April 13 2010
My personal style signifier is a scarf. Silk, cashmere – I have hundreds, all for different outfits. But I do have one from Etro – it’s orange, blue and brown – that’s remarkable because it goes with literally everything. Etro, 14 Old Bond Street, London W1 (020-7495 5767; www.etro.it) and branches/stockists.
The last music I downloaded is by a band called Nu Braz. They do a mesmerising sort of Brazilian lounge music. I’m very into bossa nova. I like happy music; I certainly don’t need any world angst from the music I’m listening to. To me, it’s for escape. www.myspace.com/nubraz.
The artist whose work I would collect if I could is Andrew Norrey, and I actually do. He’s English and he does oil paintings, landscapes, but in a very abstract way. I have one in my office; it’s a sort of scary green – it’s incredible. Andrew Norrey Studio, by appointment only, 9a Joubert Mansions, Jubilee Place, London SW3 (020-7598 0248).
The best souvenir I’ve brought home recently is just the memory of a place. I never buy souvenirs. What I’m into is atmospheres, so I really work to absorb them, to remember them, rather than buying things. It’s far more about the emotional connection. And I sketch things all the time – if something strikes me and impacts me in that way, I’ll sketch it.
The people I rely on for grooming and style include Henry at James Brown salon. He used to be close to my house, but now I have to travel for him. Which is worth it. 82 Wigmore Street, London W1 (020-7486 6087; www.jamesbrownlondon.com).
An object I’d never part with is a beautiful gold sundial that my father brought with him when he emigrated from Poland. It’s maybe 16th century, and about two inches in diameter. It’s at home – I’ve been thinking of framing it, and will mount it on an easel in my new refurbished house.
A recent “find” is a pub in Chelsea called The Pig’s Ear. A solid, great atmosphere. It feels really wonderful, precisely because it’s not trying. It’s accrued over time so that even the old, tatty parts feel great – cool, even. 35 Old Church Street, London SW3 (020-7352 2908; www.thepigsear.info).
The last item I added to my wardrobe is a fantastic Yves Saint Laurent jacket. It’s casual, but with the most amazing weave of black and blue wool. Very nice, very fitted. 32-33 Old Bond Street, London W1 (020-7493 1800; www.ysl.com) and branch/stockists.
The book on my bedside table is Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (Macmillan), the biography by William Shawcross. It’s heavy as a brick, so I can’t hold it too long, which limits my reading; but it’s very, very interesting.
In my fridge you’ll always find champagne – Brut Reserve NV, Théophile Roederer. It is delicious. 020-8812 3380; www.mmdltd.co.uk.
The best gift I’ve given recently was a necklace from Hervé Van Der Straeten, to my mother. It’s a big chunky link in brass, plated with fine gold. She loved it. But Van Der Straeten does the most amazing things, so of course she did. And they’re surprisingly affordable. www.vanderstraeten.fr. From £409 at Harrods, 87-135 Brompton Road, London SW1 (020-7730 1234; www.harrods.com) and www.bluevelvetboutique.co.uk.
And the best one I’ve received? Hard to recall… No one gets me gifts! I suppose my mother does; she buys me things from Svenkst Tenn, which is a favourite of mine. 5 Strandvägen, Stockholm (+468-670 1600; www.svenskttenn.se).
The city I’d live in if I didn’t live in London is New York because, like London, it’s a fabulous metropolis but you can get in the car and in an hour be somewhere in upstate New York. It has everything, and the seasons as well, which is important – I couldn’t bear sunshine 365 days a year.