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Style | The Aesthete

Aerin Lauder talks personal style: Part Two

The serenity of Aspen and seductive appeal of the West Coast lifestyle bring the cosmetics expert’s style file to a close

December 24 2012
Elizabeth Paton

My style icon is Kate Moss because of her unique dress sense. She is always feminine, and always effortless.

An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is Aspen, Colorado. I actually have a house there, so have been many times, but almost always in winter. In July, though, I went back for a conference and was overwhelmed by how beautiful the mountains were in the summertime. The stillness and serenity was extremely restorative.

An object I would never part with is a gold necklace I inherited from my grandmother, Estée Lauder. I am actually wearing it in one of the launch ads for my beauty line because I feel that it’s so integral to my character, and also to my vision for the brand. It’s timeless yet resoundingly modern, too – it makes a striking impact on any outfit you wear.

The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe was a black velvet blazer from Lanvin’s latest collection – it recently caught my eye while I was browsing the brand’s Upper East Side store. Blazers are my basic wardrobe staple, so I always like to invest in beautiful quality pieces. I wear them while travelling with a T-shirt, for work with tailored jeans or black trousers, and often out in the evening, too. Velvet is fun and a favourite because it’s so versatile – it adds texture and richness to all types of ensembles. £1,515; www.lanvin.com.

The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is Mark Rothko. His colour palettes are mesmerising. I often find my eye drawn to the works of his imitators, yet no matter how hard they try, none are able to replicate the staggering beauty of his aesthetic.

The last meal that truly impressed me was at The Four Seasons in New York. The restaurant has long been an adored city institution; both the Pool and Grill dining rooms were designed by Philip Johnson and Mies van der Rohe in the late 1950s, and they continue to exude an unmatched sense of old-school glamour even after all these years. The food and service are also sensational – I’ve never been disappointed by a meal there. 99 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022 (+1212-754 9494; www.fourseasonsrestaurant.com).

My favourite room in my house is my dressing room. I am the only woman in my home, so I consider it my sanctuary. It was always a dream of mine to have a place where I could keep all my clothes and accessories separate from the clutter of family life, and now I have it. I chose to cover the walls with a hand-painted, blue and white Chinoiserie style by Gracie – the same wallpaper my grandmother had. I wanted to reference her lingering memory in the design process. From $780 for a 91cm x 300cm panel; +1212-924 6818; www.graciestudio.com).

If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose East 57th Street in New York. Every iconic luxury brand has a store there and it’s been that way for 50 years. It has everything you could possibly want, all on the same small stretch. Just round the corner, Bergdorf Goodman is always a one-stop shop for the latest ready-to-wear collections, and I particularly love the stationery on offer at Smythson, which is over the road. The choice is partly driven by convenience – my Madison Avenue office is a stone’s throw away. Bergdorf Goodman, 745 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10019 (+1212-753 7300; www.bergdorfgoodman.com). Smythson, 4 West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019 (+1212-265 4573; www.smythson.com).

My favourite website is Net-a-Porter. It’s a great business with a trendsetting edit and point of view that I really admire. I love the chic yet user-friendly layout, too. I’m on it constantly. www.netaporter.com.

The person I rely on for personal grooming is my dear friend Paul Podlucky, a visionary who I depend on for all my hair and make-up needs. We first met 12 years ago and Paul has been a true godsend ever since – he travels with me to the four corners of the globe to prepare me for important work meetings and events. www.paulpodlucky.com.

The site that inspires me is the beach. I love to spend time by the sea all year round, be it for crisp winter walks or on long, lazy summer days. There’s a perfect and harmonious symbiosis between the sea and sand, stones and shells that has always resonated deeply with me. A favourite place for my family is the beach near our holiday home in East Hampton, although we recently took a trip to Parrot Cay in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The water there is calm and crystal clear, while the white, silky sand seems to go on endlessly. It truly took my breath away. Parrot Cay, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, British West Indies (+1649-946 7788; www.comohotels.com/parrotcay).

The beauty staple I’m never without is a nude lip-gloss. Because of my family name, I have been asked constantly over the years about the contents of my make-up bag; the essentials eventually became the inspiration for launching my brand. I felt that there was a real gap in the cosmetics market for what I loved most: modern yet feminine products that emphasise a woman’s natural prettiness. That’s the beauty of a nude lip-gloss, such as Aerin Sweet Pea – it’s a low-key yet illuminating colour that everyone can wear. £22; www.aerin.com.

If I didn’t live in New York, the city I would live in is Los Angeles. The West Coast lifestyle – and year-round sunshine – holds a seductive appeal for me, and I try to visit regularly. I love taking walks with friends on the beach in Malibu, surrounded by those dramatic hills. After hitting the shops on Rodeo Drive, I tend to eat lunch at The Ivy, the go-to spot for Hollywood power lunches, or else head to The Beverly Hills Hotel for coffee by the pool. There’s a secret side of me that longs to be a California girl. The Beverly Hills Hotel, 9641 Sunset Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90210 (+1310-276 2251; www.beverlyhillshotel.com). The Ivy, 113 North Robertson Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90048 (+1310-274 8303; www.theivyrestaurant.com).

See also

Aerin Lauder, People