The New Garconne – what’s it all about?
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 transitioned 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…?
I loved this garconne so much, I made a film about her…
This interviewee was so hard to track down, it made me even more determined (it was totally worth it)…
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 – 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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That's Not My Age
28 September, 2016 @ 11:44 am
Congratulations, Navaz! It’s ace; love all the interviews and can’t wait to checkout some of the Gentlewoman outfitters in the sourcebook.
1 October, 2016 @ 3:18 pm
Thank you Aly!
29 September, 2016 @ 10:28 am
My copy arrives today – CAN-NOT wait!
1 October, 2016 @ 3:18 pm
Thanks for buying it Monika
1 October, 2016 @ 8:14 am
I bought my copy today from my local bookshop here in Australia. Apparently, all the women who work there think it is fabulous; I certainly do. Now off to have a proper read. Congratulations!
1 October, 2016 @ 3:18 pm
Wow, that’s great to hear, thanks Claire!
11 October, 2016 @ 12:43 am
Loving the book, it is gracing my coffee table and I do kinda carry it around the house with me, into the lounge , back into the kitchen etc.. Haaa! I have this thing with books I love, I don’t like to read them from start to finish. I open the pages randomly at a certain section, read that page or two and then close it again. It is like I never want it to end…very cool, great photography and some really inspirational women. I bet you are so proud, congratulations.
11 October, 2016 @ 7:04 am
Ahhhh Natalie, thank you so much! So thrilled you’re enjoying it :)
16 October, 2016 @ 10:41 pm
Loving everything about the book from the text to the visuals, to the feel & texture of the paper. I have just finished the Advocates chapter.
I really like that ages of the women profiled are never mentioned. And why should they be? I believe this approach to life is truly ageless.
Been nodding in agreement with the multiple comments about using notebooks. Also with the seemingly common approach to clothing purchases, that is of buying less but better. And finally with the observations on home & personal fragrance & the way specific pieces of jewellery resonate with the Advocates. Brilliant!
I must admit it has taken me some time to read this chapter as after reading each profile I go back & study the images in more depth. One gets a real sneak peak into these womens’ lifestyles & environments.
Looking forward to reading about the Style Codes & the Source Book. Hoping to pick up more than a few tips.
DRG – I am really enjoying your book!
16 October, 2016 @ 11:55 pm
Hi Amanda! I am loving this detailed feedback. Thank you so much for appreciating all the little things and I’m glad you’re enjoying so far. Navaz x