Style | The Aesthete

Cheyenne Westphal talks personal style

Sotheby’s European chairman of contemporary art, Cheyenne Westphal will host this month’s contemporary auctions.

October 05 2010
Maria Shollenbarger

My personal style signifier is a combination I wear often: a lace top (of which I have a handful I love) and high Louboutin heels. I keep a pair of them under my desk and a top in the office. When I put the two on, I can feel instantly “pulled together”. 23 Motcomb Street, London SW1 (020-7245 6510;

The last thing I bought and loved was a small, collage-like work by the American artist Kristin Baker, at Jeffrey Deitch in New York. She’s a fantastic colourist, but has also been able to do something totally novel with abstraction – that’s so rare today. She’s in her early 30s and still relatively affordable, so she’s collectable. 76 Grand Street, New York, NY 10012 (+1212-343 7300;

And the thing I’m eyeing next is a painting by Mark Bradford; he has a show coming up at White Cube Hoxton Square this autumn. He works on the streets of Los Angeles, picking up detritus and creating amazing, layered collages from it. He’s very sought-after, so there are waiting lists, even for those of us in the business. White Cube, 48 Hoxton Square, London N1 (020-7749 7450;

The grooming staple I’m never without is red nail polish. I’m eternally in search of the perfect shade; I will stop women on the street and ask what they’re wearing. Right now, I’m quite into Pepperoni by Essie, which is a true, deep red. Soon I’ll go for a darker one, as winter’s coming. When it comes to shampoos and anti-ageing things, I’m a hopper. I always try out the next big thing, with a naïve belief that it works. $8,

If I didn’t live in London, the city I would live in would have to be Los Angeles. In February, you can walk around in flip-flops. And the art scene – there’s so much happening, not just at MoCA but LACMA, which is one of America’s most underrated museums. You have to explore – LA doesn’t open itself easily. But if you get it on the right day in the right place, you have experiences you couldn’t imagine.,

The last items I added to my wardrobe were three Melissa Odabash bikinis for my beach holiday at the end of the summer. Her shop has lots of other great things too. 48b Ledbury Road, London W11 (020-7229 4299;

The books on my bedside table are always in twos, and they’re usually two different sorts of books. Currently, One Day by David Nicholls goes on the road with me; and my night-time home reading is [Mikhail] Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita. I’ve read it before, but you don’t get it all the first time.

The best souvenir I’ve brought home is a pair of lovely glass lamps, which I bid for at Norden, a small auction house in Stockholm. I’ve discovered the quite active coloured-glass production of the 1960s there. They’re beautiful.

The last music I downloaded was Just Like Heaven by The Cure. Tobias [Meyer, worldwide head of contemporary art at Sotheby’s] organised a party at Mr Chow in New York recently and the DJ played that song. I was so happy to hear it again and was humming it for days afterwards, so I bought it off iTunes.

A recent “find” is Jil Sander for Uniqlo. Apparently, she spent a whole week in the Oxford Street store in June, ensuring everything was just right. She really cares. It’s a fabulous collaboration and democratic in such a true way; it’s the height of style and you can’t tell it costs almost nothing. 311 Oxford Street, London W1 (020-7290 7701;

An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is Mount Tamalpais [in Marin County, California]. I studied at Berkeley, and I always feel I have to go back and reconnect at least once a year. The air on Mount Tam is crystal-clear and the smell of the place – pines, oaks, the herbs and the sea – is like nowhere else.

My favourite website is Net-a-Porter. Natalie [Massenet, the founder] is a friend, so I’ve been using it from the start. I remember ordering bits while on holiday, to see if they could meet the delivery deadlines. They did, and it keeps getting better.