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THE MAKING OF A HOLLYWOOD RENEGADE

SPRING WITH ATTITUDE 04

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VAGIN A DIALOGUE


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JEWELLERY & WATCHES Monochrome or green and gold? Either way, prepare to layer up your jewellery

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M AR K E T P L A CE Instant wardrobe updates, courtesy of shimmer, embellishment and print

3 5 EDI T OR ’ S LET T ER Editor-in-Chief Anne-Marie Curtis on individuality 52

ALICIA WEARS: Cotton and silk gilet, silk blouse and silk shorts, all Louis Vuitton. Felt hat, Lock & Co. PHOTOGRAPHER: Norman Jean Roy. STYLING: Anne-Marie Curtis. HAIR: George Northwood. MAKE-UP: Kelly Cornwell at agencyartistsldn.com. NAILS: Adam Slee at Streeters using Rimmel London. PROP STYLIST: Gillian O’Brien at Lalaland Artists. TAILOR: Michael Hunt

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1 O T H I NGS From festivals to wine lists, here are 1O ways to celebrate International Women’s Day this month

Exploring the forever-long relationship between art and fashion 71

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TRY THIS: THE S UP E R B L AZ E R ELLE’s Harriet Stewart on the power of tailoring

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MY WORLD: C E C I L I A B ÖNSTRÖM ELLE meets the creative director of Zadig & Voltaire at her art-filled Parisian home

F AS H I O N N E W S

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LO V E LET T ER Designer Isabel Marant on celebrating success with her team

Zadie Smith on fame and social media

The trends to know, plus new buzz label Shushu/Tong

6 O H O R OSC OP E As the seasons change, here’s what to expect from your fashion cosmos

THE WORK O F AR T I S YO U

THE PRICE O F T H E T I CKE T

E L L E B O O K CL U B What to read now, plus art gallery director Iwona Blazwick’s book shelf

12 OF THE BEST Kitten heels – the ‘ladylike’ shoe gets a bold update

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P L AS T I C This season, transparent is the coolest way to go

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SWING TIME

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THE VAGINA DIALOGUE Why it’s finally time we started talking openly about the V-word

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O N… BI T C H I NG Could gossiping be bad for us? Liv Siddall finds out

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ELLE beauty director Sophie Beresiner solves your unisex fragrance dilemmas

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Denim will never go out of style – here are the brands that do it best

2 3 O S UI T C AS E : P IL ATE S WEEKENDER Be your own fitspo with these workout-ready pieces

1 9 1 REAL HAIR RIGHT NOW

231 MEET ME IN… Mauritius – the St Regis Resort, to be exact

These styles are all about embracing your hair’s natural texture 233

W H I T E C OLLA R Frilled, layered or pointed: make necklines your new focal point

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How to deal with breakouts the right way

D R I VE : AL P I N E Head from Munich to Salzburg (and back again) on the ultimate road trip

2 O 8 I AM M AD E M O I S E L L E Our columnist tries freezing her way to fitness

A LI C I A V I KA NDER The Tomb Raider star is the modern action hero we’ve all been waiting for

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Z E N AN D NOW Escape to calm with soothing retreats in Morocco and Thailand

I N T H E J E AN S

2OO HIT THE SPOT 1O2

S O P H I E S AY S

WILD ONE Sleek textures and luxe details take biker chic to a whole new level

HOW TO BE A WOMAN Sharon Horgan guides us through the stages of modern womanhood

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From soft to steely: upgrade your spring pastels with a metallic finish

SH OP P I NG I S DEA D. LO NG LI V E SH O P P I N G The retail world is changing – here’s what to expect

S UP E R S H I N E

M O O D B O ARD Hero skin, make-up and hair products to buy now

Grab your dancing shoes and gather your skirts – it’s time to channel the Forties

2 1 O B E AUT Y S H E L F I E Apothecary-inspired buys for the ultimate beauty stash

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It’s not often you end up in a pub in east London on a winter’s afternoon with an A-list actress — at least not in my experience. I have always loved Alicia Vikander, ever since I first saw her as Kitty in Joe Wright’s production of Anna Karenina. I found the mixture of her direct gaze and spontaneity equally mesmeric and modern. But it was only when I spent a day with her on our April cover shoot that I, along with the entire team on set, properly fell for the Oscar winner. The fact she is gobsmackingly beautiful in person, with a grace and ease informed by her early years as a ballet dancer, was of course a factor. But what really bowled me over was her warm honesty, wicked sense of humour and utter lack of pretence. Even a mortifying (and thankfully minor) electric shock from a heater was met with laughs and a shrug: not something one would expect from a cover star – or anyone, for that matter! She’s the kind of girl you immediately want to be friends with. Cue our late afternoon at the pub, where she drank straight tequila (my kind of girl) and talked candidly about her life: her prefame years working in a Levi’s store in Stockholm, her time as an aspiring actress, her Ibiza wedding to Michael Fassbender and their recent move to Lisbon. Turn to p134 to find out more about what makes her tick. We all left the pub a little dazed and, in the case of the ELLE team, most definitely dazzled. We could all do

‘ The MOST COURAGEOUS act is to THINK for yourself.

ALOUD’

Photograph: Kai Z Feng

with being a bit more Alicia and I can’t wait to see her in her first action blockbuster, Tomb Raider, in which she stars as Lara Croft, a modern heroine for these new times we find ourselves in. Directness and transparency are definitely in the air. The world is examining everything from sexual politics to the gender pay gap, demanding honesty and authenticity. The Wonder Down Under, a recently released book on all things vagina-related by friends and fellow doctors Nina Brochmann and Ellen Støkken Dahl, feels timely and important. In their joint feature The Vagina Dialogue (p124), they explain why it’s time to drop the euphemisms and start talking openly. On the subject of speaking out, gossip is something we all like to indulge in. It can be bonding, useful and apparently even releases oxytocin, the love chemical. No wonder we do it! But it can sometimes morph into something less

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savoury. Liv Siddal’s essay On Bitching (p129) explores the psychological highs and lows of gossip. Her view that ‘like chocolate, cheese and coffee, bitching is one of life’s pleasures best enjoyed in moderation’ is worth taking on board in an age where information spreads like wildfire and fake news is omnipresent. As proven by the women featured in her string of hit television shows, Sharon Horgan understands this balance. I’ve been a fan of her work ever since I first discovered Catastrophe, Sharon’s brilliant comic exploration of contemporary marriage — warts and all. But it was Motherland that really clinched the deal and confirmed her as a true voice of our time. Her brilliantly observed and unflinchingly honest portrayal of motherhood is a must-see if you haven’t already. In her interview, How To Be a Woman (p120), she talks candidly about childbirth (my favourite quote: ‘Do yourself a favour

and get in there and take the drugs’), the importance of having a strong work ethic and collaborating with Sarah Jessica Parker on her much-acclaimed HBO series Divorce. In the spirit of Sharon’s comedy, fashion has a bold and honest playfulness that feels so right for the start of spring, whether it’s the wave of new swing skirts (p148) or the rise of Nineties pastels (p160). Pop Art is also back — from Miuccia Prada’s cartoon girls to fashion’s renewed love for Warholia (p64). And, for me, this bright, colourful new woman encapsulates everything to love right now. So go forth and step into the new season with confidence, taking inspiration from Coco Chanel: ‘The most courageous act is to think for yourself. Aloud.’


@mariannewman

Words: Rachel Macbeth. Photographs: Getty Images, Instagram/@wonderdownunder, Instagram/@mariannewman, Sayaka Hirakawa

@wonderdownunder

While studying English at King’s College, Cambridge, novelist, essayist and short-story writer Zadie Smith worked as a singer to earn money and wrote her debut novel, White Teeth – an instant best-seller when it was published in 2000 (she was 25). Having now had five novels published, her latest, Feel Free, is a collection of essays. Her advice to aspiring writers is ‘to read your work as a stranger would, or, even better, as an enemy would’ and to work on a computer not connected to the internet. Zadie lives in New York with her husband and two children. In summer, they all travel to north London, close to where she grew up and where her book NW is based. Zadie discusses why she writes on page 110.

Having shot Hillary Clinton, Rihanna and more, photographer Norman’s standout shoot was with activist Malala Yousafzai: ‘It made me realise how vapid our social-media-obsessed society has become.’ Born and raised in Montreal, Canada, he studied architecture and graphic design, pursuing a career in photography only after taking portraits of his family. Currently inspired by minimalism, the best piece of advice he carries with him is: ‘There’s always a great photograph to be made – you just need to find it. Never compromise your eye.’ Norman shoots Alicia Vikander on page 134.

Travelling ‘vagicians’ is the honorary title bestowed on Ellen and Nina, the medics changing the way you talk about your vagina. The couple met while volunteering as sex-education teachers in their native Norway, and soon realised the vast gaps in women’s sexualhealth knowledge. In response, they launched their blog, Underlivet, in 2015, followed by their bestselling book, The Wonder Down Under. Outside their work as junior doctors, plus their international book launch, Ellen plays guitar and sings in a punk band, while Nina goes skiing in the woods around Oslo. They write The Vagina Dialogue on page 124.

@felicitykay

Felicity says she interned at nearly every UK fashion magazine possible, but always wanted to work at ELLE. Having received the best training in the business, shadowing and assisting editor-in-chief Anne-Marie, then fashion director, for nearly three years, Felicity rose through the ranks to her recent promotion as junior fashion editor. ‘At one point, AMC and I were spending nearly every weekend together on set or travelling the world for a shoot. If I had to choose a specialist subject on Mastermind, it would be Anne-Marie.’ On her first day at ELLE, Felicity wore a pair of leather trousers and a black jumper: ‘Not dissimilar to what I wear now, three years later.’ Felicity styles the season’s statement collars on page 102.

THE APRIL ISSUE

Nail technician Marian says her spirit animal is a red kite. ‘They soar and swoop and love life.’ Previously a forensic scientist, Marian has been a nail professional since 1987 and has designed nails for advertising campaigns, editorial shoots and shows such as Louis Vuitton, Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood (above with Marian). Having published the fourth edition of her textbook The Complete Nail Technician in 2017, her top nail-care tip is to use a good nail oil daily, ‘or, at the very least, a quality hand cream that is massaged into the cuticles’. Marian says the best part of her job is the people and variety. ‘I thrive on the daily challenges.’ See her work on page 219.


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The UN’s HeForShe was launched by Emma Watson in 2014, and now it has its own art week, starting on 8 March. Hear Susan Sarandon introduce an exclusive preview of The Hedy Lamarr Story, then let off steam at a Discussion and DJ Night at The Vaults in Waterloo.

