Style | The Aesthete

Solange Azagury-Partridge talks personal style

Solange Azagury-Partridge’s exuberant jewellery has been shown at London’s V&A and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.

May 31 2011
Carola Long

My personal style signifiers are my wedge shoes and boots, for style, comfort and height. My favourites are my Salvatore Ferragamo Rainbow wedges – they are quite extreme but really gorgeous. £1,369, 24 Old Bond Street, London W1 (020-7629 5007;

The last thing I bought and loved is a Topas Titanium Rimowa suitcase. It is beautiful, indestructible and like an old-fashioned trunk on wheels. I got a gold-coloured one so I can spot it easily on the carousel; and once everything is locked in there, nothing can be damaged or destroyed. £608,

And the thing I’m eyeing next is a Tom Ford trouser suit in grey-and-black leopard print. His cut is perfect for me. When I worked at Boucheron I bought a lot of Tom Ford clothes from his time at Yves Saint Laurent and Gucci that I still wear. 845 Madison Avenue, New York 10021 (+1212-359 0300;

An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is Jaipur in India. It’s known as the Pink City and it’s very pretty. I don’t get literal inspiration for my jewellery from travelling, but what I took from India was to be brave and not afraid of colour. The women wear incredible colours and, despite the extreme poverty, there’s a sense of joy and beauty that you don’t get from many places.

The grooming staples I’m never without are tweezers and a hairdryer – my hair is uncontrollable so I use a super-strong professional dryer by Parlux. Parlux 3800, about £100;

A recent “find” is Phillips & Skinner, a shop in Somerset. It sells a brilliant combination of knick-knacks, furniture, clothes, silverware, books and other things. I found some great stuff for my cottage, and I got a fabulous mink coat for about £60. It reminds me of a 1940s movie star, someone like Bette Davis, but I like wearing it down the garden or to the local shops. 19 High Street, Bruton, Somerset BA10 0AH (01749-813 221).

The last meal that truly impressed me was the brioche burger at Chateau Marmont in LA; it’s very succulent. I always eat very badly when I’m away from home, and that is the epitome of being a bad girl. Chateau Marmont, 8221 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, CA (+1323-656 1010;

The best gift I’ve received recently is a 1920s onyx and diamond panel ring from a great dealer of vintage jewels called Humphrey Butler, which was a Christmas present from my husband. He was afraid of buying me jewellery for a long time and then I kind of pointed him in the right direction and now he often does. The first time he bought me jewellery I burst out crying. I thought, “That’s how people feel when they receive jewellery,” and it was a lovely feeling.

The book on my bedside table is Proust Was A Neuroscientist by Jonah Lehrer. It’s about how literary figures such as Proust, Walt Whitman, George Eliot and others were so prescient in their scientific perceptions. I’m also re-reading Perfume by Patrick Süskind, which is wonderfully descriptive.

If I didn’t live in London, the city I would live in is Rome. It has everything – great architecture, culture, climate and food. I once stayed in a time-warp of a hotel called the Grand Hotel Flora, which I liked, although it has since been refurbished. The Pantheon is one of my favourite monuments because I can sit in the café in front of it, people-watching; and just walking round the city at night is such a pleasure. Having said that, I’m not desperate to live in a hot country. I like England; I like the grey, and the winter. Rome Marriott Grand Hotel Flora, Via Vittorio Veneto 191, Rome (+3906-489 929;, from €379.

The last music I downloaded was Somebody To Love Me by Mark Ronson & The Business Intl, which features Boy George. I went to a fashion show in Paris where they did a live performance. After that I found it online and downloaded it.

My favourite website is eBay. Like rubbing a magic lamp, you say, “I really want this” – and then you get it.

See also

People, Interview