September 14 2010
My personal style signifier has to be the Cutler and Gross glasses I’ve worn for, oh, at least the past five years. I’ve got about seven or eight pairs in the exact same model but different colours: mint Perspex, a dark tortoiseshell, a kind of silver-grey, totally clear and quite a few others. www.cutlerandgross.com.
A recent “find” is Astier de Villatte in Paris, which many probably know about but I’d never been in. It has ceramics, lamps and candles. The aesthetic is fantastic. It’s incredibly modern, the way it’s put together, but the individual things are timeless – they could come from the Haussmann period. 173 rue Saint-Honoré, 75001 Paris (+331-4260 7413; www.astierdevillatte.com).
The last thing I bought and loved was a desk lamp from Brick Lane market. It’s really old and a bit of a funny hybrid. It has a beautiful carved-wood stand – “unusual Regency”, maybe: I don’t know how else to categorise it – then someone has pleated a lampshade for it. It casts a great soft-pink glow and is in my bedroom.
And the thing I’m eyeing next is probably boring, but it’s an iPad. That’s every loser’s response, isn’t it? But I’m excited about how clear my uses for it are. The back and forth to Paris, for instance: I have reams of research on various computers, and illustrations and notes, and I can have it all put on the iPad. A truly great visual time-saver; genius. www.apple.com.
An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is Lafayette House [hotel] in New York. Its look is a bit faded and properly American Victorian. I go to New York all the time and this is the first place that I’ve really wanted to spend time. In fact, I’m going back basically to stay there again. 38 East 4th Street, New York 10003 (+1212-505 8100; www.lafayettenyc.com).
And the best souvenir I’ve brought home is a little beer-bottle opener with a deer hoof on it. It’s the story behind it that makes it interesting, which, unfortunately, is more or less unprintable. But it’s to do with a trip to Switzerland and the hilarity that ensued there.
The book on my bedside table is a collection of McSweeney’s short stories, the most recent one. It’s a good mix and there are some brilliant illustrators in there. I love that West Coast aesthetic. It’s got a wholesome vibe. www.mcsweeneys.net.
The last item I added to my wardrobe was a pair of briefs, given to me by a friend who works at McQueen. They’re very nice, from their new line. Very comfy as well. Lee [Alexander McQueen] would’ve been proud. £35, 4-5 Old Bond Street, London W1 (020-7355 0088; www.alexandermcqueen.com).
In my fridge you’ll always find some sort of old mackerel, some vodka, a lemon and probably some beetroot. None of which are meant to go together, obviously, I hope. It’s a running joke that there’s nothing in my fridge, ever. I travel too much. I’m pretty good at throwing stuff away but I’m bad at throwing good stuff away – I hate that – so I never buy a lot.
The grooming staples I’m never without are Marvis toothpaste and Acqua di Parma deodorant. And generally I wear Tobacco Vanilla by Tom Ford. And I use Nivea Soft facial cream – cheap but really good. www.acquadiparma.com. www.marvismint.com. www.nivea.co.uk. www.tomford.com.
The last music I downloaded is the new single by I:Cube [Nicholas Chaix]. He’s one of the only long-outstanding French house music guys. And the soundtrack to The Rules of Attraction – music that’s good teen trash, quite like the book. And the gorgeous soundtrack to the film Moon.
The best gift I’ve received recently was a silver Asprey pencil sharpener, from [Arena Homme Plus editor] Jo-Ann Furniss. I was always losing my sharpeners, so we thought the best way to keep me from doing that was to get me a really nice one I’d feel terrible about losing. £235, 167 New Bond Street, London W1 (020-7493 6767; www.asprey.com).
My favourite websites are the Zero 1 blog, ShowStudio and the Love magazine blog. I also look at Fashion’s Most Wanted. fashionsmostwanted.blogspot.com. thelovemagazineblog.wordpress.com. www.showstudio.com. Zero1blog.com.