Sana Jardin (the first socially conscious luxury-fragrance house) aims to empower all women working on its products – from the flower harvesters to those who buy and wear the scents – by promoting sustainable economic growth and production practices. What’s more, the fragrances smell delicious.

After her rallying Golden Globe acceptance speech, everyone is still fantasising about Oprah Winfrey running for President in 2020. To learn more about how the chat-show host, actor, producer and activist became a household name, download the three-part ‘Making Oprah’ podcast.

Where better to celebrate International Women’s Day than at the Women of the World festival (7–11 March)? Marking the 100th anniversary since female suffrage in the UK, highlights include a raucous night hosted by Sandi Toksvig.

The vegan crusade continues, this time at the most unlikely location: pubs. Following a string of successful pop-ups, Londoner Meriel Armitage – the wonder woman behind Club Mexicana, the vegan, Mexicaninspired streetfood pioneers – has created a plant-powered menu that offers Cali-Mex-inspired dishes at The Spread Eagle in Hackney.

After urging us all to be feminists, Dior’s new-season slogan tee draws on art historian Linda Nochlin’s essay, which asks: ‘Why have there been no great women artists?’ #fashtivism lives on.

Women in wine look set to have a big year in 2018. Female-only lists are smashing the viticulture patriarchy at restaurants such as Dirt Candy in NYC, and Brixton’s Courtesan, and there’s also a rise of buzzy sommeliers, including Sandia Chang, head sommelier and co-founder of Bubbledogs.

We could all do with more Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in our lives, so it’s great she’s republishing her book Dear Ijeawele, A Feminist Manifesto In Fifteen Suggestions (Harper Collins) on 8 March. The author gives 15 tips on how to raise a feminist daughter.

Artwork by

FEMOJIS

THINGS

O SARANDON AND THE WOMEN TAKING OVER YOUR WINE LIST. HERE’S HOW TO CELEBRATE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY E L L E

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Words: Rachel Macbeth. Femojis available from the App Store

Book your tickets now for the healthiest, most hangover-free festival of the year. Balance Festival (11–13 May) returns to the Old Truman Brewery with the latest fitness classes from studios like Barry’s Bootcamp and Boom Cycle, great kit from brands such as Flexxfit and Jilla, and live panel discussions and demos from fitspo stars.

Where Scandis go, we follow – Finland was the first European country to give women the vote, after all. Book a trip to the mountainous village of Saariselkä in northern Finland for a scenic trip to the newly renovated Jávri Lodge. Think saunas, foraged food and living your best Scandi self. Knitwear required.


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21 MARCH – 19 APRIL

23 AUGUST – 22 SEPTEMBER

23 OCTOBER – 21 NOVEMBER

As the first sign in the zodiac, spring is when you awaken – and you may want to give some fading trends the same rebirth. You’re the trendsetter right now, and your confidence can rejuvenate any tired style. Breathe new life into your look with off-the-shoulder or one-shoulder styles, and peekaboo cuts. And if you still don’t own any clothing in millennial pink, the time is now – look to Erdem or Preen for inspiration.

March’s first full moon in Virgo is all about overcoming perfectionism and learning to let go. Get exposed this season with the favoured trend for plastic, as seen at Chanel and Off-White. You might not have considered wrapping your feet in plastic or carrying a transparent bag, but this is a good time to open up – and that includes showing the world what you carry around all day (literally).

Spring is classically about rebirth, and that is totally your territory, Scorpio. Also, the Jupiter retrograde starting in March will have you dealing with some pretty intense emotions. Take advantage of this energy and channel it into your wardrobe. Don’t be afraid to go big and bold with your sartorial choices. Embrace illogical combinations, too, such as Moschino’s punk-and-ballet style.

2O APRIL – 2O MAY

22 NOVEMBER – 21 DECEMBER Collage by

With Venus at home in Taurus until late April, you’ll feel alluring and powerful this spring. Aim to incorporate clear colour boundaries into your outfits. Think colour-blocking Crayola hues or try out the tonal dressing trend and wear varying shades of one bold colour head to toe. Attico, Balenciaga and Rochas will be your best friends here – swot up on their SS18 collections for tips.

SIDUATIONS

As usual, it’s out with the old and in with the new, Sagittarius. You’re used to being the centre of attention, so spearhead the latest trends this spring. Replace your bomber jacket with a blazer, particularly if it’s part of an all-white get-up. Consider an oversized suit, styled with an open jacket and visible bra à la Tom Ford – it’s the perfect day-to-night look.

21 MAY – 2O JUNE

22 DECEMBER – 19 JANUARY

When the season’s warmer weather arrives, a world of possibilities opens to the adventurous and unabashed (that’s you, Gemini). Plus, once Mercury re-emerges from retrograde in April, you’ll really find your groove. Your outfits should scream and clash in the best possible way. Take texture and pattern cues from Dries Van Noten’s eclectic SS18 collection.

As Mars and Pluto – the planets of action and transformation, respectively – both inhabit your sign this spring, you’ll want to take control of your life and your look. Rubber will be your secret weapon. Why not give Balenciaga’s so-bad-they’regood platform Crocs a go? Turn to Halpern and Richard Quinn for inspiration with shiny surfaces and strong silhouettes.

21 JUNE – 22 JULY

Your spring will be about finding sanctuary. The planets are largely avoiding Cancer until Venus returns at the end of May. In preparation for this insurgence of romance and passion, you’ll want to embrace your own self and your true comforts while you can. Seek refuge in a pair of jeans – but give them a kick with raw, dark denim sets by the likes of Calvin Klein and Max Mara. 23 JULY – 22 AUGUST

Stop searching for that perfect aesthetic – you’ll never be able to stick to one uniform or one colour scheme. Instead, the new season is a time for experimentation. As the only sign ruled by a star, it’s your job to harness the sun’s strength and channel it into joy. Try looks with playful accessories, such as Miu Miu’s cateye sunglasses or Loewe’s pixie-toe trainers.

STAR STYLE

SPRING SPECIAL: AS THE SEASONS CHANGE, ALIGN YOUR STARS WITH THE FASHION COSMOS. (BECAUSE MERCURY IS NOT ALWAYS IN RETROGRADE…) BY CALLIE AHLGRIM WITH BIBBY SOWRAY

23 SEPTEMBER – 22 OCTOBER

The full moon on the last day of March will have you seriously craving attention. As spring progresses, feel free to pour all your energy into creating and maintaining important relationships. But first, be sure to indulge in a little attraction and seduction: Céline, Saint Laurent and Acne Studios added high-impact feathers and tassels to their runway looks, and so should you. Award yourself extra style points if you combine the fun embellishment with a classic, eye-popping red lip.

2O JANUARY – 18 FEBRUARY

Take advantage of your emotional downtime this season by playing with quirky contradictions. Be inspired by Louis Vuitton’s spring collection, which gave 18th-century frock coats a new lease of life by blending them with silk running shorts and ‘dad’ trainers. Your obsession with athleisure is here to stay.

19 FEBRUARY – 2O MARCH

Here’s your everlasting spring look, Pisces: no make-up, lavender-coloured hair and a fuzzy Salvatore Ferragamo sweater. Remember: you are the keeper of all things bright and comfortable. The sun may start shining for more hours now, but as the planets begin their year-long dips in and out of retrograde, be sure to hold on to your individualism. E L L E

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M IS S ON I

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Photographs: Imaxtree, Rex Features, Jason Lloyd-Evans, Getty Images, Alamy, 3 Objectives

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C AL VI N KL E I N 205W39NYC

V E R S ACE

mo KENYA

Edited by

HUNT

T H E LO O K KS , FAC ES , P L AC ES , L A B E L S A N D H A P P E N I N GS S I N FAS H I O N T H I S MO N T H


ANDY WAR H O L

THE TREND

ART & COMMERCE

Cotton jump er, £225, CO AC H X

From Versace and Dior to Marni and Coach, designers have elevated the statement piece to a literal work of art for spring.

Wool cardigann , £975, MISSONI M

KE I TH H ARI A RI N G , 1 9 8 6

C OAC H X KE I TH H A R I N G

KEIT H HAR IN NG

THE LOOK YA A YO I K U S A MA X L O U I S V U I T T ON, 201 2

MARNI

Often incorporating a Crayola box full of hues, fashion’s latest wave of art references is bolder and more colourful than ever.

D I OR

S AI NT L AURE NT, 2 0 0 2

SUPERSTARS

THE ICONS

V E RS A CE

Silk dress, £10,000, VE RS AC E

S TR E ET ST Y L E S S1 8

V E RS A C E, 1 99 1

SS18 runs the art-history gamut, but the pop art of the Eighties is a clear favourite – specifically the Andy Warhol and Keith Haring years.

A N D Y W A RH O L , B R IT IS H M U SE U M, 2 0 17

WARHOL & HARING

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Leather purse, £680, DI OR

THE DETAILS

SMALL WINS

If an entire torso’s worth of masterpiece is too much for you, experiment with the look in smaller doses, through a clu headscarf or s es. Le ather a d s lk shoes, si £625, CHRISTIAN

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PRAD A

L O UB BOUTIN

L Leather and c otton shoes, £675, P RAD A

WH E N WA S TH E L A ST TIM E Y OU opened your wardrobe, grabbed a dress and thought, ‘Now that’s a work of art’? Art and fashion is one of the great collaborations. Elsa Schiaparelli and Salvador Dalí. Yves Saint Laurent and Piet Mondrian. Vanessa Beecroft and Helm Lang. Damian Hirst and Alexander McQueen. Louis Vuitton and mut Richard R Prince (and the Chapman brothers and Stephen Sprouse and yoi Kusama... the list goes on). But lately, the flirtation has escalated. The spring runways were filled with prints and graphics taken stra aight from gallery walls — the dress, shirt and coat used as canvas. Youur body, the museum. And so while art and fashion is an old thing, it’s the new thing in the trend cycle. At Calvin Klein, Raf Simons used Andy Warhol’s Death and A saster series to illustrate his shirts and dresses. It was a cool, Inst rammable visual device, but was also loaded with meaning. In this case, Simons used it as part of his overall critique of ‘American horror and American beauty’. rhol has been having a moment in general. The late pop artist’s iconic 1962 tribute to Marilyn Monroe, a silkscreen diptych with 50 floating blonde heads in neon and black and white, was rew vived in Gianni Versace’s iconic Warholia collection, which Donatella in turn resurrected for a tribute collection to her brother. The pieces (thigh-high boots and mini dresses) have – not surprisingly – become some of spring’s biggest street-style bait. Miuccia Prada looked to women contemporary artists from the midcentury — specifically cartoonists and manga artists, including June Tarpé Mills, the creator of the first female superhero — for the graphics featured in her empowering collection. Meanwhile, Coach celebrated the work of Keith Haring, with creative director Stuart Vevers using the pop artist’s little dancing men all over Words by his knitwear. Look a little more closely KENYA HUNT at Marni’s prints and you’ll see they’re actually taken from the paintings of artist David Salle. And those faces on Undercover’s tank dresses? Those would be from a series of self-portraits by Cindy Sherman. And when couture season rolled along, a time of year when clothing really does take on the status of art (with price tags to match), the art references kept coming. Maria Grazia Chiuri explored the Surrealism movement, using the work of feminist artist Leonor Fini to add a new chapter to her girl-power messaging. I could go on, but I have a word count to consider and will stop here. You get the idea. Visiting the National Museum is good, but designers are now giving you plenty of opportunity to wear your art on your sleeve. But why now? ‘Self expression and escapism play a big part in fashion, and art influences in your clothing encapsulate this feeling,’ explains Matches Fashion buying director Natalie Kingham, a woman known for her own impressive collection of wearable art. ‘To pick up your Prada bag or Calvin Klein dress and see it decorated with a piece of art

