January 31 2012
Lucia van der Post
My personal style signifier is a pair of diamond hoop earrings, which were a gift from my parents for a birthday. They are bespoke, created in-house at Chopard, and were designed for me – they are the only pair of their kind.
The thing I’m eyeing next is a sculpture by the South American artist Fernando Botero. I saw a piece by him at Art Basel and I’ve seen pieces in a gallery in Gstaad, where our family has a house, and in a gallery in Singapore. I love all those oversized women he does. There’s a wonderful one in marble of a lady on a horse that I particularly like. His prices, though, are going up and up, which is why I’m still just flirting with the idea. www.marlboroughgallery.com.
The best souvenir I’ve brought home is a collection of some seven or eight buddhas that I found in a wonderful antiques shop in Kuala Lumpur. I ended up visiting the gallery several times and I bought them all at once. I’d like to go back to grow my collection. Heritage of the Orient, Hotel Nikko, 165 Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur (+6012-208 2685; www.heritageoftheorient.com).
A recent “find” is the perfumed candles by Mizensir. It is a family-owned, Geneva-based company, like Chopard, and they do everything in a very artisanal way, using the best ingredients. The owner, Mr Morillas, is a great nose and a very close friend of mine; he creates all the scents himself. I particularly like the Tubéreuse fragrance [£53.50]. I recently bought many of these candles; they have a unique way of bringing a nice scent to the entire house. www.mizensir.com, and see Les Senteurs, 71 Elizabeth Street, London SW1 (020-7730 2322; www.lessenteurs.com) and branch.
The people I rely on for grooming and personal style are mostly in Geneva, where I live. I go to two hairdressers – Nemanja in the hotel La Réserve, who cuts and colours my hair, and Werner at Coiffeur Athénée. My hair isn’t easy because it is very curly, but they are both very good with it. Meanwhile, Carla is a wonderful Australian who I go to for Pilates. And as I have very small feet, I go to Manolo Blahnik for shoes. If I have time, I buy them in New York or Paris, but as I’m so busy, I often have to have them sent in the mail. Coiffeur Athénée, Rue de l’Athenee 37, 1206 Geneva (+4122-347 2636). www.manoloblahnik.com. La Réserve Genève, Route de Lausanne 301, 1293 Bellevue, Geneva (+4122-959 5959; www.lareserve.ch).
The last music I bought was a new rhythmic version of Joe Cocker’s You Are So Beautiful. I was in Courchevel when I heard it for the first time, and it’s now in my car and I love to play it.
The books on my bedside table are, in fact, lots of reports that are always waiting to be read. But at night, after I’ve looked over them, I read some poems from a collection that has works in it by Goethe, Schiller, Plato and many others. I’m also currently reading Brida by Paul Coelho.
The best gift I’ve received recently is a little King Charles spaniel puppy. My last dog passed away in the summer and so my mother gave me this one. I’ve called him Piccolo, and he’s very sweet.
The last meal that truly impressed me was at the Auberge de Dully, near my home, along Lake Geneva. It is a typical Swiss countryside place, with a warm and homey feel. You eat a simple, set menu, which is to die for: delicious roasted chicken, rösti (a kind of potato pancake, typical of Switzerland), green salad with a secret sauce, and tarte à la crème for dessert – not good when you are on a diet. We’ll also choose a nice French red wine. I love this: simple food, with great products, perfectly cooked; but the most important thing is to share it with good friends, which was the case on this occasion. Place du Village 9, CH 1195 Dully (+4121-824 1149; www.aubergedully.ch).
An object I would never part with is a simple cross – partly silver, partly of mother-of-pearl – from a church in Beirut. I carry it in my pocket or my bag like a talisman.
If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be an architect. I loved building my chalet in Gstaad and I’ve also completely restored the house where I live in Geneva, both inside and out.