ZODIAC BEAUTY DO THE STARS DEFINE YOUR SKIN?
FEBRUARY 2017 Â£4.30
WHAT TO BUY/ LOOKS TO TRY/ LABELS TO LOVE
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46 Out of oﬃce message Memo: tailoring + playful pieces = the modern way to win at work dressing 51 The piece Meet the Saint Laurent shoe that’s seriously hot on your heels 53 Shelling out Accessories Editor Donna Wallace shows you a spin on pearls 54 House favourites The pieces Team ELLE want to wear
ON THE COVER
Photography: Elliot Kennedy, Luke Kirwan, Laura Coulson, Victoria Adamson, 3Objectives.
37 The great big trend edit New-season pieces to buy and looks to try 108 Elle Fanning: how to be happy now Smart, successful and wise beyond her years – the actress is our dream life coach 119 Zodiac beauty: do the stars deﬁne your skin? Yes, says ELLE’s Beauty Director, Sophie Beresiner – and we’re predicting your best complexion yet
58 Quiet power The xx frontwoman, Romy Madley Croft, on love, loss and getting to know herself 60 Big in 2017 All the names, faces, brands and Instagram stars to know this year 62 My life in books Chelsea Handler shares the titles that shaped her 63 Lotte’s lexicon Why are we all so lit right now? 67 My story Be inspired by Fatima Zaman, who campaigns to stop girls joining extremist groups 69 My world A.W.A.K.E. founder Natalia Alaverdian’s favourite things
70 ‘I’ve always been my hair’ When Ruby Tandoh shaved her head, she ﬁnally felt her true self 72 Want to take it outside? Fighting talk from writer Janice Turner, who says anger is all the rage 76 Asexual healing The absence of sexual attraction to anyone doesn’t mean the end ofloveand dating
122 Beauty directory Hair, fragrance, make-up and skin buys you’ll love 125 Sophie says ELLE’s Beauty Director on the transformative power of a glittery lip 127 Beauty CV Make-up visionary Bobbi Brown shares the secrets of her success 129 Fit notes Exercise v heartbreak, by ELLE’s Fitness Columnist, Bangs 130 Choose life After years of leaping into the unknown, can ELLE’s Natasha Bird hold fast?
133 Every journey helps make you who you are Sharmaine Lovegrove’s voyage of discovery to her other homeland, Jamaica
28 Behind the issue The creators and curators of your February ELLE 31 Editor’s letter Lotte Jeﬀs on why we shouldn’t be afraid to feel happy 33 Astrology As 2017 begins, let The Saturn Sisters guide you to greatness 146 Questionnaire Roksanda Ilincic shares her secrets and scribbles
THE COVER On the cover: Photography: Thomas Whiteside. Styling: Alison Edmond. Hair: Mara Roszak at Starworks Artists. Make-up: Pati Dubroﬀ at Forward Artists. Manicurist: Tracy Clemens at Opus Beauty. On the cover: Patent leather coat, Miu Miu. White gold and diamond Love ring, Cartier. On the subscribers’ cover: Cotton top, Miu Miu. Gold and diamond ring, Tiﬀany. On the special cover: Photography: Kai Z Feng. Styling: Anne-Marie Curtis. Hair: Lok Lau at CLM Hair and Make-up using Oribe. Make-up: Naoko Scintu at The Wall Group using Chanel Le Rouge Crayon De Couleur and Blue Serum. Model: Peyton Knight at IMG. Cotton-mix top, Louis Vuitton.
Photography: Sonny Vandevelde, Thomas Whiteside, Kai Z Feng, Nikolas Koenig.
79 The SS17 Collections A riot of colour, elevated minimalism and sheer romance – the new season starts here
26 28 30
Acting Editor-in-Chief / 21 Lotte Jeﬀs @lottejeﬀs Editor-in-Chief ’s PA/ Editorial Assistant / 31 Rachel Macbeth @rachelmacbeth Creative Director / 22 Suzanne Sykes @suzannesykes25
Illustrations: Viet Tran.
Executive Fashion Director / 4 Kirsty Dale @kirstyldale Senior Fashion Editor / 28 Michelle Duguid @michelleduguid1 Accessories Editor / 16 Donna Wallace @itsdwallace Associate Fashion Editor / 2 Harriet Stewart @harrietstewart Acting Associate Fashion Editor / 24 Sophie van der Welle @sophievanders Fashion Production & Bookings Editor / 27 Rachael Evans @littlerachael Bookings Assistant / 5 Zuzana Kostolanská @zuzkostol Fashion Assistants / 18 / 17 / 1 Billie Bhatia @billiebhatia Roberta Hollis @robertahollis Felicity Kay @felicitykay Fashion Interns / 9 / 25 Lulu Cooper @lulutyas Heather Gwyther @gwyther Fashion Cupboard Manager / 3 Lila Flint Roberts Contributing Fashion Editors Alison Edmond, Grace Cobb, Natasha Wray
Fashion Director / 20 Anne-Marie Curtis @amcelle
Content Director / 33 Hannah Swerling @hannahelleuk Acting Content Director / 36 Alex Holder @alexandreholder Fashion Features Director / 30 Kenya Hunt @kenyanhunt Beauty Director / 14 Sophie Beresiner @i_love_lipstick Entertainment Director (US) Lisa Hintelmann Workﬂow Director / 13 Imogen Van Zaane @imogenvz Managing Editor / 19 Debbie Black @deb_elle
email@example.com Travel & Lifestyle Director / 32 Susan Ward Davies @swdtravel Culture Director / 34 Lena de Casparis @lenadecasparis Commissioning Editor / 35 Hannah Nathanson @hannahlucy85
Acting Chief Sub-Editor / 8 Emma King @emmakingelle With thanks to Roxanne Ridge, Mike Higgins, Tracy Muller-King and Laura Eddy
firstname.lastname@example.org Art Director / 15 Andrew Barlow @andrewbarlow Senior Designer / 29 Viet Tran @iamviettran Picture Editor / 23 Lara Ferros @lara5678 Deputy Picture Editor / 7 Catherine Pykett @catpykett With thanks to James Pryor
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elleuk.com Digital Content Editor / 12 Natasha Bird @littlebirdsword Digital News & Features Editor / 6 Bibby Sowray @bibbysowray Social Media Manager / 11 Unsah Malik @unsahmalik Digital Writer / 10 Katie O’Malley @katieomalley_
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COVER STAR ELLE FANNING (PAGE 108) AND MODEL PEYTON KNIGHT, WHO WEARS SS17’S MOST DEFINING LOOKS IN THE COLLECTIONS (PAGE 80), EMBODY EVERYTHING FRESH, UPBEAT AND OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THE NEW YEAR. IF THESE WOMEN ARE THE FUTURE, WE WANT
THE CONTEXT Elle had her first role aged two, and has worked with directors such as Sofia Coppola and Steven Spielberg. THE TEAM Photography: Thomas Whiteside. Styling: Alison Edmond. Hair: Mara Roszak at Starworks Artists. Make-up: Pati Dubroff at Forward Artists. Manicure: Tracy Clemens at Opus Beauty. Shot in Los Angeles.
THE FASHION After the dark turns of 2016, we need to inject optimism into 2017. This is the fashion to do that. A colour riot, mixing bold and playful shapes at Prada and Miu Miu, these clothes are fashion’s Prozac. THE PLAYLIST Groove Is In The Heart by Deee-Lite, Like A Prayer by Madonna, Kiss by Prince, U Can’t Touch This by MC Hammer, Push It by Salt-N-Pepa.
THE CONTEXT Peyton was signed to IMG at 13 years old. She has walked for everyone from Gucci to Chanel. THE TEAM Photography: Kai Z Feng. Styling: Anne-Marie Curtis. Make-up: Naoko Scintu at The Wall Group using Chanel Le Rouge Crayon de Couleur and Blue Serum. Hair: Lok Lau at CLM Hair and Make-up using Oribe. Shot in Sicily*.
THE FASHION To mark a new season, these are the most powerful looks from the most important fashion collections, including Gucci, Dior, Chloé and Prada. THE PLAYLIST The ambient Sicilian countryside mixed with Drake, via portable speakers.
BEHIND THE SCENES Only ELLE’s Accessories Editor, Donna Wallace (left), could look this cool eating a bag of crisps in a junk yard (is this the truth behind her shoot on page 53?).
Powered by compiled by: Rachel Macbeth. Photography: Victoria Adamson, Kai Z Feng, Elliot Kennedy, Dawn Marie Jones, Jenny Smith, Thomas Whiteside. *The team stayed at Rocca Delle Tre Contrade via The Thinking Traveller (thinkingtraveller.com).
IT TO HURRY UP ALREADY.
BEHIND THE ISSUE 2. JANICE TURNER
Janice likens herself to a Sloe Royale cocktail: ‘It seems innocuous, but it will knock your head oﬀ.’ A columnist and feature writer for The Times, Janice always wanted to be a journalist: ‘You get paid to be curious.’ Her plan B career would be working for a women’s charity: ‘I’m passionate about education and reproductive rights.’ The best advice she ever heard? ‘Read everything. From women’s magazines to airport pop ﬁction. As a journalist, you should keep an open mind.’ Janice writes about anger on page 72. @VICTORIAPECKHAM
1. RUBY TANDOH
If baker and columnist Ruby Tandoh were a herb, she would be coriander: ‘Nobody really likes it, but it just will not stop spreading its lanky shoots over the kitchen and in dishes.’ With a notebook always on hand to jot down ﬂavour inspiration, Ruby says she’d like to open a cafe with an ice-cream counter: ‘I would love to make brownies, pastries and focaccia every day.’ Not many people know that she’s great at comedy dance routines, and she says her most ‘iconic’ look was when she was 10 and her wardrobe consisted of mostly lime green. She writes about the empowering eﬀects of shaving her head on page 70.
3. NELLIE EDEN
On her ﬁrst day of work at a fashion magazine, journalist Nellie wore a Prada ﬂeece: ‘I’d bought it at a car-boot sale and thought I looked like Phoebe Philo – in reality it was more Alan Partridge.’ Having worked for Asos and Reﬁnery29 UK, Nellie became a freelance writer last year and also co-runs an all-female collective and creative agency called BabyFace. Her spirit animal is Kermit the Frog and her breakfast of champions is two coﬀees, a Nurofen and mashed-up avocado with chilli and lime. Nellie reports on asexuality on page 76. @NELLIEFAITHEDEN
4. ELIZABETH DAY
The only time journalist Elizabeth has ever been starstruck is while interviewing Clint Eastwood: ‘I asked for his autograph.’ She began her career at the age of 12, with a column in her local paper. Now 38, she has worked for The Evening Standard, The Sunday Telegraph and The Observer, and has published three novels. She writes freelance and the last thing she bought was a pop-up origami dachshund for her boyfriend’s birthday: ‘I think he likes it more than the serious gift.’ Elizabeth interviews The xx on page 58.
5. THOMAS WHITESIDE
American photographer Thomas is a man of few words but a whole lot of talent. He has shot Michelle Obama, Jared Leto and Nicki Minaj, to name a few. A self-professed dog fanatic, Thomas says, ‘I’d like to come back as a dog that could walk on its hind legs.’ Having shot so many famous faces, Thomas says his dream dinner date would be downtime with his friends. See his work on page 108. @THOMASWHITESIDE
FIVE THINGS THAT MADE THE FEBRUARY ISSUE ‘Pizza from Radio Alice in Hoxton Square, London,’ HANNAH NATHANSON, COMMISSIONING EDITOR ‘Reading Born To Run by Christopher McDougall as I start my marathon training,’ RACHEL MACBETH, PA TO ACTING EDITOR-IN-CHIEF/EDITORIAL ASSISTANT ‘The new labelto-watch, Emma Charles,’ FELICITY KAY, FASHION ASSISTANT ‘Listening to the thriller podcast Homecoming,’ SOPHIE BERESINER, BEAUTY DIRECTOR ‘Finding inspiration in this year’s Turner Prize Winner, Helen Marten,’ MICHELLE DUGUID, SENIOR FASHION EDITOR
Photography: Victoria Adamson.
hat does happiness feel like? For me, it’s a deep sense of security. It’s being busy but not stressed, and knowing that my life is now full of kind, supportive people who uplift and inspire me. One of my favourite writers, David Sedaris, made me aware of the Four Burners Theory in a funny piece he wrote for The New Yorker back in 2009. Picture a four-burner stove: one represents your family, one is your friends, the third is your health, and the fourth is your work. The gist, he explained, was that ‘in order to be successful, you have to cut oﬀ one of your burners. And in order to be really successful, you have to cut oﬀ two.’ I’ve spent a long time playing around with this idea; sacriﬁcing my health for work or my family for my friends as I tried to live ‘successfully’. But last year I think I ﬁnally cracked it and ﬁgured out a way to keep all my burners on a steady heat. Finding this balance led me to have the best year of my life (to date). I’m almost ashamed to admit it as, globally, 2016 will go down in history as an annus horribilis, but amid the political turmoil, war and injustice, and the deaths of much-loved legends, I personally had a lovely time. I got engaged and married, I won a prize for my writing, and I became Acting Editor-in-Chief of ELLE – my dream job. Nothing bad happened to anyone I love and I made some big, positive decisions with my partner about our future together. When you’ve experienced a lot of loss from an early age, as I have, you know that bad things can happen unexpectedly and life can quickly spiral out of control. Because of this, I’ve previously never liked to admit that things are good and I’ve been reluctant to acknowledge my own happiness in case I jinx it. Every small joy I’ve experienced has reminded me of its opposite – of what sadness feels like – so I haven’t been able to relax and enjoy the moment. But I’ve now reached a point,
at 34, where I’m ready to admit to myself that I’m happy and, instead of worrying that it might not last, I’m just going to be grateful and enjoy the present. It’s so important that we talk openly about not being OK, about grief, and the anxiety and depression that aﬀect one in 10 of us. But the fact that other people are suﬀering, or that we may one day suﬀer too, shouldn’t mean we have to be coy about our own happiness when we do feel it because it’s the lows that make us truly appreciate the highs. As Leonard Cohen, one of the greats who died in 2016, wrote: ‘There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.’ I wanted my ﬁrst issue of ELLE to capture some of this unapologetic joie de vivre, and to celebrate the good in life without negating its serious and challenging aspects. For me, Elle Fanning was the perfect person to embody this, as she has both spirit and substance. Her advice on page 108 proves the depths of her experience, despite the fact she’s just 18. Wearing the most bright and upbeat of the trends, from Miu Miu to Dior, she sets the tone. Fashion reﬂects the mood of a milieu, and in Fashion Director Anne-Marie Curtis’ Collections (page 80), we’re taken on a journey through the season’s deﬁning moments, from playful to pragmatic, with each shoot wrapped up beautifully in its own sense of optimism. This issue is full of women who are ﬁnding their own way to happiness, whether it’s the asexuals we speak to about leading a contented life free from physical intimacy on page 76, or Ruby Tandoh who shaved her head to feel truly herself for the ﬁrst time (page 70). Frontwoman of The xx, Romy Madley Croft, talks candidly about losing both her parents before she reached her mid-twenties (page 58) and how, through songwriting with her two best friends and bandmates, she feels more positive than ever. The new album, I See You, out this month, is the band’s lightest and most uptempo work to date. It’s a joyful celebration of youth and possibility, yet the songs touch on issues of loss, addiction and heartbreak. I believe the best art comes from this tension between light and dark, revelry and reﬂection. Happiness might be ﬂeeting, but that’s what makes it so precious and why, when you are lucky enough to ﬁnd it,you should tell the world. In the words of The xx, ‘Goon Idare ou.’
‘MY PARENTS TAUGHT ME THAT FEMININITY WAS PERSONAL DIGNITY, AESTHETIC PLEASURE AND SOCIAL ARMOUR’
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Photography: Daisy Walker.
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This month The Saturn Sisters predict… THE NEW YEAR IS IN FULL SWING AND EMOTIONS ARE RUNNING SKY HIGH. IT’S A MIX OF FAMILY, FRIENDS AND LIFE GOALS VYING FOR TOP PRIORITY AS THIS UNPREDICTABLE NEW CHAPTER UNFOLDS. COMMUNICATION AND TRAVEL SHOULD GET BACK TO NORMAL BY THE END OF JANUARY WHEN THE MERCURY RETROGRADE GETS OUT OF TOWN. IT’S A DOG-EAT-DOG VIBE, AND THE NEXT FEW WEEKS HAVE A COMPETITIVE ATMOSPHERE – BE IN IT TO WIN IT.
Your month to cry (if you want to) At the start of 2017, it’s an emotional world out there, Capricorn. You prefer not to be flustered with feelings but, alas, a full moon arrives mid-month to kick up your sensitivity. You’ll get grounded in objectivity during the second half of January, when the stars put your focus back on finances. Regardless of your workload, don’t neglect loved ones.
Your month to feel everything Emotions are reaching a fever pitch, Cancer. Blame it on your sign’s own full moon amping up every feeling you never knew you had. Focus on what you can change and control, and let go of the rest. You can move major mountains in your career during the latter half of January. The new moon on the 27th gives clarity on the status-advancing risks you should be taking.
Date for your diary: 14th Book your next getaway.
AQUARIUS Your month to experiment Your workload is piling up in 2017, Aquarius. Send an SOS to your squad around the mid-month full moon and book in some serious fun. The stars sing your praises during the second half of January, when your birthday season officially starts. The new moon on the 27th enters your constellation at the end of the month. Wish big: all is coming! Date for your diary: 13th You’re a bona fide babe today.
Your month to dream 2017 kicked off on a supersocial note, with a huge list of goals for the taking. Now is the time to surround yourself with stellar partners-in-crime to keep the magic flowing, Pisces. This is your month for collaborations and sketching out your vision. The midmonth full moon is bursting with romantic fervour. Let pleasure be your guiding force until the last week of January, when the new moon on the 27th asks you to pay attention to your soul’s needs. Date for your diary: 30th Use your imagination: it’s more accurate than the real thing.
ARIES Your month to win big 2017 has begun at a fast pace, Aries. You’re career obsessed during the first half of January until the mid-month full moon when family issues crash the party. Friendships bring inspiration during the second half of January, thanks to an innovative new moon on the 27th. Your impulsive side could verge on recklessness during the closing week. Look both ways before jumping. Date for your diary: 31st Magic happens when you master the perfect blend of bold ambition and cool restraint.
TAURUS Your month to mingle The social side of your sweet nature prevails as you hit the ground running in 2017. You have a lot on your mind, Taurus: emotions could cause you to spill your heart out in verse – or song – on the mid-month full moon. Career goals take precedence during the second half of January, but friends will be vying for your undivided attention. Take risks with new ventures during the last week of the month for superb results. Date for your diary: 21st You’re a magnet for all things lovely and sweet.
GEMINI Your month to rein it in Life and love start to make sense again now Mercury is out of retrograde, Gemini. Money matters heat up in the middle of the month because of the full moon. Spending binges could feel like retail therapy until the bills arrive. Travel fever kicks in during the second half of January: start afresh with a winter getaway. Date for your diary: 23rd Enlist your best friend and plot your next scandal.
