My style icon is Katharine Hepburn. I admire her androgynous yet elegant look.
A recent “find” is Malian artist and textile designer Aboubakar Fofana. He is based between the capital, Bamako, and Paris, but works all over the world creating exceptionally high-quality naturally dyed indigo and mud cloth, using techniques passed down from his grandmother. I discovered his work at New York’s Atelier Courbet when I was designing a collection based around blue workwear. Aboubakar Fofana,www.aboubakar-fofana.com. Atelier Courbet, 175-177 Mott St, New York, NY 10012 (+1212-226 7378; www.ateliercourbet.com).
The best gift I have received recently was a giant cotton shirt my husband bought at Egg that I wear as a dress. 36 Kinnerton St, London SW1(020-7235 9315; www.eggtrading.com).
The best souvenir I’ve brought home is a selection of antique alabaster vessels that I spotted on a mucky shelf in a junk shop in Rajasthan. They’re about 100 years old. There’s something really sculptural about them – one is shaped like a wine bottle and another is a big cup with a handle – but quite fragile too.
If I didn’t live in London, I would live in Suffolk. It’s the place I would most like to run away to. I went on caravan holidays there as a child and I love the flat landscape, the light and the simplicity of life. It still feels like a relatively unspoilt corner of England, with its ancient woodlands and beautiful shingle coastlines. For shopping, Dix-Sept Antiques in Framlingham is a good place for an excellent edit of vintage English and French pieces, and Emmett’s in Peasenhall sells all sorts of piggy treats to eat; plus you can see ham being smoked in tea and spices in its sheds. At The King’s Head pub in Laxfield we go to the Tap Room at the back and drink beer served directly from the barrels before curling up on a settle with a proper steak pie. Dix-Sept Antiques, 7 Station Rd, Framlingham, Laxfield IP13 9EA (01728-621 505). Emmett’s, The Street, Peasenhall, Saxmundham IP17 2HJ (01728-660 250; www.emmettsham.co.uk). The King’s Head, Gorams Mill Lane, Woodbridge IP13 8DW (01986-798 395; www.laxfieldkingshead.co.uk).
The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is Barbara Hepworth – if money were no object, I would buy one of her sculptures in an instant. I love the St Ives Group, and Hepworth and Ben Nicholson in particular – I own some of their lithographs and prints.
The people I rely on for personal grooming and wellbeing include Larry King at Daniel Hersheson on Conduit Street. I’ve been going there for 12 years and now that I’m blonde again, I go every four weeks to have my hair cut and dipped in peroxide. I also see the incredible nutritionist Elizabeth Peyton-Jones, who keeps me healthy and reminds me to look after myself when I’m busy and run down, and I have a facial once a week from Helen Brown. She used to be beauty editor at The Sunday Times and will also come to my house to give me a massage if I need one. Daniel Hersheson, 45 Conduit St, London W1 (020-7434 1747 www.danielhersheson.com). Elizabeth Peyton-Jones, www.epjhealth.com. Helen Brown, www.helen-brown.co.uk.
In my fridge you always find lots of lemons, for hot water with lemon and ginger in the morning, and plenty of cheese. We’re mad cheese freaks and I would like to move the entire counter from La Fromagerie into my house. Soft varieties are my favourite: Los Balanchares, Blu ’61, and Bosworth Ash Log. Then there’s fresh fish, meat and biodynamic vegetables that I buy every Saturday from the farmers’ market at Parliament Hill. La Fromagerie, 2-6 Moxon St, London W1 (020-7935 0341; www.lafromagerie.co.uk).Parliament Hill Farmers’ Market, William Ellis School, Highgate Rd, London NW5.
The last music I downloaded wasby Malian musician Vieux Farka Touré. He’s the son of Grammy-winning musician Ali Farka Touré and specialises in really jazzy electric guitar.
The objects I would never part with are my stones, picked up on walks and from beaches around the world. They’re not worth anything but they’re very sentimental. Among them is a flawless white pebble and one with a perfect hole in the middle. My parents live in Devon and there’s a fantastic beach near their house where some of the stones date back to the Jurassic period.
The beauty staples I’m never without are Kiehl’s Crème with Silk Groom for my hair; Dermalogica, which a make-up-artist friend recommended and is now the only brand I’ll use on my skin; and Frédéric Malle’s Lys Méditerranée perfume. Dermalogica, www.dermalogica.co.uk. Frédéric Malle Lys Méditerranée, €175 for 100ml; www.fredericmalle.com. Kiehl’s Crème with Silk Groom, £18; www.kiehls.co.uk.
If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be asculptor, bashing away in the shed at the bottom of the garden.