This local trendsetter reveals how French women look so effortless as we nose around her home…
There’s no denying that French women have a certain je ne sais quoi when it comes to style, and Emma Di Rito is no exception.
Always effortlessly decked out in the crème de la crème of Parisian labels – from Isabel Marant to Saint Laurent – her innate sense of style has been syphoned into her pop-up fashion concept, So Chic, where she collects and resells the best preloved luxury pieces from around Dubai, as well as now selling a curated edit of emerging labels.
Once we’d got wind that she and her excellent wardrobe reside in an ultra-cool, Ibiza-style villa, we promptly invited ourselves over for a raid and a cup of tea, while grilling her on the secrets of dressing the Parisian way.
“I think the reason Parisian women receive so much attention about their style is because they know what suits them.”
“The teal Céline bag hanging from the picture frame is more of a sentimental piece rather than being a great fit for my wardrobe today, but I won’t ever sell it!”
“Parisian women look effortless because they know who they are. A trend can go viral, but if it doesn’t suit a French woman, she won’t wear it. That’s it.”
“Since I’ve had kids, I wear more flats than high heels. I always like my outfit to look effortless and chic.”
My style: I guess my style is stereotypically French. I’m from Paris but I’ve lived in many cities including Amsterdam, New York and Rome before moving to Dubai. I’ve had to adapt my lifestyle but I’ve never really changed my style, it’s always been simple and chic with an edge.
I think Parisian women look effortless because we know who we are. We apply some very simple rules: not too many colours and not too many prints – black and white are our favourite colours. An oversized T-shirt that shows off a shoulder will always be more sensual than a tiny top that shows everything to everybody.
My style secret: Wear something you feel comfortable in; you will always feel more beautiful in an outfit when you just feel yourself and as natural as possible. Sensuality is about being ourselves and looking effortless. When a French woman goes to the hairdresser, the first thing she will say is: “I don’t want people to see I went to the hairdresser.” You have to look as if you woke up like that.
My favourite online stores: I’m not an online shopper. I need to touch and try the clothes on and I will never buy an item just because it’s gone viral on Instagram. The reason I buy something is because it suits me, so I need to try it on first and feel the material.
My style icons: Caroline de Maigret and Charlotte Gainsbourg. Simple, elegant, natural, effortless and very, very sensual.
My most treasured pieces are: My teal Céline shoulder bag is one of my favourite pieces. When I was a student in Paris I loved to go to fashion week. At one Céline fashion show in Paris this bag was a present hanging from each chair. I still love it after so many years!
My shop stop is: I like to go back to Paris to shop and, of course, I always find everything I need at So Chic. I stay in the 2nd arrondissement where I discover new brands. I then work on bringing them to Dubai to offer them to our So Chic customers at our sale events.
My uniform of choice is: Having two kids means I need to have lots of practical outfits. When I’m travelling I love to wear a pair of Iro jeans with one of my Isabel Marant T-shirts. For holidays in Italy and France, I love my white dress by Lynn Adler which I bought at So Chic. I could wear this dress every day, all summer long with my sandals from Petite Mendigote, another French brand from Paris which is also available at So Chic.
Closet confidential: I don’t like it to be too full and I only like to see the items I wear on a daily basis in front of me in the morning. I have a second wardrobe for occasional pieces; I really don’t want to find long dresses and a ski jacket in the morning when I open my wardrobe and need to dress quickly!
Every woman should own: The perfect evening outfit for last-minute arrangements which will make you look and feel amazing, a pair of shoes you can spend all night long in without suffering and a classic black clutch. For the perfect casual outfit we all need our favourite pair of jeans with a well-cut T-shirt. The only must-have pieces are bags and shoes, which you will wear over and over again.
My day-to-day wardrobe: Simple and comfortable but always for the right situation. No sports clothes for anything other than sport!
The best fashion advice I’ve ever been given: Never be overdressed and choose elegance and sensuality over showing too much skin.
Styled by: Carmel Gill
Photographer: Farooq Salik