Date for your diary: 26th Ultimatums are sometimes necessary for clarity.
LEO Your month to tango January is all about friends and lovers, Leo. The stars are asking you to highlight (and take note of) relationship themes. By mid-month, you’ll crave some time out. If you can escape to somewhere beautiful (preferably by a lake or forest), then go for it. You’re rethinking what you want in your love life at the end of the month. Set relationship goals around the time of the new moon on the 27th. Date for your diary: 28th You’ve hit the jackpot in both love and life.
VIRGO Your month to set new goals 2017 sets sail on a romantic note. Mid-month, you’re in high demand with both friends and admirers. Communication is less tricky now the Mercury retrograde is history, so text without fear. Take advantage of the pleasure principle now as work demands will kick in during the second half of the month, Virgo. The new moon on the 27th is the ideal time to set work and wellness goals for the coming six months. Date for your diary: 29th Conversations go deep and secrets are revealed – but that only brings you closer.
LIBRA Your month to rest and nest You’re exhausted, Libra! Use this time to replenish your energies. Spa week, anyone? There’s an emotional but sweet full moon mid-month, highlighting career themes: all you’ve been working for since the summer is now reaching fruition. Use the amorous energy of the new moon on the 27th to reset your romantic and creative intentions between now and summer. Date for your diary: 18th Your wish is the command of the cosmos.
SCORPIO Your month to get it off your chest The emotional stakes are high, Scorpio. You went through serious amounts of transformation in 2016, and all the feelings are finally catching up to you. The midmonth full moon is both sexy and illuminating; nostalgia is strong. Yet, you know it’s the year to move forward. You’ll relax back into being a homebody near the new moon on the 27th. Date for your diary: 20th You’re a vision of glamour.
SAGITTARIUS Your month to make money You’re ready to turn on your business brain. As much as you love to spend, you also adore watching savings grow. January’s mid-month full moon could induce an extravagant buying binge, but you’ll quickly pull yourself out of the hole with your matchless ingenuity and determination to maintain the high life. The new moon on the 27th asks that you speak your truth, Sagittarius. Date for your diary: 22nd Rose-coloured glasses look gorgeous on you.
Lineisy Montero at Chloé SS17
THE TREND REPORT Dark headlines be damned, the SS17 season is here to lift your mood. The catwalks were a place to party (the dancing models at Stella McCartney, Molly Goddard and Dolce & Gabbana), escape to glamorous eras (the Eighties ﬂamboyance at Saint Laurent and Balenciaga), celebrate womanhood (at Christian Dior and Versace) and revel in girly things (pink will be everywhere). Here, the key season-deﬁning pieces you’ll want to wear
Edited by Kenya Hunt
THE STATEMENT SLEEVE THE KIND OF HISTORY LESSON WE CAN GET INTO
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
FLAMBOYANT, EXTRA-LONG SLEEVES of bygone seasons have given way to a new level of drama: rustic, pastoral leg-of-mutton puffs at Jacquemus, flared bells at Fendi and Henry VIII quilting, to name a mere few. The more out there, the better.
SILK-MIX JACKET, £1,740, COTTON-MIX BOOTS, £710, AND LEATHER BAG, £1,590, ALL FENDI
HOW TO WEAR IT An oversized bell sleeve is all the
TRACK THE TREND
drama you need; style around it by going more low-key on the bottom with your favourite worn-in jeans
BALENCIAGA CÉLINE BOTTEGA VENETA GUCCI
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SILK DRESS, £3,525, VALENTINO
PINK FROM MACARON TO MAGENTA, OWN IT SS17’S BIGGEST TREND was also the biggest carry-over, pink has become a perennial, appearing (and selling) season after season. The newness here is the variation, going from candy floss at Bottega Veneta, Preen and Céline to Malibu Barbie at Valentino, Balenciaga and Gucci. ›
HOW TO WEAR IT A wry attitude stops pink looking too sweet.
ALEXANDER McQUEEN AW16
SIMONE ROCHA AW13
JIL SANDER AW12
CHRISTOPHER KANE SS07
TRACK THE TREND
COMME DES GARÇONS AW06
Photography: Luke Kirwan, Imaxtree, Anthea Simms, Jason Lloyd-Evans, Getty.
Do like the Preen woman, and balance it with oﬀ-kilter accessories. Or wear it head to toe, as seen at Valentino, for unapologetic romance
COTTON TOP, £1,500, SILK-MIX SKIRT, PRICE ON APPLICATION, AND LEATHER BOOTS, PRICE ON APPLICATION, ALL DIOR
JOSEPH FENDI MARNI
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EVERYTHING SPORTY NEW GAME, NEW RULES
GOOD NEWS! THE SPORTSWEAR TREND is not dying down any time soon. For SS17, athletic-inspired fashion is broader in scope and less literal. So, instead of a faithful recreation of, say, a tracksuit, we’re seeing smaller details that allude to an active lifestyle, from drawstring pulls at Joseph, Loewe and Stella McCartney to quilted fencing jackets and vests at Dior.
HOW TO WEAR IT In the spirit of Dior, we’ll be using sport
MIU MIU AW14
MOTHER OF PEARL AW15
TRACK THE TREND
to add a tomboyish edge to the season’s frills
TREND REPORT PATENT, SHINY LEATHER, COATED COTTON, VINYL – as shown by Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Ellery and Kenzo, the slicker your outerwear finish, the better. The look is slightly closeted dominatrix, yet tame enough for the average working woman’s day. If Belle de Jour’s Séverine were a single, modernday feminist, her big spring purchase might look like this. ›
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THE HIGH-GLOSS TRENCH A LOOK THAT MEANS (RISQUÉ) BUSINESS
COATED COTTON JACKET, £2,925, COTTON TROUSERS, £1,018, AND LEATHER BOOTS, £955, ALL ELLERY
HOW TO WEAR IT For the uninitiated, one glossy piece
ISABEL MARANT AW16
LOUIS VUITTON AW11
ALEXANDER McQUEEN AW99
TRACK THE TREND
ALEXANDER McQUEEN AW98
Photography: Luke Kirwan, Imaxtree, Anthea Simms, Jason Lloyd-Evans, Getty.
is enough. If you go for big shine with a coat (or skirt or trousers), keep the rest of your look lustre-free
FASHION UNLEASHED A COLOUR RIOT of optimism on the runways, and throughout it all, a cheery streak of yellow showed up virtually everywhere including Prada, Chloé, Marc Jacobs, Erdem and J.W.Anderson, to name just a few. Sometimes it came with the season’s other big idea, ruffles. There is an onslaught of frills coming: from salsa skirts at Altuzarra, Alberta Ferretti and Rodarte to playful ruffles at Gucci and Fendi. No matter what the mood, there’s a flounce for you.
ERDEM CÉLINE J.W.ANDERSON
SILK ORGANZA TOP, £3,640, AND MATCHING SKIRT, £2,360, BOTH CHLOÉ
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
ANYTHING YELLOW/FRILLED/BOTH HAPPINESS, IN FASHION FORM
HOW TO WEAR IT Frills are best limited to a single statement piece:
ALEXANDER McQUEEN AW15
DOLCE & GABBANA AW12
STELLA McCARTNEY SS10
CHRISTOPHER KANE SS07
TRACK THE TREND
JOHN GALLIANO AW97
a frilled blouse with a tailored trouser, a tiered skirt with a classic tee, a ﬂamenco dress… you get the idea
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
COATED-COTTON TOP, £1,000, MATCHING SKIRT, £500, AND LEATHER SHOES, £600, ALL MARNI
THE UTILITY PIECE LET YOUR LOOK DO ALL THE WORK
BIG, HANDS-FREE POCKETS, drawstring pulls and practical outerwear at Marni, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta and more make it easy for a busy woman to get up and go. ›
HOW TO WEAR IT Because fashion works best as a game of yin
MARC JACOBS SS15
ALEXANDER WANG SS10
ALEXANDER WANG SS10
PROENZA SCHOULER SS08
TRACK THE TREND
Photography: Luke Kirwan, Imaxtree, Anthea Simms, Jason Lloyd-Evans, Getty.
and yang, add contrast to your utilitarian piece of choice. So dress up the big pockets and military references
JERSEY DRESS, £5,800, AND EMBOSSED LEATHER SHOES, £1,000, BOTH LOUIS VUITTON
J.W.ANDERSON LOEWE ROKSANDA
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THE DRESS BACK ON THE A-LIST
TECHNICALLY, THE DRESS never went away. But it’s had to move to the back of our closets to make room for the relaxed tailoring, sportswear and elevated denim of the past few years. It’s been a while since the dress has been as big a story as it is for SS17, with breezy, swingy versions in abundance at Loewe, Céline, Louis Vuitton and more.
HOW TO WEAR IT If you’re looking for an instant wardrobe update,
MIU MIU AW11
DIANE VON FURSTENBERG AW02
TRACK THE TREND
CALVIN KLEIN SS94
go for the swingy, full-skirted, handkerchief hemline, which is the SS17 shape of choice
TREND REPORT SEX IS BACK IN FASHION, BABY. Man-eater dresses straight out of a Robert Palmer video at Saint Laurent, Christopher Kane and Louis Vuitton put the exclamation point on a message of Eighties glamour (alongside a soundtrack of Wham! hits on the runway at Philosophy Di Lorenzo Serafini and Balenciaga). Q
VELVET DRESS, £3,850, LEATHER SHOES, £600, AND BRASS AND VISCOSE EARRINGS, £425, ALL SAINT LAURENT BY ANTHONY VACCARELLO
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EIGHTIES WHAM! GLAM SEXY TO GO-GO
Throwback hen do? No. Sex goddess meeting her lover? Yes. Strong shapes give this trend impact: elements that require quality material and construction to hold the silhouette
SAINT LAURENT AW16
DOLCE & GABBANA AW07
TRACK THE TREND
Photography: Luke Kirwan, Imaxtree, Anthea Simms, Jason Lloyd-Evans, Getty.
HOW TO WEAR IT
FROM LEFT CRYSTAL EARRINGS, £45, JENNY PACKHAM. VISCOSE-MIX BRA, £19.99, LINDEX. COTTONMIX BLOUSE, £40, ASOS BELOW VISCOSE SHIRT, £65, & OTHER STORIES. VINYL TROUSERS, £240, SELF PORTRAIT. COTTON BRA, £24, INTIMISSIMI. GOLD-PLATED EARRINGS, £120, ESHVI. LEATHER SHOES, £19.99, H&M
WORK/LIFE BALANCE Oﬃce dress codes be damned – the modern way to handle workwear is to mix tailoring with playful elements. Pick your professional persona
COFFEE MACHINE TO COCKTAIL BAR She’s the classic modern-day slashie: a marketing director by day, DJ (for extra change and giggles) by night, and floral designer on the weekends. Officeto-evening dressing isn’t a styling trick, it’s a necessity and she’s got it down. Her formula is office classics in night-time fabrics: a sheer blouse, glossy trousers and ladylike metallic heels. The sassier, the better.
Photography Elliot Kennedy Styling Roberta Hollis
FROM LEFT LEATHER COAT, £905, KATE SPADE. LEATHER BAG, £199, LUISA CERANO. LEATHER SHOES, £70, VAGABOND
FROM LEFT POLY-MIX JACKET, £45, V BY VERY. LEATHER SHOES, £85, DUNE. WOOL TROUSERS, £235, MARC CAIN BELOW COTTONMIX BLAZER, £65, TOPSHOP. COTTON T-SHIRT, £50, DIESEL. VISCOSE-MIX COLLAR (WORN UNDERNEATH), £95, MOTHER OF PEARL. POLYESTER SKIRT, £48, URBAN OUTFITTERS. SILVER EARRINGS, £69, APPLES & FIGS
Additional photography: 3 Objectives.
FLEXIBLE WORKING Even in primary-school, she was a career woman at heart, pretending to be a dentist during her imaginary play. Now, she’s the oral surgeon of her dreams, with her own practice and dress code: luxe pragmatist one day, new maximalist the next. And layered over each look: the trademark white coat – worn open, of course. All the better to see her latest look: Prince-OfWales-check over Eighties graphics. Now, if she can just find more inspiringlooking scrubs…
FROM LEFT LEATHER SKIRT, £250, MICHAEL MICHAEL KORS. CRYSTAL EARRINGS, £159, SWAROVSKI. COTTON T-SHIRT, £65, ZADIG & VOLTAIRE ›
THE GIRL FROM LEFT LEATHER BAG, £189, JIGSAW. LEATHER BOOTS, £70, CLARKS. COTTON-MIX TROUSERS, £45, RIVER ISLAND BELOW COTTON TOP, £195, REJINA PYO. COTTON-MIX TROUSERS, £200, PS BY PAUL SMITH. LEATHER BOOTS, £315, SANDRO. GOLD-PLATED EARRINGS, £165, ESHVI
Photography: Elliot Kennedy. Additional photography: 3 Objectives. Hair: Takuya Uchiyama using Bumble and Bumble. Make-up: Kristina Ralph Andrews at Saint Luke using Nars Cosmetics. Manicure: Roxanne Campbell using Clinique Deep Comfort Hand and Cuticle Cream and Roxanne Campbell Nail Lacquer.
EVERY DAY IS DRESSED-UP FRIDAY Less than six weeks into her probationary period, she flouts the jeans and crew-neck uniform of the tech start-up world in favour of a more playful, jazzier fare. In the sea of normcore dressing that fills the starchitectdesigned office where she works, they know the new starter by the gold boots, swag in her walk and penchant for the brightest shades of red. The programming department has never been so buzzy.
FROM LEFT COTTON TOP, £170, BA&SH. GOLD GLITTER SHIMMER DUST IN NO. 1, £20, BURBERRY. METAL EARRINGS, £8, FREEDOM AT TOPSHOP Q
THE PIECE ‘Should you need proof that sex is back in fashion, look no further than this stiletto. If you’re not feeling hot at the sight of it, try slipping it on’
Styling: Donna Wallace.
Donna Wallace Accessories Editor Photography Beate Sonnenberg
LEATHER SHOES, £770, SAINT LAURENT BY ANTHONY VACCARELLO
Styling: Donna Wallace. Photography: Victoria Adamson.
Baby heels and pearls take a rebellious turn in tomboy blue and ﬁre-engine red
OUT OF YOUR SHELL
Styling Donna Wallace Photography Victoria Adamson
1. COTTON COAT, £495, CLAUDIE PIERLOT. COTTON-MIX TROUSERS, £185, SANDRO. RESIN AND MOTHER OF PEARL BAG, £2,995, JIMMY CHOO 2. VISCOSE-MIX JUMPER (WORN THROUGHOUT), £209, SANDRO. EMBELLISHED SATIN SHOES, £1,115, PRADA 3. LEATHER JACKET, £1,910, MARNI. CRÊPE DE CHINE DRESS (WORN THROUGHOUT), £1,900, SIMONE ROCHA. BRASS AND PEARL EARRINGS, £135, SIMONE ROCHA 4. COTTON-MIX JUMPER, £39, COS. RHODIUM-PLATED NECKLACE, £125, SWAROVSKI. STERLING SILVER AND CUBIC ZIRCONIA RINGS, BOTH £70, AND STERLING SILVER RINGS, BOTH £45, ALL PANDORA 5. METAL, RESIN AND GLASS PEARL CHOKER, £875, CHANEL 6. COTTON-MIX TROUSERS, AS BEFORE. COTTON-MIX SOCKS, £12, PANTHERELLA. PATENT LEATHER SHOES, £650, DIOR. ROSE-GOLD, DIAMOND AND PEARL DOUBLE RING, £1,100, LINKS OF LONDON. STERLING SILVER, PEARL AND CUBIC ZIRCONIA RING, £70, PANDORA 7. BRASS AND GLASS NECKLACE, £35, & OTHER STORIES 8. LACE SKIRT, £89, DONNA’S OWN. SUEDE AND LEATHER BOOTS, £695, LOEWE 9. COTTON-MIX JEANS, £62.90, LEE AT AMAZON. LEATHER SHOES, £795, GUCCI. POLYESTER SOCKS, £6, SIBLING X SOCKSHOP
THE EDIT ‘From the elongated classic grey coat to the hot pink high-shine trench, spring is ﬁlled with reasons to centre your wardrobe around outerwear’ Michelle Duguid, Senior Fashion Editor
Styling Billie Bhatia Photography Luke J Albért
1. WOOL-BLEND COAT, £99.99, H&M 2. PVC TRENCH, £550, DIESEL 3. PU POLYESTER JACKET, £100, RIVER ISLAND 4. COTTON-MIX COAT, £450, CLAUDIE PIERLOT 5. LEATHER BOOTS, £165, KURT GEIGER 6. POLY-MIX TRENCH, £115, TOPSHOP 7. POLY-MIX BOOTS, £59.99, MANGO
THESE ARE THE 10 MOMENTS THAT TEAM ELLE ARE MOST EXCITED ABOUT FOR THE YEAR AHEAD. FROM THE NEW ALBUM ‘I SEE YOU’ BY
TO CINEMA’S CELEBRATION OF THE FEMALE GAZE Photography: Laura Coulson.