THE WORK OF ART IS YOU


L OUI S VUI TTON X RI C HARD PRI NC E S S 0 8

can be uplifting for the spirit and mood.’ Elizabeth von der Goltz, global buying director at Net-a-Porter, meanwhile, points out art’s boldness and look-at-me shareability in the age of Instagram. ‘I don’t think we can deny the part social media plays in this trend, as anything graphic that photographs well will immediately create impressions and naturally garner so much interest.’ Art has appeal in the age of fast fashion. It implies longevity, staying power, craftsmanship — the opposite of the six-months-maximum shelf life of your cheap and cheerful lunchtime impulse buys. But it’s also commentary on the world we live in and the way we navigate it. When Marc Jacobs teamed up with the late artist Richard Prince for Louis Vuitton, it was not only a fashion moment, but a critique of celebrity obsession. But what if you don’t want your clothes to do this much cultural unpacking? What if you just want a shit-hot look? On a practical styling level, the new wave of art-as-fashion presents a unique set of challenges. It’s a print, yes, but one that isn’t as versatile as the florals and stripes that surface in new sizes, shapes and colourways year after year, ready for a fresh round of mix and matching. To wear a Warhol on your dress is statement enough. Kingham advises styling them with ‘plainer pieces — denim, darker colours or a crisp white shirt’. And you can’t get much bolder than a sequinned Haring on ded. Take your sweater — no additional colour pops or clashes need your styling cues from Haring himself, who in the Eightiees used to it wear his jeans, painted all over with his characters, with plain white long-sleeved tees. Or do like the Versace woman and wear it head want to toe. Just remember: you want to wear the Warhol, you don’t d the Warhol to wear you.

THE MOMENT

CAMERA READY

NEW YO R K FASHION WE E K S S 16

‘I don’t think we can deny the part social media plays in this trend,’ says Net-a-Porter’s Elizabeth von der Goltz.

MI S S O NI

‘To wear a WARHOL on your dress is STATEMENT enough’

STYLE TIP

Art-adorned pieces are a simple way to give impact to an evening look.

Leather trainers, £565, CH RISTIAN L O UBOUTIN

Wool cardigan, £1,280, MI S S O N I

A N D Y W A RH O L

DRESS IT UP

A D A M SE L M A N X LE S P ECS A T N ET - A - PO RT E R

D I OR

Red acetate sunglasses, £69,

C O A C H X K E IT H H AR IN G

Leather bag, £1,540, P R A D A

CALVIN KLEIN 205W39NYC

p d c, ,

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NEWS THE CLASSICS

As the weather warms up, ditch the big totes in favour of spring’s long-shoulderstrapped options (just big enough for the essentials). THE PRAGMATIST Leather bag, £3,050, FE N D I

THE CLASSICIST Linen and leather bag, £1,412, GI VE NC H Y

TH E INDIVIDUALIST Leather bag, £750, T O D’S

THE OPTIMIST T HE MAXIMALIST Leather bag, £2,790, BOTTEGA VENETA

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Leather bag, £365, LON G C HAM P

L O E WE

‘Capsule wardrobe’ is a well-worn phrase, but rarely actually achieved – until u now. Meet Wardrobe NYC, N a new concept brand from f Australian stylist/street style Super Christine Centennera and her design partnner Josh Goot (both pictured above). What is it exacctly? ghtYou buy a four- or eig piece wardrobe of true limited-edition, high-quality essentials – like a plainn tee, perfect black blazer and a skirt (see top) – for a set price. Every piece is made in Italy and the direct-toconsumer model meanns no traditional retail margins. Complete wardrobes from f £1,250; wardrobe.nyc

A L E X A ND E R M C Q U E E N

SS18

UP AND COMING

Art is a big part of SS18, with designers including Miuccia Prada and Christopher Kane referencing painters and illustrators in their collections (see our feature The Work of Art Is You on page 64). But for the real works of art, you need to look down. Way down. At Jacquemus, heels came in mismatched pairs, each a mini masterpiece; one made up of wooden spheres, the other from blocky cubes and rectangles, like a very chic totem pole. Rejina Pyo’s Barbara shoe boasts a wooden conical zigzag heel, while the Gaby has a deliciously smooth wooden pebble version. See also McQueen, Loewe and Valentino for more walks of art (see what we did there?).

L OE W E

MICROTREND


S AVE D B Y T H E B E LL, 1991

FE NDI

G U CCI

M ISSO NI

FR I E ND S , 1995 M Y S O - CALLE D LI FE , 1994

THE PIECE

T H E F RE S H P R I NC E O F B EL - A I R , 1 995

BAL E NCIAGA

The Eighties and Nineties may be trending again, but we can rest assured one regrettable accessory from that time hasn’t found its way back… Oh, wait. The scrunchie is here – operating under the nom de guerre ‘chouchou’. Thank Balenciaga for this. The label’s Resort 2018 collection featured magenta and yellow chouchoux made of soft leather, and is selling them as scrunchiecum-bracelets for £145. The Danish brands are also big on the trend: the label Comfort Objects has rebranded the accessory ‘hair clouds’ and makes them out of vintage Hermès scarves (£80), while Ganni offers floral versions (£15). Suddenly, scrunchies seem very appealing.

THE PURCHASE

We’re entering a new era of fashion collaborations. High-street and designer partnerships are old hat, as are more left-field tie-ups (such as Balenciaga x Crocs). Now, brands are ooking to cultural es blishments for their in ration – case in point: rehouse x the Barbican. much-loved London arts ntre provides the stimulus ffor a capsule collection rich in botanical prints, inspired by the wild plants in its renowned conservatory space. Available now at warehouse.co.uk

Pull ’em up: the new gateway purchase is the humble sock – they’re all over the SS18 and Resort collections. Perhaps it’s a reaction to seasons of braving bare ankles and heels, thanks to our unflinching love for cropped denim and mules. Or perhaps the sock is simply the final frontier in accessory pimping. Whatever, we’re loving it, and so will you. At Gucci, they were knee-high and slightly wrinkled; at Fendi, ankle-hugging and tartan checked; and at Missoni, delicately formed in brightly coloured sheer fabric and worn with heeled sandals. Whichever style you choose, be bold.

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Viscose jacket, £66; silk dress, £149; and jersey leggings, £29, all W A R EH O U S E

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Words by Bibby Sowray and Sara McAlpine. Photographs: Getty Images, Imaxtree, 3 Objectives, Will Davidson, Graham Walser at Hearst Studios

Leather scrunchies, £145 each,

BALE N C I AG A

UN B R E AKA B E KI MMY S C HMI D T, 2 0 1 5

THE MICROTREND


Backstage at Shushu/ Tong’s SS18 show Yutong Jiang and Liushu Lei

SHUSHU/ TONG

Cotton dress, £765

Wool skirt, £336

Cotton top, £295

Cotton dress, £415, and leather harness, £132

Cotton dress, £365

Photographs: 3Objective

of Fashion. Jiang, 27, says it’s their similarities that make the partnership work. ‘When we were doing our MA, we found we would have the same ideas, sometimes without even talking to one other. We had the same interests – we liked the same actresses, singers and animations – so it made sense to work together.’ ‘Tongtong’s always talking about how precise everything has to be, the finish and the technique,’ says Lei. ‘We learnt at school that a good finish is really L A B E L T O K N O W : important, no matter what kind of clothes you want to create. We think about it a lot.’ They’re movie buffs, too. ‘I wanted to be a car‘I spend most of my weekends on toonist in the beginning,’ the couch watching films,’ admits says designer Liushu Lei. In fact the leather harnesses ‘Shushu’ Lei over the and florals in the SS18 collection 100 COMIC-BOOK LOOKS, phone from Shanghai. were inspired by the French/JapaONE TRANSFORMATIVE ‘But then I read a Japanese erotic thriller Fruits de Passion. LONDON CHAPTER AND nese comic book, Nana. You’ll spot subtle hints of their A GROWING GLOBAL The main character had Chinese heritage woven throughmore than 100 looks in out the clothes, as well as the influFOLLOWING. EMMA SELLS the book, and it opened ence of their time in London. ‘We MEETS THE DUO PUTTING a whole new world to intentionally try to reflect our CHINA’S CREATIVES ON THE didn’t me.’ That comic book debackground through the design,’ GLOBAL FASHION MAP serves some serious credsays Lei. ‘It’s hidden in the details, it: it’s why Lei, 26, made shaping our aesthetic.’ his way into fashion and The label is based in a small why he’s half of the team behind one of China’s studio in downtown Shanghai rather than London because buzziest new labels, Shushu/Tong. their visas ran out, but China’s growing pool of creatives inIt’s been just two years since Lei and his friend, spires them. ‘The Shanghai fashion scene is very new,’ says Yutong ‘Tongtong’ Jiang, dreamt up their label, Lei. ‘It’s changing a lot every season, so it’s exciting.’ It also and already it has a serious international followhas one of the world’s biggest luxury markets on its dooring. You can chalk that up to the fantastically bold, step, ripe for the taking. unashamedly feminine silhouettes they’ve made The duo’s success has happened so fast that, while their signature: puff sleeves, frothy skirts and sharp their ambitions stretch to growing their collections, they’re minidresses, all tempered with slick tailoring and planning to pace themselves. ‘We want to grow our brand enough don’t-mess-with-me attitude to give a modreally slowly and gradually,’ says Lei. ‘To us, it’s much safer ern edge. They’ve caught the eye of editors and to do it like this.’ Judging by how far they’ve come already, they can afford to take their time time. influencers – Margaret Zhang and Susie Lau are fans – and won over buyers, too. Influential reta ler Lane Crawford picked up the label exclusivelyy in its first season, before career-making Dover Street Market added them to its stable for the second. In that two years, 40 more global stockists followed suit. To top it all, the label was named a finalist in last year’s International Woolmark Prize. The pair met while studying at Donghua University in hanghai, from where they both Shanghai wh th b th headed h d d tto London College


C J

R S!

