French fashion muse and music producer, Caroline de Maigret reveals how to stay cool during pregnancy


There is an ongoing fascination, bordering on obsession, with Parisian women. Endless articles have been written attempting to decipher the secret to their effortless style, their artfully undone hair and their understated approach to beauty. So much so that, Caroline de Maigret and her best friends author Anne Berest, film producer Sophie Mas and director Audrey Diwan, decided to write a book about it, aptly entitled ‘How to be Parisian…’. If there is anyone who is positioned to be an authority on the subject of the allure of Frenchwomen, it’s de Maigret. The model, music producer and fashion muse (Karl Lagerfeld creates custom-made Chanel pieces especially for her) is the embodiment of the cultural ideal of the Parisian woman, right down to the just-rolled-out-of-bed hair and masculine/feminine wardrobe. However de Maigret is not the aloof French beauty she would appear to be, she is actually darkly funny and very genuine. A mother to a nine year-old son, Anton, with musician Yarol Poupaud, we quizzed the 39 year-old about how to handle pregnancy in style and why you should never let your partner pack your hospital bag….

Caroline de Maigret


In Her Words

How would a Parisian woman reveal the news about their pregnancy?

Past the three first months, but I was telling everyone because I was already big, I gained 24 kilos all together, that's a lot. So I started quite early to lie about how pregnant I was.

How do you respond when some obnoxious person asks how long you have been ‘trying’ for?

I got pregnant the month I stopped the pill, so it was super-fast. It is a very annoying question anyway.

Would you still eat steak tartare?

No, but I couldn't pass on camembert though

Do Parisian women succumb to cravings?

Of course! My cravings were so weird: chilli con carne from the restaurant Joe Allen's in Paris. My friends and my man got really tired of it, they were taking turns to go with me. I couldn’t resist anything at all - I was pregnant and not a smoker anymore!

What do you wear?

I would buy clothes I'd usually wear but in larger sizes. Pregnancy shops were frightening to me. Even though some are really nice, I wanted to stay the same girl, with that extra something!

And on that subject... Do Parisian women ever give in to sweatpants?

For pyjamas I did. But not during the day, no.

What is the secret to staying sexy when pregnant?

Well, for the first time of my life I was pulling off decolletés. I had bigger boobs for once and it was a good way to attract the eye rather than the stomach. I felt very sexy during the whole pregnancy.

Would a Parisian woman ever contemplate going on a ‘babymoon’?

No. It's actually the first time I’ve heard that word, I had to Google it. We don't even do baby showers out here. I do have the need to travel naturally anyway. So during my pregnancy, I went to Corsica, Lisbon in Portugal and Venezia in Italy.

How do you announce the birth?

My man called my parents, then I sent a few texts to my very good friends to tell them. News goes fast anyway!

Did you enjoy your pregnancy? Was it nine joyous months or nine long months?

I thought it was soooo long. Don't get me wrong; I was very happy to be pregnant and I had so much fun with my man dreaming about what it was going to be like to be three. But I got really sick the first few months, then it gets really cool for two months then it gets heavy and boring. There are two good things about the wait though: it gives you time (to you and the father) to become a parent in your mind and to learn to love the baby inside of you. The other is that you are so fed up of being pregnant that you're not afraid of giving birth anymore, you just want it to come out.

Did your style change at all?

My style is me so I can't really dress differently. It got a bit sexier along with my hormones!

What did you miss most during pregnancy?

Drinking. I thought it was kind of difficult sometimes to be always so clear minded. It would have been nice to have a glass of red wine once in a while.

What did you love most about being pregnant?

Making love.

Your top tip for other pregnant women?

Trust your instincts.

What did you pack in your hospital bag?

Well, my son was premature so I was not ready at all. We just split to the hospital in a second. The day after, my man went to get some clothes at the house. In his bag, there was a red and white striped tank top (I didn't even know I still had), a pair of jeans, a bathing suit, a skiing jacket, a ukulele, an iPod and some sexy underwear. The ladies at the clinic were laughing so hard!

If your partner could have carried the baby, would you have let him?


Photograph of Caroline one week before she gave birth by Jean-Baptiste Mondino

How to Be Parisian

How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are by Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret and Sophie Mas (Ebury Press, www.eburypublishing.co.uk)