Colour and light are fundamental to my work. They also have a big impact on my mood and state of mind. Colour creates warmth and space, be that in a photograph, a landscape or a room in your home. It can evoke intense emotions and feelings, and even take me back to a particular time in my life. When I was about 10 years old, for example, if I didn’t wear at least one thing that was pink every day I really thought something bad would happen to me. When I see pink, I still remember myself as a young girl. At home, we’ve used splashes of colour throughout. It’s not unlike how I dress today – bold, statement colours within classic, clean lines.
I think light is also a really important influence in our lives. The way it plays off surfaces can completely change the shade and shape of an object or place. Without it, colour would be flat. That’s why I love gems so much, as light reflects off each piece, changing it throughout the day.
Fabergé’s Compliquée Ruby Peacock Timepiece is a wonderful example of this. Each hour, the peacock’s feathers – sprinkled with diamonds – fan out indicating the minutes of the hour, making this a piece that goes beyond the mere charting of passing time. It is a magnificent kinetic work of art that dances with time; it’s a spectacular piece, designed to capture the imagination of the wearer. I never follow convention and I love colour, so the Compliquée Peacock collection is perfection. It’s the sort of timepiece that you hand down to your children and, before you do, you wonder how they will one day wear it.
I knew I was going to inherit one of my grandmother’s necklaces. It was one of her most treasured possessions and always reminds me of her. I know she would have liked me to enjoy and make use of it, although I feel it is too precious to wear out, so I often just wear it around the house. One day it will be my daughter’s.
If I could, I’d live inside a David Hockney painting because he really knows how to use colour. His pieces make me feel joyous, enlivened. I’m very happy sitting on a park bench or in an airport lounge, watching people for hours on end. The characters you come across create really rather lovely scenes. One of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen was a man staring listlessly out of the window on the top deck of a London bus. The light hit him perfectly, yet he was completely unaware of the magnificence of the situation. The curated lives that people so often try to project are always much less compelling.
It’s this lack of contrivance that I find so attractive in my husband, Didier. His approach to life is incredibly bold; he never conforms. He’s helped me look at the world in a completely different way and it’s a true gift to see things through his eyes. He designed our home and it’s a very modern space, but it was really important to us to fill it with both old and new. A lot of the art we have is gifts from friends and some of the furniture has been passed down through our families, so we have a real mix of modern and midcentury style, which keeps the design original.
When I’m working, taking photographs, it doesn’t really matter to me if the light is staged or natural – what’s more important is the emotion that the image is portraying. Having said that, and going back to my love of everyday situations, I’m really inspired by the photography of William Eggleston, Alec Soth and Philip-Lorca diCorcia – they’re all masters at finding beauty in the everyday, which is such an enviable talent.