Style | The Aesthete

Nadja Swarovski talks personal style: Part Two

The creative director of Swarovski concludes her compendium of tasteful revelations.

November 18 2011
Nicole Swengley

My style icon is Diane von Furstenberg. It’s her attitude as well as her clothing that I admire. She creates clothes that make the female body feel comfortable yet feminine. Just look at the unbelievable success of that iconic dress of hers. She is a Zen queen, yoga queen, businesswoman, individual thinker – and a very kind woman too. 83 Ledbury Road, London W11 (020-7221 1120; www.dvf.com) and branch.

If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose Rodeo Drive [in Beverly Hills]. I love the variety. It has everything, from Wholefoods and Gagosian to Stephen Webster and Michael Kors, as well as practical stores like Crate & Barrel and all those great juice and shake bars.

An object I would never part with is my engagement ring. It has such sentimental value for me. It has one square-cut yellow diamond bordered by two clear, triangular-shaped diamonds. My husband bought the stones direct from a New York dealer and had it assembled by a jeweller, so I was able to have a little input into its design.

If I didn’t live in London, the city I would live in is Santa Barbara because it’s surrounded by nature, the weather is amazing and it’s really rather fashionable. I’ve lived in London for 12 years and I feel my soul yearning for land, sea and blue skies.

The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe is a Michael Kors dress in blue wool crêpe with vertical, black leather stripes. It has a matching blue bolero jacket in cashmere. I love the simplicity of this dress, yet the stripes make it really unusual. 153 New Bond St, London W1 (020-7409 0844; www.michaelkors.com).

The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is Fernando Botero. He is a Colombian sculptor who creates charmingly rotund figures and horses. I love the very smooth, rounded shapes he creates. I’d also collect Ron Arad’s chairs, in particular the acrylic Oh-void and aluminium Blo-void. They’re such tactile, aesthetic, zoomorphic shapes.

My favourite room is my bedroom in our London apartment. It’s very tranquil, with neutral colours, and represents a sanctuary for me – a total cocoon where I can recharge emotionally, read and reflect.

The last meal that truly impressed me was at Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica, California. I had this dish of tomato mozzarella that contained purple, white, green, red and orange tomatoes. It was so colourful and totally delicious. 1 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica, California 90405 (+1310-458 0030; www.shuttersonthebeach.com).

The best gifts I’ve given recently were cuddly animals containing hot-water bottles. I bought an owl, porcupine and rabbit for my children while I was staying at Skibo Castle in the Scottish Highlands. Skibo Castle, 01862-894 600; www.carnegieclub.co.uk.

And the best souvenir I’ve brought home is a key-chain with an LED light, also from Skibo Castle. Perfect for finding lost items in the dark like my daughter’s runaway hamster.

The grooming staples I’m never without are Sisley All Day All Year Essential Day Care moisturiser, because it gives a healthy, natural glow – as does Dior Hydra Life Pro-Youth Skin Tint SPF 20 moisturiser. Lancôme Hypnôse mascara makes me feel less naked, while Dior Lip Maximizer lip gloss makes smiling a lot easier. Dior Hydra Life Pro-Youth Skin Tint, £28.50, and Lip Maximizer lip gloss, £21, www.dior.com. Lancôme Hypnôse mascara, £21, www.lancome.co.uk. Sisley All Day All Year Essential Day Care moisturiser, £216, www.sisley.com.

If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be in the art world or the gem world or perhaps even a professional athlete. My first job was at Gagosian in New York and I’ve never lost my passion for art. I also have a complete passion for gemstones. I took classes in New York in gem identification and grading, which I found fascinating. To me, gems have it all – history, politics, geography, anthropology and healing powers. As for being an athlete, I strongly believe that movement has a connection with the soul. I don’t believe it’s right to sit, barely moving, in front of a computer every day.