Vinyl jacket, £2,210; and silk dress, £1,415, both VALENTINO. Blue acetate sunglasses, £270, CÉLINE. Yellow acetate and titanium sunglasses, £195, REJINA PYO X PROJEKT PRODUKT. Pink acetate sunglasses, £229, VERSACE. Crystal and resin earrings, £200, EMPORIO ARMANI

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Photographs by

FRANKIEWICZ & ROZNIATA

ZO OM

Styling by

DONNA WALLACE

Vinyl coat, £2,210, VALENTINO. Satin-mix shoes, £850, OFF-WHITE C/O JIMMY CHOO.

Plexi bag, £1,520,

VALENTINO GARAVANI

SPRING’S MOST-WANTED ACCESSORIES COME IN TRANSPARENT PLASTIC. THE ONLY RULE? WEAR IT FROM HEAD TO TOE


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ZO OM PVC cape, £605; tweed and toile dress, £3,255; PVC boots, £1,115; PVC hat, £920; PVC and metal bag, £1,950; and leather and PVC gloves, £335, all CHANEL. Model’s left arm, from top: metal and glass bracelet, £1,530; and strass bracelet, £2,005; and right arm, from top: glass and resin-mix braclelet, £495; and strass bracelet, £2,005, all CHANEL

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CLEAR SHOPPER

PLEATS SEE-THROUGH

SILK

Wool skirt, £1,638; leather boots, £876; and leather-mix purse inside plastic bag, £602, all CÉLINE


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D Nylon coat, £2,020, FE N D I . Viscose swimsuit, £2,470, BOTTEGA VENETA. Leather and

PVC shoes, £600, and PVC and leather-mix bag, £570, both EMPORIO ARMANI. Gold and cubic zirconia ring, £129, SIF JAKOBS

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Hair: Adam Garland at Eighteen using L’Oréal Professionel. Make-up: Lillie Russo at ERA Management using Hourglass and Beauty Pie. Nails: Joanna Newbold at ERA Management using Chanel Le Vernis in Ballerina and La Crème Main. Model: Luca Adamik at PRM Agency. Mr Bubbles: 07957 931990. With special thanks to Paula at Drzigs.com

Pink leather shoes, £526,

Transparent PVC-mix shoes, £795, MOSCHINO. Blue silk, crystal and PVC shoes, £855,

PROENZA SCHOULER.

PACIOTTI BY MIDNIGHT SHOE COLLECTION with ADA KOKOSAR


From top, and clockwise: gold link bracelet, £5,600, TI FFANY & C O . Rose gold and pavé diamond bracelet, £2,910, B UL GARI . Yellow gold and diamond bracelet, £7,600, C H AN E L FI NE J E W E L L E RY . Rose gold, malachite and diamond ring, £10,400, C HOPARD . Gold and emerald ring (on thumb), £900, N I L UFE R X GE MFI E L D S . Yellow gold,

tourmaline, malachite and diamond ring, £13,500, C HAN E L FI NE J E W E L L E RY . Pink gold hedgehog ring set with rubies and black diamonds, £4,210, B OU CH E R O N

L ! Styling by

ZO OM

Clockwise from top left: white gold and diamond ring, £34,700, D I OR J OAI L L E RI E . White gold, onyx and diamond ring, price on application, C HAN E L FI NE JE W E L L E RY . White gold and pavé diamond ring, £11,800, C ARTI E R . White gold and diamond ‘Oui’ ring, £770, D I OR J OAI L L E RI E . White gold and diamond necklace, £10,400, B UL GARI . White gold and diamond bracelet, £16,100, L OUI S VUI TTON . White gold bracelet, £6,500, C ARTI E R . Ceramic watch, £2,350, TAG HE UE R . White gold and diamond bracelet, £27,600, D I OR J OAI L L E RI E

RAISE YOUR HAND IF YOU WANT TO TRY THIS SEASON’S BOLDEST COMBINATIONS – GOLD, EMERALD GREEN, AND SPARKLING MONOCHROME E L L E

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Photographs: Frankiewicz & Rozniata. Model: Lauren Borgers at Models One. Nails: Joanna Newbold at Era Management using High Shine Top Coat, Gel Effect Nail Coat in Emerald City and Lotus Blossom Cream by IZ Beauty of London

DONNA WALLACE


1.

TUCKED IN ASYMMETRICALLY

Sometimes the simplest styling tricks can give your outfit a boost. At Céline, oversized blazers were asymmetrically tucked in to Fifties-style swing skirts. Not the easiest thing to pull off – but you could hone your craft with a white shirt before graduating on to a blazer.

T R Y

T H I S :

THE SUPER BLAZER

I know what you’re thinking. You’ve worn a blazer for years, it’s nothing new. But this spring, it’s about how you wear it. In a season where we’ve seen SOMETIMES IT’S THE QUIET a movement towards more versatile WARDROBE STAPLES THAT pieces, it seems only fitting that the SHOUT THE LOUDEST, SAYS humble blazer – which can take you ELLE’S HARRIET STEWART from day to night and back again – should be our new-season heroine. The blazer is a fashion chameleon. She’s just at home with red lipstick and tailoring as she is dressed down with raw-edge denim and Converse; she’s partial to a Friday-night boogie in a pair of thighSHEER LAYERS highs (see Versace’s blazer-dress hybrid) and loves a squeeze around the middle (waist-cinching is essential If the thought of wearing for SS18). If you bought into last year’s bold florals, a blazer as a dress sends an oversize blazer will add oomph, as seen at Prada. shivers up your skirt, then It’s all in the styling, whether you belt it, knot it or try wearing a sheer slip double it up. Here are five ideas to try. underneath for a touch

Photographs: Fauve Bouwman. Stylist: Harriet Stewart. Hair and make-up: Lou Box. Model: Angelina Jesson at Premier

2.

1. Wool jacket, £1,587; wool garbadine skirt, £3,223; crochet top, £1,322, all CÊLINE. Acetate earrings, £130, BAD DENIM. 2. Cotton-blend blazer, £69.99, MANGO. Cotton jumper, £170, BIMBA Y LOLA. Silk dress, £1,220, ALBERTA FERRETTI. 3. Velvet jacket, £1,620, GUCCI. Cotton polo, £75, TOMMY HILFIGER. Acetate belt, £150, PHILOSOPHY DI LORENZO SERAFINI. 4. Cotton top, £150, LACOSTE. Cotton-mix jacket, £59, M&S COLLECTION. Denim skirt, £320, PHILOSOPHY DI LORENZO SERAFINI. Cotton trousers, £69.99, H&M. 5. Velvet blazer, £1,365, BLAZÉ MILANO. Wool-blend blazer, £1,640, VICTORIA BECKHAM. Polyester-mix trousers, £49.50, MARKS & SPENCER. Metal sunglasses, £390, GUCCI. Acetate earrings, £72, BIMBA Y LOLA

more coverage. Here (right), the combination of sheer silk and masculine Prince of Wales check makes for an unlikely but harmonious marriage. Err on the side of tomboy and finish off with a pair of brogues and ankle socks.

3.

NIPPED-IN WAIST

Forgive me for stating the obvious, but a belt around the waist can do wonders for your body. So if Céline’s oversized blazer isn’t for you (which, if you’re petite, is probably the case), then belt it over the top to define your middle, or, for the Gucci geek-chic effect, nip it in with a leather bumbag.

4.

NINETIES NOSTALGIA

I’ve never quite got over being banned from wearing the Adidas 3-Stripe tracksuit I so badly wanted aged 11, so imagine my joy at the abundance of Nineties youth-culture references on the catwalk this season (Isabel Marant, Lacoste, Balenciaga). Keep it grown-up with a zipthrough track top worn underneath a blazer and tucked into a pencil skirt or high-waisted trousers (far right).

5.

TWO-FOR-ONE

For something more polished, look to Victoria Beckham or Tibi, both of which offered simple twists on a classic. Tibi’s blazers came spliced at the waist, while VB’s were deconstructed into sleeveless varieties. For a similarly unfussy take on tailoring, I’ve styled two blazers together. There, easy. Anyone can do that, right? Wear one done up and the other (slightly larger one) unbuttoned on top, or loosely shrugged – the fash-un verb is ‘shrobing’ – over your shoulders. Choose complementary colours or go for one in a neutral shade and the other in a heritage check.

F O L LOW H A R R I E T A S S H E T R I ES T H E T R E N D S @ H A R R I E T S T E WA R T E L L E

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Polyester sequin top £28, RIVER ISLAND

Polyester-mix trousers, £1,235, HAL PE RN

£550,

L e a th e

EMPO

Satin dress, £435.60,

r bag,

R IO A RMAN I

Vinyl coat £585, S HRI MPS

NANUSHKA

M et al an d se qu in ba g, £ 1, 19 0 , PA C O

RA BA N N

E

Neoprene trainers, £805,

Leather ankle straps, £310 each, ATTI C O at

V A L EN T IN O

MA TC HE S FAS HI ON .C OM

MARKET:

Polyester socks, £129,

Viscose-mix polo top, £115, E S S E N TI E L

PRA DA

AN TWE R P

Leather bag, £1,320, P R O EN Z A S C H O U L ER

Polyester jumper, £1,100, M A RY K A T R A NT Z O U

Leather trainers, £607,

Leather and plastic sandals, £160, BI M BA Y LOLA

Compiled by: Roberta Hollis

C Ê LI N E

Cupro skirt, £495, C OAC H 19 4 1

Polyester dress, £290, MAJE

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FROM VALENTINO TO COACH, FASHION IS GIVING WOMEN OF ALL AGES PERMISSION TO EMBRANCE OUR INNER MILLENNIAL

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Polyester-mix skirt, £38, R I VE R I S LAN D

Leather and bead h oes, £595, J

M Y C HOO

Cott on T-shirt, £95, C M O TH T E R OF P EARL

Metal and plastic-mix earrings, £6.99, N E W LOOK

Satin and bead shoes, £850, SIM O NE ROCHA Raffia ather and pearll shoes, £42 £425, N IC H O L A S K IR K W O O D

Leather and pearl bag, £1,070, F E N D I

MARKET:

Pearl and ribbon necklace, £550 , MAGDA

EASURE

Denim and pearl jacket, £125 , GUE S S

BUT RYM

Stretch yarnn and pearl boots, £1,050,

NEVER MIND THE JEWELLLERY – OCHA DO LIKE THE SIMONE RO WOMAN AND WEA AR YOUR PEARLS ALL OVER

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Cubic zirconia a and Swarovski cryy stal necklace, £115, VI VI E N N E

Beaded bag, £450, S H R IM P S

W ES TWOO OD

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Compiled by: Jessica Skeete-Cross

Pearl and denim jacket, £420, SANDRO

D i jeans, Denim j £34 34.99, 99 H&M

F EN DI


FOLLOW OFF-WHITE’S ODE TO LADY DI AND MAKE BLACK-AND-WHITTE SPOTS S YOUR PRINT OF CHOICE

Leather shoes, £130, W EEJ U N S

Polyester--mix dress, £55, T O PSH O P

Polyester belt, £95, A.W.A.K .E . at M ATC HE S FAS HI ON .C OM

Suede ba £ 1 ,0 9 g , 0, ED IE P A RKER

L e a th

er be

MIC

Viscose top, £29.99, H&M

lt , £ 8

HAE

5

, MIC HAE L KO L RS

MARK : MARKET

Metal and cotton earrings, £15, V by

Lyocell-mix dress, £29.99, LI N D E X . Cotton top (worn uunderneath) ndernea ath), £140, W O L F O RD

Compiled by: Clemmie Brown. Photographs: Graham Walser at Hearst Studios, Pixelate Imaging

DREAMS

Acetate sunglasses, £265, JIMMY

VERY

Nylon tights, £9.99, PAMELA MANN

CHOO

Silk dr dress, £985, MAGDA B BUTRYM

Viscose skirt, price on application, OFF-WHITE

Satin top, £240, S E L F PO R T R AIT

Leather shoes, £160, BI M BA Y LOLA

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3. 4.

