June 10 2011
Simon de Burton
My style icon is undoubtedly Patrick Macnee as John Steed in The Avengers TV programmes. His trademark was his impeccable appearance and the clothes he wore would fit right in today, even though the original television series was made 50 years ago – he might have to lose the bowler hat, though.
An object I would never part with is a piece of vintage, hand-blown Murano glass by Antonio Da Ros. It is made from clear glass that is infused with a beautiful brown colour and, because it is hand blown, all sorts of beautiful irregularities have been captured inside. www.cenedesegino.it.
An indulgence I would never forego is, undoubtedly, my love of bespoke clothing. As well as having more than 20 suits, I have many pairs of leather boots that I wear with them. These are from Stefano Moreschi and are rather like a Chelsea boot, but a little bit finer. From £1,000, www.moreschi.it, and at Harrods, 87-135 Brompton Road, London SW1(020-7730 1234; www.harrods.com).
The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is Patrick Heron, and there is one work in particular I’d want: an early 1970s acrylic that I was offered for around £60,000 about 15 years ago. I thought long and hard and decided not to buy it – but then Heron died and a major warehouse fire destroyed a large body of his work, sending values rocketing. That same painting recently fetched around £500,000.
If I had to limit my shopping to one area in one city it would be Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs. There are lots of great restaurants and plenty of vintage modernist shops and galleries, which I absolutely love. My dream would be to buy the Kaufmann house featured in my Slim Aarons Pool Party photograph and retire to Palm Springs to soak up the modernist atmosphere.
The people I rely on for personal grooming and style are Matt Harrison, who cuts my hair at Michaeljohn, and Alex, my suit cutter at Henry Poole. Henry Poole, 15 Savile Row, London W1 (020-7734 5985; www.henrypoole.com). Michaeljohn, 25 Albemarle Street, London W1 (020-7629 6969; www.michaeljohn.co.uk).
My favourite website is one I’m probably not allowed to mention – it’s our Hello Evoque site for the new Range Rover Evoque. Being involved with it has been really interesting because we’ve tried to communicate with a group of customers we have never spoken to before, and it has created an amazing buzz. It attracted 2.5m hits within a few days of last year’s unveiling of the car at Kensington Palace. www.helloevoque.com.
If I didn’t live in London and Warwickshire, the city I would live in is Turin. It is a very underestimated city with fabulous architecture, wonderful restaurants and beautiful people – especially the women.