The New Garconne – what’s it all about?

The New Garconne book Navaz Batliwalla Disneyrollergirl
Three years ago I had a lightbulb moment. “Why doesn’t someone do a coffee table book on women with ‘gentlewoman style’?” I said to Mr DRG. Nothing new, as we have one of these “why doesn’t someone do/design/invent…” conversations at least thrice a week.

“You should do it,” he said, most likely as a conversation stopper. I filed it in the part of my brain marked, ‘good ideas that will never see the light of day’, and started a Pinterest board instead.

Fast forward to, um, today and the lightbulb moment has trasitioned into a real, living, actually-on-the-shelves physical thing that you can hold. Guys, I did it. I wrote a book – and it’s released today!

So The New Garconne – How To Be A Modern Gentlewoman is a tribute to the kind of cool, discerning, grown up tomboys that I admire. I’m not a fan of putting people on pedestals so I won’t use words like goddess, icon or girl boss (gag) but just say that the women I profiled are soooo inspiring and relatable yet have that unknown quantity that makes them a bit enigmatic. I interviewed them in person or by phone and then had them photographed Apartamento-style in their home, office or studio. That is, without fancy styling or props, just as is. If you’re as nosy as me, you’re going to love visually rooting around Bella Freud’s studio, on Caroline Issa’s desk, or in Laurence Dacade’s shoe-filled bathroom.

Hmmm, who sits on a chair like this…?
The New Garconne book Navaz Batliwalla Disneyrollergirl

I loved this garconne so much, I made a film about her
The New Garconne - Phyllis Wang by Elise Toide

This interviewee was so hard to track down, it made me even more determined (it was totally worth it)…
The New Garconne book Navaz Batliwalla Disneyrollergirl - pic by Max Dworkin

Alongside the interviews are pages that give more specific info on where to buy the perfect examples of enduring ‘garconne’ classics and why. And we also have a great street style section that shows achievable ways to emulate the look. I’m glad to say that the message of the book is not all about buying new stuff, but shopping your closet, reworking vintage or heirloom pieces and tapping into your own gentlewoman style. The book is also not just limited to style. Being a ‘new garconne’ is about a way of living, being independent-minded, creative and risk-taking.

The New Garconne book Navaz Batliwalla Disneyrollergirl

The New Garconne – How to be a Modern Gentlewoman is available from today in all the usual bookshops including Waterstones, Foyles, WHSmith and fabulous arty places like the Tate Modern bookshop, where one of my friends has already seen it. If you see it (or buy it!), please let me know on social media (@Disneyrollrgirl on Twitter and @Disneyrollergirl on Instagram) and tag it #thenewgarconne. And do let me know what your favourite bits are…

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Kasia Bobula; Elise Toide; Max Dworkin; Disneyrollergirl
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Don’t miss: Peter Lindbergh and Bruce Weber

Bruce Weber Ipanema beach rio de janeiro brazil

Two can’t-miss exhibitions I want to see, and both a million miles from home. Bruce Weber and Peter Lindbergh are in my top ten photographers (hey, I’m a 90s girl at heart) and their work is being celebrated from this moth in Rotterdam and Dallas.

In Rotterdam, the Kunsthal museum is showing the retrospective, Peter Lindbergh: A Different Vision on Fashion Photography (below, until February 12th) which promises over 250 photos alongside Polaroids, notes, props, storyboards, films and contact sheets. Just the kind of multi-media exhibition I love. Lindbergh is known for his cinematic black and white photography which is mesmerisingly atmospheric and never seems to date. Interestingly, Lindbergh is represented by Gagosian Gallery; it feels like fashion photography is definitely becoming more desirably among art collectors.
charlotte rampling by peter lindbergh

Bruce Weber’s work is also inspired by cinema, his shoots (top and below) are full of characters rather than narrative, and he has a timeless way of showing vitality and beauty through his photography and films. Bruce Weber: Far From Home at the Dallas Contemporary museum (until December 18th 2016) explores his location shoots, from editorials to personal off-duty portraits of Moroccan, Vietnamese and Brazilian locals at work and play. As Weber says, “What is a fashion picture and what isn’t? Portraits are sometimes very much the real fashion picture.”
Kate Moss by Bruce Weber at Dallas Contemporary
bruce weber

Peter Lindbergh: A Different Vision on Fashion Photography is at Kunsthal Rotterdam until February 12th 2017.