2.

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6.

12 OF THE BEST:

12.

THE CLASSIC ‘LADY’ SHOE GETS A SUBVERSIVE REWORK IN THE HANDS OF MARNI, MIU MIU AND MORE

7.

11.

8.

9.

Photographs: 3 Objectives

10.

1. Perspex and leather shoes, £525, GIANVITO ROSSI . 2. Cotton-mix boots, £1,345, CHRISTOPHER KANE . 3. Cotton and diamanté shoes, £149, KURT GEIGER . 4. Leather and cotton shoes, £675, PRADA . 5. Strass and satin shoes, £780, ROCHAS . 6. Silk and diamanté shoes, £885, MIU MIU . 7. Leather and Swarovski crystal shoes, £1,362, DOLCE & GABBANA . 8. Leather and rhinestone boots, £1,110, SAINT LAURENT . 9. Leather and diamanté shoes, from £680, MARNI . 10. Suede shoes, £245, RUSSELL & BROMLEY . 11. Silk and leather shoes, £700, BALENCIAGA . 12. Satin shoes, £585, BOTTEGA VENETA

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Photographs by

FAUVE BOUWMAN

Styling by

FELICITY KAY

H MAKE THE NECKLINE YOUR FOCAL POINT WITH CRISP COTTON POINTS, KNITTED FRILLS AND LAYERED NECKLACES

Cotton shirt, £390, SONIA RYKIEL.

Linen dress, £49, WAREHOUSE . Silver rings, from £30, all PANDORA


Wool jacket, £795; cotton shirt, £345, both JOSEPH . Silver rings, from £30, all PANDORA

THE COLLAR REPLACES THE SLEEVE AS THE BIG STATEMENT HERE, SO GO LARGE

Leather jacket, £1,015, RED VALENTINO. Cotton shirt, £295, MARGARET HOWELL. Cotton trousers, £80, G-STAR RAW. Cotton socks, £11, FALKE . Leather shoes, £255, RUSSELL & BROMLEY. Leather belt, £8.99, H&M

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Crepe top, £260, THEORY. Cotton shirt (worn underneath), £280, HAIZHEN WANG. Polyester shorts, £60, DKNY. Leather shoes, £255 , RUSSELL & BROMLEY. Cotton socks, £11, FALKE

SHORT AND LONG, BLACK AND WHITE – EMBRACE THE BEAUTY OF CONTRAST

Cotton top, £250, MARQUES’ALMEIDA . Dress, £372, PAUL & JOE. Cotton shirt (worn underneath), £425, CECILIE BAHNSEN. Leather boots, £1,250, JIMMY CHOO

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SHOOT

Silk-mix turtleneck, £155, KATE SPADE. Polyester-mix dress, £39.99, H&M. Gold necklace (top), and gold necklace (bottom), both price on application, both TIFFANY & CO. Gold necklace (centre), £110, LINKS of LONDON. HAIR: BY TERRI CAPON AT STELLA CREATIVE ARTISTS USING ORIBE. MAKE-UP: CELIA EVANS USING CHANEL ROUGE COCO LIP BLUSH AND SUBLIMAGE L’EXTRAIT DE CREME. MODEL: ISABELL ANDREEVA AT PREMIER MODEL MANAGEMENT

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PILE ON CLASSIC GOLD CHAIN NECKLACES TO GIVE A FRILLED ROLL NECK AN EDGE


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Collages by

PATRICK WAUGH

ZADIE SMITH ON THE AGONIES OF WRITING AND BEING AN OBJECT OF WORSHIP. PLUS ZADIG & VOLTAIRE’S CECILIA BÖNSTRÖM OPENS UP HER HOME, AND A LOOK AT THE BOOKS TO DEVOUR THIS MONTH


ZADIE SMITH HAS AN ALMOST unsettling lack of pretence. As she sits down across from me at Lafayette in Manhattan’s NoHo – her choice; she lives nearby – there’s no attempt at small talk, no forced laughter just to fill space. She’s reserved; blunt, even. We’re here to talk about her new essay collection, Feel Free, but as for doing press interviews, she says, ‘No offence; I don’t think anyone relishes it.’ What’s disconcerting about this is that to read Smith’s writing is not only to feel as though you know her, but also as though she knows you. It’s easy to confuse her for the best friend you haven’t yet met. She doesn’t use social media, yet Instagram abounds with more than 18,000 posts hashtagged #zadiesmith by her ardent fans: reposts of glamorous photo shoots; shots of her novels nestled beside mugs of coffee. Mention Smith’s name in a group conversation and at least one Words by person – often young, usually female – will reverently breathe a variaKEZIAH WEIR tion of ‘I love her’. Feel Free is Smith’s seventh book since she burst onto the literary scene at the age of 24. Set in the racially diverse north London neighbourhoods in which she grew up, her debut novel, White Teeth (2000), earned her such titles as the ‘face of multicultural Britain’. Her subsequent novels – The Autograph Man (2002), On Beauty (2005), NW (2012) and Swing Time (2016). For the past 10 years, Smith has been living in New York as a selfdescribed ‘immigrant with a Green ZADIE SMITH IS NOT THE WOMAN Card’, and, while her fiction remains primarily concerned with London life, in YOU ASSUME HER TO BE. her essays – originally published in the AS HER COLLECTION OF ESSAYS, likes of the New York Review of Books FEEL FREE, HITS BOOKSTORES, and the New Yorker — she’s become an THE VOICE OF A GENERATION essential recorder and investigator of American life and culture. In particular, ENLIGHTENS US ‘a lot of my subjects are black artists,’ she says. ‘It’s about inserting myself and feeling this commonality in the black artistic community in America.’ The day before we meet, she is awarded the City College of New York’s Langston Hughes Medal, joining such luminaries as Maya Angelou and James Baldwin. As suggested by the new collection’s title, the essays of Feel Free are deliciously unhampered and far-reaching. A profile of comedy duo Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele (Brother From Another Mother) abuts musings on Joni Mitchell and questions of taste (Some Notes on Attunement); there is the Elegy for a Country’s Seasons and a piece called On Optimism and Despair. Meet Justin Bieber! turns out to be about identity, Socrates, a German Jewish philosopher and, yes, Biebs himself, as he’s never been considered before. Blending the so-called high and low, Smith renders lofty subjects accessible and elevates pop culture to the divine. She is equally

Photographs: Justin Hollar

the price of the ticket


comfortable employing personal narrative, literary and artistic criticism, thoughtful interrogations on race and class, and, often, chuckle-aloud humour: she writes of skimreading Lady Chatterley’s Lover, ‘leaping over paragraphs in search of genitals’. When we meet, Smith is wearing a long grey Acne coat and a grey turtleneck. Her hair is swathed in a signature turban (red, like her lipstick); she drops a pair of sunglasses on the table (red, too). She knows that her straightforward nature can be jarring: it got her into trouble during the first writing workshop she taught at New York University, she says, back in 2010. She’d never taken a workshop herself, so when she was told that students would submit work and she would critique it, she figured it would be most informative to do so in front of the entire class. One student cried. And yet, as we talk, she cracks droll jokes and makes offhand, unnervingly spot-on observations about my own psyche. Her reticent demeanour doesn’t inhibit her from being engaged and engaging – she simply hasn’t the bandwidth to put on an act. She’s busy. She’s on a year-long sabbatical from her teaching job at NYU, but she still has books to read and write – not to mention a seven-year-old daughter and a five-year-old son who, this week, have given her a case of pinkeye. Friends (among them Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Lena Dunham). Family in London. ‘I really am such a greedy person for life,’ she says. ‘I don’t have time to waste pretending to be alive.’ And as far as being an object of worship goes, ‘I can’t take seriously any relationship apart from the personal. All love of strangers is not real to me.’ Born Sadie Smith in 1975 (she switched to Zadie at the age of 14), she grew up on the Athelstan Gardens housing estate with her Jamaican-born mother, Yvonne Bailey; her British father, Harvey Smith; and her two younger brothers, Luke and Ben. The local library provided an escape from her parents’ arguing (they divorced when Smith was a teen), as did her primary school, a cultural melting pot that Smith describes as ‘a third black, a third South Asian’, plus the offspring of middle-class ‘socialist white people’. In Feel Free, Smith includes an appeal for the apparently bygone era of embracing difference in Fences: A Brexit Diary. The week after I talk to Smith, Prince Harry announces his engagement to the biracial American actress Meghan Markle, which is more remarkable than it should be in 2017. Smith studied literature at King’s College, Cambridge – in those days, attendance was free. While there, she wrote a few music reviews and a little short fiction, but it wasn’t until the end of her final year that she began writing what would become White Teeth. When she graduated, a publisher and Cambridge alum called, asking what she was working on. Smith handed over the unfinished manuscript and landed a two-book deal for a rumoured £250,000. It was also at Cambridge that Smith met her now husband, the Irish poet Nick Laird. Close readers might catch a sweet nod to him in White Teeth, when one character describes to another ‘all the good-lookin’ men, all the rides like your man Nicky Laird’. Smith says they were just ‘best friends’ at the time and wouldn’t start dating for another few years, but, ‘I guess I was trying to flirt with

