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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
NOTE: Some posts use affiliate links and PR samples. Please read my cookies policy here

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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.
peter-lindbergh
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
NOTE: Some posts use affiliate links and PR samples. Please read my cookies policy here

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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
IMAGE: Vogue.com
NOTE: Some posts use affiliate links and PR samples. Please read my cookies policy here



Long read: Crafting culture and commerce at Burberry



Models from Burberry September 2016 show at Makers House

When is the trench coat not having a moment? That’s a good question. The answer is ‘never’, of course. It’s a classic that’s always relevant yet this season, if you pardon the fashion hyperbole, it’s Having A Moment. (more…)