Bruce Weber: Far From Home is at the Dallas Contemporary Museum until December 18th 2016.

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES TOP TO BOTTOM: Bruce Weber, Peter Lindbergh x 2, Bruce Weber x 2
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Gentlewoman style: Lauren Hutton

Lauren Hutton at Bottega Veneta SS17
Here’s Lauren Hutton walking the Bottega Veneta SS17 show. It’s not even about an ‘older woman’ being cast in the show. Just someone who looks elegant and has allure and sophistication. Who needs pizzazz and pyrotechnics when the casting and clothes are this good?

Lauren’s carrying the very same woven leather clutch that she carried in the film American Gigolo 36 years go. Nice touch Tomas Maier!

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
NOTE: Some posts use affiliate links and PR samples. Please read my cookies policy here

THE DRG STYLE INDEX: L’Oreal, Pop & Suki, Gosha Rubchinskiy, Creme de la Mer, COS

Here’s the latest weekly DRG STYLE INDEX ranking, a round-up of the brands currently buzzing on my radar…

LOreal UK Squad Ruth Crilly
I’m not mad keen on phrases like #squadgoals, #slay and #girlboss but I’m making an exception for L’Oreal Paris’s new Brit beauty squad because Ruth Crilly is in it. Ruth (AKA ‘A Model Recommends’) is one of five UK Youtubers who will be creating content for L’Oreal Paris as part of an ongoing partnership. This continues a growing global trend for beauty brands to use digital influencers instead of traditional celebs as brand evangelists. I don’t really know the others but I love Ruth for her down to earth delivery and non OTT approach to make-up (she’s the only one here with natural looking brows for starters). Marketing Week has an interesting interview with L’Oreal’s UK general manager Adrien Koskas on why L’Oreal’s approach to using influencers is different to its competitors. Read it here.


Pop and Suki handbags
I don’t care that there’s a celeb behind them, these bags are cute! And practical. And affordable(ish). Pop & Suki (Waterhouse) is soft launching with these camera bags that transform into mini backpacks and bum bags with the help of a strap or two. Very clever and very sweet. And the business model is straight-to-consumer which sounds oh so modern and millennial. You can order one here.


The new fragrance by Gosha Rubchinskiy
So it’s true about the Gosha Rubchinskiy fragrance. What we know:
It’s $88
It’s out on October 8th (during Frieze in London) before rolling out globally in 2017
It’s for ‘young people’ (translation: unisex)
There’s an accompanying limited edition book
It launches at Dover Street Market in London and the Paris Trading Museum and Comme des Garçons perfume shop in Paris
Read more at WWD.


Creme de la Mer skincolor
Look out for Crème de la Mer’s makeup-skincare hybrid line ‘Skincolor de la Mer‘ that launches next month. This is an emerging beauty category that’s growing because it saves time and delivers so-called ‘anti-aging’ benefits without calling them that (older women don’t like that word). As more brands add in skincare benefits to their make-up, consumer expectations are rising in tandem. I’m a religious user of my Crème de la Mer Reparative SkinTint so if these are anywhere as good as that, they’ll be worth every cent.


COS X Agnes Martin collaboration
Coming soon from COS, a 12-piece collection inspired by the artist Agnes Martin. A collaboration with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (whose Agnes Martin retrospective opens on 7th October), the suitably muted and minimalist collection also lands on 7th October in selected international stores. A percentage of the proceeds from sales in COS stores will be donated to the Agnes Martin Foundation.

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
NOTE: Some posts use affiliate links and PR samples. Please read my cookies policy here