If you follow Garance Doré's blog— full of personal essays, illustrations, photographs and interviews with smart, stylish women — you might think you already know everything about her. But the CFDA Award-winning blogger will be putting even more of herself out there when her memoir, "Love X Style X Life," hits shelves and your download queue on Tuesday, Oct. 27.
In the memoir, which is accompanied by lively illustrations and inspirational photos, Doré promises to delve deeper into her seemingly glamorous life — from her childhood in Corsica through sitting front row at all the fashion weeks — plus her thoughts on fashion, beauty, work and love. She also rallied several famous friends, including Jenna Lyons, Emmanuelle Alt, Diane von Furstenberg and Drew Barrymore, for intimate interviews on all of those subjects.
In person, Doré is just as open, candid and surprisingly relatable as she presents herself on her blog. And she was happy to share with Fashionista how fashion week can make her lose her confidence, why working with Emma Watson's stylist changed her life and which spring 2016 collection turned her on.
What should we be expecting from your new book?
It's a book about style, but I wanted to go deeper than that. The chapters go from the outside to the inside. I start telling stories and sharing my experience about clothes and how to dress and all that. After that, I talk about career, which is what we project into the world, and then beauty, which is a deeper sense of style and then elegance, etiquette and how to behave with others. And then I talk about love. It's beyond fashion. It's more how to be stylish in every aspect because I think it's a whole. We're not just clothes. Somebody you remember, it's not just because [of how] they were just dressed, it's usually the way they said hello to you. That sense of respect, that sense of lightness and so that's what I'm talking about in the book.
What do you think readers will find most surprising about you?
The difference between the book and a website is that [with a] book, you have that distance because it's not so immediate, so I was able to go a little bit deeper into things. So the love chapter talks about things I've never talked about on my blog. There are a lot of things that are completely original, but also like subjects like my love life, my family, things like that. Even the way I approach the career chapter, I think, is made in a way that I've never talked like before.
You also feature some of your famous friends and influencers in the book. What did you discuss with them?
I had the chance to be able to say, 'Hey, can I interview you for my book?' to a few of the women that actually have a big influence in my life, including [Vogue Paris Editor-in-Chief] Emmanuelle Alt, whose style has been really guiding me and pushing me to be more confident about mine and that's the conversation we had. All these conversations are actually video interviews. When the book is out there's going to be a website where you can go see the videos. So what we're using in the book is just a little part.
[I also interviewed] Diane von Furstenberg, who's a great mentor. She opened her arms to me very early when I came to New York. Jenna Lyons was a great one to talk to about etiquette and elegance. She really has always inspired me because you can be that elegant, cool, super-stylish woman and at the same time, break the rules and that's what I love about her. I interviewed Drew Barrymore. She's such a beauty, but in such a way that goes way beyond her face and her body. That's the message I want to give to the people who are going to read the book.
I loved your post on your site about working with celebrity stylist Sarah Slutsky for the Cannes Film Festival red carpet this year. How did that experience affect how you approach dressing now?
I'm always a last-minute person. [Working with her] taught me that if you're well-prepared, you're not going to fall into all the traps of the freak-out moments. It's almost like dressing for fashion week. I realize how much better it is for me to make my looks beforehand because when fashion week hits, I don't know who I am anymore. I see style everywhere. I lose my confidence. There is so much noise in my brain. That's why I think working a little more organized, working with someone, having a tailor to help you make everything fit well — all these things also help you with your confidence and that's the key to everything. That's also one thing explained very clearly in the book, it can be fashion week, it can be the red carpet, it can be anywhere, you're going to go through it. Have fun because at the end, that’s what's important. If you're [prepared], your outfit is going to help you instead of bring you down.
How did you prepare for this past set of fashion weeks?
I basically take a whole day and try to get my outfits ready. It's going to change a little bit on the day of because of weather and things like that, but when I still have a strong sense of self — meaning not during fashion week — I get those things ready. I make full outfits. That's also something you learn when you work with a stylist: An outfit is not just, 'Oh I’ll put that T-shirt with that jean.' It's: that T-shirt, those jeans, this jewelry, the beauty... I'm not that perfect, but I try to think which bag am I gonna wear? Also I try to not do too much. Let's say there's 10 days in Paris Fashion Week. I'll make 12 outfits and I don't bring anything else because that's when the mess starts.
And when you're uncomfortable...
I've written about the 'Fashion Week Monster.' That's when you feel suddenly unconfident, so you just jump and go buy some crazy stuff from the closest store and the day after you're wearing a multicolored shirt or whatever and you don't know who you are. I remember one day — it was really funny — I did that and I was dressed like a magazine page and I don't even know now if it was good or bad. That day I was like Anna Dello Russo — when they follow her like crazy and these street style people are going under cars. They would kill themselves just to get a photo. Usually my style is much more quiet, so people take my photo, but it's not like the war, you know? It's nice and it's polite. That outfit for some reason clicked with the street style photographers or maybe it was a slow day and I was the only one, I don't know. But it was so tough going to the show. It was such a thing. It was not just because I had to stop every second — and, of course I do it because I was one of the first ones to ask people to stop and take their photos, so I never say no to anyone — but I remember I was like, wow, it's hard to work, actually. It's hard to do your thing. Just to be yourself and not necessarily try to look like you're here at fashion week and you're putting on 'the fashion week outfits.' I don't think it's so cool.
Speaking of Fashion Month — which spring 2016 show stood out to you the most?
Like everybody I really am excited about Gucci. Because I feel like it's not only a new image and something that's exciting, but it's also the products are so cool, you want to buy them. I think to me, I'm very, how do you say it? I love eye candy. I love beautiful products. The Gucci slippers with fur this winter were crazy. They did the did the same type without the fur — and I usually don't wear real fur — but [Alessandro Michele] did it with a print flower print and I was like, "Oh my god, ahhh" you know when something turns you on like that? I think it's a good sign.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
"Love x Style x Life" by Garance Doré will be released on Tuesday, Oct. 27.