AND THE STREET-STYLE STARS SET TO LIGHT UP YOUR INSTAGRAM. IT ALL STARTS HERE Edited by Lena de Casparis
Q&A / The xx BRITAIN’S COOLEST BAND ARE BACK. THE XX FRONTWOMAN, ROMY MADLEY CROFT, TALKS DEALING WITH GRIEF, GROWING UP IN THE LIMELIGHT AND FINALLY FINDING HER VOICE
hen I meet Romy Madley Croft, it is dark outside: one of those winter evenings when the light starts to fail earlier than you expect so that, by 5pm, it feels like the dead of night. We are doing the interview in a dimly lit room at the headquarters of her band’s record label in west London. When I take out my notepad, I can barely see what I’m writing. Romy, the 27-year-old frontwoman of The xx, is dressed appropriately: black jeans, black shirt, black boots. Her black hair is precisely parted and falls just below her chin. It’s her signature style. When she spent time in Los Angeles in 2016, a city where the sun shines 300 days a year, she still wasn’t tempted to ditch the monochrome. ‘Yes.’ She grins. ‘My wardrobe is completely black.’ But despite appearances to the contrary, Romy insists she has lightened up. The xx’s third studio album, I See You, is released in January and marks a turning point for the band. It’s ‘warmer’ than you might think. Romy and her two bandmates – bass player and vocalist Oliver Sim and producer/ beat-creator Jamie Smith – are famed for their melodic brand of stripped-back melancholy and haunting vocals. Oliver and Romy have been friends since they met at nursery school at the age of three, and know each other so well that their voices curl around each other like wisps of smoke. But it’s not a romantic or eroticised sound: both Oliver and Romy are gay. ‘We’re really singing past each other,’ Romy once said. The result is a beautiful combination of intimacy and separation; closeness shadowed by distance. The xx’s ﬁrst album, released in 2009 when Romy was still in her teens, went platinum and won a Mercury
Music Prize. Their follow-up, Coexist, debuted at number one in the UK album charts. Yet they always seemed a little uncomfortable with the attention. Romy never liked to reveal too much. ‘When I was growing up, I loved musicians who I didn’t know everything about.’ She speaks softly, looking away more often than not. This awkwardness is endearing, rather than rude. There is a sweetness to her that you don’t often ﬁnd in celebrities; a sense that she still sees the world as an intriguing place and remains curious about it, rather than cynical. ‘In the early days,’ she says, ‘we weren’t comfortable sharing our personal lives, so we chose not to.’ Recently, she has started opening up. In past interviews, Romy tended to steer clear of questions about her sexuality. Today she talks easily about her girlfriend, visual artist Hannah Marshall. She’s even started using social media – Instagram rather than Twitter, ‘because I prefer pictures to talking. I set it up because I wanted to share things with my friends and let people in, and I’ve actually enjoyed it. It’s a big step for me.’ I See You also marks a tidal shift. The music is just as distinctive, but somehow more upbeat and… well, happy. ‘I am a little bit more comfortable in my skin,’ agrees Romy, ‘and I think I am able to let go of insecurities and any self-consciousness that I felt a lot more when I was younger.’ She did much of her growing up in the public eye. In those awkward late teenage years and into her early twenties, she was almost always on tour, playing sell-out gigs, acquiring celebrity fans such as Beyoncé (‘very down to earth and genuine’) and entertaining audiences of thousands at Glastonbury and Coachella. At a time when many of us struggle to ﬁnd our own identities, Romy was thrust into the
Words: Elizabeth Day. Photography: Laura Coulson.
limelight.Shewasneveranaturalextrovert.‘Ilookbackandthink, “Howdidwedothat?’”shesays.‘NowIcanhonestlysayIlovebeing Left: Romy on onstageandreallyenjoyit,butIstillhavenerves.’ stage in New GrowingupinPutney,south-westLondon,theonlychildofaprimaryYork, in 2016 schoolteachermotherandafatherwhoworkedinalibrary,Romy saysshewas‘alwaysinmyownhead.’SherecentlyreadSusanCain’s inﬂuentialbook,Quiet:ThePowerOfIntrovertsInAWorldThatCan’t StopTalking,anditresonatedwithher.Beingquiet‘hasmadememore observant.Iliketakingthingsinandbeingobservantinanysituation.’ Allofthisisdeliveredwithoutatraceof Butthereis,perhaps,anotherreasonforthisintrospection.When self-pity.Thelastfewyearshavebeenabout shewas11,Romy’smotherdiedofabrainhaemorrhageandshewas self-conﬁdenceasmuchasanythingand, senttolivewithherauntanduncle,andtheirdaughter. tothatend,shehasalsostartedproducing: ‘Ithink,inthatmoment,Iwentfrombeingayoung11yearoldtoan ‘Icanbemoreself-suﬃcientandgetmy older11yearold.IalwaysfeltolderthanIwas.Istartedgoingonnights viewsacross…it’sempowering.Istillﬁnd it outinLondonwhenIwas15andwestartedthebandatthistime,before hardtosaywhatIwantinasituationwithout beginningtogigat17.Ialwaysenjoyedthecompanyofolderpeople, upsettinganyone,butIamtryingtonotbe soIalwayshadolderfriends.’ soapologeticaboutaskingforwhatIneed.’ Nineyearslater,shortlyafterthereleaseoftheband’s ItellherIcan’timagine ﬁrstalbum,Romy’sfatheralsopassedaway,reportedly herupsettinganyone.She ofcomplicationsarisingfromalcoholism.Thatsameyear, smiles.‘Well,yougetinto HAVING TIME OFF acousintowhomshewasclosediedofabraintumour. yourownheadandthink, LET ME GET TO Romyhas,understandably,neverwantedtotalk “Thatpersonwillthinkbadly KNOW MYSELF publiclyaboutthissuccessionoftraumaticevents. ofme.”Butmygirlfriend Today,shetellsmethosetragedies‘haveshapedme. alwayssays,“Everyoneknows MORE. A LOT OF It’sbeenhorrible,butit’smademewhoIamandmade thatyou’reniceandpolite, THINGS CAME UP. mestronger.IthinkItakethatexperiencewithme.’ justsaywhatyouneed.’” IT’S BEEN TOUGH Asongonthenewalbum,BraveForYou,explicitly Isittoughtobeastrong referstothis:Romysings,Thoughyou’renothere/I womaninthemusicindustry? canfeelyouthere/Itakeyoualong/AndwhenI’mscared Shenods. /Iimagineyou’rethere/Tellingmetobebrave. ‘WhenI’montour,Idolookaroundand Althoughshedoesn’tliketoexplainherlyrics,shesaysBraveForYou wishthereweremorewomenonthetouring ‘isaboutallthepeopleIhavelost.Idon’twanttoruinwhatthesongis crewsandtheline-ups.Therewasanarticle toanyoneelse,butthat’swhatitwasforme…itisalovesong,butit’s IreadonlineandtheytooktheReadingand aslightlydiﬀerentangle,onapersonallevel.’ Leeds[festival]line-upsandblockedoutall ItwasonlyrelativelyrecentlythatRomyfeltabletoconfronthergrief. theactsthatwereallmale,andtherewere Thexx’slastalbumwasreleasedfouryearsagoandthebandstopped hardlyanyleft.Ifeltverysadaboutthat touringin2014,givinghersomemuch-neededtimetoreﬂect. because[growingup]Iwasalwaysdrawn ‘Ideﬁnitelypushedalotofthingsdown,’shesays.‘Havingthistime towardsverystrongandempowering oﬀhasgivenmetimetogettoknowmyselfmoreoﬀstage.It’sbeen women,suchasKarenOfromYeahYeah tough,becausealotofthingscameupforme,butIamhappyIwasin Yeahs,AlisonMosshartfromTheKillsand agoodplaceinordertodealwithit.Ifyouareinabadplaceandtrying BrodyDallefromTheDistillers–women todealwithtraumaticthings,itcouldsendyouovertheedge.’ whodidn’tseemtocareoutwardly.Ihope Instead,shehasbeenableto‘reconnectwithmemories’ofherparents. thatmoreyounggirlsdon’tleaveittothe Sheremembershavingdinnerwithherfather,bothlisteningintentlyto guys.Theycandoitjustasgoodasanyguy.’ music:‘Thatallseepedin.ItwasTheVelvetUnderground,andthenthere Theinterviewdrawstoacloseandwe wasaMadonnaphase…I’veenjoyedﬁndingoutmoreaboutmyparents.’ bothgetuptoleave.Thereisamoment IsitharderforRomytorememberhermotherbecauseshewasthat whenneitherofusknowswhethertoshake muchyoungerwhenshedied? handsand,intheend,it’sRomywhobreaks ‘Yes,Iﬁndthatchallenging.Ithelpstalkingwithmyfamilyabouther, theicewithahug. butit’shorriblebecauseithappenedatanagewhereyouhavememories It’sareminderthat,inspiteofallhertalent butyoucan’trememberahugeamount.Havingthistimeandfacingithas andfame,she’sstillawkward;stillthequiet reallyhelpedtojogmymemory.Ihaveenjoyedlookingatpicturesand onewholikestohangbackandobserve. ﬁndingoutmoreinformation.Ifeltreadytodoit.’ Butshe’scomfortablewiththat.Herpower comesfromﬁnallyhavingacceptedherself andknowingthat,inaworldofnoise, sometimesthegreateststrengthcomes fromnotshouting. Thexx’snewalbum,ISeeYou,isreleased on13January,viathelabelYoungTurks Right: Performing on Saturday Night Live in November 2016
Right: Glenn Martens’ Y/Project. Below: Rixo London
Sounds of tomorrow The new Christine And The Queens SIGRID RAABE She might be from a small city in Norway called Bergen, but this 20 year old has a sound bigger than anyone else. Her debut, Can’t Kill My Vibe, has hard-hitting lyrics and a melody you’ll want to dance to.
LABELS TO LOVE
Ifyouaddonlyonethingtoyourwardrobethisyear,makeitfrom oneofthesethreebrands.InsiderfavouriteGlennMartensoﬀers hisgender-blurring,tongue-in-cheektakeoneverydaydressing indenim,leatherandpastelsatParis-basedlabel,Y/Project. Lookingforsomethingmoreconventionallyfeminine?Headto RixoLondon,foundedbyBritishduoHenriettaRixandOrlagh McCloskey,whosevintage-inspiredsilkdressesandjumpsuitsare springmust-haves.AndlooktoLondonunisexlabelBruta,founded byArthurYates,fornext-levelshirtingwithwhimsicalembroidery.
5 New model army 60
LikehisSkinsco-starsJack O’ConnellandNicholasHoult, theriseof26-year-oldLondoner DevPatel(pictured,left)was inevitable.Now,nearlyadecade sincehisﬁlmdebutindirector DannyBoyle’saward-winning SlumdogMillionaire,he’sready forhisnextbigmoment.The leadinnewﬁlmLion(out20 January),DevplaysSaroo, ayoungmanadoptedbyan Australianfamilyasachild whousesGoogleEarthto trackdownhisbirthplacein India.Fromtheproducersof Shame and The King’s Speech, it’sacelebrationofcourage, and a ﬁerce Oscar contender.
RADHIKA NAIR, 25 From: Bangalore, India Agency: Ford Models Runway stats: Her Balenciaga debut in SS17 made her the first Indian woman to walk its runway.
JESS PICTON-WARLOW, 18 From: Perth, Australia Agency: Storm Management Runway stats: Walked an epic 52 shows across four weeks of the SS17 season.
The new Lady Leshurr PRINCESS NOKIA Having soundtracked Alexander Wang’s SS17 runway show with her thumping beats and tomboy swagger, this 24-year-old New York rapper is everything that’s cool about 2017.
WOMEN IN FILM
WantmoreHollywoodﬁlmswith female-lednarratives? Thenlook outforthesein2017. Forsportsfans:BattleOfTheSexes EmmaStone’sportrayaloftennishero BillieJeanKingfollowsthetruestory ofher1973matchagainstex-champ andserialhustlerBobbyRiggs. Forspacecadets:HiddenFigures Thebiopicofthreeblackscientists (playedbyTarajiP.Henson,Octavia SpencerandJanelleMonáe),the brainsbehindNASA’sbigSixties missions,whopavedthewayforfuture generationsofSTEMwomen. Forcowgirls:CertainWomen Followingthelivesoffourdiﬀerent Montanawomen(KristenStewart, LauraDern,MichelleWilliamsand LilyGladstone),thisisadelicate, interlockingstoryoffemalestrength.
The new Selena Gomez BILLIE EILISH More than 20m streams and praise from tastemakers such as Zane Lowe for Six Feet Under, her electropop track, mean this 15-year-old teen from LA will be hard to miss. The new Riot Grrrl GIRLI With her outspoken lyrics and her poppunk-rap sound, this 18-year-old Londoner is changing the industry by pairing with Girls Against, who work to end sexual harassment at gigs and concerts.
ELLEN ROSA, 17 From: Nova Serrana, Brazil Agency: Viva London Runway stats: Walked at every major show, from Chanel to Miu Miu, and Moschino to Versace.
Clockwise, from top: Musicians to know – Girli, Princess Nokia Billie Eilish and Sigrid Raabe
CHARLEE FRASER, 21 From: Newcastle, Australia Agency: IMG Models Runway stats: Appeared in 40 of SS17’s shows, including Alexander Wang and Givenchy.
Photography: Knut Åserud, Gareth Cattermole/Contour by Getty Images, Getty, Jason Lloyd-Evans, Jaesung Lee, Courtesy of Tate Modern 1977/David Hockney, Jaesung Lee, Sarah Ellen/Instagram, Jan-Michael Quammie/Instagram, Yuwei Zhangzou/Instagram. Girli photography: Steph Wilson. Stylist: Kylie Griffiths. Hair: Yusuke Morioka. Make-up: Sonia Bhogal.
YUWEI ZHANGZOU @yuyuzhangzou Prepare to want everything this chic, Chinese-born Parisian buyer owns and wears.
A BIGGER SPLASH 2017 IS THE YEAR OF CULTURE, SO MAKE SURE YOU VISIT DAVID HOCKNEY’S RETROSPECTIVE AT TATE BRITAIN (9 FEBRUARY-29 MAY). THE SHOW CELEBRATES HIS ACHIEVEMENTS IN PAINTING, DRAWING, PRINT, PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEO ACROSS SIX DECADES – YOU'LL LEAVE DETERMINED TO BE A LOT MORE PRODUCTIVE.
JAN-MICHAEL QUAMMIE @jan.quammie This Munich-based stylist effortlessly pulls together all sorts of clashing trends. Naturally, you’ll be copying her every move. SARAH ELLEN @sarah3llen Take a lesson in cool from this Australian actress (yes, she was in Neighbours), who knows how to give femininity an edge.
Far left: Model With Unﬁnished SelfPortrait by David Hockney 1977. From top: Yuwei Zhangzou, Jan-Michael Quammie and Sarah Ellen
SECRETS AND LIES
Three new novels everyone’s reading this year. Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney This seductive debut novel follows the unexpected connection between two college students and a married couple, and produces endless questions about sex, friendship, politics and feminism. The Doll Funeral by Kate Hamer When Ruby discovers she is adopted, she is elated that the parents who have treated her so badly aren’t her blood relations. The hunt begins for her birth family, but disturbing secrets are unearthed along the way. Miss Treadway And The Field Of Stars by Miranda Emmerson A mystery, a love story and a dark tale of secrets set in Sixties London. When American theatre actress Iolanthe Green disappears, it comes down to her dresser, Anna Treadway, to ﬁnd out the truth.
10 FASHION FURNITURE
Interiors lovers, remember this name: Cristina Celestino. The Milanbased architect has become the fashion world’s furniture designer of choice. For proof, look no further than her collaboration with Fendi (pictured, above), a series of artful, feminine pieces in architectural forms: low tables in marble, sculptural sofas in velvets, and colourful screens in brass. Available in Fendi stores from March
BOOK CLUB TALK-SHOW HOST AND COMEDIAN CHELSEA HANDLER, 41, SHARES THE BOOKS THAT HAVE SHAPED HER LIFE Words Natasha Bird
Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton This is a book I always recommend to all the women in my life. It’s a memoir about growing up as an opinionated girl and the eﬀect that has on the way people treat you, particularly how some men will treat you. I very much identify with that – I’ve dealt with it my whole life. It’s the reason why I’m single. Many men are put oﬀ by a woman who has an opinion. Apparently a lot of people ﬁnd me intimidating, but I’m loud and proud… in my opinion. The Sweet Valley High series by Francine Pascal and Kate William These were my books as a kid. They were about two cool, blonde twins going through their adolescence in high school, so I related to it. My family would spend summers in Martha’s Vineyard, and my mother and I would go into town to the library and take out three books at a time. I’d go through eight library cards in one summer. I was competing with her and myself, trying to read as much as possible. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy My father, a used-car dealer, introduced me to Russian literature. He gave me this book when I was 15 and told me, ‘If you’re
‘I IDENTIFY WITH GROWING UP AS AN OPINIONATED GIRL, AND THE EFFECT THAT HAS ON THE WAY PEOPLE TREAT YOU, PARTICULARLY MEN. I’VE DEALT WITH IT MY WHOLE LIFE’ The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand I read this novel when I was young and it was a gamechanger. It’s about an architect, Howard Roark, who refuses to compromise his vision for commercial success. It made me think about what it meant to have moral certitude, to do what you believe in and be
honourable. I said to myself, ‘This is the kind of person I want to be. It’s how I want to conduct myself.’ And I’ve stuck to it. I Hate The Internet by Jarett Kobek There’s a strong argument for having heated discussions and disagreeing with somebody in an intelligent, respectable way, but the anonymity aﬀorded to us by being online makes people nasty and behave with real vitriol. This novel illustrates what the internet has done or could do to society. We have to begin holding people accountable for the language they use online. If you say horrible things, your account should be blocked. If you issue a death threat, it’s a criminal act. Ham On Rye by Charles Bukowski Anything by the American author and poet Bukowski makes me laugh. He’s so wry, there’s lots of pathos and it’s all completely absurd. In this semi-autobiographical novel, nothing goes well for the narrator, Henry Chinaski – he’s got acne, no one will have sex with him, all he does is drink and get kicked out of his house. It’s a litany of disappointment and, actually, nothing like my life. Some people might ﬁnd it sad, but I ﬁnd it very amusing.
Chelsea Season 2 will launch on Netﬂix in March
AUTHORS TO WATCH IN 2017 BY ELLE LITERARY EDITOR SHARMAINE LOVEGROVE First up is debut novelist Nicole Dennis-Benn, who gives us a dramatic glimpse of what really happens in supposed paradise in Here Comes The Sun. Written in fierce and authentic prose, the story follows Margot, who has to work hard in an opulent tourist resort in Montego Bay to provide income for her family and keep her sister in school. Next, try Cath Weeks’ intelligent novel Blind, about a woman who gives birth to a blind child – it’ll make you weep. Finally, pick up Sara Flannery Murphy, who’s crafted a modern ghost story with The Possessions, a tale about connecting with the dead that is a guaranteed page-turner.
Photography: Marie Howell/Contour by Getty.
going to look the way you are, you’d better back it up with some smarts.’ At the time, I was like, ‘Leave me alone!’ but now I take that as a compliment; I guess he thought I was cute.
ELLE’S ACTING EDITOR-IN-CHIEF LOTTE JEFFS TAKES A SIDEWAYS LOOK AT A WORD THE FASHION WORLD CAN’T STOP SAYING AND ASKS: ‘WHAT DOES IT REALLY MEAN?’
Photography: Georgia Devey-Smith.
