Style | The Aesthete

John Pawson talks personal style

Architect John Pawson’s work ranges from Calvin Klein stores to a Czech monastery to, currently, a church in Augsburg, Germany.

January 04 2011
Maria Shollenbarger

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.

The last music I bought was by The xx. My son Caius got it for me. He set up the Young Turks label, and they’re one of his bands. www.thexx.info. www.theyoungturks.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).