September 16 2011
My style icon is Yves Saint Laurent. He made everything look chic but still gave it flair. I love the way he made classical clothing look rock star. I also love Halston for the same reasons. And in music I love Serge Gainsbourg and Keith Richards.
The site that inspires me is the Palazzo Pucci in Florence, which is where my office is. I know it sounds easy, but it’s absolutely true. When I first came here I was completely floored; no one ever told me just how beautiful, how extraordinary it is. As soon as I visited I knew exactly who my Pucci woman was going to be and how she would dress; an aristocrat and a rebel all in one. Via dei Pucci 6, Florence.
The last meal that truly impressed me was a perfect plate of spaghetti aglio olio e pepperoncini at Robiglio, which is hidden away in a back alley near the Hotel Savoy in Florence. It’s a real classic Italian restaurant. There are very few things on the menu but they are all very, very good. Via dei Servi 112r, Florence, 50122 (+3905-5214 501; www.hotelsavoy.it).
The best gift I have given recently is a Love bracelet from Cartier. Jewellery is always a great gift. I also love giving unset stones. I love the envelopes they come in that you have to unfold. It’s always a real pleasure to open them. And also to see what the person you give it to eventually does with the stone. Cartier, 40-41 Old Bond Street, London W1 (020-7290 5150; www.cartier.com).
The best gift I have received was a triple book set on the restoration of Versailles by Robert Polidori, called Parcours Museologique Revisité. I based a whole collection around it – my mood board was full of images from the book. I love decadence, but also things that are unfinished.
The book on my bedside table? There’s a white-paper pad and a pen there instead as I often wake up with ideas. I love books. I come from Norway, which has the highest rate of literacy in the world, so books are very important to me. But there are none on my bedside table. If I start reading in bed, I find it hard to stop, and it makes for very late and sleepless nights. So no more books. I love to sketch in bed when I wake up in the morning. Most of my collections have started off from my bed.
My favourite room is a spacious hotel room in somewhere like Claridge’s. I like hotels very much. I like the transient element of staying there, and I also like having everything taken care of – it’s stress-free. Brook Street, London W1 (020-7629 8860; www.claridges.co.uk).
An indulgence I would never forego is my gym coach, Max Dubois. I resisted getting a trainer through 20 years of doing exercise. But I finally gave in and it has made things so much easier. Now I can’t imagine training without him. I even take him on holidays with me. firstname.lastname@example.org.
If I didn’t live in Florence the city I’d live in is London. All my closest friends are English and most of them are based there. London has the best galleries, amazing vintage fashion stores, the most fun people and even the restaurants have improved greatly.
In my fridge you will always find lemons, ice cream and chocolate. And champagne for friends. I’ve drunk lemon juice for my whole adult life. It’s the best prevention against colds and is also fantastic for indigestion. I am addicted to chocolate and ice cream is my favourite dessert.
If I weren’t doing what I do I would be a doctor, maybe. I almost became one; everyone else in my family is. But now, actually, I would probably run a small, lazy bar on a beach somewhere. In fact, that will probably happen in a few years’ time anyway. I love my life, but it is very hectic so at some point I might nurture my inner beach bum.