Adjective: To be active or alive e are all so ‘lit’ right now, anyone wearing polyester needs to step back, or they’re going up in ﬂames. What was once merely a past participle of ‘light’ took on a whole new meaning (internet speak for ‘intoxicated’), then a whole other meaning (general slang synonym of ‘fun’), and now it means something entirely diﬀerent (bear with me). You see, this is the year that a spark turns into a full-on blaze, where people burn with rage as they ﬁght for rights and freedoms because they realise how precarious those things are in the wrong hands. In 2017, being ‘lit’ can actually make a diﬀerence. How times have changed. Last year, an Instagram search for #lit would reveal pictures of excitable puppies, frat parties and Michelle Obama dancing. These images almost seem quaint now, like relics from a more innocent era, because back then ‘lit AF’ (‘as fuck’ – do keep up) meant something vividly brilliant and exciting, and boiling over with energy. Of course, it could also mean we were high on life (or something stronger). To be lit, in all its forms, was about forgetting reality and just YOLOing in the
moment – whether at a fashion show, the White House or a spectacularly decadent party. But now, well, the lights are on, and someone’s getting the Hoover out while we try to book an Uber. It’s impossible to forget reality any more. In fact, there’s a Beyoncésized spotlight shining above us and – shudder – we see everything. Since ELLE’s Creative Director Suzanne Sykes recommended the team watch the Adam Curtis documentary HyperNormalisation late last year, my team has been
‘THIS IS THE YEAR A SPARK TURNS INTO A FULL-ON BLAZE, WHERE PEOPLE BURN WITH RAGE AS THEY FIGHT FOR RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS’ coming into work all wide-eyed and wired. They’ll be clutching venti Americanos after staying up late to ﬁnish the three-hour programme on iPlayer and you’ll hear them whispering in the kitchen about ‘perception management’ and ‘post truth’. The documentary deconstructs major moments in culture and politics over the past 40 years, and connects Seventies New York to the Assads and Gaddaﬁ via Jane Fonda, alien invasions and echo
chambers. It leaves you feeling the need to lie on the sofa watching Sex And The City re-runs until your head stops spinning. Combine this with the slow paper shuﬄe towards Brexit, Trump’s inauguration and all the other horriﬁc and scary things happening around the world that we’ve collectively reduced to a cry-face emoji, and it’s no wonder ‘lit’ has got serious. There’s a ﬁre under us and the year ahead will bring activism, debate and protest like we’ve never seen before. But I hope it’ll also have some of that old-school ‘litness’ in the form of hotterthan-hell fun. We need to go ‘out out’ and let loose at the kind of legendary bashes that are a beacon of light in dark times. It may feel like we’re stuck in The Upside Down, but we need to look to people like Marc Jacobs to drag us Barbs out of it. The dress code for his Cruise Collection party is a lesson in ﬁnding silver linings, literally. The invitation read: ‘Glamorous dress code door policy: chic Eighties with voluminous proportions. Think Gloria von Thurn and Taxis at Le Cirque with Stephanie and Caroline of Monaco. Success, fame and glamour […] A decorative frenzy in electric paradise; more is more. No posers and deﬁnitely no preppies. Be the life of the party and, remember, girls (and boys) just wanna have fun!’ We may have been NFI (don’t make me explain) but the spirit has us lit AF.
OFFICE POLITICS Let sharp suiting and sleek separates give your work wardrobe a lift this season – you’ll ﬁnd it all at Tu Photography Jens Langkjaer
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MY STORY / Fatima Zaman A MUSLIM FROM LONDON, FATIMA WAS 13 YEARS OLD WHEN SHE WITNESSED THE 7/7 BOMBINGS IN 2005. NOW SHE WORKS AS A COUNTER EXTREMIST AND CAMPAIGNS WITH FORMER UN SECRETARYGENERAL KOFI ANNAN TO PREVENT GIRLS FROM JOINING EXTREMIST GROUPS IN THE MIDDLE EAST
As told to: Hannah Nathanson. Photography: Victoria Adamson.
make a point of being a hybrid. I’m British, Bengali and Muslim, and I embrace all three identities equally. My parents, from Bangladesh, moved to Britain in the late Sixties with the ﬁrst wave of Bengalis. My mum and dad faced racism when they arrived in London: rocks were thrown through the window and faeces were put through the letterbox. But they dealt with it and integrated into society. I don’t feel that I face racism, but Islamophobia. I try to deal with it positively, like my mum and dad did, by celebrating diversity and the things that make us diﬀerent. I carry myself in a tolerant way in the face of intolerance. I work as a civil servant, but my passion is being a nextgeneration counter extremist. Watching young people get radicalised makes me want to do something. In 2016, I was one of 10 people selected to form Extremely Together, an initiative backed by the Koﬁ Annan Foundation and the European Commission, which works to counter violent extremism. I run workshops in my community to start conversations, particularly when girls have ﬂown out to join Islamist extremists. I want to create an alternative narrative to the one espoused by extremists. I was 13 when the 7/7 London bombings happened. I was near to the Aldgate blast; I saw the ﬂashing lights of the emergency services and I felt the panic. I heard ‘terrorist attacks’ and ‘London bombs’, and put two and two together. My school, Mulberry School for Girls in Shadwell, was used as a refuge on that day. As time went on, it became clear that people were trying to hijack my faith, my religion and my identity, and I wasn’t going to stand for it. I felt the xenophobia that followed and knew it would change me as a Muslim. The work I do today is because of what I saw during the London attacks. Neither of my parents went to university; my dad did various jobs and my mum is a housewife. There are stereotypes about being a stay-at-home mum but I get my feminist views from her: she always said, “You should be conﬁdent in what you do and say, and you shouldn’t let anyone stop you.” I studied politics at SOAS and I specialised in the Middle East. I went to university just as the
Arab Spring happened. I did a masters on security studies and counter terrorism at UCL around the time migrants were travelling to Syria to join groups such as Daesh (the word I prefer for the so-called Islamic State) and homegrown extremism was increasing. I’d visit schools to try to counter some of their propaganda. Often, with political and religious extremism, it’s thought men are the perpetrators and women are bystanders. It’s reductionist to say women go to become jihadi brides. My research shows their role is critical. Aqsa Mahmood, a Glasgow Caledonian University radiography student, was one of the ﬁrst British girls to go [to Syria] in 2013 and she was recruiting other women. It’s the women on the ground who are building the state while the men go oﬀ to ﬁght. I didn’t know the three girls from Bethnal Green who travelled to Raqqa, Syria, in 2015, but it was a low moment for our community. From what I know about how extremist groups recruit, it usually starts with them looking for the vulnerable young people who are questioning their identity. Often recruiters are women who have made the same journey, so it’s like, “I know what you’re going through.” The ﬁrst contact tends to be made in a public space, such as on social media, but soon moves to one-toone contact, in private. They say basic things like, “Life here is great! We have Nutella, come to the Islamic State!” But once those relationships are built, the rhetoric shifts to, “You don’t belong where you are, we can protect you.” There’s also the appeal of furthering a good cause and they ﬂatter you with the title of warrior princess. In early 2016, I went to the One Young World Summit in Canada with Extremely Together. We presented to 1,300 people, alongside the former Secretary-General of the UN Koﬁ Annan, actors Emma Watson and Meghan Markle, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. It was a dream of mine to meet Koﬁ; he introduced the UN’s ﬁrst counter-terrorism strategy. He told me his generation was responsible for a lot of problems, but it’s up to young people to ﬁnd solutions. He added, “Don’t let me down.” That’s always in the back of my mind.
WOMEN WHO INSPIRE Don’t miss Behind The Journey on elleuk.com this month, where seven incredible films featuring influential women in sports, music and science, examine what really matters for 2017. Made to inspire you, in partnership with Rolex.
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Photography: Jamie Bevan.
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MY POWER RANGERS COLLECTION
Words: Bibby Sowray. Photography: Victoria Adamson.
WE LIKE STYLISH PEOPLE WHO FILL THEIR WORLDS WITH MEANINGFUL STUFF. SOME OF IT BRINGS THEM JOY, SOME OF IT IS JUST FASHIONABLE CLUTTER. EITHER WAY, IT MAKES THEM WHO THEY ARE
I watched crazy Japanese cartoons growing up, and Power Rangers remind me of them. They’re futuristic creatures, spacey and come in crazy colours. They’re sitting on a cactus – they take care of themselves!
MY WORLD / Natalia Alaverdian THE PHOTOS I KEEP CLOSE
‘Never postpone something you can do now,’ says Natalia Alaverdian, 35, the founder and Creative Director of A.W.A.K.E. The advice explains her successful career path to date: after ﬁve years as Fashion Director of Harper’s Bazaar Russia and a segue into photography, she launched her label in 2012. It now has a fanbase that includes Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and some of fashion’s most important editors and buyers. She now lives with her husband in an airy ﬂat in east London. It’s ﬁlled with vintage ﬁnds that show her love of interior design (she loves Angel Antiques Market in Islington), stacks of books and quirkier pieces that display her penchant for futurism. ‘My label is a multi-referential thing. In one piece, I can have 10 diﬀerent references,’ she says – and her home is the same.
I have a lot of old family pictures. My mother, grandmother and grandfather have all passed away, so I keep them close. One shows my grandfather when he was serving in the second world war.
MY ANTIQUE TEAPOT
I found this in a tiny Japanese shop in Angel, London. I bought it because I thought I could use it, but now I feel like I would ruin it, so I just keep it because it’s so pretty.
THE SHOES I MAKE
These are from my SS16 and Pre-Fall 16 collection. I used to hate wearing my designs, it felt wrong. But the more I design, the more confident I become.
MY EIGHTIES JACKET
This A.W.A.K.E. jacket is really me and I wear it over a plain sweatshirt. It has a spacecowboy feel.
MY VINTAGE DISCOVERY
I love this African figure. It cost quite a lot from a vintage market but I just needed to get it. My husband makes fun of it and says it stares at him in a weird way!
‘I held the shaver in front of my hairline and I hovered it there for a moment, its vibrations shuddering down my arm and through every muscle of my tensed, nervous body’ Photography Elliot Kennedy
RUBY TANDOH HAS A LONG AND COMPLICATED RELATIONSHIP WITH HER HAIR. SO WHEN SHE DECIDED TO SHAVE IT ALL OFF, A WEIGHT WAS LIFTED FROM HER SHOULDERS IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE
hen I ﬁrst raised the electric trimmer to my head, I felt sick. My armpits prickled with sweat and my hands grew damp at the panic of making a change so big that I knew I’d scarcely recognise myself afterwards. I held the shaver in front of my hairline and I hovered it there for a moment, its vibrations shuddering down my arm and through every muscle of my tensed, nervous body. My girlfriend held her breath as I made a decisive move for my hair and smoothly carved a clean path straight down the centre of my scalp. I had to shoot straight for the heart of it, or I knew I’d never follow through. The long, dark curls slid on to the bathroom ﬂoor, ﬁrst in blonde ringlets, then, as I worked through the back of my hair, in dark, matted tangles. I’ve always been my hair. I was born with a full head of brown curls clustered on my head. When I was young and cute, still dressing in gingham dresses and Velcro shoes, my face was framed by soft, golden ﬁlaments, twisted into loose barrel curls. As I got older, growing out of my girly smocks and into my baggy shorts and heavy Dr. Martens boots, my hair grew thicker and coarser, and I cut it into a short ‘boy’ style. It matched the way that I scuﬀed my school shoes along the pavement, and played football, and swung monkey-like across the climbing-frame bars. I refused to brush it. A boy in my class, who
Cotton top, £69, Cos. Styling: Sophie Van Der Welle. Hair, make-up and manicure: Martina Lattanzi at One Represents using Darphin Skincare, Shu Uemura Art of Hair and Nails Inc. Ruby Tandoh’s cookbook, Flavour: Eat What You Love, is out now.
called me ‘Bog Brush Tandoh’ for the two years I knew him, once broke a ruler over my head and observed that one of the shattered halves had disappeared completely. It was generally accepted by the class that the missing part of the ruler was probably still somewhere in my hair. As a teenager, my hair got longer and greasier, and I became embarrassed by its messiness. This was the age of Jennifer Aniston-inspired, sleek, straightened tresses, and sweeping ‘emo’ fringes. There wasn’t a place in this shiny, horsey-maned world for a mixed-race girl with frizzy, curly hair. I tried straightening it a few times, but it would hang from either side of my parting like two sheets of cardboard, then start to kink and curl back into its usual unruliness. It smelled of burning for days. My hair was as damaged, confused and poorly styled as I was. I began to come to terms with my hair as I entered my twenties, buoyed by the sight of Harry Styles’ similarly lank locks, but still there were times when I’d avoid eye contact with dog walkers who’d look back-and-forth between me and their labradoodles or cocker spaniels with a wry smile. I’ve been weirdly and antagonistically at one with this messy, frizzy, diﬃcult tangle of hair for as long as I can remember. It was a Big Deal to get rid of it, and so you’d imagine that it’d be something I’d think long and hard about, something that I’d be able to accord some well-thoughtthrough feminist rationale. But I can’t. The decision to shave oﬀ my hair crystallised at home in my bathroom about 15 minutes before I picked up the trimmer and started. That was the impulsive, decisive tipping point – there, in my bathroom, on a boring Wednesday afternoon. And yet, even though I never had some grand agenda for my haircut, I quickly realised I was being naive in thinking that shaving my head was a totally apolitical act. After I’d ﬁnished, I posted a selﬁe of my new egg head to Instagram with the words ‘You wish’ underneath, and within hours that picture had been seen, liked, disliked and commented upon by thousands. Some speculated whether I was having a breakdown, while others lamented the loss of my more ‘feminine’ curls. Many loved it, and plenty declared it a bold, feminist statement. Before long, there were hashed-together news stories about my haircut, followed by people decrying the demise of journalism. It was suggested that this was my Britney-circa-2007 moment. I was baﬄed. It was just a damn haircut. But it’s never just a damn haircut, really. Least of all when that haircut goes against the grain of the pliant, feminine gender-presentation that’s expected of women. Least of all when the price paid for being an ‘acceptable’ LGBT person is to mould yourself to the dominant aesthetic, and not to wear your strange, wonderful, emblems of gender non-conformity on your sleeve. Least of all when you pass up the soft, light-brown curls that aﬀord you a privileged position as a white-passing person, and lay bare the high curve of your forehead and the slope of your nose – the markers of your West African roots. When I took the shaver to my head and sheared oﬀ the gold-streaked curls that I’d grown up with, I was casting oﬀ a softness that was both powerful and debilitating. My hair had allowed me to carry on feeling conventionally feminine, negotiating a place within a same-gender relationship
that turned my heteronormative world view on its head. It was a ﬂamboyant, femme head of curls, and that softness and femininity gave me a lot of strength. It ﬁtted, somehow. And yet there was another side of me – the side that enjoys dressing like a camp man and wearing shirts that skim clean over the shallow curve of my breasts – whose boldness was smothered by that heavy head of hair. I wanted to be able to shrug oﬀ the shyness that I’d carried with me my whole life, and to stand up tall and unembarrassed, as the kind of butch, kind of femme, kind of camp, kind of straightlaced person that I am. I’d spent a lifetime pulling my hair over my face, lurking behind the facade of feminine straightness that it gave me and hiding in plain sight. I knew that for the boldness I had inside to shine through, I needed a change. I needed to step out with my face, my vulnerability and my queerness on show. I needed to shave my head. Sometimes even the most mundane decisions become markers of your whole identity. I couldn’t have predicted that when I impulsively decided to get rid of the heavy, itchy mop of hair on my head I’d be recasting my gender, sexuality and racial identity in a whole new light. On another person, this haircut might make them more shy, or feel straighter, quieter or less secure about the way their gender manifests. These things are as unique as we are. For me, shaving my head has made me feel both more masculine and more feminine. It has given me the conﬁdence of Amber Rose, and the nerdy boyishness of a Donnie Darkoera Jake Gyllenhaal. It’s forced me to be braver in the many small interactions I used to dread every day. I feel as though I’ve stripped myself of the weight of my past, conﬂicted self and stepped into a more self-assured skin, where my sexuality is coded in new, exciting ways. It hasn’t all been plain sailing. I’m more nervous now about holding my girlfriend’s hand in public for fear that the intimacy coupled with my haircut will coax out peoples’ bigotries. And for the ﬁrst two weeks, I felt naked, like a strange new beast. Every time I caught sight of myself in the mirror, my chest tightened. I found myself crying more often than usual. But the magical thing about doing something as big and scary as this is that it infuses every experience thereafter with a sense of the bravery you had in the moment. I was unsure straight after my haircut, but the audacity of having shaved it was enough to make me commit to a new, surefooted positivity. This wasn’t the haircut of someone who’d apologise for their existence or shy away from attention. It was the haircut of a person who’d post a selﬁe to Instagram with the caption, ‘You wish’. You wish you had this nerve; you wish you had the gall to do what I’ve done. It was a rare streak of arrogant deﬁance, and it felt good. I love my new, ﬂuﬀy head now. I often get asked whether I’m going to keep my hair like this forever, but I just don’t know. Maybe I’ll grow my hair out again, maybe I won’t. Either way, I can’t help but see everything in a new light now that I’ve taken this massive leap of faith. I can survive without my helmet of hair – I’m not Samson, nor am I one with the majestic mass of curls that crown me. Long hair, short hair, no hair, mullet, whatever hair tops my head, whichever path I choose, I’ll still love One Direction and Ally McBeal, I will still bite my nails and tweet too much, I'll still be mixed race, lanky, sweet-toothed and queer. I’ll still be me. Q
Photography: Sonny Vandevelde.
OUTSIDE? Angry women have a bad reputation. But writer Janice Turner will cross the road to pick a ďŹ ght and argues (of course she does) that rage can be a healthy emotion for everyone 72
‘That fag packet you chucked down on the road just there. Are you going to pick it up?’ The bloke is about 35, burly and in the middle of clambering back into his van. When I saw him spark up a cigarette then discard his empty box, I knew I had three choices. First, to walk on by. Second, to pick up his litter and swear under my breath. Or third, pick a ﬁght. The ﬁrst option is impossible for me. I loathe the arrogance of those who treat public spaces like dustbins. I once watched a woman in a car remove packaging from a new toy, hand the toy to her toddler, then chuck the wrapping out of the window at the traﬃc lights. I ran after her but she escaped. I had to perform the second choice while imagining exactly where and how far I’d stuﬀ the box that once contained a purple dinosaur. But this guy? He’s right here. He thinks his size and sex give him impunity, that the sprawling anonymity of London means no one cares. You picked the wrong street, sucker. At this point I recall my husband’s words: ‘One day, you’ll get stabbed.’ So far, being a woman – who’s no longer young, who could be someone’s mum – is my protective cloak. I haven’t been attacked… yet. I hand the man his cigarette packet. ‘What the fuck!’ he says, but he lobs it into the back of his van and, snarling, he drives oﬀ. A victory of sorts. I realise I am shaking. Why do I literally cross the road to have a ﬁght? Why do I yell at a dog owner across a busy park – heads turning, kids gawping – to tell them their labradoodle has just crapped on the football pitch and can they clean it up?
