Blue Backless Sundress

The mythic Parisienne has been idolized, exploited, debunked, deconstructed, and revived with such fervor and frequency that it’s no wonder Vanessa Seward has turned to a different archetype for her first book. Debuting in French to start, La Guide de la Gentlewoman explores how the designer views femininity, relationships, and personal style as a push-and-pull between outward performance and inner insecurities—and what we can do to arrive at a more realistic equilibrium. Seward, who spent years in the studios of Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent, joined Azzaro as creative director, and found success reinterpreting ’70s bourgeois codes for her namesake label (supported by A.P.C.’s Jean Touitou), says the project allowed her to relate her experiences indirectly and with a certain lightness. Blue Backless Sundress

Co-written with Matthias Dubureaux, the chapters are arranged in alphabetical order and range from cigarettes to selfies, American Gigolo to ‘Twinkle in the eyes.’ In a voice that she describes as her “alter-ego,” she paints a portrait of a heroine who is imperfect, attainable, and open to interpretation. Chiffon Long Sleeve Floral Print Dress Seward, in fact, illustrated all the portraits, too, including the cover depicting the late actress, Sylvia Kristel. This should come as no surprise to those who follow her on Instagram where she has been gradually posting this burgeoning talent. With repeated mentions throughout the book of her lifelong shyness, Seward said via Zoom where she was joined by her rambunctious cat, Jo, that revealing these new dimensions has been immensely satisfying. Meanwhile, French women might view La Gentlewoman with a certain novelty—certainly a welcome alternative to the Parisienne—although, truth be told, what many of us are really missing is the designer’s incomparably flattering jeans. Casual Floral Dress — Blue Flower

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