The Aesthete: Valérie Messika talks personal taste

The jewellery designer launched her contemporary, diamond-led brand Messika in 2005 and has since built a starry following for her innovative pieces

Valérie Messika at home in Paris
Valérie Messika at home in Paris | Image: Stéphanie Jayet

My personal style signifier is a black leather jacket. I have three: an Anthony Vaccarello, which I wear absolutely everywhere; a Ralph Lauren, for dinner or when I want something more formal; and one by Dior, which I bought for their show at Paris Fashion Week. I see them all as investment pieces; a leather jacket is both casual yet sophisticated, cool yet smart. www.anthonyvaccarello.com. www.dior.com. www.ralphlauren.co.uk.

The last thing I bought and loved was a pair of Givenchy shoes in Hong Kong; they are flat like men’s shoes, in black with a silver metal chain around the heel. Before I had children, I wore a lot of high heels, but now I prefer flats as I’m running about so much. £585; www.net-a-porter.com

Messika’s blackened silver ring with rose-cut diamonds, from Udaipur, Rajasthan
Messika’s blackened silver ring with rose-cut diamonds, from Udaipur, Rajasthan | Image: Stéphanie Jayet

The thing I’m eyeing next is a black Bottega Veneta leather duffel bag. I travel a lot and it’s the perfect size for a short trip. Bottega is a quiet, low-key brand. I love the quality of its leather and you can see the craftsmanship in each piece. £2,710; www.bottegaveneta.com.

The best souvenir I’ve brought home in the past year is a blackened silver ring set with rose-cut diamonds, from Rajasthan. I found it on a little stall in the Bada Bazaar in Udaipur  and, as my own jewellery is very modern, I fell in love with this because it’s romantic and traditionally Indian. Bohrwadi, Udaipur, Rajasthan 313001.

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A recent “find” is Aux Prés, Cyril Lignac’s brasserie in Saint-Germain, a revamp of a famous 1950s Rive Gauche bistro. The cuisine is French/Asian fusion, with amazing pâtisserie, and the restaurant is small, softly lit and very cosy. I ate lamb with sweet potato in a sweet and sour sauce, and caramelised brioche for dessert. 27 Rue du Dragon, Paris 75006 (+331-4548 2968; www.restaurantauxpres.com). 

An object I would never part with is my light grey leather Hermès Ulysse notebook. My friend Alysson Feit, the architect of my boutiques, gave it to me when we started working together. It’s supple and lovely to touch, and I’m always sketching new ideas in it. www.hermes.com.

Her Givenchy chain‑trimmed Rosanna brogues, £585
Her Givenchy chain‑trimmed Rosanna brogues, £585 | Image: Stéphanie Jayet

The site that inspires me is the Fondation Louis Vuitton in the Bois de Boulogne, designed by Frank Gehry. I pass it every day and I’ve come to love this magical steel sailing boat in the middle of the woods. Sometimes you have the sense that it is swaying, as the wind seems to fill its sails, and it changes its moods and colours with the seasons. www.fondationlouisvuitton.fr.

The last music I downloaded was We Cut the Night by the French duo AaRON. I love this song so much I chose it for the video of our new advertising campaign shot in Paris with Terry Richardson. It is both rock and soft, so perfect for our brand. 

 Patrick Roger Instinct chocolates, €40
Patrick Roger Instinct chocolates, €40 | Image: Stéphanie Jayet

In my fridge you’ll always find chocolates from Patrick Roger; fresh strawberries from Marché des Milons in Saint-Cloud; a bottle or two of my favourite Sancerre, Les Monts Damnés; and some Louis Roederer champagne. I like to buy wine from Augé; they give great advice and the shop has a lovely atmosphere. Augé, 116 Blvd Haussmann, 75008 Paris (+331‑4522 1697; www.cavesauge.com). www.patrickroger.com. www.saintcloud.fr/les-marches. 

The best book I’ve read in the past year is You Will Not Have My Hate by Antoine Leiris, whose wife and mother of their two-year-old son was killed in the attack at the Bataclan theatre in Paris. It’s full of unforgettable details. He describes her loss so movingly, yet refuses to give in to hatred and anger. 

Fondation Louis Vuitton in the Bois de Boulogne, Paris
Fondation Louis Vuitton in the Bois de Boulogne, Paris | Image: Getty Images

My favourite apps are Shazam.com – I’m crazy about music, at work, in the car, in the bath, and this app helps me create wonderful playlists; Deezer.com – it’s very simple and has an endless music library; and Waze.com, which has helped me avoid so many arguments with my husband in the car. 

 

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