Who taught you what you know about style?
Working at Vogue taught me to be self-critical and self-editing in my choices. It happens naturally. You’re representing the Vogue brand when you work there, so you want to look chic and upscale and current, but you also want to look like yourself and not a parody of a fashion editor. Since starting my own company, I definitely dress more casually, especially if I don’t have meetings. I am now representing my own brand, so I need to be cognizant of that as well.
Please describe your style in three words.
Comfortable, eclectic, easy.
What is the biggest mistake one can make when getting dressed?
Not being comfortable. I don’t mean that in the literal sense of wearing sweats and sneakers (though I do love sweats and sneakers); I mean the concept of being happy in your own skin and liking how you look. If you’re not comfortable/confident in what you’ve chosen to put on, I think it shows and that’s when you get the effect of trying too hard.
Do you believe in role models?
Yes. I believe public figures have a responsibility to their public.
What are your favourite fabrics?
Sweatfleece, cotton gauze, cotton netting, silk tulle, silk crinkle chiffon, sand-washed silk crêpe de Chine, hammered silk charmeuse, cotton denim, cashmere… too many to list!
Are there any style combinations that you object to?
Which city has the best-dressed women?
I think what is so great about style blogs and how quickly information is consumed is that fashion is really shown on a global stage, and I think so many cities across the globe have interesting and well-dressed style tribes.
Would you say that you are conservative or bold?
I very much appreciate bold style choices, but I would say that on a scale of conservative to bold, I am more moderate than bold.
What are the rules, if any, in the way you dress?
I don’t have any rules, really — I just gravitate toward certain things and I think that has to do with what I feel comfortable in and what feels right for my body type. I am short but I don’t like wearing heels, so I tend to wear shorter hemlines to show more of my legs in flats. I am currently seven months pregnant and I think fitted styles are much more flattering to my current figure than loose [ones], so I am tending to wear stretch silks and jerseys in body-conscious silhouettes. Ordinarily I wear very loose-fitting tops and dresses (which have been referred to as maternity on more than one occasion by friends and relatives).
Celebrities and style...
Are not on my radar.
One garment/accessory that you can never have enough of?
A woman should always look like...
How do you select your clothing every morning?
I’m not sure, really. I’ve never thought about this before. I guess I usually start by thinking about the weather and what is on my calendar for the day — if I will need to be out of the office, if I have meetings or who I will be seeing and whether I have plans after work — and I decide from there.
What is your biggest regret?
I don’t have one.
The three essential things a woman should know about style are...
Fit is really important. Get things tailored if you have access to a good tailor, or if you are like me and too lazy to get clothing altered, be creative by belting things to get the length correct for you or pinning things to get the right proportion — or choose not to buy things that require too much work. Wear colours that flatter your skin tone. A great on-trend colour might not be right on you, even if you love it. Look at yourself in good lighting or ask a friend for advice. Dress for yourself, not other people.
Do you have any shopping rituals?
I don’t shop much anymore because I try to wear Gryphon as often as possible. When I do shop, I am a bargain hunter: I shop flea markets, vintage stores, and sale racks. I don’t need to be the first person to own an 'it' item. I prefer to wait and see what treasures I can find later in the season.
We will never see you wearing...
A few months ago, I would have answered that you would never see me wearing something body-conscious, but my entire maternity wardrobe is body-con so I guess there’s nothing I would rule out completely at this point.
Which new designers do you follow and why?
I like to know what’s happening in fashion at large so that I have a gauge for where Gryphon lands in the scheme of things, but I’m not avidly following anyone at the moment.
The most stylish person you have ever seen...
What is the first thing you notice on a woman?
Probably her skin.
What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?
The wedding gown I never wore — it is a vintage turn of the century sack dress made from heavy silk charmeuse and lamé lace with bullion tassels at the hem. When I tried it on after my last fitting, it started falling apart because it is so fragile, so I never wore it on my wedding day. I love this dress so much and put it in one of my early look books under a trench coat, before I started making ready-to-wear.
The one image that defined your approach to style...
There was a 1988 Vogue cover that had a Lacroix Couture bejewelled top paired with beat-up jeans. At the time, that image was a revelation to me. Some approximation of that look — combining precious and non-precious together, tough and pretty — is the foundation of how I still dress to this day and how I try to design Gryphon. I was twelve when the issue was published.
Which designer never fails to impress you?
Chanel, Balenciaga, Dries Van Noten, Comme des Garçons, Junya Watanabe, Isabel Marant, and Sacai.
One article of clothing that a woman needs to pay close attention to is...
The trench coat. Everyone looks chic in a trench.
Is comfort an enemy of style?
No, not at all.
The best word of advice you have ever heard?
“Don’t be afraid of failure”.