Style | The Aesthete

Alice Temperley talks personal style: Part Two

The fashion designer concludes her litany of likes and lusts.

March 19 2010
Nicola Copping

My style icon is Coco Chanel. She has always been somebody that I have admired for everything she achieved.

The site that inspires me is the Louvre, because of the romance, the size of it, and because you can wander round it for hours and hours. Every time I go to different areas – I love the Egyptian section. Then you can end up at the Louvre restaurant at the side, which is fantastic for hot chocolate. Place du Carrousel, Paris 75001 (+331-4020 5824; www.louvre.fr). The Restaurant du Grand Louvre is closed for renovations until June 30.

An object I would never part with is my navy leather pencil case. It’s probably my most unglamorous possession. In it is my dongle, all the pens and pencils I specifically use for drawing and designing, and my camera.

An indulgence I’d never forego is buying stuff wherever I go. Unsurprisingly, I have the nickname “magpie”.

An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the last year is Cuixmala, a private resort in Mexico. It is the most beautiful place, with miles of private beaches, home-grown food and great riding through herds of zebra. I went for New Year with friends; I go as often as I can. Casitas from $512 per night, one hour north of Manzanillo on Mexico’s Pacific coast (0808-101 3780; www.cuixmala.com).

The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is Tracey Emin. I like prints and we treasure our etching of hers that she gave to my husband for his birthday. I also have a little Anish Kapoor painting that he did with my son Fox. It’s a pretty cool first-ever painting experience for Fox; it hangs above his bed. www.anishkapoor.com. www.emininternational.com.

My favourite room is my bathroom in our countryside house in Somerset. It has windows all around and the sun directly hits the disco ball above my bath.

If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose the furniture neighbourhood in Paris – the 6th arrondisement – because it’s so decadent; it’s like stepping back in time. There are flea markets and Louis XV-style opulence. As for clothes, I’d choose the Lower East Side in New York for all the vintage stores in and around Rivington Street.

The people I rely on for grooming and style are the wellbeing guru Consuelo, who lives with us and is making sure we do yoga and massages us; Framer Giles, a local picture framer based in the Smokery Hambridge farm; Nicola Clarke at John Frieda for hair; and Alice at Beauty Works West for facials. Beauty Works West, Westbourne Grove, London W11 (020-7221 2248; www.beautyworkswest.com). Framer Giles, Bowden Farm, Hambridge, Somerset TA10 0BP (01458-250 088; www.framer-giles.co.uk). John Frieda, Aldford Street, London W1 (020-7491 0840; www.johnfrieda.co.uk).

The best souvenir I’ve brought home is some Mexican tablecloths and napkins. And a scorpion bite: we were on a beach in Mexico, letting turtles into the water, and when I took my boots off, I got bitten. I was rushed to hospital and I could feel the poison going up my leg. Pins and needles in my lips was a new experience. But apparently I will never get arthritis now, so perhaps it was a good thing, and my bad shoulder has stopped hurting ever since.

If I weren’t doing what I do now, I would be David Attenborough. What an amazing life he has had. Or I would be a photographer, or a painter; I love the freedom it brings, and the still image.