PARIS — "Modern" is a word that comes up frequently when describing the style of France's new First Lady, Cecilia Sarkozy.

That's because, like her husband, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is often photographed in jogging attire, Sarkozy gives the impression of a woman short on ceremony and fussiness.

To wit: The new First Couple did the unexpected in the often-xenophobic world of French fashion — they wore Prada. The onetime model and her husband went to the Prada boutique on Avenue Montaigne to select and purchase their outfits for the inauguration ceremony last week. He wore a dark suit from the Italian brand and she chose a cream dress in duchess satin from the spring-summer collection that retails for 1,435 euros, or $1,950.

The choice was further example the First Lady isn't about to change for the sake of politics.

"I'll still drive my car and do my own shopping," Sarkozy told WWD on Monday, stressing that, despite her arrival at the Elysée Palace, "I do not intend to change my style or my life."

Sarkozy, 49, who moonlighted as a fit model at Schiaparelli and Chanel during her law studies, has most recently been a strategic adviser to her husband when he was France's minister of the interior. And while she has yet to announce her upcoming projects as First Lady — "I just got here," she demurred — she will support French fashion, albeit in her own way.

"I'm interested in all sorts of creations, not only fashion," she said. "I'm invited to fashion shows but I don't go, and I do not plan to go more now so as not to favor one designer more than another. While I do not have a strategy yet about how to support French fashion best, it is not by going to a fashion show that one supports fashion best. There are other ways."

As for her personal style, Sarkozy said she prefers to wear pants during the day. "I like Ralph Lauren, I think it suits me well, but I also wear dresses in summertime," she said. "I like fashion theses days. There are very pretty things at Yves Saint Laurent this season, and I also like Chloé, Balenciaga, Gucci."

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