The Aesthete: Victoria Grant talks more personal taste

The milliner rounds up her list of likes with Daphne Guinness, London’s black cabs and mesmerising LA

Victoria Grant at her studio in Notting Hill
Victoria Grant at her studio in Notting Hill | Image: David Yeo. Gucci suit available from Harvey Nichols. Make-up by Smashbox Studios

My style icon is Daphne Guinness. Her style is completely unique – I call it “quintessential futuristic”. She is a pioneer – with her rock ’n’ roll band but constantly in haute couture. I first saw her at a Tim Burton premiere and couldn’t take my eyes off her.

Daphne Guinness at the Maison Martin Margiela “20” exhibition at Somerset House, 2010
Daphne Guinness at the Maison Martin Margiela “20” exhibition at Somerset House, 2010 | Image: WireImage/Getty Images

An object I would never part with is a painting of the Queen that my grandpa, Leonard Stanley Fearnley, painted. She sits in my fireplace and I feel she is always watching over me, checking that I do everything to the highest standard.

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The item in my wardrobe I’ll keep to pass on is a pair of patchwork flares I bought at Hyper Hyper on Kensington High Street when I was 14. They still fit and keep resurfacing because they are so cool. 

If I could tell you just one thing… by Richard Reed
If I could tell you just one thing… by Richard Reed | Image: David Yeo

The last music I downloaded was Blue & Lonesome by The Rolling Stones. I recently saw them at Desert Trip in California: they were amazing but I was really blown away by the wardrobe changes – it was like a progressive rainbow.

The Coco Nail Bar in Portobello Road
The Coco Nail Bar in Portobello Road

The sight that inspires me is that incredible sky tour of London you get when you fly home – it’s so easy to pinpoint all the historical buildings and architecture. I just find it dreamy. 

Victoria Grant silk Peace and Love scarf, £90
Victoria Grant silk Peace and Love scarf, £90 | Image: David Yeo

An indulgence I would never forgo is black cabs. Nothing beats sitting in the back of a taxi, enjoying the banter and wisdom of our ever-cheerful London cabbies. You never know what tales you will hear.

The Little Beach House in Malibu
The Little Beach House in Malibu | Image: Dave Burk Photography

The best book I’ve read in the past year is If I could tell you just one thing… by Richard Reed. It’s a collection of advice and snippets of wisdom from everyone from David Attenborough to Marina Abramovic. I love hearing different people’s views, so this is right up my street.

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The people I rely on for personal grooming and wellbeing are Coco Nail Bar, for my fierce metallic-gold nails; Core Kensington, where the trainers are amazing; Koia London for massages and osteopathy – I practically owe my life to them; they are always unravelling me – and my hair stylist Robin Pawloski, who is incredibly imaginative and a real character. If I’ve got to sit down for four hours then I enjoy no one more than him. Coco Nail Bar, 267 Portobello Rd, London W11 (020-7243 1113; www.coconailbar.com). Core Kensington, www.corekensington.co.uk. Koia London, 32-34 Notting Hill Gate, London W11 (020-7229 8686; www.koia.london). Robin Pawloski, www.robinpawloski.com.

The best gift I’ve given recently is one of my silk art scarves with tasselled ends and “Peace and Love” handwritten across the middle, which I gave to Paul McCartney. The idea is that you are rocking around in your scarf, but it’s also an instant protest banner. £90; www.victoriagrant.co.uk.

The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is Antony Micallef. He just keeps on evolving. I loved his show Self at Lazarides gallery, with the lashings of paint that reminded me of Frank Auerbach. www.antonymicallef.com.

If I didn’t live in London, the city I would live in is LA; I am mesmerised by its different atmospheres and environments. Chateau Marmont attracts an array of eccentrics and you can feel the history almost seeping through the walls. I love the Hauser Wirth & Schimmel gallery that opened last year – it’s on the pulse of the downtown art scene. The setting of Little Beach House in Malibu is breathtaking and the number of actors there is shocking – it’s like walking onto the set of all the best movies you’ve ever watched. The Griffith Observatory has exquisite views across LA, and I love the Rose Bowl vintage market in Pasadena for treasure-hunting. Chateau Marmont, 8221 Sunset Blvd, Hollywood 90046 (+1323-656 1010; www.chateaumarmont.com). Griffith Observatory, 2800 East Observatory Rd, Los Angeles 90027 (+1213-473 0800; www.griffithobservatory.org). Hauser Wirth & Schimmel, 901 East 3rd St, Los Angeles 90013 (+1213-943 1620; www.hauserwirthschimmel.com). Little Beach House, 22716 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu 90265 (+1310-456 2400; www.littlebeachhousemalibu.com). Rose Bowl Flea Market, 1001 Rose Bowl Dr, Pasadena 91103 (www.rgcshows.com/rosebowl).

My favourite room in my house is my bedroom, which has lots of soothing golds, like a jewellery box. I love sleeping because I get a lot of my inspiration from my dreams, when the mind doesn’t have any boundaries. 

If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be a screenwriter. I love stories, and every day I see little scenarios in all the places I go.

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