him, even then’. Now the pair are working on adapting Swing Time for television. Her dream cast includes Ruth Negga and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, but ‘every novelist in New York has a TV show,’ she says. ‘I’m not going to get excited.’ In an era pervaded by hot takes and Twitter wars, Smith rarely toes the line when it comes to the outrage du jour. She is not irritated, for example, by questions about her children or marriage, though she was at one time. ‘I internalised all things female as being in some way passive or lesser. You only have to have children to realise that really is the biggest con the world has ever projected.’ What does outrage her is ‘the structural economic inequality of black lives’. But even in discussions of race and appropriation, her positions can be surprising. In her essay Getting In and Out, Smith argues against a viral open letter calling for the removal and destruction of Dana Schutz’s painting Open Casket, which depicted the famous 1955 funeral photograph of 14-year-old Emmett Till and was shown at the 2017 Whitney Biennial. In an examination that touches on arguments both personal and rational, Smith writes, ‘I realised I resent the implication that black pain is so raw and so unprocessed – and black art practice so vulnerable and invisible – that a single painting by a white woman can radically influence it one way or another.’ For Smith, writing essays is a way of working through big questions, but writing fiction is a kind of creative voyeurism. ‘I get to be a young, handsome black man; climb into his skin and walk around,’ she says. ‘It’s very freeing.’ She’s been a Jewish Chinese Londoner (The Autograph Man); a biracial British assistant to a white American pop star (Swing Time); an adulterous Muslim Bangladeshi father and an adulterous white American father (White Teeth, On Beauty). Now, she’s working on a novel about a real-life British highwayman in the late 1800s. Smith has said before that she doesn’t particularly like the process of writing, that she is often disappointed by the result. And yet she persists. Before I can ask her why, Smith answers the question herself with the same circuitous eloquence she employs in her essays: ‘There is a feeling in many people of transcendence,’ she says. Before she met me, for example, she went for a run by the Hudson River, the sun in her eyes and Kanye West’s gospel song Ultralight Beam in her ears. That, she says, is one kind of transcendence. There’s also organised religion: Islam, Christianity, Judaism. Smith has read the texts of all three faiths and thinks of them as compelling philosophies of life. ‘I suppose if I thought of a metaphysical element,’ she says, ‘the “good” to me is basically what people mean by God: the existence of, the idea of, good. I think of these philosophies as an enormous lake feeding into this thing called the Good. Literature is also a tributary, a smaller one, in this lake. To participate in it is to be close to God.’ Feel Free (Hamish Hamilton) by Zadie Smith is out now

“I really am such a GREEDY PERSON for life. I don’t have time to WASTE pretending to be ALIVE”

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I find beautiful kitchen stuff at Maison Galeries Lafayette. Photographs by

SANDRA SEMBURG

Hôtel Costes, Le Duc in the 14ème, and Caviar Kaspia. Words by

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WORLD CECILIA BÖNSTRÖM

I use Shazam a lot and listen to anything, from John Barry to Beyoncé.

Cecilia wears Zadig & Voltaire x Micol Sabbadini T-shirt for Every Mother counts charity

SOWRAY


PLAY

I do a mix of dance, yoga and Pilates. CECILIA BÖNSTRÖM IS A WOMAN who knows when to make a move. She was 15 years into a successful modelling career, shooting campaigns for Hermès and Clarins, when one day she woke up and decided it was time for a career pivot. She discovered it in the early Noughties, in Paris, where she had moved from her native Sweden in 1989. ‘I got a shock when I saw this new proposition for French fashion – Zadig & Voltaire,’ she says. ‘It was appealing, the white stores with the drawers. It really spoke to me.’ On that day in 2003, she called up the brand and asked for an internship, putting her modelling career to bed. She was in her 30s. ‘It’s funny: I was happy, I had children and I thought I knew where I was heading,’ she explains of the life-changing decision. The gamble paid off: three years later, she was installed as the brand’s creative director. She draws a parallel with Voltaire’s Zadig Ou La Destinée, the philosophical novella from which the brand takes its name. ‘The protagonist realises that life is not a straight road, it has its ups and downs and there are both good surprises and bad surprises. Weirdly enough, my choice that day really changed my life into something totally different,’ she says. Almost 15 years on and now 47, her story continues in a grand apartment in Paris, where she lives with her three sons, Victor, walls white and incor17, Nils, 15, and Emil, 6, and husporated their impressive band Thierry Gillier, founder of art collection, including Zadig & Voltaire. pieces by Jean-Michel Once the home of Baron Basquiat, Damien Hirst, Haussmann, the mastermind of the Richard Prince and Ru19th-century renovation of Paris, dolf Stingel, which she the space has been their home calls ‘a daily inspirafor five years. Enviably located tion’. A few faithful relics overlooking the leafy Parc Monof the home’s historic ceau and just five minutes from past remain, like a grand the Champs-Elysées, it’s frankly ceiling mural of instrumajestic – but it wasn’t love at first viewing. ment-playing cherubs in the living room (opposite, top left). ‘It was painted black and brown with ‘An apartment is more powerful when it’s as empty as possible, very heavy decoration. It took a second visit when you let the light work and breath,’ she says. ‘But that’s easy to to realise we could create something more say because we have an amazing art collection, so you contemporary,’ she says. They painted the don’t need as much decoration.’ Indeed, all it takes is two huge dark blue velvet sofas and two Christian Liaigre taWe go to bles piled high with art books to make the room feel like Galerie Kamel home. ‘For me, as a Scandinavian, it’s about less is more.’ Mennour, and The same goes for her personal style. ‘My closet is Larry Gagosian. black, navy and white,’ she says. She wears her own collection, but mixes in other designer pieces. It’s black blazers that are her weakness, though. ‘I have a huge collection,’ she admits, ‘from Comme des Garçons to Dior Homme to Céline.’ It’s a clear look, just like her home.

‘An apartment is MORE POWERFUL when it’s empty, when you let the LIGHT work ’

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LITERARY EDITOR MARTA BAUSELLS PICKS THE BOOKS TO DEVOUR THIS MONTH

CENSUS by Jesse Ball

THE IMMORTALISTS by Chloe Benjamin

There’s nothing quite like a good New York novel. Set in the Lower East Side in the Sixties, a psychic tells four siblings the date they will each die. Will they take this information in their strides, ignore it, or defy the prediction?

This psychological thriller reads as if The Talented Mr Ripley had been crossed with Donna Tartt. It will make waves.

THE DICTIONARY OF ANIMAL LANGUAGES by Heidi Sopinka

DEAR MRS BIRD by A J Pearce

Her own collection of letters and magazines from World War II inspired this author’s moving, funny debut on friendship and kindness in the Blitz.

WOMEN by Chloe Caldwell

Writer Sopinka was so awestruck when she met surrealist painter Leonora Carrington in Mexico City that she based her debut novel on the artist’s extraordinary life.

Famous for her raw, honest and hilarious essays, Caldwell has written this perfect novella, which is about women who are sexually confused, lonely, questioning their identities and just a little bit messed up. Not to be missed.

THINGS BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL by Anbara Salam

Set in the Fifties, this is a darkly comic and thrilling novel in which protagonist Beatriz accompanies her missionary husband to a remote South Pacific island, where strange things start happening. Literal escapism.

WADE IN THE WATER by Tracy K Smith

This collection of poems by the Pulitzer Prize-winning US poet laureate explores politics, art, motherhood, racism and the role of the past in shaping the present. Powerful and tender.

‘ THROUGH THE WRITINGS OF THOSE WHO KNOW AND ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT ART , WE CAN BETTER UNDERSTAND IT.’ IWONA BLAZWICK, DIRECTOR OF WHITECHAPEL ART GALLERY

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Photographs: Graham Walser at Hearst Studios

TANGERINE by Christine Mangan

The American road trip of father and son – that trope of tropes – gets a completely new take in this novel by acclaimed young author Ball. This is an evocative story of family love and mortality.


LONG LIVE SHOPPING

TALKING MIRRORS, INFINITE SHELVES, MEDITATION PODS – THE RETAIL LANDSCAPE IS CHANGING FAST. BUT AS E-COMMERCE CONTINUES TO GROW, THERE’S STILL A NEED FOR BRICKS-AND-MORTAR SPACES, AND YOU, THE SHOPPER, ARE EVEN MORE IMPORTANT, SAYS EMILY CRONIN Collage by

SIDUATIONS

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HAVE YOU SEEN IT? The first time machine in the UK has landed – right there, blinking like a high-tech portaloo in the middle of London’s Mount Street. Yes, you can try it. No, you can’t use it to spy on your future wedding or see what your current crush looks like aged 82. This portal to the future is devoted to shopping, so step in and set the dial for a West End shopping trip, 2028-style. When you arrive in the future and choose the shop you’d like to visit first, walk right in through the bank of cameras and sensors at the entrance and head to the fitting rooms. Open the built-in wardrobe and you’ll find pieces from your favourite designers, all in your size. Please, try not to be startled when the mirror offers styling suggestions. Once you’ve made your selections, you can skip the scavenger hunt for the till – it no longer features. Walk out with your shopping bags and your picks will be billed to your account thanks to now-standard technology (that’s what the cameras and sensors were about). Retailers love this approach because it’s faster, more efficient from a staffing point of view, and all but eliminates shopper’s guilt when it comes to paying. Next door is a store – actually, let’s go with ‘space’, as store is just so 2017 – where the sales associate, the first you’ve seen today, greets you by name and asks what you’re looking for. With a tap, she summons a robotic helper – sort of a stockroom-savant BB-8 – to gather pieces you’ve mentioned or might like based on past purchases. I know what you’re thinking and the answer is no: you never have to hang up clothes in a fitting room again. Rewind to 2018 and, while the above imaginings might seem farfetched, a lot of them either already exist or are in development, fast on their way to becoming standard aspects of any shopping experience. In the US, Reformation’s new, high-tech stores offer shoppers the chance to peruse the inventory on an iPad and swiftly find their selections deposited in the double-sided wardrobes in their fitting rooms. At Amazon Go’s prototype grocery store in Seattle, shoppers enter with an app and skip the checkout altogether. In London, Browns has opened Browns East, a store with a gender-neutral approach to merchandising, no fixed rails and a design that transforms every two to three weeks. Selfridges invites celebrities to cultivate retail experiences that may bear little relation to the product on the shop floor but that do get shoppers excited about visiting. So far, these have included Michèle Lamy’s boxing-themed Lamyland (which sees the radical designer and boxing aficionado take over The Corner Shop with activewear and boxing merchandise), and A$AP Rocky’s New York-style bodega in the department store’s basement. Zara recently launched an innovative click-and-collect store at Westfield Stratford with a self-service checkout and virtual styling advice, and in November, ELLE is hosting its own interactive shopping experience, ELLE Weekender. This summer, Matches Fashion will open a new Mayfair townhouse with a series of ‘in residence’ events, including shows, installations and dinners, with zero obligation for shoppers to spend. Truth is, the shopping trip of the future is already here. ‘Physical retail has completely evolved,’ says Jess Christie,

