Sophie Mas: Perfection doesn’t exist

by Magdalena Linke
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Movie producer, Sophie Mas on one of those snatch-uppable books of the “French secrets” genre: “How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are” co-written with three of her girlfriends—writer Anne Berest, journalist and screenwriter Audrey Diwan, and Caroline de Maigret.


The book manages to both unpack the myth and bask in the paradoxes that characterize it. It covers everything from parenthood (“A Mother With Flaws”) to adultery (“How to Make Him Think You Have a Lover”), all while managing to serve up a few recipes and light vocab. Herein, few tips from authors:

1. “Always be fuckable: when standing in line at the bakery on a Sunday morning, buying champagne in the middle of the night, or even picking up the kids from school. You never know.”

2. “Even if the Parisian can come across as a little nonchalant, she nevertheless respects the universal principles of femininity: well-cared-for hands and feet.”

3. “The secret to making a man know you need him: Of course you can open a bottle of wine by yourself. But let him do it. That’s equality, too.”


Magdalena Linke: “There is no word in English for chic,” wrote the late American fashion designer Elizabeth Hawes. How will u describe chic?
Sophie Mas: For us Chic is an allure more than a special clothing piece. It’s the silhouette that you have, the way you walk and how you look at people in the eye when you talk to them. It’s the care you make about being and looking nice, for yourself, and for the others. 

Who inspires you in your everyday life?
People who are curious and daring, whether in the artistic world, in politics, in sports. Publicly and in private. 

Why did u decide to publish “How to be Parisian”?
Because a publisher thought it could interest readers! We had a lot of fun writing it with Anne, Audrey and Caroline, and we’re glad to be able to share our experience. 

In book, you share your own or friend’s experiences?
Well, both I guess! Thanks to what happens to us and others around us, we are all constant learners! 
People who know us very well have recognized some of real facts (with guys, or work wise!)

What was your idea – to enable more people learn about french fashion?
I think the idea was to debunk the myth and the cliches, and show who is the modern Parisian women. And that perfection doesn’t exist. 
We did write about fashion, like what to wear or not, how the signature item is probably the key of a nice look, our basics…
But love, friendship and food have a big place in the book too. We talked about what we experience in our everyday lives, with honesty. 

Why u think Parisian behavior is better then others?
We don’t think it is actually! it’s just different. As we say in the subtitle, one of our chapter is about our ‘bad habits’. We embrace them, trying not to be too guilty, because with a good laugh and without taking yourself too seriously, things are easier to handle. 

When you meet people who read your book, what do you hear? 
We’re happy because no matter where they are (Brasil, Poland, Australia, the US), readers tell us they are inspired and identify with what we say, and they laugh a lot! Which was to us one of the most important thing!





How to be Parisian wherever you are”
Audrey Diwan, Anne Berest, Caroline de Maigret & Sophie Mas
ISBN-13: 9780385538657
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 9/2/2014