My personal style signifier is stripy socks. my feet are always cold, so i often wear them with sandals such as slides or high heels. weused to wear stripy socks at school, and its one of those habits that has stayed. im always on the lookout for cheappairs i used to buy fantastic packets at portobello market, or i once found some great ones by sonia rykiel, although they were 60 a pair.
The last thing i bought and loved was a this is shit poster from scott king studio. isaw it on jeremy dellers instagram, and ibought one immediately. i am interested in people who make protestprints and posters. it was in the middle of lockdown, and it just seemed so appropriate. its red with black writing, and cost only 50. its wonderful.
An unforgettable place i would love to go back to is senegal. about two years ago i went to dakar with oxfam and bay garnett, and it was the most marvellous atmosphere the people and the music wereamazing. i spent a lot of time at the march sandaga, and the way people dressedwas another level of coolness some in traditional printed clothes with turbans, and then some people were wearing sportswear. there was just so much style. when i was there, i found these almost fluorescent, bubblegum-pink sheets and pillowcases. i use them all the time. my bedroom is a golden-yellow colour, and these pink sheets look brilliant in it.
The best book ive read in the past year is ocean vuongs on earth were briefly gorgeous. hes only 31 and hes already wonthe ts eliot prize forhis poetry. this ishis memoir about his upbringing with hismother and grandmother, and its completely spellbinding and devastating, written in adetached way that is also extremely compassionate. its one of the bestthings ive ever read. i rationed it so that i could have his voice in my head for aslong as possible. 8.99,
A recent find is an art dealer called richard saltoun in mayfair. they have lots of artists from the 60s, such as colin self, whom im a real fan of. his work is really odd and mesmerising. one of my friends, who is an artist, was saying that he was much admired by other artists francis bacon, david hockney and my dad [lucian freud].
The last meal that truly impressed me was one i made in an online cookery class, by a charity called migrateful that supports refugees and migrants. im not an adventurous cook i eat a lot of bread and cheese, put it that way. but i made this sri lankan curry, with turmeric, cinnamon and star anise, and it felt like a real breakthrough.
The podcast im listening to is the ballad of billy balls by crimetown. its narrated by io tillett wright, whos a trans writer and artist. the story is about a couple in new york in the 70s; the man gets murdered, and its an unravelling of how thewhole thing happened. theres a plot twist that gave me goosebumps.
My style icon is susie cave weve been friends since the 80s. she is an intensely feminine, private person who dresses quite covered-up, but she draws everyones eyes to her. shes got an amazing figure and its clad in these beautiful dresses that she now designs. every time i see her, i am bewitched by her style and beauty it never seems to stop evolving.
The last music i downloaded was a little simz ep called drop 6. listening to itis like being in outer space. i love music that has good words, and this felt like a message. i was really in the mood for it andthe rhythm was easy to absorb. it was like someone got my dna and found something to match it.
The best gift ive received recently is a care package from one of my closest friends, karma nabulsi. initthere was a bag of runestones and a little box with palestinian embroidery on the top we have acharity together, called hoping foundation, for palestinian refugee children. inside that was a tile with papier darmnie that you burn to scent the room. there was also a book called my life by giuseppe garibaldi. the bag was full of heavenly things that meant so much to me.
I have a collection of photographs and pictures. i dont like the idea of collecting anything, but i like the way these are all together. i have some precious art that has come my way via my father, and ive also gotsome photographs. the first i ever bought was by hunter s thompson itsofhis wife, naked, sitting on the edge ofamountain in big sur, and you just see the side of her body and shes all golden. theresa dog sitting next to her, guarding her. its like some sort of greek myth.
In my fridge youll always find hellmanns mayonnaise. im really bad sometimes my son will send me a photograph of the fridge with nothing in it saying, wheres the food? but we are both obsessed with hellmanns. when i am stressed, my appetite shrinks, but if i put mayonnaise on something it opens it up. ilike to have it with everything.
The gadget i couldnt do without is my iron. theres something incredibly soothing and calming about ironing. i read an interview with john galliano when he got the design job at givenchy, and he was talking about this machinist called monsieur edmont, and he said, he might be a better machinist than me, but im better at ironing. i thought, yes, i knew this was an art form.
The last item of clothing i added to my wardrobe is a swimsuit from yasmine eslami. i met her at vivienne westwood; shewas just coming in as i wasleaving. shehad the most amazing legsand wore tiny miniskirts. she was like a french film star she didnt say anything, but you couldnt take your eyes off her. she now hasa shop in paris selling the most marvellous underwear and swimsuits.
An indulgence i would never forgoisblack coffee. but it doesnt feellikean indulgence; it feels like a necessityand a right.
The clothing ill keep to pass on are myfathers old suits. he used to have his things made at huntsman, and some ofthem are covered in paint. but theyre reallybeautifully crafted. my son jimmy nowwears them.
The beauty staple im never without isa perfume i made, calledsignature. ithasan amber base. i put it on before i go tobed, and it just softens me and goes straightto my heart.
My favourite room in my house is mybathroom. its got this striped marblecutinto huge tiles, and these art-deco mirrors alongside the bath instead of a splashback. and then there are these 70s chrome consoleswith a mirror that ifound in a shopcalled gallery 25 in belgravia. maria speake, the interior designer whom i workwitha lot, turned them into a huge doubletable. it gives mesomuch pleasureevery time i see it.
My beauty guru is joanne evans, who ivebeen going to for 15 years. shes the most genius facialist and now has her ownplace on portland road called skin matters. i fall asleep half the time, and wheni wake up its as if shes waved a magicwand. thereare other specialists whowork there as well, such as nubia dantes, who gives an amazing brazilian massage that is anti-cellulite, and they dovitamin infusions as well.
My favourite website is the interference archive. its a little museum in brooklyn that has an archive of protest literature, pamphlets, posters and papers from everywhere from palestine and cuba to punk, gay rights and the anarchist movement. ive been to the actual place afew times, but i go on the website often, justto have a look.
The one artist whose work i would collect if i could is manet. i particularly love the ones of the bullfights i find themso affecting. when i was trying to findout what paintings i liked as a teenager,it was like they came and got me.there is something about real life andromance in them, and things being unlike anything else.
With time on my hands, i have been learning arabic. when i was a child, i lived in morocco and used to speak it fluently. myson is learning arabic at the moment, and one day he asked me to help him with his homework, and i couldnt, so i thought iwould start learning again.