‘I NEVER GOT THE MEMO THAT WOMEN, IF
THEY MUST EXPRESS THEIR RAGE AT ALL, SHOULD BE PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE, CHANNEL IT INTO SUBTLY VICIOUS NOTES OR BACKHANDED REMARKS’ ELLE/FEBRUARY
Why do I tell teenagers to take their clown-size shoes oﬀ train seats or, in one awful supermarket scene, reproach an old woman who slapped a little child very hard? I go to war on Twitter with hateful trolls, I have (perhaps too many) family ‘discussions’ about Brexit or Jeremy Corbyn, which end in steaming rows. I have always been a ﬁghter. I’m an only child and we spend too much time alone, conceiving odd ideas we then have to defend to the world. Plus, I’m from a working-class northern family: plain-speaking women ran my life. So when I came to London in my twenties, I didn’t have the smooth manners or politesse of all these glossy, privately educated girls. But I did know how to hold my own. I wouldn’t back down from giving my view at work, even if it meant a bruising row. Over the years, I’ve learned to modulate my tone, if not what I think. I talk less in the imperative and try to smile. Yet even after 25 years in London, my lovely, southerner husband says that I’m still too blunt. And now I have entered my battleaxe years. Believe me, the unembarrassed selfconﬁdence of age more than compensates for a few crow’s feet. I never got the memo that women, if they must express their rage at all, should be passive-aggressive: channel it into subtly vicious notes or backhanded remarks. I’ve always been hopeless at scheming oﬃce politics. I prefer a say-what-you-mean, get-it-all-out-there air clearing. If there’s an elephant in the room, I will poke it. Besides, I couldn’t be a columnist at The Times if I wasn’t up for a ﬁght. Opinion writers can’t take a placatory middle-line for fear of oﬀence: you send your words out like warriors and prepare yourself for scathing online voices who will try to take you apart. It requires intellectual balls to take on the accepted view. Are there fewer women polemicists as we’re too afraid of not being thought nice? Fighting women have always had a bad name. We are shrews, ﬁshwives, harridans, Gorgons, bitches, old hags. Men are complimented for great oratory and barnstorming speeches. But a woman expressing herself forcefully may earn a patronising ‘calm down, dear’ as MP Angela Eagle did, when her critique of the Treasury ﬁgures in parliament was treated by David Cameron like a girly tizz. Female anger sounds unnaturally discordant. Women friends say they are always being chastised for ‘shouting’ when they didn’t raise their voices at all, but are simply uttering uncomfortable things. When I chide my teenage son, he looms over me laughing and making a silly, squeaking noise, which is supposed to be me. Men are allowed to vent, to bay in parliament, to roar at football. Donald Trump could cry that he wanted to punch protesters in the face, but Hillary Clinton was from a generation of women who survived by maintaining icy control. Male stars who demand respect are maestros, women are prima donnas. Those who kicked out like men were rare, but now female anger is bursting out. Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s character in BBC3’s Fleabag vibrates with fury: ‘The idea of the “angry young man” is so ›
‘LIMIT YOUR BATTLES TO CONSTRUCTIVE CONFLICT. DON’T BE BITTER, NEVER BEAR GRUDGES, NO ONE LIKES A SULKER: USE ANGER LIKE SUPERCHARGED ROCKET FUEL’
Five ways to channel healthier anger by trauma psychologist Deborah Cox, co-author of Women’s Anger (deborahlcox.com).
Accept whatever feeling you have in the moment. Just let it be. Know your anger is not permanent. Many people make the mistake of trying to reason away their anger. This backﬁres by creating internal stress, whether you realise it at the time or not. You need anger because it distinguishes ‘you’ from all others around you. It deﬁnes your boundaries and your selfhood.
2. AFFIRM IT
Use a statement like, ‘Even though I’m uncomfortable right now, I know it’s OK for me to feel this anger.’ Take a walk and repeat this phrase several times as you do. Walking provides bilateral stimulation, a component of Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR), which calms the nervous system and promotes clearer thinking.
3. SPEAK IT
Regularly talk to someone about anger. Women often need aﬃrmation from trusted others that what we experience is real and not ‘just in our heads’. Study inﬂuential women, such as Joan of Arc, Rosa Parks, Gloria Steinem, or Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Notice how they used anger to create change.
4. OWN IT
Speak your anger aloud to the person who triggers it. Say, ‘I feel angry when you…’ Allow your interlocutor whatever reaction they have without criticising or blaming them.
5. PUNCH IT
Find a physical activity to release anger from long-term storage in the body. Talk while taking a boxing class or locking yourself in a room and throwing things. Yell all the things you would like to say to an old bully or perpetrator. Hurl obscenities for 30 seconds, then stop, breathe and look around. Q
Photography: Sonny Vandevelde. *Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), November 2016.
deeply embedded [in culture],’ Phoebe has said, ‘but the angry young woman seems never to be addressed.’ Serena Williams smashes as many rackets as Andy Murray does. Feminist bloggers rage with righteous wrath. Women, a recent survey found, now swear more than men*. Not that I think we should ﬁght every battle. The opposite of a bottled-up mouse, who swallows what she thinks, is the adult baby who reacts with a tantrum when the world does not mould itself to her demands. Like A-list celebrities who are horrible to their assistants. Treating the ‘little people’ like dirt is the mark not of a ﬁghter, but a bullying coward. Rather, limit your battles to constructive conﬂict. Don’t be bitter, never bear grudges, no one likes a sulker: use anger like supercharged rocket fuel. I was once in charge of a new project that was being delayed by computer problems. The IT department told me it was the cabling in the ceiling, but they didn’t have a ladder. I was so enraged at their shrugging indiﬀerence, I marched across the road to a hardware shop and bought a ladder. I ﬂung it at the IT guy, who was amazed, especially as I was six months pregnant, but he ﬁxed the damn computers. I’ve always thought it rather pathetic that British security advice on what to do during a terrorist attack is ‘run, hide, tell’, whereas in the US it is ‘run, hide, ﬁght’. It explains why I’ve had more stand-up arguments in New York than any other place on Earth. The whole city has been to assertiveness training and has paper-thin skin. I’ve been screamed at in a well-known deli for picking up samples with my ﬁngers, not a cocktail stick. In the Magnolia Bakery, famous from Sex And The City, I had a row that ended with the assistant slinging my cupcake into the bin. The whole city needs to switch to decaf. Then, on a train in Holland recently, not realising I was in a quiet coach, I started chatting to a colleague. A middle-aged woman holding a Kindle stood up and ﬁrmly told us that we must not talk. In Britain, passengers would have muttered with suppressed fury. The Dutch are rational, fair, but if something is wrong, they don’t hold back. ‘Sister,’ I wanted to say, ‘I salute you.’ Because we women shouldn’t always swallow our anger. Only a fool wastes her energy – and everyone’s good will – ﬁghting every battle. But if the cause is just, release your righteous rage. Ignore the men who’d rather you only played nice. And whatever you do, don’t calm down, dear.
is the lack of sexual attraction to anyone AS MORE AND MORE MILLENNIALS ‘COME OUT’ AS HAVING A SEXUALITY DEFINED BY ITS ABSENCE, NELLIE EDEN REPORTS ON THE REALITY OF DATING WITHOUT DESIRE – AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR HOW WE VIEW LOVE IN 2017
Photography Thu Thuy Pham
ix years ago, I was lying in bed with my then boyfriend. I still had my trainers on. Everything was about to fall apart. I knew he was going to ask me why this was the ﬁrst time, after four months of dating, that he’d been admitted into my ﬂat, and why we’d not had sex, and why, when he put his tongue in my mouth, I’d recoil. How do you tell someone that when they kiss you it feels like someone is putting a scarf over your face and pulling it tight? That you feel sheer panic? I thought, “Tell him now, because when you say it’s because you’re asexual, he’s going to leave.” So I did, and he did, and I put those trainers in the bin.’ My friend Sarah, 28, works in marketing and is now in a happy relationship with a non-asexual man (more on how this works later). She’s laughing a full, hearty belly laugh when she hits me with the trainer line, but I’m ﬁnding it hard to smile. This year she ‘came out’ to me as asexual. Asexuality means a lack of sexual attraction towards anyone. Initially I was shocked, not least because she’s in a relationship. A 2015 survey suggested Brits in relationships have sex three times a month*, on average, and I’d assumed Sarah and her boyfriend were no diﬀerent. Being asexual is not like being sat at a banquet, starving and salivating, with your jaw wired shut. As Sarah puts it, ‘You don’t
like mushrooms, right?’ I stick my tongue out to show distaste. ‘But if someone you loved wanted to eat them all the time, then you might, say, let them put some in a risotto and you’d swallow them down. That’s what an active sex life is for me.’ I probe further: ‘What do you mean, then, that you occasionally have sex?’ Sarah pauses. ‘Only very, very occasionally, and that’s preferable for me to ever giving oral sex. But yes, that’s a hyper-rare compromise I make.’ She pulls a disgusted face. Living without desire is diﬃcult to conceptualise using our Freudian understanding of psychology. We’re a civilisation built on the presumption that everyone constantly wants sex. Take the maxim ‘sex sells’, still the pillar on which most advertising is built, from Wonderbra’s ‘Hello boys’ to Diet Coke’s ‘window washer’, via Kim Kardashian and Louboutins: sex is everywhere you look.
Some names have been changed. *British National Survey, 2015. ** Asexuality: Prevalence And Associated Factors In A National Probability Sample, 2004.
Not until 2004 did Canadian academic Anthony F. Bogaert’s paper propel the term ‘asexual’ into common use and establish the idea that 1% of the British population were asexual**. Of that ﬁgure, 70% were women. Thanks to online communities, such as AVEN (Asexual Visibility And Education Network), awareness is increasing. But with such powerful stigma surrounding the ideas of asexuality, it’s safe to assume more people are asexual than we’re aware of. Conversations around gender have been rife recently, with many people from Generation Z identifying as gender ﬂuid (oscillating between gender and nonbinary identities) or pansexual (not being limited in your sexual choices by gender or sex). Celebrities such as Miley Cyrus, a pansexual, and Amandla Stenberg, who is non-binary, are heralded as role models but I can’t think of a single asexual icon. I can’t imagine the admission of zero desire would go down well with the PR squads. ‘Asexuality sells’ has less of a ring to it. I’m told that asexuals are often asked whether they’ve been diagnosed as asexual, or if there’s a ‘cure’, which suggests it’s a term we’re still not fully clued up on. I ask mathematician Dr Michael J Doré, 33, who is asexual and joined AVEN in 2009, to explain what asexuality means to him. ‘Everyone has certain people they aren’t sexually attracted to, and asexuals ﬁnd that everyone falls into that category.’ He was quick to add that ‘asexuality is a sexual orientation, not a disease, pathology or a choice. We’re just like gay or straight people.’ And it’s like any sexual preference in that everyone falls on a spectrum. Take my friend Sarah, who is able to have a loving relationship with a non-asexual man and occasionally have sex. I ask her to tell me more about how she makes the relationship function in a balanced manner where both parties are satisﬁed: ‘It’s hard at times. It helps that he travels a lot and I relish in having my own space.’ And the sleeping situation? ‘We share one very large bed. We kiss, but not passionately and not for too long. But occasionally I like to be hugged, and we hold hands in public.’ I ask if that’s for show. ‘I think it was when I ﬁrst “came out”. Now I like it because he does.’ Have other people been judgemental? ‘I got fucking sick of the “You just need to meet the right person” rhetoric,’ she says. ‘I’m ﬁne with sex being a tiny part of my life,
asismypartner.Don’tpityme.We makelove–rarely,butit’senoughfor usboth.’Doessheworryabouthim cheating?‘Look,Iknowhewatches porn.It’sﬁne.He’scommittedtome andIdon’tangstoverit.’ Sarahwasn’talwayssoself-assured. ‘WhenIwas18,theinternetwasn’teven athing.Therewerenobooksabout asexualityinthelibrary.Myadolescence wasrough–Ifeltlikeafreak.I’minawe ofthenextgeneration’sacceptance.’ ForSarah,therewasawake-upmomentat school.‘Myﬁrstmemoryofbeingdiﬀerent wasinasex-educationlesson.Therewas thisreallygraphicvisualofintercourse andIfeltdizzy.Itsnowballed;sexwasall myfriendsspokeabout.Istoppedreading booksforfearofthesexualparts,and feelinglikeaweirdo.Ikissedsomeonefor theﬁrsttimeat19,becauseatuniversity Ifeltmysexualitywasasourceof suspicion.Ihatedit.I’veblockedoutlosing
‘WE KISS, BUT NOT PASSIONATELY AND NOT FOR TOO LONG. OCCASIONALLY WE HUG, AND WE HOLD HANDS IN PUBLIC’ myvirginity.Ididn’thavesexagainuntil Imetmycurrentpartner,threeyearsago.’ CampaignerssuchasMariaMunir,the 20yearoldfromWatfordwhopublicly cameoutasnon-binarytoBarackObama ataLondonmeetingofstudentsand youthleadersin2016,areeﬀectingreal change.Byemail,Mariaintroducedme toGeorgeNorman,a22-year-oldstudent who,in2015,becameBritain’sﬁrstopenly asexualparliamentaryelectioncandidate. ‘Igottouniversityandrealisedpeople weren’tacting.Thisthingthatseemedso alientomewasreallyimportanttothem. Iwas19whenIheardtheword“asexual” –itmadesenseofmyfeelings.’ Iaskhimwherehefoundthecourage topubliclyidentifyasasexual,andwhyhe feltitnecessary.‘Ihadfears,butlargely peoplehavebeenverysupportive.We’ve gottomakesurenoonefeelslikeIdidas ayoungadult,asiftherewasnooneinthe worldlikeme,andIwasbrokenandalone.’
Jess, 29, works in fashion and is living secretly as an asexual. I know her because she’s famous for her outlandish style, and I see her at industry parties. Even as a teenager, Jess knew she was diﬀerent. ‘I hated people in my space, and became chronically shy.’ I tell her she seems the opposite of shy. ‘Maybe I’m not shy with women, but there’s no threat and it’s part of my job to pretend I’m not. But I developed huge breasts early, and people commented. Men’s eyes wandered; they still do. I hate men looking at me in a sexual way. I cross my arms and close my eyes on the tube.’ Eventually I broach the subject of a family with Jess. I imagine that, for women, it makes identifying as asexual even more burdensome. ‘I fear the future. I come from a religious family who put a lot of emphasis on having children and getting married. They won’t understand.’ Sarah, who thinks she might want children, says: ‘If I decide to have kids, sex will be a topic that’s hard to avoid. I’m a loving person who desires emotional connections. So kids are in the back of my mind.’ Michael explains: ‘Some asexuals are in relationships and some aren’t. Some don’t mind having sex sometimes, whereas some don’t have sex at all.’ The desire to group asexuals into one homogenised ‘type’ has brought about other false stereotypes: ‘Cold, emotionless and out to trap a sexual person in a relationship’ – George ticks oﬀ an imaginary list. While his story is particularly hopeful (‘The people I date accept me’), there’s still much ground to be gained so that people like Jess can live without fear of being misunderstood. Campaigners like George and Maria are seeking a second sexual revolution, one that says people should be free to have sex with whomever they want, even if that is ‘no one’. Both are emphatic about the need for acknowledgement of the multifaceted and complex remit of sexuality. As I continue my conversation with Jess, her voice cracks. ‘I’m terriﬁed I’ll be like this forever, and I’m not sure if I’m OK with that,’ she confesses. I tell her about the activists I’ve spoken to and she looks pleased, but exhausted. Unwittingly, we’ve sustained a culture that diminishes alternative ideas of what love might look like. It seems an obvious statement, but to understand the broad spectrum of human desire, we must also begin to accept the absence of it. Q
THE SS17 COLLECTIONS DEFINING LOOKS FROM THE NEW SEASON’S MOST INFLUENTIAL DESIGNERS
PEYTON TAKES HER WILD SIDE TO WONDERLAND, WHERE SHE LETS LOOSE IN CHECKS, SPOTS, STRIPES AND FLUORO FLORALS, LAYERING UP CLASHING PRINTS AND BLINDING COLOURS. HERE, DRESSED IN BOLDLY OFF-KILTER LOOKS, SHE REVELS IN FASHION’S NEW JOIE DE VIVRE.
THE COMPLEXITIES OF LIFE DEMAND SIMPLE, LOOSELY STRUCTURED TAKES ON EVERYDAY DRESSING AND AN ELEVATED VIEW OF MINIMALISM. PEYTON GETS SERIOUS BUT IN MUTED
TONES AND SOFT, UNFINISHED FABRICS, SHE WEARS IT LIGHTLY.
UNCONTRIVED FEMININITY IS SET FREE IN A FLUID NEW MOVEMENT THAT SEES THE DRESS TAKE ITS PLACE AS HERO OF THE SEASON. PEYTON DROPS THE EDGE HERE TO RECONNECT WITH
Photography: Kai Z Feng.
SHEER CHIFFON, LACE AND THE SOFTEST LEATHER.
