January 04 2011
My personal style signifier is a sort of uniform I wear, but only because it keeps things simple: a Paul Smith white shirt with Gap cotton trousers in summer and worsted wool trousers in winter, along with a cable-knit jumper – Loro Piana makes my favourites. And I wear Lindberg glasses; I love the design. My only issue with them is that they’re so light, they have a tendency to blow off in strong winds. www.gap.com. www.lindberg.com. www.loropiana.com. www.paulsmith.co.uk.
The last thing I bought and loved was a Canon PowerShot S95 camera. Useful things interest me. I also have a new iPad. I’ve been surprised by how quickly it’s become part of my life. I think it’s to do with the scale and the fact that you don’t have to open it to use it. I’ve even had it out while I was cycling, to check a route across the Thames. Apple iPad, from £429, www.apple.com. Canon PowerShot S95, £399, www.canon.co.uk.
And the thing I’m eyeing next is a Pinarello Dogma 60.1 road bike. I was in the north of Italy on a site visit, so I went to the factory and got measured – a process which is rather like being fitted for a suit. Custom-built from £6,500, www.pinarello.com/dogma.
My favourite room is my kitchen. It has a glass wall onto the garden, and I ran the same counter stone through it and outside, so you can co-opt the outdoor space. It’s especially nice when my wife, Catherine, lays out the laundry on the floor to dry, because we have underfloor heating. It’s a bit like the banks of the Ganges. Except all the clothes are shades of white and beige – so a minimalist Ganges, I suppose.
The book on my bedside table – actually, I don’t have a bedside table; it’s on the floor next to my bed – is the manuscript for Deyan Sudjic’s new book on [Japanese industrial and product designer] Shiro Kuramata, which Phaidon will probably publish this year. www.phaidon.co.uk.
In my fridge you’ll always find plain yoghurt from the Daylesford Organic shop near my home in Notting Hill. 208-212 Westbourne Grove, London W11 (020-7313 8050; www.daylesfordorganic.com).
A recent “find” is Blanc Sacré tea from Mariage Frères in Paris. The pickers harvest the buds using golden scissors. I also particularly like their Tarry Souchong. 13 Rue des Grands-Augustins, Paris 75006 (+331-4051 8250; www.mariagefreres.com) and branches.
An indulgence I’d never forego is travel. The thing is, because I travel for work, it feels like a necessity, but I’m really impressed by the quality of air travel now. Planes are normally on time, there isn’t much turbulence and there’s an incredible overall efficiency. But, you know, I also love chocolate. Mast Brothers Chocolate, from Brooklyn, is a new favourite. Incredible taste and a minimum of ingredients, resulting in a marvellous end product. www.mastbrotherschocolate.com.
The most recent item added to my wardrobe is a pair of lace-up shoes from Calvin Klein, given to me by Catherine. They’re the simplest lace-ups imaginable, extremely classic. No brogue, seams or rims. Any other recent addition Catherine will likely have bought as a replacement for whatever last wore out. www.calvinklein.com.
My favourite websites – or the ones I use most, anyway – are Dezeen and Flickr. Definitely in connection with work, but also to look at pictures of places just before or after I visit them. There’s always scope to find something new, particularly photographers whose work I don’t know. I often wonder what we did before the web. www.dezeen.com. www.flickr.com.
The person I rely on for grooming and style is Richard Stepney at Fourth Floor, who cuts my hair and counsels me. He will have a real conversation about architecture. He clearly esteems it – the space is fantastic. And he is discreet. Or at least, I presume he is. If he’s not, I’m in trouble. 4 Northington Street, London WC1 (020-7405 6011; www.4thfloor.co.uk).