Sensuality Not Sexuality, which discusses the differences in cultural advertising and distinctions between sensuality and sexualisation. And Six: Feel The Difference, which goes in to detail about the different fabrics used to make lingerie.
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Tags: chic lingerie, lingerie book, lingerie book review, Paris Undressed, The secrets of french lingerie