Kai Z Feng
WOOL-MIX JACKET, £2,340, SILK SHIRT, £725, WOOL-MIX TROUSERS, £1,030, LEATHER SHOES, £795, SILK-MIX HEADSCARF, £560, ACETATE SUNGLASSES, PRICE ON APPLICATION, AND LEATHER BELT, £300, ALL GUCCI. SILVER RING, MODEL’S OWN
GIVENCHY BY RICCARDO TISCI
THIS PAGE CHIFFON DRESS, £2,408, JERSEY-MIX TOP, £680, AND CHIFFON DRESS, (JUST SEEN, WORN UNDERNEATH), £1,200, ALL GIVENCHY BY RICCARDO TISCI OPPOSITE PAGE COTTON-MIX JACKET, JERSEY-MIX T-SHIRT, AND COTTON-MIX SHORTS, ALL PRICE ON APPLICATION, ALL DOLCE & GABBANA. LEATHER BOOTS, £520, MARQUES’ALMEIDA
Kai Z Feng
DOLCE & GABBANA
Kai Z Feng
THIS PAGE COTTON JACKET, £4,170, LACE DRESS, £1,725, CRÊPE BLOUSE (WORN UNDERNEATH), £1,725, COTTON SKIRT, £1,855, AND METAL EARRINGS, £460, ALL CHANEL OPPOSITE PAGE WOOL JACKET, £1,365, JERSEY DRESS, £925, LEATHER SHOES, £395, SPANDEX GLOVES, PRICE ON APPLICATION, AND SPANDEX STOCKINGS, PRICE ON APPLICATION, ALL BALENCIAGA
MICHAEL KORS COLLECTION
THIS PAGE CASHMERE VEST, £610, AND SILK DRESS, £5,250, BOTH MICHAEL KORS COLLECTION. LEATHER BOOTS, £665, McQ OPPOSITE PAGE SATIN COAT, £1,995, AND SATIN-MIX DRESS, £1,145, BOTH CHRISTOPHER KANE. METAL EARRINGS, £285, AND METAL KNUCKLEDUSTER, £410, BOTH GUCCI
Kai Z Feng
THIS PAGE JACQUARD-MIX JUMPER, £765, JERSEY SHIRT, £1,030, WOOL TOP (WORN UNDERNEATH), £465, JACQUARD SHORTS, £475, AND RUBBER SANDALS, £490, ALL PRADA. NYLON SOCKS, £2.99, PAMELA MANN OPPOSITE PAGE NYLON JACKET, £1,880, COTTON SHIRT, £530, COTTON SHORTS (JUST SEEN), £345, LEATHER BELT, PRICE ON APPLICATION, ALL MAISON MARGIELA. LEATHER SHOES, £955, PROENZA SCHOULER. NYLON SOCKS, £2.99, PAMELA MANN
Kai Z Feng
Kai Z Feng
THIS PAGE COTTON-MIX DRESS, £1,427, LEATHER BAG, £1,962, AND BRASSMIX EARRINGS, £428, ALL CÉLINE. LEATHER SHOES, £794, PIERRE HARDY OPPOSITE PAGE COTTON-MIX TOP, £2,150, LOUIS VUITTON. METAL EARRINGS, £250, SARA ROBERTSSON
Kai Z Feng
THIS PAGE LINEN JACKET, £585, COTTON JACKET (WORN UNDERNEATH), £600, AND LINEN SKIRT, £265, ALL MAX MARA. PLASTIC SUNGLASSES, £247, BLACK EYEWEAR. PEYTON’S LEFT EAR: GOLD-PLATED EARRING (WORN AS SINGLE), £355, JESSIE HARRIS. PEYTON’S RIGHT EAR: GOLD-PLATED EARRING (WORN AS SINGLE), £190, JESSIE HARRIS OPPOSITE PAGE COTTON TOP, £555, LEATHER SKIRT, £1,615, LEATHER BELT, £315, AND LEATHER BAG, £2,040, ALL SALVATORE FERRAGAMO. LEATHER SHOES, £705, PIERRE HARDY. METAL EARRINGS, £85, ANNIE COSTELLO BROWN
Kai Z Feng
SAINT LAURENT BY
THIS PAGE COTTON-MIX DRESS, £825, J.W.ANDERSON. LEATHER SHOES, £518, ACNE STUDIOS. PLATINUM-PLATED EARRINGS, £150, LARA BOHINC AT AMAZON FASHION OPPOSITE PAGE LEATHER JACKET, £2,995, AND LEATHER SKIRT, £2,560, BOTH SAINT LAURENT BY ANTHONY VACCARELLO. PLASTIC SUNGLASSES, £220, REJINA PYO X PROJEKT PRODUKT. PLATINUMPLATED EARRINGS, AS BEFORE
Kai Z Feng
THIS PAGE COTTON TOP, £525, AND COTTON SKIRT, £615, BOTH STELLA McCARTNEY. METAL EARRINGS, £205, ANNIE COSTELLO BROWN OPPOSITE PAGE SILK COAT, £1,890, AND SILK SKIRT, £1,430, BOTH BOTTEGA VENETA. LEATHER SHOES, AS BEFORE. METAL EARRINGS, £348, SARA ROBERTSSON X GRETA GRAM. PLASTIC SUNGLASSES, £220, REJINA PYO X PROJEKT PRODUKT
Kai Z Feng
OPPOSITE PAGE LINEN DRESS, PRICE ON APPLICATION, LOEWE. FAUX-LEATHER SHOES, £530, STELLA McCARTNEY. SILVER EARRINGS, £120, CLARICE PRICE THOMAS THIS PAGE COTTON-MIX JACKET, £450, AND COTTON-MIX SHORTS, £350, BOTH EMPORIO ARMANI. LEATHER SHOES, £375, MARTINIANO. METAL EARRINGS, £235, ANNIE COSTELLO BROWN
Kai Z Feng
THIS PAGE SILK DRESS, £4,340, VALENTINO. STRAW HAT, £390, EUGENIA KIM OPPOSITE PAGE SILK DRESS, PRICE ON APPLICATION, FENDI. STRAW HAT, AS BEFORE
THIS PAGE PLASTIC COAT, £2,600, ORGANZA DRESS (WORN UNDERNEATH), £3,900, AND LEATHER BOOTS, £1,300, ALL SIMONE ROCHA OPPOSITE PAGE SATIN TOP, £450, AND SATIN SKIRT, £1,380, BOTH MIU MIU. LEATHER SHOES (JUST SEEN), £400, JACQUEMUS
Kai Z Feng
Kai Z Feng
THIS PAGE COTTON TOP, £594, AND COTTON SKIRT, £670, BOTH CHLOÉ OPPOSITE PAGE COTTON SHIRT, £350, WOOL TROUSERS, £490, AND STRAW HAT, £133, ALL JACQUEMUS
Kai Z Feng
OPPOSITE PAGE COTTON JACKET AND COTTON JUMPER (JUST SEEN), BOTH PRICE ON APPLICATION, WOOLMIX SHORTS, £580, AND TULLE SKIRT, £2,600, ALL DIOR THIS PAGE EMBELLISHED SILK DRESS, PRICE ON APPLICATION, AND SILKMIX SHOES (JUST SEEN), £750, BOTH ERDEM. PHOTOGRAPHY: KAI Z FENG. STYLING: ANNE-MARIE CURTIS. HAIR: LOK LAU AT CLM HAIR AND MAKE-UP USING ORIBE. MAKEUP: NAOKO SCINTU AT THE WALL GROUP USING CHANEL LE ROUGE CRAYON DE COULEUR AND BLUE SERUM. MODEL: PEYTON KNIGHT AT IMG. LOCAL PRODUCTION BY SICILY PRODUCTIONS. THE TEAM STAYED AT ROCCA DELLE TRE CONTRADE AT THE THINKING TRAVELLER (THINKING TRAVELLER.COM)
Ask me anything ‘The best advice I’ve ever been given? Nicole Kidman said, “Find your tribe.” I like that’ – Elle Fanning Interview Lena De Casparis Photography Thomas Whiteside Styling Alison Edmond
her midforties. She’s taken on 55 diﬀerent roles (with a further seven ﬁlms coming) since her ﬁrst acting gig, aged two, in I Am Sam, alongside her older sister, actress Dakota. Of course, in reality, 18-year-old Elle’s long résumé has created a teen with a depth of experience and wisdom. As Harper Lee wrote, ‘You never really understand a person… until you climb into [her] skin and walk around in it.’ And through her work, Elle has done just that. She played a transgender boy in About Ray, a Disney princess in Maleﬁcent, a politically awakened teen in Trumbo, a lonesome 11 year old in Somewhere, a narcissistic supermodel in The Neon Demon, and a young feminist in this month’s 20th Century Women. ‘When you get these parts, the women become a part of you,’ she tells me over breakfast in her home city of Los Angeles. ‘I was acting while growing up myself, so I’d feel older after each character.’ Who better then to solve some of our life dilemmas? We asked readers to submit their questions, and it turns out that Elle was born to be an agony aunt. ‘Friends come to me for advice,’ she says. ‘I say it how it is. They know I’ll be honest with them. There’s none of that post-truth stuﬀ with me.’ Elle is, perhaps, the teenager we all wish we’d been: she’s kind (even to grumpy waiters) and looks entirely together at 8.30am in a black cashmere polo, midi skirt and Dr. Martens. She’s the epitome of cool and has Solange’s number in her mobile to prove it – the pair recently met, by chance, in a cafe in New Orleans, and Knowles insisted they hang. But it’s Elle’s spirit that’s most enviable. She throws herself into everything she does with assurance, drive and unadulterated joy, even when that’s plunging into a pool, mid-winter, for our cover shoot. She’s recently back from six weeks shooting Soﬁa Coppola’s Civil War remake of The Beguiled in New Orleans alongside Nicole Kidman, with some life advice of her own: ‘Nicole told me, “Find your tribe, and they’ll always be behind you.” I like that.’ So lie back on the couch, Dear Reader, and take heed of Elle’s wisdom. › IN IMDB YEARS, ELLE FANNING SHOULD BE APPROACHING
JACQUARD JACKET AND JACQUARD SKIRT, BOTH PRADA. LEATHER SANDALS, MIU MIU
OPPOSITE PAGE GAUZE TOP, FENDI. SILKMIX SKIRT, FENDI. LEATHER SHOES, COACH. COTTON TOP (WORN UNDERNEATH), STYLISTâ€™S OWN THIS PAGE TAFFETA JACKET AND MATCHING SKIRT (JUST SEEN), BOTH GIAMBATTISTA VALLI. WHITE GOLD RINGS, ALL JENNIFER MEYER
OPPOSITE PAGE WOOL JUMPER, TULLE SKIRT AND COTTON BRIEFS (JUST SEEN), ALL DIOR. WHITE GOLD RINGS, JENNIFER MEYER THIS PAGE LACE SHIRT, COACH. LACE BRA (JUST SEEN), TRIUMPH AT JOHN LEWIS. TULLE SKIRT, ROCHAS
I recently bought a cool vintage rock T-shirt, but I haven’t listened to any of the band’s songs. Can I still wear it? Or will people think I’m a loser if they ﬁnd out? JUSTIN BIEBER’S BIGGEST FAN This is a problem I can relate to. When I was younger, I had a Ramones tee, and while I now know who they are, when I bought it I didn’t have a clue. It was just a cute shirt. But here’s what you need to realise: when you wear something, people are going to assume it’s your favourite thing ever. And I remember someone asking, ‘So do you love the Ramones?’ and rather than admit that I didn’t know who they were, I said, ‘Sure.’ But they kept on asking about their songs, and the lyrics, and I got busted. I’d say at least know who they are, and listen to a few songs. But hey, if it’s a cool shirt and you like it, then wear it – but be willing to confess to what you don’t know. I split up with my boyfriend months ago but now I can’t stop looking at his Instagram account. I check it about 20 times a day, it’s like an addiction. I get so jealous but I don’t know how to stop myself. THE INSTA PROWLER I was talking to my mum about exactly this the other day. It’s so hard in this era when an ex is only a text away. Back in the day, they had to work up the courage to call on the phone, talk to your parents, and when you broke up you didn’t see them again. But now, between Snapchat and Instagram, you can see everything – especially them with a new partner. But it’s damaging, so you have to stop. I’d block his Instagram. I have high anxiety and I’m on my phone constantly, so I ﬁnd myself comparing myself to others. Remind yourself that this is a fake world you’re seeing online; you can make any situation look fun with enough takes – so maybe he’s actually not having as good a time as he’s making out. I’m 24 and I’ve started a new job. The oﬃce is ﬁlled with loud, conﬁdent extroverts and I can’t compete. I’ve always been introverted and like to work quietly, but I really want to succeed in my career. What can I do to make sure my boss knows I’m here without yelling? A SHRINKING VIOLET You’re going to stand out more if you’re diﬀerent from everyone in the oﬃce and your boss will pick up on that. I’ve just ﬁnished shooting with Soﬁa Coppola and she’s one of the quietest people ever, but there’s a real power to her silence. When she just stares at you from across a take, you know you need to get the shot.
My sister says putting toothpaste on her spots helps. I’ve heard of so many ridiculous beauty hacks but I’m desperate for one that actually works. Any tips? BUDDING BEAUTY JUNKIE I’ve done the toothpaste thing after desperately googling how to get rid of a spot. I have seriously sensitive skin and, because it’s so white, you see every blemish. Make-up wipes can really irritate it so I use grapeseed oil to cleanse. It works, and it’s super cheap. My grandmother, Mary Jane, who lives with me and my parents, is who I go to for beauty advice. She doesn’t even put the bins out without her full makeup on, and still covers her body in talcum powder every single night. I think it’s also good to spend a week without any make-up; it’s easier said than done, but Alicia Keys is doing it. I came out as gay when I was 15. I’m from an open-minded family and at school I met a gang of queer kids who have become my best friends. Now I’m in my ﬁnal year of university and I’m very involved in the LGBT society and my social life centres around the gay scene. But recently I’ve realised I’m straight. How do I tell all my queer friends I may not be one of them after all? THE ONLY STRAIGHT IN THE VILLAGE Your sexual orientation shouldn’t matter to your friends. Plus, it doesn’t mean you can’t be involved in the campaigning element of the LGBT movement. While I was preparing for my role in About Ray, I spoke to a lot of young trans boys, who were some of the bravest people I’ve ever met. I also learned it’s an incredibly accepting community. My friends are obsessed with eating ‘clean’ and exercising every day. I eat ﬁne, and do a bit of yoga, but I assume they are judging me. When I’m with them I feel gross and lazy, and it’s getting me down. I could start being more like them but the truth is their lifestyle just bores me! What should I do? THE GIRL WHO ALWAYS ORDERS THE FRIES My mum always says if you exercise, you can eat what you want. I’ll go through spurts where I try to eat well but I was just in New Orleans – as if you’re going to be there and not eat the beignets [doughnuts]! It’s about ﬁnding an exercise you enjoy. Some pilates classes bore me, but I love ballet and recently got into kickboxing with music. Find what exercise works for you, and then eat everything in moderation. I’m 30 and I’ve been with my boyfriend for four years. He keeps dropping hints about rings. I love him but I can’t see why people still get married in 2017. We’ve spent the past three summers going to weddings and while they were fun, it feels like a waste of time and money. Do I just accept the proposal? AN UNWILLING BRIDE Tell him! He might be thinking that’s what he should do because it’s what he sees happening around him. You don’t have to be married – look at Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn, they’re amazing. The main thing is that you love him, so I think you’ll both be happy, ring or no ring. My friends are on every social media platform, sharing their whole lives from what they eat for breakfast to late-night selﬁes with pets. I feel uncomfortable sharing so much but I feel left out. Should I just join them? THE RELUCTANT OVER-SHARER
I recently turned my Instagram public on my 18th birthday, but I still don’t post everything I do, and I’m not on Twitter or Facebook. ›
COTTON-MIX JACKET AND COTTON JEANS, BOTH DSQUARED2. COTTON TOP, AMERICAN APPAREL
You have to leave a little mystery. With old movie stars, all you saw were rare interviews where they only shared what they wanted to – that’s what made them so interesting. You could separate the characters from the women, so if you watch them on screen you’re not thinking about what they had for breakfast. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing, then deﬁnitely don’t do it. I have a friend who seems to copy my entire style. Anything I buy, she buys exactly the same thing a week later. I know they say imitation is the biggest form of ﬂattery but I’m ﬁnding it really annoying. FRUSTRATED MUSE
Rather than you both spending the money on the same items, why don’t you oﬀer to lend her a few pieces and borrow some of hers. Me and my friends share a lot of each other’s clothes. Growing up with an older sister, I would sneak in and borrow all of her clothes. Once she was in another country shooting a ﬁlm so I thought I was safe and then paparazzi busted me, and the pictures ran online. I was in, like, a head-to-toe look of her stuﬀ and she texted me being so mad. Why are there a whole bunch of girls out there (including myself), who are consistently attracted to diﬃcult types, while all the nice people in my life get a one-way ticket to the friend zone? Am I doomed? LOST IN LOVE In a movie I’ve just ﬁnished ﬁlming, 20th Century Women, my character has a male best friend who loves her but she just doesn’t feel the same way. We’re drawn to the complicated ones that we think we can ﬁx. But I’m a big romantic so I think when the right person comes along, you will know. And maybe you have to go through the bad-guys stage in order to ﬁnd ‘the one’.
moved away – and then come back and you’ll appreciate where you live again. I’m 25 and I’m miserable at work. It doesn’t stimulate me, and I spend all day fantasising about quitting but I don’t have another job lined up. Should I wait to quit until I do? A WANNABE QUITTER You have to leave! I don’t think you need to know what’s next, but try to ﬁgure out something you aspire to do. And dream massive. We can make anything possible by working hard. My best friends have a hyper-feminine dress sense but I don’t feel comfortable in dresses. I love fashion, and I spend hours looking at magazines and blogs, but I always end up coveting clothes worn by men. I long to wear an amazing suit but I worry I’ll look out of place. SARTORIALLY SINGLE
I completely understand. Growing up, I had a diﬀerent style to my friends. I never wore skinny jeans, and I still don’t. In junior high school I wore bell bottoms, with a pink Opening Ceremony shirt covered in big birds, and platform sandals. I really stood out and got weird looks. It sounds like you have a great sense of style, so keep your unique self, and don’t change it. All your friends will secretly love your conﬁdence. And you’ll probably end up with a job in fashion. My mum has had an aﬀair and my dad is heartbroken. I don’t have the time to spend hours on the phone counselling him or going to see him every weekend. I’m too angry to speak to my mum, who claims she’s in love with this man who is 20 years younger than her. How do I sort out this mess for my parents and not let it consume my own life? THE PARENT TRAP
For ages, you think your parents can solve the world’s problems. But they’re humans going through things, too. There is a realisation as you become an adult that you have to take care of your parents, but you can’t let it consume you; they are your family, and you should always be there for them, but explain that you need your own space. All through university, I had a lot of friends, so I never had to deal with that Facebook FOMO. But I recently started a new job and I’m noticing people have ‘friend squads’ and it makes me feel even lonelier while I stay home alone watching Netﬂix. How can I make new pals?
I still live in the town where I was born. I have always dreamed big, but was reluctant to make changes. Over the years, all my friends moved away, but I stayed. I have a well-paid job and ﬁnancial security, which seem hard to give up for something new. What should I do? BIG DREAMER,
IN NEED OF SOMEONE TO HANG WITH
I want to tell my girlfriend I love her but I don’t know when’s the right time to do it? It’s something I desperately want to say but I’m worried it’s not going to get the response I want. EAGER TO BE LOVED I say I love you to absolutely everyone! I yell it all the time. So don’t wait on them, no way. If you feel it, and it’s a genuine authentic feeling, then just do it and it’ll be everything you want it to be. Q
I get wanting to have stability and staying put. I love living in Los Angeles and I always say, ‘I’m going to stay here for the rest of my life.’ But I was born in a small town called Conyers [Georgia] so I understand your need for a change of scenery. It seems like you have a nice life though, so maybe take a little break – visit those friends that have
I’m not someone that has a lot of friends. I see people who have so many friends and get really jealous. I have a good core of three or four who are close to me. But maybe call up a friend you do have and then go meet their friends. You have to take the risk to put yourself out there.
Elle Fanning’s ﬁlm, 20th Century Women, is out on 10 February
SILK DRESS, SACAI. WHITE GOLD AND DIAMOND RING, CARTIER. HAIR: MARA ROSZAK AT STARWORKS ARTISTS. MAKE-UP: PATI DUBROFF AT FORWARD ARTISTS. NAILS: TRACY CLEMENS AT OPUS BEAUTY. LOCAL PRODUCTION BY GLAMPR (GLAMPR.COM)
GOLD-PLATED EARRINGS (EACH SOLD SEPARATELY), BOTH JESSIE HARRIS
(it’s honestly a thing) The most useful horoscope yet: your year in skin, based on your star sign. With astrologers The Saturn Sisters, we’ve deciphered the zodiac to improve your regime, break bad habits and calm nerves. Pisces, you’re going to need a new moisturiser Photography Kai Z Feng Styling Anne-Marie Curtis Words Sophie Beresiner
You have a competitive edge, which means you’re driven to win at all costs, with a tendency to be hard on yourself. Ergo, you’re thorough in your approach and you never skip a proper cleanse. You love luxury and you need to work some of it into your weekly regime to feel good. YOUR YEAR AHEAD
Be kind to yourself, Capricorn. And if kindness comes in expensive, beautiful packages, so be it. Invest in something you’ve had your eye on for ages, like that La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Sleep Mask, £200, or Chanel Le Lift Crème-Huile Réparatrice, £91. There’s a reason they’re so luxurious, and the reparative beneﬁts will warrant the spend.
