(A French woman would never) overload herself with make-up and accessories.
The same Parisienne-ness is apparent in her work, too. The former journalist (she has interviewed Ryan Gosling in Cannes, NBD) discovered her love for flowers when she started decorating her new Tiong Bahru home less than two years ago. And before she knew it,
Over some Mariage Frères tea and canelés (they’re from Tiong Bahru bakery and they’re pretty damn good), Aude gives us a crash course on French style and attitude, allows us a snoop inside her Jérôme Dreyfuss bag, and makes us a really, really pretty bouquet. Merci beaucoup! 🌷
“I am from Paris. My dad is French and my mum is Javanese. But here’s the funny thing: My dad has mostly lived in Singapore, and my mum in Paris. I grew up under both French and Indonesian culture. But if you asked me where I’m from, I’m a true Parisian product. When you grow up, study and then work in this powerful city, you are shaped to become Parisienne, no matter where your ancestors come from. It defines your tastes and aesthetics for life.
I came to Singapore almost two years ago — in February 2015. I came here to be closer to my family (my dad and three step-siblings), and my husband needed to be here for work. Also, I love Singapore — it has been my second home since I was seven years old, visiting my dad during the school holidays.
Back in Paris, I was a journalist. During my last three years living there, I was working for the No 1 daily TV talk show in France. I produced
reportages and interviews every day for the news edition. It got me to meet a lot of people. Among them famous ones like Robert De Niro, Robert Redford and Ryan Gosling, whom I interviewed in Cannes. It was hectic, exciting, interesting and tiring. I lived it with passion and commitment — like with everything I do.
How did Ask A French Flowers happen? Well, after working in a such crazy environment, I thought I might need to slow down a little bit. When we moved in our Tiong Bahru flat with the beautiful heritage tiles, my interest in interior design got bigger. I started decorating with flowers, fresh and dried ones. And when I was invited to my friends’ house, I would always bring DIY bouquets. One day, a friend who works at Chanel told me she wanted me to do flowers for the brand. It all started slowly and very naturally. It became obvious I had to do it seriously. So I enrolled in a professional florist school and went back to France to train. My flowers are bespoke with a European touch — they’re inspired by the beauty of wild nature and still life paintings.”
SOIS NATURELLE, CHERIE.
Imperfection can be more interesting than perfection sometimes. Try and surprise yourself (and others).
How would you describe your style?
Aude Giraud: Parisian Boho.
What’s a go-to look for you?
AG: In Singapore, it would be long skirts. In Paris, it’s skinny jeans.
What is one fashion faux pas a French woman would never make?
AG: Overload herself with make-up and accessories.
So, please tell us, what is the secret to nailing this elusive effortless French style?
AG: Oh yeah, haha. It’s like the city of Paris itself, there’s a mystery around it. Well, I think the basic rule is to go for simple yet chic outfits. Or mixing understated pieces with one thing that would be the highlight of the outfit. Matching the right colours is another must. And most
importantly, don’t be scared of looking natural.
Who are your style muses?
AG: Charlotte Gainsbourg and Keren Ann are perfect illustrations of effortless chic. And I love the sophisticated Audrey Hepburn.
What’s in your bag right now?
AG: Haha, basically it’s just my phone and my wallet!
When it comes to skincare and make-up, are French women more fuss-free or fussy?
AG: Fuss free.
Describe your morning routine. How long does it take you to be ready?
AG: Spray my face with thermal water, apply face cream and light make-up. It takes me 15 minutes.
FLOWERS DON’T LOOK AT EACH OTHER, THEY JUST BLOOM. STAY FOCUSED ON YOURSELF.
Which is the most important step of your make-up?
AG: Eyes. 👀
What are your beauty essentials?
AG: Black eye liner, mascara and concealer.
What is the French idea of beauty?
AG: Sois naturelle, cherie. (Translation: Be natural, dear.)
What do you find to be beautiful in others?
AG: Their true self… (when it’s beautiful 🙂.)
What are you thinking when you look in the mirror?
AG: Is that me?
“Life is about being at the right place at the right time.”
ON WORK & LIFE…
What is your take on perfection? Essential or overrated?
AG: Imperfection can be more interesting than perfection sometimes. Try and surprise yourself (and others). No limit, as long as it’s consistent.
To smile of not to smile?
AG: Smile, no matter what.
Is it better to be early or late?
AG: On time. Life is about being at the right place at the right time.
Is it better to tell the truth and risk offending someone, or is it better to tell a little white lie?
AG: Tell the truth… with the right words — which is not easy.
What, to you, the ideal life right now?
AG: There’s no ideal life, it’s always about the pursuit.
What is your mantra in life?
AG: Go with the flow. C’est la vie.
What do you do when you need a quick boost of confidence?
AG: I inhale my favourite fragrance — jasmine or orange blossom.
What’s the first thing you like to do when you wake up?
AG: Put that thermal water on my face.
Complete the sentence: When shit happens…
AG: Cover it with flowers.
We love your Instagram feed. Can you give us a tip on creating a ❤️-able Instagram account?
AG: Thank you 😊. Show beautiful or fun things. It can be both. Don’t post if you’re not sure, even if it means posting less. Quality over quantity. Find the right hashtags that define what you do, and stick to them. Most importantly, interact with others — it’s a social platform!
Finally, how would you describe yourself with flowers?
AG: Flowers don’t look at each other, they just bloom. Stay focused on yourself.
LET’S ASK A FRENCH SOME QUESTIONS
Art Direction & Photography: Karman Tse // Video: Carissa Huang
Because we asked this lovely French, Aude Giraud will be conducting a floral workshop especially for you WoW readers. It’s going to be a fine French affair. There will be Mariage Frères tea. There will be pastry. There will be ample fun to be had at her charming atelier as Aude imparts essential tips on assembling your very own bespoke bouquet, giving your flowers second life by drying them the right way, and creating Instagram-worthy photos with your bouquet. Details below. À bientôt!
December 21 (Wednesday)
10.30am to 12.30pm
Ask A French Flowers atelier @ Tiong Bahru
(We will send you the address via email once you’ve confirmed your place.)
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your place by December 19. Limited spots available.