Agnes is herself a women who exudes an easy chic associated with the streets of Paris, and a French je ne sais pas conveyed by the shrug of the shoulder. The book conveys a cultural and historical investigation into the space, the comments and the construction of Paris as a city of fashion, if not the fashion city.
If you long for a complete understanding of Paris, the literature, the construction of the city and it's perception and portrayal in the fashion press then Fashioning the City will take you on a tour via Balzac, Proust, Vogue, Le Monde and the Eiffel Tower itself.
The writing is intelligent, somewhat academic, but this in itself is refreshing in the day of attention grabbing subbing with little to fulfill the expectation. The discourse is punctuated with images that remind us of our own love affair with Paris and the fashion of Paris. The rich historical referencing to the space and use of the city is supplemented with Paris as a city of pleasure. Rocamoro reminds us that 'In the nineteenth century, Paris became increasingly perceived and fashioned as a center of pleasure, and amongst the pleasures it offered the visitor was sex...A particular kind of prostitute, the 'courtisane', became particularly associated with the French city.' And later in the book the imagery from Vogue Paris, August 2006 titled 'Nocturn Parisien' photographed by Mario Sorrenti remind us how sex still smolders with a glamorized image of a model suggestively posed as if she were a prostitute.
Somehow love, sex and fashion make interesting bed fellows but this is only one facet of Paris and Fashioning the City takes you on a full and in depth insight to the boulevards and side streets that reminds you of your favourite Parisien films, paintings and books and maybe evokes a heady parfum too!