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My personal style signifier is my antique and vintage jewellery. I particularly like pieces that have a purpose and are beautiful in their functionality. I have charms of tiny gold pens made in the 1920s and a matchbox filled with miniature matches, but my favourite is a gold pendant with a tiny dictionary and a magnifying glass. Grays Antiques Centre in Mayfair is one of my favourite hunting grounds. 58 Davies St, London W1 (graysantiques.com)
The last thing I bought and loved was a midcentury Swedish oak sideboard by Ilse Rix. It has sliding doors and a woven wood front, and its proportions are amazing. From about €3,200; jacksons.se
And the thing I’m eyeing next is a light wool, double-breasted suit from Connolly. A really great, beautifully cut and quite masculine suit looks so effortless but is hard to find. A friend of mine turned up in a Connolly suit the other day, and I thought, “That’s the one.” From £1,300; connollyengland.com
The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe is a Bella Freud off-white cotton-mix skirt with buttons up the front; it has a classic feel, with a high waist and a tortoiseshell belt buckle. I saw someone wearing it on Instagram and tracked it down. £490; bellafreud.com
An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year was St Lucia. I’ve sailed across the Atlantic with my family, on our own boat, many times, and we often end up there. Arriving from the ocean, you see places from a very different perspective. Last year we moored between the pitons in a little bay and it was just breathtaking. The snorkelling is fantastic.
And the best souvenir I’ve brought home is a huge vintage Hudson’s Bay striped wool blanket that I found in a junk store in LA. It’s in great condition and I love the bright primary colours. New from $325; thebay.com
The beauty staple I’m never without is the Genius Bi-Phase Peel by Algenist – it’s algae-based skincare that leaves my skin very clear. £68; spacenk.com
A recent “find” is Shreeji newsagents opposite the Chiltern Firehouse. This fabulous shop looks unassuming but has the most incredible selection of art and fashion magazines. I’ve been spending a lot of time there recently as we are opening a store on the street this month. 6 Chiltern St, London W1 (shreejinewsagents.com)
The best gift I’ve given recently was a set of knitted sushi to my assistant, Catherine Fellowes, a fan of all things Japanese. I commissioned it from Kate Jenkins, a knitwear and crochet artist. The fish eggs are beaded and the prawns are sequinned – it’s so clever. £2,000; katejenkinsstudio.co.uk.
If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose Church Street in Marylebone, London. It’s always lively, and I love the mix of places and people. I’ve been going to Alfies Antique Market for so long, for furniture, clothes and jewellery. Across the street is Deborah Woolf Vintage, where I bought an incredible 1950s Fortnum & Mason blush lace skirt suit; there’s a massive archive at her appointment-only Church Street studio. I love the Lisson Gallery’s selection of artists, and Lebanese restaurant Maroush is great for a pitstop – the food is delicious. Alfies, 13-25 Church St, NW8 (alfiesantiques.com). Deborah Woolf, deborahwoolf.com. Lisson Gallery, 67 Lisson St, NW1 (lissongallery.com). Maroush, 21 Edgware Rd, W2 (maroush.com)
An object I would never part with is a print from the German photographer Thomas Ruff’s Stars series. His work reminds me of sailing across the Atlantic under an amazing night sky. We wake up to it hanging at the foot of our bed. benbrownfinearts.com
My favourite websites and apps are Resee.com, for clothes and accessories, and It’sNiceThat.com, a blog about creatives that is really good for discovering photographers and designers. I also like the Artsy app – my knowledge of the art world has expanded hugely since using it.
My style icon is Françoise Hardy. There’s something very cool about the way she looks. She’s beautiful in a slightly boyish way; even when wearing quite basic pieces she looks really chic and effortless.
The last meal that truly impressed me was at the Anchorstone Café in Dittisham, Devon. We spent a lot of time sailing around here when I was growing up, and this café is right on the water, so it’s really pretty. I had delicious scallops baked with breadcrumbs and garlic – everything is ridiculously fresh. Manor St, Dittisham, Dartmouth (anchorstonecafe.co.uk)
The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is Donald Judd, particularly his woodblock prints that come in series of 10 or 12 – I’d love a whole set. His use of colour and space is really clever.
The best gift I’ve received recently was a print by the architectural photographer David Grandorge, which my husband, Ted, bought me for Christmas. It’s one of his early pieces featuring interesting buildings in east London. It’s very simple but incredibly beautiful; he has an amazing eye.
If I didn’t live in London, the city I would live in is Paris. I go a lot for work but when I’m there for weekends with my husband it’s a totally different experience. I’d really like to get my French back on track. I often visit the Saint-Ouen flea market for the antiques, and I particularly like the Paul Bert Surpette section – it has some of the most interesting dealers. Empreintes is a great ceramics and craft shop in the Marais where you can discover really interesting pieces. Maison Plisson is a wonderful food store with a restaurant; it has the most amazing products, from jams to juices, which are sourced all over France. And there’s Restaurant Pertinence – a fairly new place with a Japanese chef but French food; I love that combination of the Asian influence with all the French flavours. Empreintes, 5 Rue de Picardie, 75003 (empreintes-paris.com). Maison Plisson, 93 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003 (lamaisonplisson.com). Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen, Avenue de la Porte de Clignancourt, 75018 (marcheauxpuces-saintouen.com). Restaurant Pertinence, 29 Rue de l’Exposition, 75007 (restaurantpertinence.com).
The best book I’ve read in the past year is Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. It’s about a man who goes to find his old professor, who has a terminal illness. It’s an incredibly simple and honest book that reminds you about what’s important in life.
My favourite room in my house is the painting room my husband designed for me. It has skylights and opens out onto a patio where we are going to have lots of plants in pots. It’s my space to have some quiet time and do my thing, and it was my one stipulation when we remodelled our home.
The people I rely on for personal grooming and wellbeing are hairdresser Lesley McIntyre, who has a salon in Holborn and does a really easy, natural cut; Debbie Thomas, who does facials with a lot of technology – it’s like going into a spaceship, but she is brilliant with my sensitive skin; and Heather Gibson, an osteopath who has changed the shape of my back. I spent years having massages for a really bad neck but Heather has cured all that. Debbie Thomas, 25 Walton Street, London SW3 (dthomas.com), facials from £120. Heather Gibson, heathergibsonmassage.com, from £90. Lesley McIntyre, 14 West Central Street, London WC1 (lesleymcintyresalon.com), cut and blow-dry from £100.
In my fridge you’ll always find lots of antipasti and cheese from a great Italian deli called Monte’s, which is just around the corner from our place in Islington, and a bottle of wine, such as the Avignonesi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, from The Sampler, a local shop that sells fantastic wine. And, having just had a baby, we normally have some comfort food – casseroles, cottage pie, meatballs – from my mother. Monte’s Italian Delicatessen, 23 Canonbury Lane, London N1 (montesdeli.com). The Sampler, 266 Upper Street, London N1 (thesampler.co.uk); Avignonesi, £27.50.
An indulgence I would never forgo is underfloor heating in our bathroom. It’s so nice on a cold day. Our baby loves it, too, but the biggest fan is my beagle, Alan; every morning I find him spatchcocked across the floor with a very warm tummy.
The last music I downloaded was To Build a House by Cosima – a young singer-songwriter I discovered through my senior designer. She has one of those beautiful soul voices, and this particular song sounds like an instant classic – I have it on repeat.
If I weren’t doing what I do, I’d be a painter. I’m not sure I’d be good enough, but I would love to paint and draw as a career.
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