Chic and nonchalant, Caroline de Maigret has that je ne sais quoi. The French-born stylist, Paris resident, model, muse and co-author of the book “How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are: Love, Style, and Bad Habits,” is not only an expert on all things Parisian, she’s the pin-up.

So, when we headed to The City of Light to shoot the Michael Kors Jet Set 6 campaign and Fall 2015 catalog, we called on de Maigret to give us the 411 on all things oo la la. From Parisian closet essentials to must-know French phrases to demystifying all the classic stereotypes (e.g. French women live on a diet of croissants), she gives it to us straight and with a dash of humor—in other words: just like a Parisian.


Q: In your book, you name the items that a French woman would never have in her closet. What are the 5 items she definitely would have?
“A masculine white shirt, a cashmere sweater, black high heels, a navy blazer and boyfriend jeans.”

 Q: In your opinion, which celebrity or It girl would make the perfect honorary Parisian because of her style?
“Charlotte Rampling. She's extremely elegant and stylish, but it never overpowers her personality. She also plays very well with the feminine/masculine codes.”

Q: When walking down the street in New York, what are the things that give someone away as a Parisian?
“Smoking, messy hair, drinking red wine for lunch, saying out loud that she’s in a ‘bad mood,’ contradicting what everyone is saying even if she thinks alike, just for the fun of the debate, and one too many buttons opened on her shirt.”

 Q: Describe Michael Kors in 5 French words.
“Essentiel (essential), élégant (elegant), moderne (modern), tous les jours (everyday) and tous les soirs (every night).”

Q: What are the three most Parisian looks from the Michael Kors Fall 2015 collection?
“Look 24, Look 39 and Look 40.”


Q: What’s the most useful French phrase to memorize when visiting Paris and what does it mean?
"L'avenir, c'est ce qu'on a inventé de mieux pour gâcher le present,” by Roger Vadim in And God Created Woman (1956). It more or less means, "We make up a bright future, so that we can waste the present.” It will instantly start a fun conversation on living in the present, on "nouvelle vague,” on anything! 

Q: If not Paris, what other city would you love to live in and why?
“I lived in New York for 5 years and I still come back every 2 months for work. I love it dearly. I have the incredible chance to have both Paris and New York in my life and I know it enables me to do all the things I do, my creations, productions and all. I couldn't do all this without one or the other city. New York gives me the energy to do things, believe in them and make them happen. Paris gives me the quality time to think about my ideas, sit down and talk them over. It’s the perfect mix really!”

Parisian Women...


Eat croissants all day long and still stay slim…
“Not true. Eating a croissant on the weekends in the morning on the terrace of a café sounds more realistic! French girls eat whatever they want in their social life but are careful at home with no witnesses. No one needs to know your secrets, keeping these things mysterious is very Parisian. (And I believe it’s not very interesting to talk about this in your conversations with others, anyway! No one needs to know if you went to the gym or if you're on a diet, really.)” 
Are all about art and culture—visiting a gallery or seeing theatre at least once a week…
“Not sure. I do. I need to see beautiful things and learning things is one of my biggest pleasures in life. Moreover, I believe knowledge is confidence and confidence is beauty!” 
Always carry a notebook…
“Well there are notebooks on phones, aren't there? I do write down everything people tell me that I find interesting and I want to know more about—names of movies, books, documentaries, a restaurant, anything—in a special file in my phone. If I don’t do it, I forget about it the next day. And then, once in a while when I have time, I take that list and go investigate, buy the book, watch the film…” 
Would never wear makeup on a date…
“Half true. To me, makeup should be there to enhance your beauty, make you look better but not look different. You want to show the real you, because obviously you're hoping that your date is going stay for a while in your life, so sooner or later, he/she will get to see reality! So you might as well do it right away. That’s why I never understood super padded bras, I wonder what happens in the bedroom once it's being taken off! The lover would be like ‘Wow, where did it go?!’” 
Greet each other with a kiss on both cheeks…
“True. But I'm messed up now by traveling to America all the time—I kiss on both cheeks and hug people at the same time! Yup, I'm full of love!”