You’re the ‘Einstein of the zodiac’, which means you can sometimes get stuck in your own head. Don’t let your skincare become a laborious chore, or something to worry about for a second. Indulge in sensual routines that allow you to get back into your body, like calming rituals, regular massages and spa visits. YOUR YEAR AHEAD
Sunday is Mask Day. Schedule time for pampering, then apply Roger & Gallet Aura Mirabilis Extra Fine Cleansing Mask, £15, while lazing in a bath with Aromatherapy Associates Relax Bath and Shower Oil, £45. And when you get out, use Vichy Ideal Body Balm, £18. Your skin will have never felt softer and your mind will be more calm for it.
A Pisces without regular hydration is like, well, a ﬁsh out of water. This water sign requires equal amounts of nourishment and glamour, and a shimmery, ethereal make-up palette is ideal. Until bedtime, that is, when you need to take it all oﬀ and slather on a serum before your night cream. YOUR YEAR AHEAD
You’re already moisturising (well done, Pisces), but you need to up your game over the winter. Use Shiseido
First, you’re a ﬁre sign so if we’re talking literally, you’re prone to stress rashes. You are ﬁckle and you don’t tend to stick with something for long enough to see if it works, which frankly is a disaster for your skincare. YOUR YEAR AHEAD
You’ve got to give a new regime at least 12 weeks to have an eﬀect, and it might get worse before it gets better, so start from scratch with a sensitive skincare routine and stick to it. Your skin will calm down, it will be more predictable and you’ll see the beneﬁt of commitment. Use Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, £8.99, twice a day. Skip everyday exfoliation and instead use something comforting like a muslin cloth. Then ﬁnish with Kiehl’s Pure Vitality Skin Renewing Cream, £49.
Taureans, you have a tendency to get stuck in a rut. You’re the sign that hates change, but loves natural beauty. You have most likely used the same face wash for 10 years – that’s OK, but times have changed and there’s something better waiting for you. YOUR YEAR AHEAD
Take advantage of all the innovation that has happened over the past year. The key ingredient for your skin is algae. You can beneﬁt from the detoxifying eﬀects in the Origins Drink Up Mask, £24. The good news is that you can stick to it until July, when your skin will have summer needs (and will want a lighter cream). You can manage a preplanned change twice a year, right?
It’s not surprising that, being a Gemini, you’re quite indecisive. Trying too many things at once
means you can’t make up your mind, which is possibly the worst skincare recipe there is. Trial and error is good, although it might take you longer to decide what works. YOUR YEAR AHEAD
Only experiment with cleanser – it’s the thing that will make the biggest diﬀerence to your skin. Try a cream version, such as Aerin Rose Gentle Cleanser, £36, for three weeks, then a foaming one, then an oil. Once you’ve got that right, your skin will cope with more experimenting with products. And don’t overwhelm a spot. One product at a time will be eﬀective, seven will not.
Your super-sensitive side stretches further than your emotions. It means your skin can react to chemicals or abrasive ingredients. Cancer signs are ruled by the stomach, so good skin starts from the inside. Luckily for you, there is a probiotic skincare trend on the horizon. YOUR YEAR AHEAD
We hate to say it, but you may beneﬁt from cutting down on dairy. It’s inﬂammatory and can aggravate skin conditions. First, buy some gluten-free oat milk (oats are packed with vitamin E, which is thought to be great for the skin), then try Aurelia Probiotic Cell Revitalise Day Moisturiser, £52. Calm down your routine and your unpredictable skin days should peter out by summer.
You love bold colours, and might be so into dramatic looks that taking a make-up break to reset your skin could be a good idea. You tend to pursue an experimental approach to your skincare, based on whatever takes your fancy next. YOUR YEAR AHEAD
Stop leaving mascara traces below your lashes, Leo. Soak a baby wipe in make-up remover, then gently drag it along your lower lash line with your nail. A really good cleanser is going to be your saviour; try Darphin Aromatic Cleansing Balm With Rosewood, £33. And invest in a cleansing water, like Bioderma
Photography: Kai Z Feng. Styling: Anne-Marie Curtis. Hair: Lok Lau at CLM Hair and Make-Up using Oribe. Make-up: Naoko Scintu at The Wall Group using Suqqu. Model: Peyton Knight at IMG. Metal earrings, Annie Costello Brown. Local production by Sicily Productions. The team stayed at Rocca Delle Tre Contrade via The Thinking Traveller (thinkingtraveller.com).
Bio-Performance LiftDynamic Serum, £82, to get into the deeper layers of your skin, then use a comforting day cream with a richer night version in the evenings, such as Estée Lauder DayWear, £42, and NightWear Plus, £46. You’ll be amazed by how much fresher you look when you wake up. It’ll make you want to wear less make-up, too, which you won’t need anyway as your skin will be glowing.
You love balance so you’ve got a healthy mix of high-end and high-street products, both scientiﬁc and natural. You’re a sign that takes pleasure in prettifying; Libras can beneﬁt from trying out totally bold and wild make-up techniques that attract attention once in a while. YOUR YEAR AHEAD
You’re pretty well-behaved, so you probably have a healthy skincare routine. Break out of your comfort zone, but balance it out with a perfect base (you should invest in an amazing primer), and take it oﬀ religiously or your skin will suﬀer. Always keep Clinique Take The Day Oﬀ Eye Makeup Remover Stick, £16, to hand.
You’re the ‘femme fatale of the zodiac’ and get bored fairly easily. You require regular wholesale transformation. This is the sign of proverbial ‘shedding of skin’. Taken literally, regular exfoliation is your friend. YOUR YEAR AHEAD
Double cleanse for a start (don’t be impatient, Scorpio), using a damp muslin cloth to take oﬀ the ﬁrst layer of cleanser (it’s the most eﬀective gentle exfoliant), then re-lather and rinse. It’s great you ﬁnd change so exhilarating, just don’t deviate from the eye cream; you’re expressive, you’re prone to a hasty make-up remover wipe and your eyes will show it before the end of the year. Make Clarins Multi-Active Instant Eye Reviver, £35, your go-to.
Micellar Water, £10.50, to remove make-up at night.
You’re a very sensitive sign and are addicted to routine – so much so, you can be obsessive about it. Routine is a great thing when it comes to your skincare: you see things through, but sometimes you need to break old habits to make better new ones.
YOUR YEAR AHEAD
Your skin has diﬀerent needs depending on the weather, your hormones or your sleep pattern. Add some variation into your
regimen to cover all bases. A hydrating serum cannot fail you when your skin gets stressed or winter-dry, so try Bakel Jaluronic Deep Hydration Serum, £100. Go for an oil-free creamy cleanser, such as La Roche-Posay Eﬀaclar H Hydrating Cleansing Cream, £9.50, when it’s warmer or your hormones are raging.
You’re a stubborn ﬁre sign who doesn’t know when to stop, so too much is never enough. The Korean Beauty 10-step routine appeals to you, admit it. More excuses to shop for beauty bits, however you don’t need so much stuﬀ. With this in mind, you could beneﬁt from simplifying your skincare. YOUR YEAR AHEAD
Your skin is overwhelmed, too much is deﬁnitely too much – tone it down, take out some steps and your skin will thank you. The important steps for you are cleanser, serum, moisturiser and a mask, because you love the indulgence. Use Peter Thomas Roth Blue Marine Algae Intense Hydrating Mask, £33.50, twice a week max. You’ll feel like a new person afterwards! Q
It’s a whack, but you’re getting a seriously indulgent multitasker, so we’re telling you, it’s worth it. Warm a few drops in your hand for soft skin, shiny hair and bettersmelling everything.
This was the ﬁrst product created by Bioderma, but it hasn’t been available in the UK until now. Shampoo that’s like sensitive skincare, but for your hair. Bioderma Nodé Non Detergent Fluid Shampoo, £8.50 (left)
Frederic Malle Portrait Of A Lady Body And Hair Oil, £130 (left)
Hold. The. Phone. The foremost authority in dry shampoo, is on a hydration trip? Super lightweight, great for ﬁne hair, shine-boosting and smoothing. And it actually hydrates, too.
A backstage favourite, this is what the professionals use to create the season’s looks. You want those, right? A memory hair gel that ‘remembers’ the style shape for up to two days.
Batiste Hydrate Me Oil Mist, £4.49 (right)
Wella EIMI Shape Me 48h, £9.90 (right)
The nighttime counterpart to Lumière Dorée, this is an androgynous perfume that’s like a worn-in leather jacket: great on everyone. Miller Harris Étui Noir, £65 for 100ml (below)
HAIR / FRAGRANCE Backstage favourites and future cult classics
Tom Daxon consistently breaks the fragrance rules by making unexpected, unfussy, ridiculously beautiful candles. This is wintry but light at the same time – a bit like cashmere. Tom Daxon White Narcissus Candle, £55 (below)
A scent inspired by a journey to India is pretty much perfect for winter. Why? It’s warm, velvety, spicy and soft. In other words, comforting and interesting to the max. Rituals Voyage en Inde, £39 for 50ml (left)
‘IIT’S AN ANDROGYNOUS ERFUME THAT’S LIKE A RN-IN LEATHER JACKET: GREAT ON EVERYONE’ G
This perfume is like the sheer version of your favourite bold lipstick. It’s still there, it’s still prettifying, but it lets your skin show through. So fresh, so clean. Shiseido Ever Bloom, £50 for 50ml (above)
Beauty Directory Regardless of whether you’re a supermodel or facialist, the New Year is rarely kind to skin. But this calming mask, which uses arnica to soothe skin in just 10 minutes, most deﬁnitely is. Ren Evercalm Ultra Comforting Rescue Mask, £28 (left)
Neglect your skin from the neck down and you’ll regret it come spring (trust us, we’ve been there). Instead, use this body oil post-shower and be smug about how soft your skin feels. & Other Stories Paris Atelier Caliper Body Oil, £29 (right)
The blend of cell-stimulating ingredients works some sort of declogging wizardry overnight, and gives genuinely glowy results as gawpworthy as the price tag by morning.
SKIN / MAKE-UP
Words: Sophie Beresiner, Joely Walker. Photography: Jason Lloyd-Evans, Neil Watson.
SMOOTH, RICHLY PIGMENTED HI H-STREET CONCEALER THAT S ON TO SKIN LIKE A DREAM. TORY DANCE OPTIONAL’
Illamasqua Antimatter Lipsticks in Atomic and Flare, £19.50 each
Estée Lauder Day Wear Matte, £42 (above)
Sisley Botanical D-Tox Detoxifying Night Treatment, £138 (right)
Hybrid glow givers and winter-skin revivers
Yes, you do need another lipstick; speciﬁcally one of these intensely pigmented and incredibly creamy creations, which sit between matte and satin on the texture spectrum.
Skin too shiny for your liking? There’s now a mattifying cream version of the cult classic DayWear for such scenarios, and it’s an oil-controlling godsend.
Found: a high-street, buttery smooth, richly pigmented concealer that slips on to skin like a dream and doesn’t dry out by the end of the day. Victory dance optional. Bourjois Blur the Lines Concealer in Golden Beige, £7.99 (right)
It’s not often we’re lost for words, but this wet-look hybrid highlighter really is that good. Well done, Givenchy, you’ve set the bar high. Givenchy Blush Mémoire De Forme, £26.50 (above)
Haven’t tried Kat Von D’s products yet? For the future happiness of your face, rectify that now. We’d start with this tapered, dualended sculpting and highlighting brush. Kat Von D Shade + Light Contour Brush, £30 (above)
THE SURPRISING TRUTH about glitter
Photography: Sebastian Engelmann, Jason Lloyd-Evans. *On orders over £75, sephora.com.
lips hit me when I went to a Pat McGrath party in Paris. True story. It’s a perk of the job: I was there for Fashion Week, she was there for Fashion Week, celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin was also there, so they organised a joint beauty brunch and invited a lucky few to their place. He gasped and reversed, saying, ‘Huh! La bouche!’
You’ve seen glitter lips, right? They’ve been around for a little while, but then Pat McGrath Labs brought out a much-coveted Lust 004 Lipstick Kit (matte lipsticks, corresponding glitters and a gloss) and suddenly a true trend was born. Reason being, Pat designs make-up for a lot of the shows, so she gets to set the trends, and her glitter-lip product is seriously superior. Why? I was about to ﬁnd out. ‘Boo boo,’ – she says things like this; it’s part of why she’s so endearing as a person, as well as a make-up artist – ‘you came! Let me put something on your face, OK?’ ‘OK.’ (I’m not enough of an idiot to miss a Pat McGrath make-up moment.) There followed a full hour of make-up application, overseen by ‘Mother’, as the team call Pat, and when I was done she looked at me in the light. ‘Not major enough. Needs more glitter. Take oﬀ the gloss – that works as a “wow” ﬁnish for a photoshoot, but I want her to have these lips for 12 hours.’ When I looked in the mirror, I wanted these lips for 12 years. I left with a head full of compliments from the pros – ‘Oh my God, baby, you look major. Major!’ – and a face full of the most diamond-like, expensive-looking red lips imaginable. Here is what I found afterwards: they make men fancy you. The ﬁrst one passed me in the street; I was frowning at my Google Maps.
Sophie Beresiner ELLE Beauty Director @ElleSophie
(‘The mouth!’ I’m in Paris, remember.) I thought this look would be man-repellent, but I thought wrong. Male shop assistants fell over themselves to help me: ‘Your lips are so sparkly.’ Waiters were super nice to me. Men (often with women) gave me secret smiles. Glitter lips are a powerful tool, ladies. It transcends language barriers. I felt a tap on the shoulder: an out-of-breath woman had chased me down the street with her daughter. She gestured at my mouth, did a thumbs up, and her ‘GLITTER LIPS daughter gave me her phone (to type in the stockist details, I assumed). ‘Sephora ARE A POWERFUL TOOL, LADIES. THEY in the US,’ I wrote. I didn’t know enough MAKE MEN FANCY French to add, ‘Good luck with that.’ ME AND WOMEN It lasts forever. God knows how: there CHASE ME DOWN is no adhesive element, just a soft, matte THE STREET’ base and the super-ﬁne glitter patted over the top. It feels very comfortable, and by some sorcery it doesn’t move. Not for seven or so hours, with some snacking and a full-on French meal with red wine. It’s like glitter nail polish: sturdy. It doesn’t have to be by Pat McGrath. If you can’t get your hands on her line (try eBay, or sign up for her website updates; there is something secret coming soon and Sephora delivers to the UK for £6*), try Glitter Lips, Ciaté or Accessorize. The products look outstanding and have huge colour choices, but they don’t quite feel as comfortable.
TRY IT OUT NOW TANGLE TEEZER THE ULTIMATE FINISHING HAIRBRUSH,
£15, SELLS ITSELF WITH ITS
NAME ALONE. MY FAVOURITE MAC LIPSTICK IS NOW A FRAGRANCE. MAC SHADESCENTS RUBY WOO, £35. SISLEY BOTANICAL D-TOX DETOXIFYING NIGHT TREATMENT, £138, IS SAVING MY SKIN FROM THE WINTER WEATHER.
If I wasn’t a make-up artist, I’d be a nutritional chef. I look and feel my best when I’m mindful about how I’m treating myself.
BOBBI BROWN What goes into creating a world-renowned beauty brand? We asked Bobbi Brown because, over the past 25 years, she’s done exactly that. From launching her ﬁrst 10 lipsticks in 1991 to being the ultimate make-up mogul, she reveals her secrets PROFESSION AS ON PASSPORT Founder and Chief Creative Oﬃcer of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics.
Compiled by: Joely Walker. Photography: BobbiBrownCosmetics/Instagram, Graham Walser at Hearst Studios. *everythingbobbi.com
Waiting tables while working as a freelance make-up artist in New York City.
My ﬁrst magazine cover shoot with Naomi Campbell, shot by photographer Patrick Demarchelier. I was so excited to get that job but I was nervous, too, as I was doing make-up on Naomi that was out of her comfort zone. I could never have predicted at that time that I’d eventually have my own beauty brand. I was just living in the moment.
In my role as Chief Creative Oﬃcer, I continue to be involved with all aspects of the Bobbi Brown brand, including new product development, seasonal campaign shoots, education, PR, visual merchandising, store design, packaging, social media and everything else in between*.
Every woman is beautiful and the key to bringing out that beauty is conﬁdence, which I believe makeup can help achieve. Since the beginning, my goal has been to simply enhance facial features using ﬂattering, natural-looking products and shades for all skin tones. To this day, my philosophy hasn’t changed but it, and our products, have evolved to cater to modern-day women globally.
Below: A Bobbi Brown kokeshi doll in Red Square, Moscow
The proudest moment of my career was launching my ﬁrst 10 natural lipsticks at Bergdorf Goodman in 1991 with my family by my side. I thought we’d sell 100 in the ﬁrst month, but we sold 100 on the ﬁrst day. I guess you can say the rest is history.
One of my biggest mentors and inspirations is Mickey Drexler, CEO of J.Crew Group. I admire his brilliance and honesty, and how he is incredibly accomplished, yet so humble. He has a 360˚ view of the world, which he applies to business and his personal life. His advice is invaluable.
HOBBIES AND INTERESTS
On my days oﬀ, I like to spend time with my family and friends. On the rare occasions when there’s no one else at home, I get in bed with a stack of magazines and the television remote. I also love to cook for my husband and my three sons – it helps me relax – and I always feel better when I exercise regularly, whether it’s biking, yoga or just a quick walk in the middle of a busy day.
BOBBI’S KIT ESSENTIALS 1. ‘BOBBI BROWN EXTRA REPAIR MOISTURIZING BALM, £65, MAKES ME LOOK FRESH WITHOUT A STITCH OF MAKE-UP.’ 2. ‘BUMBLE AND BUMBLE CRÈME DE COCO CONDITIONER, £21, LEAVES MY HAIR FEELING WELL NOURISHED.’ 3. ‘THERE IS NOTHING LIKE A BLACKEST BLACK MASCARA. TWO TO THREE COATS OF BOBBI BROWN SMOKEY EYE MASCARA, £23, ALWAYS DO THE TRICK.’ 4. ‘AESOP PRODUCTS SMELL AMAZING [ELLE LOVES RESURRECTION AROMATIQUE HAND BALM, £19].’ 5. ‘I COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT BOBBI BROWN CREAMY CONCEALER, £19.50.’ 6. ‘I LOVE DR BRONNER’S MAGIC PURE-CASTILE LIQUID SOAP IN PEPPERMINT, £5.99.’
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Photography: Bella Howard, Viet Tran.
AT THE END of last year, my dog, Stringer
Photography: Georgia Devey Smith, Getty.