Matches Fashion’s global communications director. ‘If you want to get ahead of it now and do something special, you have to inspire the customer.’ Every movement has its buzzwords, and almost any conversation on the future of shopping tends to alight on a few – namely ‘frictionless’, ‘experiential’ and ‘personalised’. Frictionless refers to facial recognition and the cashier-free experiences at stores, already up and running in Seattle, home of the Amazon Go beta store, which uses artificial intelligence and computer vision to scan items, match them with the face of the shopper and charge them to their app; and China, where supermarket items are tagged with technology that allows shoppers to scan and pay via WeChat. Experiential means it’s about more than the product – it’s about creating value around the product. This is where Sweaty Betty’s free fitness classes and Tiffany & Co’s Manhattan café (where they serve, yep, you guessed it, Breakfast at Tiffany’s) come into play. So what if you can’t afford anything in a Tiffany & Co blue box. Chances are you can stretch to a coffee and pain au chocolat – and it’ll look just as good on Instagram. ‘You might not necessarily buy a lot of stuff in stores in the future, but you will have experiences in them,’ says Petah Marian, retail trend forecaster at WGSN. ‘A store is a storytelling venue. It’s not about how much stuff you can cram into a certain number of square feet; it’s about how this ties into the overall experience of the brand.’ All this promise of change and innovation comes at a time when the retail sector is shrouded in doom and gloom. In 2017, the number of retailers entering administration rose for the first time in five years. Flagship stores reported reduced footfall as more shoppers spent their pounds online. And who has any money, anyway? Not even Colette, the heart-racing Parisian concept store that closed in December, was immune to the changing climate. What’s remarkable is that this new normal – store closures, disruption from online shopping, poor millennials – isn’t speeding the demise of shopping IRL; it’s pushing retailers to adapt. ‘Online is functional and open 24 hours a day. If people just want function and ease, that’s there, but you need the store to have moved on,’ says Holli Rogers, CEO of Browns. ‘If you’re going to have a store, it needs to be amazing and it has to engage the customer so they can explore and be inspired in ways they couldn’t online.’ At Browns East in Shoreditch, that means shoppers can access an ‘infinite shelf’ of pieces from the South Molton Street store or the warehouse, request different sizes with a click on the stylist-connected mirror in the VIP fitting room and then

You might not buy a LOT OF STUFF in stores in the future, but you will have EXPERIENCES in them

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leave materialism behind for a 20-minute guided meditation with BeBox in the Immersive Experience Room. On a recent visit, as I floated out of the meditation pod, past a display of white Céline boots and lilac Vans trainers, it struck me that in some ways the new shopping looks a lot like the old shopping. It relies on knowledgeable sales associates who take care to learn your name, your face, what you like and how you wish to be served. ‘The human factor is paramount,’ says Rogers. ‘In an online space, you’re asking a consumer to know what they want. Offline, they can walk in and not have to know anything. The sales associate should be able to tell them anything and everything... that gives them more knowledge and connection.’ But how personalised can it get? Burberry and Matches Fashion have developed in-store apps that allow sales associates to see shoppers’ past purchases, their wish lists and what’s sitting in their shopping bags. (Serial returners, fear not: there will almost certainly be an option to shop in incognito mode.) Yet despite the onward march of tech into the shopping space, there is a flipside: more and more brands that launched as pure digital players are investing in physical stores. Online fashion brand Kitri opened a pop-up shop in Marylebone within its first year of business; visitors could try out samples from upcoming collections and vote on what should go into production. Glossier, Emily Weiss’s millennial beauty brand, regularly sold out of new product drops online but opened a store where shoppers could have hands-on encounters with Cloud Paint blush anyway. ‘It’s a credibility play,’ says Marian. ‘A lot of people won’t trust a blog or Instagram post. They want to experience something themselves before buying.’ The physical space is so important to Reformation, purveyor of sustainably produced crop tops and cool-girl bridesmaid dresses, that founder Yael Aflalo has committed most of the brand’s recent round of funding to opening stores in New York, Dallas,

San Francisco and Los Angeles (they’re ‘obsessed’ with London, but focusing on US growth for now). ‘It’s important to provide customers with a space where they can experience the brand while steering clear of any chaos that comes with the traditional shopping experience,’ she says. ‘While we think we convey the same vibe through our site and social channels, the click of a mouse isn’t the same as experiencing something IRL.’ But opening stores is expensive -- what do retailers really get out of it? Eyes on their customers, for a start. Brands are desperate to know who their clients are, and a good way of doing that is to draw them into a physical space. Shoppers are a goldmine of insight and a good sales associate can observe shoppers’ reactions to the stock, the layout, the styling, the music or the fitting rooms and feed that back to those in a position to tailor the experience towards what works. Zoom out and it’s clear that what’s happening now represents a move to a more sophisticated view. It’s not as simple as online versus offline, but rather a new appreciation that any avenue a shopper takes to come into contact with a brand will increase loyalty. ‘We try not to look at it as one being better or preferential – they all enhance each other,’ Christie says. Matches Fashion makes 95 per cent of its revenue from online sales, but the brand has found that customers who have four or more ‘touch’ points – which could be via the site, app, magazine, an event, customer care, the store or private shopping – have up to 10 times higher shopping frequency and 15 times higher spend than the average client. Maybe part of what’s making shopping exciting again is that more of us are waking up to the reality that online shopping, often heralded as the ultimate in convenience, really isn’t. According to Marian, delivery, packaging and returns all get in the way of the shopping experience and are reasons there’s still longevity in the retail store way of shopping. The most seductive aspect of shopping, oldfangled or new, remains: it’s the chance to disconnect from the everyday and waft through an environment suffused with potential new yous. On a rare, aimless afternoon off, I put my phone on airplane mode and shopped – not online, not clicking and collecting, but browsing in an old-school, time-rich way – around Soho. Meandering from & Other Stories to Liberty to Alex Eagle, I didn’t have to buy anything to come away feeling inspired, by both the beautiful products I saw and the helpful, knowledgeable sales associates. All the proof I need that we’re well on our way to the future of shopping – no time machine needed. E L L E

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“We try not to look at either ONLINE or OFFLINE being preferential – they all ENHANCE each other”


Photographs by

NATHAN JENKINS

Styling by

ANDREW GLOVER

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SHARON VOCAL, MESSY AND VERY REAL, SHARON HORGAN’S FEMALE CHARACTERS ARE THE FUNNIEST ON TV. THEY’RE THE WOMEN WE ARE, AND WANT TO BE FRIENDS WITH. SO WHO BETTER TO GUIDE US THROUGH THE DIFFERENT STAGES OF LIFE, FROM TRASHED TWENTIES TO MID-LIFE REINVENTION? BY LAURA CRAIK E L L E

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I had so many bad boyfriends – they all roll into one. I also had a couple of really good ones and some who stayed friends. But in general, they were kind of lunatics. ‘Tinder didn’t exist in my 20s. And I don’t know whether I’m glad about that or not. I don’t think I could have attempted anything like that. It’s just not in my make-up. Although I do remember that feeling when it would be the end of the night in a club and the lights would come on and – if I hadn’t pulled anyone – feeling intensely tragic about it. So maybe if Tinder had been around I would have been able to sort that kind of thing out.’

THE COUPLING ERA

SHARON HORGAN TOSSES HER long, glossy mane and extends a perfectly manicured ha… kidding. I mean, she looks really great and everything, but let’s not waste time on appearances when we could be focusing instead on what she says. As earthy as the characters she writes and portrays, Horgan laughs readily, talks openly, swears liberally and is every bit as good company as you’d hope the woman responsible for penning some of the most relatable TV characters of recent times would be. Ever since her debut BBC comedy Pulling (the hilarious 2006 BBC series about Donna and her turbulent single life), Horgan’s female characters have stood out as being messier, funnier and far more outspoken than anything else out there. Had Horgan spent the past 20 years writing Hollywood films, Emma Stone, Jennifer Lawrence et al certainly wouldn’t have had cause to lament the paucity of fully rounded female characters available to them to play. ‘One dimensional’ is not how you’d describe Sharon Morris, the lovably chaotic star of Channel 4’s Catastrophe, which Horgan co-wrote with her co-star Rob Delaney. Or Frances Dufresne, the difficult anti-heroine of dark comedy Divorce, so brilliantly played by Sarah Jessica Parker. Even Horgan’s role as Sarah in the upcoming action comedy Game Night (‘It’s completely different, like if David Fincher made a Scooby-Doo movie,’ is how she describes it) falls far from the average Hollywood clichés. If Horgan perfectly nails the complexities of being a modern woman, it’s because she is one: an actress/writer/director/producer/mother/partner/bonne vivante, who lives near Victoria Park in east London with her partner Jeremy, a businessman, and their two daughters, both of whom have cool Irish names. Who better then to guide us through the different life stages of womanhood?

THE TRASHED SINGLE YEARS ‘When we were writing Pulling, that was during this time. Even though these years were kind of messy and very disorganised and directionless, I definitely look back at them fondly. I spent my first four years in London moving around squats with a big Irish community. That was amazing: very communal living – we cooked together a lot. It was all about feeding people and everyone getting together. Everyone was lying to their parents about how they made their money and where they lived. You have this facade. Then I moved into cooperative housing. My rent was £28 a week. I moved in with two girls, a teacher and a nurse, and they were fucking crazy – that’s where [the idea for] Pulling came from. ‘The comedian Beth Stelling described [relationships in your 20s] really well: she said they were like Tarzan relationships, where you’re just swaying from one to the next without dropping to the ground. That’s kind of what I did. E L L E

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‘I don’t think I’ve ever been that romantic, so I’m not familiar with feeling that love was something I needed in my life, or was missing. I’ve never thought, “Where is he?” I’ve never had that. I don’t really know what “the one” means. ‘When I was single and living in Camden, I remember walking down the street and suddenly thinking, “Oh shit – I might never have a baby”, and then being really astonished I’d even had that thought. That was in my late20s. And then I didn’t have that feeling again until I found myself pregnant, in my mid-30s. Then it was just a case of “that’s what’s happening”. Once I started making a living in television, doing this job that I wanted to do, I was a little bit caught up in that. ‘I never thought I would be a dog person, though. I fought against it for a very long time. Now I fucking love my dog. It’s changed everything. I just want to go home, throw a ball, watch my kids laugh and monkey around with the dog. It’s great.’

