The Aesthete: Laurence Dacade talks personal taste

The shoe designer creates a heady mix of über-glamorous, sensual and “rock” styles for her own label and for maisons such as Chanel and Massaro

Laurence Dacade at home in Paris
Laurence Dacade at home in Paris | Image: Emmanuel Fradin

My personal style signifier is my shoes. Sometimes they’re highly colourful, but my favourite style to wear is black leather – it’s so clean and minimal and transcends seasons, and the details such as buckles give it an edge. I never wear socks or tights, so that I can feel the leather lining and the shape. When I’m not road-testing my own designs, I’m in Nike sneakers – I love the range of colours, and my VaporMax pair is so comfortable. From £150; nike.com.

Dacade’s own-label calfskin Sailor boots
Dacade’s own-label calfskin Sailor boots | Image: Emmanuel Fradin

The last thing I bought and loved was an embroidered Gabrielle bag from Chanel. It’s big enough to carry everything I need, yet it’s a beautiful shape, infinitely variable – I can wear it cross-body, with a double chain or four short chains – and the decoration makes it special enough for evenings. From £3,310; chanel.com

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And the thing I’m eyeing next is a Halyard chair by Hans Wegner that I’ve dreamt about for years. I love the contrast of the modern metal structure, the rope seat and the sheepskin cushions, and it would look good on the modern houseboat that my husband Eric designed for us to live on in Paris. £8,089; twentytwentyone.com.

The bathhouse in the Onsen tearoom in San Francisco
The bathhouse in the Onsen tearoom in San Francisco

My favourite room on my houseboat is my bathroom, which is more of a relaxing living space somewhere between a gallery and a library. I love to perfume it with a blend of different fragrances, then lie in the bath, which is like a cosy, cocooning egg. The water in the bath sways slightly as the houseboat moves on the river.

Dacade’s Rick Owens draped jacket
Dacade’s Rick Owens draped jacket | Image: Emmanuel Fradin

The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe was a black draped “contemporary vintage” jacket by Rick Owens that I found at DMag, a small outlet chain with three stores in Milan. You have to search, but it has a lot of past seasons’ top-designer pieces. Via Manzoni 44, 20121 Milan (dmag.eu).

Her tablecloth hand-embroidered by her mother
Her tablecloth hand-embroidered by her mother | Image: Emmanuel Fradin

An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is Tokyo. I am very keen to discover more of Japan. I love everything there: the contrast of tradition and modernity, the writing, the light and delicious food. It is such a poetic country. 

Halyard chair by Hans Wegner, £8,089, from Twentytwentyone
Halyard chair by Hans Wegner, £8,089, from Twentytwentyone

The last music I downloaded was a song composed and sung by my 15-year-old son, Hindy. He plays guitar and piano, sings in French and English, and his romantic style is inspired by the Seine and the gentleness of life on the water. @hindy_music.

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A recent “find” is the Onsen tea house in San Francisco, which has its own steam bath and spa. You can have tea or a healthy meal with a soak or oriental-style treatment. It suits my obsession with Japanese culture. 466 Eddy St, San Francisco, CA 94109 (+1415-441 4987; onsensf.com).

If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose the Quadrilatero d’Oro in Milan for its variety of stylish stores selling the best of everything. Antonia is beautiful – bare-walled yet elegant, with the coolest international clothing and accessories brands. Marchesi Pasticceria does the best coffee and pastries and has kept its sense of tradition despite becoming trendy with the Prada takeover. The market at Excelsior is a foodie’s delight in the basement of a concept store. And Buccellati is my favourite jeweller: I love the wonderful Italian goldwork – it is design and craftwork of the highest order. Antonia, Via Cusani 5 (antonia.it). Buccellati, Via Montenapoleone 23 (buccellati.com). Excelsior, Galleria del Corso 4 (excelsiormilano.com). Marchesi Pasticceria, Via Montenapoleone 9 (pasticceriamarchesi.com). 

The best gift I’ve received recently is a tablecloth embroidered by my mother that I use every day. She is very talented and has a great eye for design and colour. 

The last meal that truly impressed me was at the EN Japanese brasserie in New York. It’s very stylish; they have a very light and pure style of cooking, and the food is perfectly presented. I love the way they prepare eel, one of my favourite fish. 435 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014 (+1212-647 9196; enjb.com).

My favourite websites or apps are VSCO.co, a photo app, to correct Instagram pictures; and Airbnb.com – I recently rented a 1920s house in Venice with a Moroccan interior, which was so inspiring. 

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