May 31 2011
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; www.ferragamo.com).
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, www.rimowa.de.
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; www.tomford.com).
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; www.parlux.co.uk.
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; www.chateaumarmont.com).
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. www.humphreybutler.com.
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; www.marriott.co.uk), 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. www.markronson.co.uk.
My favourite website is eBay. Like rubbing a magic lamp, you say, “I really want this” – and then you get it. www.ebay.co.uk.