Style | The Aesthete

Stephen Webster talks personal style

Jewellery designer Stephen Webster is the creative director of Garrard and of his own eponymous (and deeply iconoclastic) label.

September 06 2011
Carola Long

My personal style signifier is my oversized Thomas Wylde man bag covered in skulls and crosses. It creates havoc at airports because the staff think the crosses are martial arts throwing stars. Something in me enjoys the events and consultations that this sparks, and the evident disappointment when they realise it’s harmless. €3,050, www.thomaswylde.com.

The last thing I bought and loved was a photograph by Justin de Villeneuve of Twiggy and David Bowie – it’s the cover of the 1973 album Pin Ups. It’s beautiful. In the space above my Beverly Hills store, the No Regrets lounge, we recently held an exhibition of never-seen Bowie portraits by the late photographer Duffy.

And the thing I’m eyeing next is the new Norton 961 motorcycle. I have ridden a motorcycle since I was 16 and currently own a 1957 bike; but for the first time I am without a no-nonsense two-wheeler. From £12,745, www.nortonmotorcycles.com.

The site that inspires me is the English Channel – I have a house on top of the White Cliffs of Dover and the lounge looks out to France. Some mornings I get up and wave a baguette at the people of Calais, as a sort of celebration of the 20 miles of slate-coloured separation.

A recent “find” is Mark’s Bar, below chef Mark Hix’s restaurant Hix in Soho. I went there recently and Jeremy Healy was DJing, and everyone was dancing. It feels a bit like a private members’ club because you’ll only happen across it if you know about it or you’re eating there. 66-70 Brewer Street, London W1 (020-7292 3518; www.marksbar.co.uk).

The last music I downloaded was Rome by Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi, featuring Jack White and Norah Jones. It’s inspired by movie scores. All my life I’ve put myself down as a rock’n’roll fan, but in the past couple of years the music I have been listening to is as far removed from that as possible. The album before that was Queen of Denmark by John Grant. www.romealbum.com. www.myspace.com/johnwilliamgrant.

The people I rely on for personal grooming and style are Ozwald Boateng and John Richmond for tailoring. I like the slim fit of Boateng’s suits – they made me stand out when I first went to the US to sell my jewellery – and Richmond’s shirts and jackets are a bit retro rock’n’roll. My favourite cobbler is Jeffrey-West, for proper Northampton-made shoes. Nicky Clarke is my hairdresser – he’s the only one who starts an appointment by saying, “Do you want a Margherita?” And my nutritionist/trainer is Jon, the bully at the gym in Home House, who has a job on his hands trying to keep me in shape. Home House, 20 Portman Square, London W1 (020-7670 2000; www.homehouse.co.uk). www.jeffery-west.co.uk. www.johnrichmond.com. www.nickyclarke.com. Ozwald Boateng, 30 Savile Row, London W1 (020-7437 2030; www.ozwaldboateng.co.uk).

The book on my bedside table is David Grann’s The Lost City of Z, about a Victorian explorer in the Amazon. I don’t normally read non-fiction but this is a real page-turner, full of death, disease, poisonous insects and cannibalism, all taken with a stiff upper lip.

In my fridge you’ll always find vodka – at the moment I’m enjoying Absolut Pears. The fridge really belongs to my wife, who’s an amazing cook. www.absolut.com.

An object I would never part with is my Marantz turntable. My vinyl collection has survived four transatlantic moves and one divorce. No Saturday night passes without a foundation-rattling set from DJ Dad. Now and again I let my eldest daughter, Amy, spin the discs as well. www.marantz.co.uk.

The last accessory I added to my wardrobe was a pair of black-and-gold Linda Farrow Luxe aviator-style sunglasses. Like most people in England, my sunglasses collection is disproportionate to the amount of sun. www.lindafarrow.co.uk.

If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be a writer. For the past few years I have been writing a blog about my travels, whether that be driving across the US in my 1957 Thunderbird – breaking down in Kansas City then learning to fire a hand gun with the local PD – or going 2km down a mine in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro.