Natalia Vodianova talks personal taste: Part One

Model and founder of the Naked Heart Foundation Natalia Vodianova is campaigning to transform the lives of children with special needs in Russia

Natalia Vodianova at home in Paris
Natalia Vodianova at home in Paris | Image: Léa Crespi

My personal style signifier is a gold Georgian coin set as a medallion that a dear friend gave me. Her father carried some coins from Belgium to England when he fled the Nazis and he gave them to his children. It’s a very precious gift and my lucky charm.

Natalia Vodianova’s Valentino dress
Natalia Vodianova’s Valentino dress | Image: Léa Crespi

The last things I bought and loved were an Acne dark denim dress, which is casual but if you accessorise it, it’s actually very chic, and a Pencil FiftyThree [pictured] that I use as a stylus to draw on my iPad. It works really well and as it’s made of wood, it looks very stylish too. www.acnestudios.com. www.fiftythree.com.

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And the thing I’m eyeing next is a pied-à-terre in London – in Mayfair or Belgravia. I go there a lot for work and stay in a hotel, but it’s not the same as having a home.

Jars of Hello honey
Jars of Hello honey

An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is a small town a five-hour drive from Moscow called Rostov [pictured] where there are a lot of old monasteries and Russian churches. I went with some friends to a spiritual retreat for a day; we prayed and talked to some amazing monks and nuns and left feeling serene, happy and inspired.

The Cathedral of the Assumption in Rostov
The Cathedral of the Assumption in Rostov

The best gift I’ve given recently was a treasure hunt in the gardens of Les Invalides for my daughter’s birthday. I wrote little poems for each clue, which took me about six hours, and although the presents were small and silly, the children had such fun.

Vodianova's Dior ankle boots, £870
Vodianova's Dior ankle boots, £870

And the best gift I’ve received recently was a year’s personalised supply of Russian honey, each jar containing a different flavour I might like – an unusual pollen or one mixed with nuts. I eat honey constantly, on bread, in tea and even just from a spoon, so it was a lovely gift and the varied glass jars look beautiful in our dining room. From £13 a jar; +7495-151 0189; www.hellohoney.ru.

Vodianova’s Pencil FiftyThree
Vodianova’s Pencil FiftyThree

A recent “find” is La Table d’Aki in Paris, a tiny restaurant that the photographer Paolo Roversi told me about. Aki is Japanese but he cooks French dishes with a light touch; the food is delicious. 49 Rue Vaneau, 75007 Paris (+331-4544 4348).

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An indulgence I would never forgo is my fortnightly two-hour hair treatment at L’Institut Leonor Greyl in Paris. It starts with a hair mask worn under a steam helmet and then another machine sucks and massages the scalp. It’s my biggest luxury and precious time for myself. I come out so much more relaxed. 15 Rue Tronchet, 75008 Paris (+331-4265 3226; www.leonorgreyl.com).

An item in my wardrobe I’ll keep to pass on is a Valentino haute-couture dress [pictured], by Mr Valentino himself, which I’ll give to my daughter. It is blue, grey and taupe and embroidered with little pearl-like grey beads. He made it for me for a show and when I told him how much I loved it, he said, “You should have it; it’s beautiful on you.” www.valentino.com.

In my fridge you’ll always findrye bread from Poilâne, which is the closest I can get to Russian black bread in Paris, a bottle of Krug, our favourite champagne, and Russian ravioli, which we often make ourselves. And in the freezer there’s Häagen-Dazs Dulce de Leche ice cream; we get through a lot of that. www.haagen-dazs.co.uk. www.krug.com. Poilâne, 8 Rue du Cherche-Midi, 75006 Paris (+331-4548 4259; www.poilane.com).

The last items of clothing I added to my wardrobe were some cute little ankle boots from the Dior Cruise Collection 2016. They are between Victoriana and pixie as they have a very pointed toe; they’re adorable and go with just about everything. £870; www.dior.com.

My favourite websites are Pinterest, which I use as a mood board for ideas, and Amara, not only for expensive presents, but also cool, silly stocking fillers. I also founded a philanthropic app called Elbi that lets you to do a good deed on the go, so I use that a lot too. www.amara.com. www.elbi.com. www.pinterest.com.

Natalia Vodianova’s Fabulous Fund Fair in aid of the Naked Heart Foundationis at Old Billingsgate Market on February 20 2016.

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