books

Gentlewoman style: At home with Phyllis Wang



Phyllis Wang by Elise Toide from The New Garconne - How to be a Modern Gentlewoman

I can’t remember if I told you, but I’m working on my next book!

It’s going to be beauty-focused and as part of my research, I’ve been re-reading my last book, The New Garconne: How to be a Modern Gentlewoman. Weirdly – or perhaps not – I haven’t had much need to revisit it since it was published in 2016. But like most books, when I do re-read it, it’s interesting to notice the parts that have a new or different relevance.

I loved interviewing comedienne Phyllis Wang. She was one of the last people I approached and was recommended by my then commissioning editor, Camilla. I was looking for women who embodied the ‘gentlewoman’ aesthetic and values of shopping consciously yet with their own ‘garconne style’ twist. Phyllis certainly veered to the eccentric end of the scale, which was totally fine! (more…)



Press here, feel better



Lonneke Engel Versus Campaign by Bruce Weber

Long before the no face-touching rule, I was a habitual face-toucher. Not so much eyes, nose, mouth but forehead, jaw, and the area between the brows called the ‘glabella’ (home to two vertical grooves known as the ‘elevens’).

These are all popular face massage spots and giving them a good knead with clean hands is a valued end-of-day bathroom ritual for me. Or in fact, any time of day when I can feel my jaw clenching or brow furrowing. (more…)



Things to see and do: spring 2020



Harold Feinstein 125th Street From Elevated Train, 1950. David Hill Gallery

HAROLD FEINSTEIN. I’ve loved street photography and street photographers ever since seeing an unforgettable Garry Winogrand exhibition at The Hayward as a student. (Some other faves: Tony Ray Jones, Weegee, Jamel Shabazz, Saul Leiter.) I always want to know what happens immediately after the moment of capture. (more…)



The culture of fashion: Georgia O’Keeffe’s wardrobe for sale



Georgia O'Keeffe - Todd Webb

I have tons of Georgia O’Keeeffe pictures on my Pinterest board as research for a project. Her personal style was just fantastic – those shirts! The hats! The kimonos! The hair!

Sotheby’s
has a sale of a number of her personal artefacts coming up, including dresses, jewellery, coats and a fabulous velvet hood. What’s remarkable to me is that apparently some of these pieces were hand-sewn by Georgia O’Keeffe herself. (more…)