Bell (that adorable little guy in my picture), passed away. He’d been diagnosed with lymphoma and was given two months to live, but even if they’d given him 10 years, I wouldn’t have been ready to lose him.
can’t control any of the other crap life sometimes The day I said goodbye to him, I walked back to my throws up. But while working out, you choose how ﬂat and felt numb. I was supposed to teach a spin far you want to run or how fast you want to spin and class that day. I just wanted to curl up in the foetal for that workout, you own it. A friend, who lost her position and cry, so that’s what I did. But tomorrow was going to arrive and I couldn’t avoid that bike (or brother, said walking was one of the few ways she people, or life) forever. The more messages I got from could soothe herself at the time: ‘Getting breathless on a steep hill hurt and helped in equal measure.’ friends, the more the same theme came up: let’s do something, get up, go outside, work out. In times of 3. It’s purely physical. A workout gives you a place heartbreak, as much as it goes against everything you to channel your emotions. You don’t have to feel as feel, exercising is probably the best thing you can do. though grief has you in a chokehold; you can physically There was this puppy-shaped sinkhole in my life release it. Your sun salutations may be rage-ﬁlled and I could literally feel my heart aching. Grief and you may batter that treadmill while crying hot, angry tears. It’s primal – just let it out. is not tidy, nor convenient. But when 4. Science backs it up. As well your universe has ground to a halt, the ‘GRIEF IS NOT TIDY, as world itself does indeed keep turning increasing oxygen to the brain NOR CONVENIENT. and you have to get back out there. BUT YOU HAVE TO GET and your blood ﬂow, exercise ‘Exercise increases oxygen to the brain triggers neurotransmitters, such BACK OUT THERE and your blood ﬂow, which will make you AND EXERCISE WILL as endorphins, serotonin, dopamine feel better,’ says sports psychologist and glutamate – big players in mood GIVE YOU FOCUS’ control. A sweaty workout will help to Melinda Nicci. ‘The rhythmic breathing in exercise creates calm, too. You’re also doing reduce anxiety and relieve symptoms of depression. something for yourself, boosting your self-esteem.’ Teaching spin classes brought me comfort after Stringer’s passing. I also found myself doing HIIT Here are some of the top reasons to exercise sessions, like hill sprints, to leave me breathless and through grief (not least of which is that sweat allow me to just focus on the sheer physicality of it. mingles with tears and no one can tell you’re crying). I mixed this up with pilates; slow, controlled moves 1. It gives you purpose. Even just getting out require intense concentration on form and breath. and walking for 30 minutes is something. Exercise breaks up your day, gives you something to look There’s no right or wrong way to deal with grief and a forward to and adds a bit of structure to your life. workout won’t magically mend heartache, but slowly 2. You get a sense of control. I couldn’t control the sadness will dissipate, leaving you physically and my pup getting cancer and passing away, just as you emotionally stronger on the other side.
3 THINGS THAT HAVE INSPIRED ME
1. STAY WARM AND STYLISH WITH A NIKE TECH FLEECE
CAPE, £95. 2. FEEL EMPOWERED WHILE YOU SWEAT 3. RELIEVE BACK PAIN WITH A SPOONK ORGANIC
Bangs AKA Muireann Carey-Campbell ELLE’s Fitness Columnist is a spinning instructor and ﬁtness blogger. Read more of her motivational writing at elleuk.com
WITH THE MAKING OPRAH NPR PODCAST. W HEMP ACUPRESSURE MAT (LEFT), £39.39
WHEN FACED WITH CROSSROADS IN LIFE, ELLE’S NATASHA BIRD HAS ALWAYS OPTED FOR THE PATH LESS TRAVELLED. HER IMPULSIVE ADVENTURES MAY BE ILL-CONCEIVED, BUT THEY’RE A POSITIVE REMINDER THAT SHE ALONE IS IN CHARGE OF HER DESTINY. NOW DANGEROUSLY CLOSE TO CONTENTED STABILITY, SHE’S SIZING UP HER BIGGEST LEAP OF FAITH YET
f all of your friends stayed on the bridge, would you jump oﬀ? That’s not how the saying goes, is it? And yet somehow, at the age of 23 – when almost everyone else I knew was embarking on a post-graduate degree or settling into their ﬁrst secure job after university – I found myself sitting alone, in the dark, on the edge of a bed in a Best Western hotel in Bahrain, facing the breathtaking consequences of the latest in a series of mad, oﬀ-the-bridge leaps that had punctuated my life. In this instance, it was the overnight ditching of my comfortable life in London for a stint running a women’s magazine, dabbling in foreign correspondence and facing near-deportation, in a troubled corner of the Middle East. But the back catalogue of my nutty impulses also includes running away to France, aged 18, to live a solitary – at times, seriously lonely – existence in a weird attic conversion above a deaf elderly couple. Then this escape to the Middle East aged 23, and, three years later at 26, abandoning my charming (and understandably quite startled) American ﬁancé in Tennessee along with the future that we’d begun to plan in detail, to start my adult life again from scratch in London, roughly 4,000 miles away from him. In the moment, I didn’t think much of these things. I don’t regret
any of them, but I’m occasionally caught out much later by a sudden ‘penny drop’ recognition of who I might have hurt or what I’ve left behind. Pressure from our peers is usually supposed to pull us into recognisable patterns of decision making. From teenage rites of passage, such as taking a ﬁrst toke on a spliﬀ, to settling on a career path and choosing the right job later in life, most of our big choices are inﬂuenced by whether or not our friends, family, peers or people we admire have done something similar. I can see that this is mostly true of my day-to-day life. I really sweat the small stuﬀ, as I like to feel that everything is in order, and that I have purpose and direction in relation to what other people are doing around me. I work overtime because my parents taught me to value A*s over adventure. I get teased about my history of ‘take home to your mum’ cookie-cutter boyfriends because I care too much about ticking the right boxes for my future. I read the books that everyone is talking about and go to the shows in ELLE’s Collective in a concerted attempt to always be tapped into the zeitgeist. And I drink matcha tea and queue up daily for the squat rack, because my pals at Women’s Health have told me that these things will contribute
Photography: Lukasz Wierzbowski.
INNER YOU these giant disruptions, it refreshes the sense that I, alone, am in control of my future. Nothing is predetermined, there is no fate and no destiny. I act autonomously. Every choice is mine to make, so heck, I’m going to make some really big ones and see what to my long-term wellbeing. But then, every few years, I succumb happens next. I may have left a few casualties in my wake, but to a sudden urge to make a change that seems as left ﬁeld, I approach all of these moments with the optimism that, once ill-thought-through and blindly ridiculous as it is irreversibly life I’ve made that screeching handbrake turn, it will all work out. It altering. I’ve reached a point where I need to ask myself why. may even open a doorway into something exciting and fulﬁlling. And mostly they have. France was a strange excursion; I spent I spoke to a psychiatrist about it, a friend of my father’s. First my time as an attic-dweller, feeling glum and scrawling letters oﬀ, he laughed at me for trying to get to the bottom of my own home to my long-suﬀering sister. But it saved me from a year psyche. Apparently that’s not something you can just do, even if of full-moon parties with the other gap-year pirates. The Middle you need to for an article. It’s why psychiatrists have to have their East, where I threw myself into ﬁghting the patriarchy, the status own shrinks. But he went on to give his two cents on the matter, quo and, quite regularly, my bemused male bosses, became two saying, ‘You know, you and your dad are the only two people of the most deﬁning, scary, wonderful years so far. As for leaving who’ve ever told me they regularly struggle with how to feel alive.’ This struck a sour note somewhere in my chest, for my dad my ﬁancé, I’m still regularly plagued by that one in my lonelier is a melancholy sort of man, prone to periods of real sadness and moments, but I wouldn’t have my job at ELLE if I hadn’t done it. While my approach might be a touch extreme – goodness disaﬀection, who seems often in futile pursuit of extra meaning. knows you don’t have to ﬂee to politically unstable countries My moments of wild abandon might indeed make sense in this to remind yourself of your choices – I expect it’s something that context. I certainly have tussled with that sticky, dark pull that a few women may relate to. Culturally, life has opened up a bit for both roots you to the spot and tugs at your sense of order us. In theory, religion doesn’t have to govern our morals any more, when your brain isn’t quite coping. ‘There is a strong relationship men and Mother Nature don’t have such dominion over our bodies between depression and high-risk behaviours,’ says Pamela and, thanks to feminism, we can now be anything we bloody well Cantor, a psychologist and lecturer at Harvard Medical School. want to be. More and more, we’re able to feel like we don’t have ‘People who suﬀer deep lows often seek highs. The dopamine to answer to anyone but ourselves. Unfortunately, though, this rush of a bungee jump, the excitement and release of a risky sexual liaison.’ Thus, the adrenaline provides a momentary, heaps on a colossal pressure to take advantage of our options, thrilling break from an otherwise unsatisfying reality. to do something special. As Barry Schwartz says in The Paradox While I might have inherited a little of my dad’s Of Choice, ‘The fact that some choice is good doesn’t necessarily sadness, I don’t think it’s at the crux of what’s going on. mean that more choice is better. There is a cost to having an I’m not looking for a near-death experience to remind myself overload of choice.’ And the cost is that it can be a bit paralysing. And this is where I presently ﬁnd myself: a bit paralysed. that I want to be alive. In many ways, the plunges I take go My latest stab at rebellion has gone hilariously wrong – the beyond the momentary adrenaline ﬁx. Unlike bungee bad biker boy (AKA non-cookie-cutter jumping, where you dip brieﬂy into the boyfriend) I’ve picked up has turned abyss only to hurtle back out again ‘PEOPLE WHO SUFFER 10 seconds later, most of my jumps have DEEP LOWS OFTEN SEEK out to be a nice bloke after a serious relationship. I’ve been in the same house left me facing a much more lingering HIGHS. THE DOPAMINE with the same three delightful friends and scary unknown. RUSH OF A BUNGEE JUMP, for a year, longer than I’ve ever lived Throwing everything up in the air isn’t THE EXCITEMENT OF A about wanting to live so much as wanting anywhere, and I’m happily settled into to be actively engaged in the proceedings a job I truly love. I’m dangerously close RISKY SEXUAL LIAISON’ of my life – to remind myself that I have to the path well trodden and thus overdue some meaningful shift. And yet, somehow, this time enormous agency over my own existence, thatIdon’thave to sleepwalk down a road that others, like zombies, have it feels like I might have a lot more to lose. It was put to me that perhaps the biggest leap that someone unthinkingly trampled before me. like me could take right now would be to make the choice to hold There are, of course, sad consequences of my behaviour. fast. To ﬁnd a way to use my frequently wielded agency in order For every one of these drastic whims, there’s been a boyfriend to overcome the restlessness, to be conﬁdent that my current left behind, dismayed at his own lack of say in the matter, and a situation is a state of my own creation. But while I continue to mum on the end of the phone whose voice cracks as she pretends have enough optimism to know that I’ll be ﬁne if I decide to stay to be totally ﬁne with what I’ve just done. It isn’t that I haven’t the course, I’m just not sure I’m ready to remain on the bridge. Q cared about other people. I’ve reﬂected on how they might have felt, retrospectively. But had I always forced myself to absorb everyone else’s disquiet in the moment, my life would have taken on a wholly diﬀerent shape. By their very motivation, these were decisions that had to be selﬁshly made. Every time I cause one of
TRAVEL JAMAICA CALLING ELLE’s Literary Editor, Sharmaine Lovegrove, traces her family history in road trip around her homeland
Top left: The Blue Mountains. Top right: Treasure Beach. Above: Montego Bay. Right: The seafront at Goldeneye Resort
hen I ﬁrst picked up Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah, I had no idea how much it would impact my life. A powerful story of an African woman who discovers love and identity while living in the US, it triggered a lightbulb moment when I realised I had never not considered the impact of my skin colour in most of my daily interactions. My grandparents left Jamaica in the Fifties and settled in south London and, although Brixton was ablaze with riots a month after my birth, my childhood was a comfortable mix of metropolitan London in a large Jamaican community. As a teenager, I’d sneak out with my friends into the forbidden underworlds of Brixton and Notting Hill in search of clubs – subconsciously, perhaps, looking for something I felt was missing. Despite continually questioning my duality of race and culture, it wasn’t until I reached the
age of 35 that I visited the country I saw as my other homeland. As a child, whenever I asked if I could go, my parents would brush me oﬀ: ‘There’s nothing there for you. Jamaica is full of drugs and violence.’ But I knew they missed it. My maternal grandmother would reminisce about her childhood home in Treasure Beach, and I would try to imagine what it was like. Fast forward 20 years, and working as a publicist and bookseller, it wasn’t long before Jamaica’s Calabash Festival, a celebration of literature, music, food and culture, hit my radar. When I discovered it was held in Treasure Beach, it was the sign I needed. I was going back to my roots.
In May 2016, after a 10-hour ﬂight and a three-hour drive from Kingston, I ﬁnally saw my family home. It was right on the beach, and it took me 30 seconds from front door to sea for my morning swim. The big resorts have taken over many ›
Top right: Calabash Bay. Above: A local ﬁsherman on Treasure Beach
beaches and I realised how lucky I was that my grandma grew up by a public beach – there are so few left. I fell in love with Calabash Bay, one of four unspoilt sandy bays along the six-mile Treasure Beach. I fell into a rhythm of swimming, breakfasting on salt ﬁsh and ackee, and listening to world-class writers at the festival. I met countless cousins and loved hearing their tales of island life. I immediately clicked with one cousin, Dwayne, and when he said he hadn’t seen much of Jamaica outside his home parish, we hatched a plan…
THE ROAD TRIP
Six months later, I’m on a plane to Montego Bay, ready for an eight-day road trip to Kingston with my new-found cousin. It’s night when we land and I fall asleep in my aunt Pamela’s house, to the sound of reggae ‘I LOOK UP, and frogs. GLIMPSING Next day, Pamela shows PATCHES OF BLUE me Rose Hall, the plantation SKY THROUGH house where, legend has it, THE CANOPY OF Annie Palmer AKA the ‘White GREEN, UNTIL THE Witch’ killed three husbands HEAVENS OPEN and her slave lover. It’s a beautiful relic of a troubled IN A DRAMATIC time. A ﬁve-minute drive RAINSTORM’ from here is the Half Moon Hotel (halfmoon.com). My suite has a four-poster and a balcony overlooking a private beach. As far as Dwayne is concerned, this is how the other half live. I head to the spa for a massage. The tourist industry can feel removed from Jamaican culture, but here the treatment rooms are named in Arawak, the indigenous language. When I was ill as a child, my grandma would rub warm rum on my chest, so it is a moving moment when they use it in the massage. We’re planning to cross the country
Above: Sharmaine and her cousin Dwayne. Right: One of Jamaica’s many breathtaking views
from north-west to south-east, into the countryside where most Jamaicans live. You can easily hire a car but, short on time, we book a driver, Dougie, from Latitude Jamaica (latitudejamaica.com). He drives us to Cockpit Country in Trelawny Parish, home to the Maroons – escaped slaves who fought for autonomy in the 18th century. My grandfather is descended from the Maroons and I’m intrigued to see it. The route is beautiful: green and wild. We stop in the town of Albert for lunch. There are no other tourists, and while I ﬁt in colour-wise, culturally I am European, and it shows: I’m wearing sunglasses (Jamaicans never do) and have cropped hair (Jamaican women yearn for long locks). But people smile and I feel at ease. We queue for an unnamed restaurant in a shipping container, where they’ve disappointingly run out of the yams to which local hero Usain Bolt (from nearby Sherwood Content) attributes his speed.
After six hours, we arrive in the biggest town in St Ann’s Parish, Ocho Rios, and at the pretty Jamaica Inn ( jamaicainn.com), a plantation house-style Fifties hotel. It reeks of old-school glamour, with photos of Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller (who holidayed here) and paintings of Jamaican artist Albert Huie. I love that the phrase ‘shaken, not stirred’ was (supposedly) coined at the bar, when Jamaican resident Ian Fleming and Winston Churchill were ordering martinis. My accommodation is a beautiful two-bedroomed cottage on the seafront and I want to stay forever. After one night, we drive two hours east to the Blue Mountains through Fern Gully, a three-mile stretch of forest. I stick my head out of the window and look up, glimpsing patches of blue sky through the canopy of green, until the heavens open in a dramatic rainstorm as we wind up hairpin bends into the mountains.
Above: The Presidential Suite at the Half Moon Hotel
Photography: Alamy, Roberto Bonardi, Sharmaine Lovegrove, Getty, Nikolas Koening, David Massey, Rex Features.
Top right: Boys playing football in Kingston. Above: Strawberry Hill
A former coﬀee plantation, Strawberry Hill (strawberryhillhotel.com) is owned by music mogul Chris Blackwell and its claim to fame is that Bob Marley, Blackwell’s friend, recuperated here after being shot in 1976. The hotel has just 13 rooms, villas and cottages, and the look is colonial, with four-posters swathed in mosquito nets. We sign up for a Gordon Town Trail with a wonderful guide named Ricky. As we follow the Hope River, edging along sheer drops, he regales us with tales of life as a Rasta, pointing out trees and exotic ﬂowers. At the ﬁnal waterfall I strip oﬀ for a quick swim: after the exertion of the climb, the cool water feels exquisite. Back at Strawberry Hill, oxtail and goat curry sets us up for a night on the town. In a sports bar in a car park opposite Kingston’s US Embassy, a crowd watches a pool tournament. Jamaicans love street games, so I try the bingo. Despite the fast patois, I ﬁll my card and win JD$900 (£6). The music is popping and, celebrating with rum and Ting, I couldn’t feel happier.
Kingston has a bad rep, but I’m curious, so we check into the Terra Nova hotel (terranovajamaica.com) – clearly the local go-to for celebration lunches, despite being slightly corporate. I meet two local ELLE/FEBRUARY
ﬁlmmakers, Sarah Manley and Michelle Serieux, at Devon House, a mansion built by Jamaica’s ﬁrst black millionaire, George Stiebel. We talk about Jamaica, hardship, the ﬁlm industry and women. I’m invited to a dinner party at the home of Annie Paul, who works at the University of the West Indies. A range of nationalities are present; we eat, drink and discuss art, politics, education and literature. On our last day, we go downtown with Dougie. Dwayne is apprehensive about the perceived violence, as many Jamaicans are, but I’m struck by how beautiful (and unthreatening) it is. The churches and theatres are either Victorian or midcentury, and it’s buzzing with people. We’ve seen posters for a dance event, Mellow Vibes, so we pay the equivalent of £10 and walk into a huge bashment of 3,500 people. Everyone is dancing and I can see that, despite the hardships, Jamaicans have a peaceful, fun-loving culture. At 4am, we buy jerk chicken: it’s juicy and ﬁery, a ﬁtting end to the trip. Back in London, I often remember that night, grateful for this unique perspective of a place I can now, truly, call home. I keep thinking back to Americanah, and how every journey makes you who you are. This trip gave me a better understanding of myself, my family and my people. I was blown away by it; chatting in patois, eating the food of my childhood in the sun, listening to music with basslines that vibrated in my soul. It was profound, extraordinary – and made me feel, ﬁnally, like a whole person. Q British Airways (ba.com) has return ﬂights from London Heathrow and Gatwick to Kingston and Montego Bay, from around £590. For more tourist information, see visitjamaica.com
Above: A Latitude river tour of Jamaica
Above and left: Jamaica Inn
ONLY WITH MARCH ELLE
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THE WEDDING EDIT FENTIMANS
THE PRETTY BOX
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FASHION & JEWELLERY EDIT
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Photography: Graham Walser at Hearst Studios.
QUESTIONNAIRE completed by ROKSANDA ILINCIC