The Aesthete: Louise Trotter talks more personal taste

The creative director of Joseph concludes her list of likes with her favourite Paris neighbourhood, Ruinart champagne and the effortless style of Debbie Harry

Louise Trotter at home in Paris
Louise Trotter at home in Paris | Image: Edouard Jacquinet

My style icon is Debbie Harry when she was young. She was the coolest; the epitome of effortlessness. She had her own style and did her own thing in a completely natural way.

The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is Sean Scully, who I discovered in an exhibition at Whitechapel Gallery in 1989. I have a few of his books and I constantly go back to his colour palettes when I’m working on collections – the way he combines colours is incredible. His work always reminds me of that moment when you fly over England; the view looks like one of his paintings. timothytaylor.com.

Trotter’s grandmother’s gold wedding band
Trotter’s grandmother’s gold wedding band | Image: Edouard Jacquinet

The best gift I’ve given recently was a Leiths cookery course, to my husband Yuske. He’s already a brilliant cook, but he learnt so much there. He and my eldest daughter Coco, who is eight, keep talking about opening a restaurant together, which would be the nicest thing. From £215; leiths.com.

The best gift I’ve received recently is my youngest daughter Gaia, who is four. I had her late in life and she really was the best gift I could have received. She was the easiest pregnancy of all of them. I really thought she was going to be the softie – but she rules the house. She has so much character.

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The place I rely on for personal grooming is Biologique Recherche, where I have a monthly facial. It’s the one thing I am religious about. Each facial is custom-designed for how your skin is that day, and there’s lots of massaging built into the treatment. From €125; 32 Avenue des Champs-Élysées, 75008 Paris (biologique-recherche.com).

An object I would never part with is my grandmother’s wedding ring, which is a classic yellow gold band. It fits my middle finger perfectly. I change my jewellery a lot, but there are certain pieces that stay on my fingers. I can really remember that ring from when I was a child.

Debbie Harry
Debbie Harry | Image: Getty Images. Photo by Chris Gabrin/Redferns

An indulgence I would never forgo is a bath. If I stay anywhere without one, I run the bath as soon as I get home. I don’t put anything in it, but I do use Aesop Coriander Seed Body Cleanser, which has quite a masculine fragrance. £31 for 500ml; aesop.com.

If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose the sixth and seventh arrondissement of Paris because it is really like a village, and you can find everything you need. Hermès is by far my favourite shop, and I have slowly collected men’s V-neck cashmere sweaters from there. If I have time off, I will always pop into Café de Flore for breakfast, or to meet friends for an aperitif. Frédéric Malle is my favourite perfume shop – I’ve worn its fragrances for years, and Portrait of a Lady is the one I always go back to. There’s a tiny shop called Noro that has amazing children’s clothes – I love the collections there. And Fromagerie Quatrehomme is the most amazing cheese shop I have ever been to – the selection of cheeses is exceptional, as is the service. Café de Flore, 172 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75006 (+331-4548 5526; cafedeflore.fr). Frédéric Malle, 37 Rue de Grenelle, 75007 (+331-4222 7640; fredericmalle.com). Fromagerie Quatrehomme, 62 Rue de Sèvres, 75007 (+331-4734 3345; quatrehomme.fr). Hermès, 17 Rue de Sèvres, 75006 (+331-4222 8083; hermes.com). Noro, 6 Rue de Varenne, 75007 (+331-4549 1988; noroparis.com).

Cheese platter from Quatrehomme in Paris
Cheese platter from Quatrehomme in Paris

The last meal that truly impressed me was dinner at Lucille and Richard Lewin’s home in Marylebone. It was simple food – baked fish and salads – but they are incredible cooks. And good food is nothing without good company. 

The best book I’ve read in the past year is Dr Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat. I have taught my daughter to read in the past year and we were both really amazed by this book. It’s a brilliant story, but it’s also a brilliant way to teach children to read. £6.99; harpercollins.co.uk.

Ambassade de la Beauté Biologique Recherche Paris
Ambassade de la Beauté Biologique Recherche Paris

In my fridge you’ll always find all the best things in life. Ruinart champagne; dark chocolate – I am not particular about which type, although my favourites are chocolate gingers; and various cheeses – I am a cheese addict. ruinart.com.

My favourite room in my house is my living room in my apartment in Paris. It started as a place for a few days a week, but it’s become somewhere I spend a lot of time. It’s in the seventh arrondissement and is classically Parisian, with parquet floors, French windows, a fireplace and a beautiful ceiling. It has beautiful proportions and is so pleasurable to live in. We have a combination of flea market finds and a few more significant pieces, but I’m not precious about furniture – a few bumps are part of its beauty.

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The last music I downloaded was Cigarettes After Sex’s cover version of REO Speedwagon’s Keep On Loving You. I am a little bit obsessed with it; I love the melancholic vocals. 

If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be a nurse. Growing up, I was fascinated by biology and it still really interests me. I like the idea of caring for people and, of course, I like the uniform too.

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