My personal style signifier is one of two uniforms: either a simple Norton & Sons bespoke suit worn with a pale blue shirt, or E Tautz baggy field trousers and a navy crewneck jumper. In summer, I like navy crewneck T-shirts… just to keep things consistent. Field trousers, £230; etautz.com. Two-piece bespoke suit, from £4,400; made-to-measure shirt, from £245; nortonandsons.co.uk.
The last item of clothing I bought and loved was a cream-coloured 1980s Gallini anorak. I bought it from a vintage dealer online as a reference for upcoming collections. And I recently purchased an Armani Collezioni overcoat, also from the 1980s. It’s olive drab with a check lining and has a very drapey silhouette.
An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is Ilha Grande National Park in Brazil. I stayed on Bonete Beach in a rustic cabin that is part of Pousada Canto Bravo. It was a magical place with only candlelight, no wifi and no road access. An idyllic escape. pousadacantobravo.com.br.
And the best souvenirs I’ve brought home are two absolutely lovely little carved wooden figurines from Tanzania. They look like Giacometti sculptures, but better. They’re on a bookcase in my sitting room.
An accessory I would never part with is a wardrobe trunk handed down from my great-grandfather and grandfather. It’s inscribed with my great-grandfather’s address in India from his time in the army and bears a label from my grandfather’s time in the RAF. I took it to school with me and have always felt like they have travelled with me.
The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is Richard Serra. His monumental pieces feel hewn from the natural world, and there is a material richness to his paintings and sculptures. I also like the pervading sense of calm..
A recent “find” is interior-design boutique Pentreath & Hall in Bloomsbury. With its unique mix of handcrafted things, it is charming and full of surprises, and Bridie Hall, one of the owners, paints linen lampshades upstairs. 17 Rugby Street, London W1 (pentreath-hall.com).
The last meal that truly impressed me was at Okan Okonomiyaki in Brixton Village. It isn’t fancy but the food is phenomenal. I had pancake stuffed with prawn, squid and noodles, and tofu gyoza dumplings. The chef cooks in front of you and it feels very authentic. Unit 39, Brixton Village, London SW9 (okanbrixtonvillage.com).
If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose Mayfair. It retains an intimate feel with its small boutiques and cafés. Shepherd’s Market is a step back in time, and I love HR Higgins for coffee and local colour. Susannah Lovis sells beautiful antique cufflinks in Burlington Arcade, while Berry Bros & Rudd has amazing wine selections. Brasserie Zédel does a great post-shopping lunch. Berry Bros & Rudd, 63 Pall Mall, SW1 (bbr.com). Brasserie Zédel, 20 Sherwood Street, W1 (brasseriezedel.com). HR Higgins (Coffee-Man), 79 Duke Street, W1 (hrhiggins.co.uk). Susannah Lovis, 50 Burlington Arcade, W1 (susannahlovis.com).
If I weren’t doing what I do, I’d be an architect or a landscape designer. I studied engineering as an undergraduate and later volunteered with the National Trust, where I learnt about gardening. It was an MBA at Oxford that led me to fashion and a bankrupt tailor on Savile Row, and, well, here I am.
This story was originally posted on March 4 2019.