THE CAREER YEARS ‘When I came to London, I wanted to act. But I wasn’t focused because I was too busy having a good time. I didn’t feel confident enough to get into that world. So I had to wait for my confidence to catch up. I never had a plan. I had to work for success like a dog. There was a “this is going to happen today” plan and then a slow sense of disappointment as a decade passed and it didn’t happen. And then it sort of happened by accident. It all started with sketch-writing and new comedy-writing competitions. That’s what you do. I felt it was happening when I got my first pilot with the BBC and sketches were getting picked up on telly. But it was small. ‘At that point in time, it was actually easier for me, as a woman in comedy, because there were so few of us. So that was like your USP – “I’m your token woman


MOTHERHOOD ‘The only thing that women should tell each other about becoming a mother is don’t go in too late to get the epidural. Don’t look at the birthing room and think, “Oh, that looks nice.” Don’t do that. Do yourself a favour and get in there and take the drugs. I don’t understand why there’s any pride in a natural birth – it upsets me. ‘I still go to bed really late, knowing I shouldn’t. My biggest girl gets herself to bed, but my nine-year-old takes ages, so generally it’s midnight before I’m in bed. I don’t like feeling knackered. And I hate now that I’m older how much being tired shows in your face. It’s so upsetting. So I try to get seven hours’ sleep a night. ‘People think I’m social, but I don’t go out that much. My husband would maybe rather we socialised more together, but I go out for work and then I feel like I’ve “done” that. And then I don’t want to go out. [As a parent] I’ve rarely been in a dinner situation where I’m like “I don’t want to be here”, because I just wouldn’t go. But the worst party my kids have been invited to was a pool party. That’s why we did an episode of Motherland about it. Hellish. A terrible thing. We had Lucy Punch’s character with sprayon abs [from a fake-tanning session]. Although I think they were her real abs. It’s a tough world portrayed in Motherland – maybe it didn’t feel sisterly, but it became sisterly the more it went on. Two of my closest friends are mums from my kids’ school. ‘My relationship with drinking [since becoming a mum] is weird. I question it a lot. It’s a dependent relationship. It’s my “look forward to” thing. And a habit thing. I used to feel bad about drinking wine too early in front of my daughters because I don’t want them thinking I’m some sort of lush. So I started drinking it from a mug.’

DIVORCE & REINVENTION ‘I don’t know many people who are divorced, but I do have a good friend who is, and that’s what I based Divorce on. My commissioner at HBO said anyone who is married can write about how it feels to want to leave a marriage. But this close friend is the only one I know who’s actually been through it. And it’s fricking tough. With Divorce, we both wanted it to be warts and all – super-honest. She [Sarah Jessica Parker] didn’t want to sugar-coat it. Which was great. Couples find it really difficult to watch it together. A lot of couples seem to like watching Catastrophe together because it has a kind of sweetness to it, but Divorce is about as honest as you could possibly get about the death of a relationship. ‘Is anyone in a long-term relationship actually having sex? I’ve definitely had some friends in couples who really go at it. But generally, long-term relationships seem to form into kind of partnership-friendship things. You don’t even want to admit to yourself that you don’t have an active sexual relationship. People keep that under wraps. We’re writing the fourth season of Catastrophe at the moment, and that’s a big part of it. In the first season, our characters were constantly having sex. But now we’re four series into a relationship. So Rob’s character says to Sharon at one point that it’s like millionaire’s shortbread. You don’t want to eat it every day – it’s like a treat.’ Game Night is in cinemas on 2 March

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Photographs: Nathan Jenkins. Styling: Andrew Glover. Hair: Adam Garland at Eighteen using Hair by Sam McKnight. Make-up: Justine Jenkins using Hourglass Cosmetics. Nails: Joanna Newbold at Era Management using Gel Effect Nail Lacquer – Hide & Seek by 12 Beauty of London. Photography assistant: Terry Broadbent. Styling assistant: Andreas Chrysostomou

in comedy”. There were a few of us, but not many. But now, obviously, it’s changing. It’s so much better and we’re much better represented on TV. And there are more women making films and TV, but it’s still niche in many ways. To encourage other women, it’s about addressing a lack of confidence and a whole bunch of other factors; not having that male psyche of, “I can do this – it doesn’t matter if I have the skills or not, I’m just going to do it.” Women are helping other women, but it’s [about] men changing their mindset as well. It’s just making that extra effort. When you’re putting those [casting] lists together, you have to search a bit harder – try harder and say, “No, this list is very white and very male. Get me a better list.” ‘I’m definitely ambitious. But I was certainly more ambitious when I was younger – now I’m just kind of doing it, because I’m in it. And I don’t know what would happen if I stopped. Sometimes I really do want to stop, but then I’ll think, “What else could I do?” And then the next day I’m sent a script that I’m really keen on and want to work on, or I get into what I’m writing, or we’re filming something that makes me excited, and I lose that feeling again. I know I’m lucky and I know that I have a job I love.’


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WE’VE HAD PUSSYHATS AT THE WOMEN’S MARCH AND INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS DEDICATED TO ‘SNATCH’ LOOKALIKES, BUT 22 YEARS AFTER THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES, IT’S TIME WE STARTED TALKING OPENLY ABOUT THE V-WORD, SAY NINA BROCHMANN AND ELLEN STØKKEN DAHL

Photograph by

PETER KAADEN


IN NORWAY, WHERE WE’RE FROM, the female genitals are often referred to as ‘the mouse’. It’s generally considered a rude word, but for some reason, we have developed an affection for it. Among friends, it sometimes gets called ‘disco mouse’, to describe what happens down there when you’ve been out dancing all night (more on that later). The word conjures up a happy little creature. And, much like a real mouse, it’s both cute and terrifying – and sometimes it needs to be petted. This may sound absurd, but every language has its euphemisms for the female genitals. Nicknames range from ‘pussy’ to ‘cookie jar’, ‘flower’, ‘vag’ and ‘snatch’. The last is the subject of popular Instagram feed @thatlookslikeasnatch, which compares everyday phenomena (from weather fronts to butternut squashes) to vulvas. But euphemisms may be getting in the way of the real deal and contributing to the many myths that surround the female reproductive organs. When Eve Ensler wrote the seminal play The Vagina Monologues in 1996, CNN did a 10-minute report on it and the presenters couldn’t bring themselves to say the V-word once. Twenty two years later, and something is still amiss. A recent survey by Thinx, a revolutionary company that makes period-proof underwear, found that one in three women feel uncomfortable even using the term ‘vagina’ around others*. But not only are women wary of talking about their bits, they’re not even sure of the proper name. ‘Vulva’ may not be the world’s most commonly used word but, if you’re a woman, that’s the anatomical name for the bit between your legs (the vagina refers exclusively to the passageway used for giving birth or having vaginal sex, which excludes the centre of female pleasure and sexuality: the clitoris. And we wouldn’t want to do that). The fact that the V-word is rarely discussed openly shouldn’t come as a surprise. Excusing our bodies and our most basic female functions is something we practise from a young age: we hide tampons up our sleeves as we sneak off to the toilet and say no to oral sex because we’re scared our own smell is off-putting. For this to change, we need to treat our reproductive organs for what they are: actual body parts that influence our lives and futures and deserve to be called by their proper names. It is finally time to scrap the euphemisms, bust the myths and start having honest, open conversations about our vaginas. Sorry, vulvas. As two authors on the subject, our own dialogue began when we metback in 2011. It was our first year in medical school and we had volunteered as sexual education teachers. It was the act of threading condoms onto polystyrene penises and drawing frilly hymens on white boards that consolidated our friendship. After talking to teenagers, refugees and sex workers about all things genital for four years, our blog, Underlivet – a Norwegian term that

translates into both ‘the life down under’ and the slightly less poetic ‘genitals’ – was conceived. Despite having arguably the ugliest layout in blog history, it became one of the most-read health blogs in Norway. Questions came pouring in from women in their 20s and 30s, with odour, sexual desire, periods and hormonal worries topping the list. The questions showed that women needed a new round of uncensored sex education, outside of the classroom and updated to reflect their actual lives. The result was a book: The Wonder Down Under, which is now published in more than 30 languages, from Chinese to Catalan. It turns out the world has a lot of questions it wants to ask about vaginas. Top of many women’s list is periods, which in the past year has become a hot political topic. Periods remain one of the major obstacles when it comes to gender equality across the world, including the UK. And it’s still something many people find difficult to talk about openly: 47 per cent of women interviewed for a recent survey said they preferred more ‘palatable’ names for periods, including ‘time of the month’, ‘monthly visitor’ and ‘mother nature’*. But things are changing. Last year, 18-year-old Amika George brought period poverty to the forefront with her #FreePeriods campaign, working to convince parliament and Theresa May that girls on free school meals should be given free sanitary products to ensure they don’t miss out on class. It also looks like the UK government might finally remove the ‘luxury good’ tax on tampons, which couldn’t happen soon enough given the socio-economic injustice of it. Ask any woman if they feel like their tampons provide them with a ‘luxury’ feeling, and they’d probably tell you to fuck off. As the conversation changes, companies such as Bodyform are finally listening. Last year, it made headlines by using – shock, horror – realistic-looking blood in its adverts, instead of testing sanitary towels with a mysterious blue liquid. Thinx, which in 2015 made headlines because its ads even used the word ‘period’ (sigh), is now covering the New York subway with statements such as: ‘Period-proof underwear that means you have one less NYC smell to worry about. (LOL is that too gross? We weren’t sure.)’ It’s not gross, it’s hilarious and exactly what’s needed. Healthy vulvas do smell, hence the ‘disco mouse’ moniker – because anyone will smell a bit funky after a night out on the town or an hour at the gym. After all, most women worry about their smell to some degree – so laughing about it might be the key to reducing stigma and shame. The ultimate sign that periods and blood have become legit is that girl-next-door stars such as Jessica Alba and supermodel Natalia Vodianova have made periods their new projects through sanitary care lines and period-tracking apps. Two years ago, who would’ve imagined that would become a celebrity cause? Not many people. But goddamnit, it feels good to think a new generation of girls might grow up not having to excuse their most incredible superpower: that women actually bleed for days every month without dying or fainting.

*Thinx survey 2017

“We HIDE TAMPONS up our sleeves, and say NO TO ORAL SEX because we’re SCARED our own smell is OFF-PUTTING”

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But it’s not all about periods. Female pleasure and desire is also drawing some well-deserved attention, with plenty of questions being asked about female orgasms. It seems there is a hierarchy, with vaginal orgasms coming in in pole position, while climaxing from clitoral stimulation is somehow considered inferior. But this simply isn’t true. The physiological response to an orgasm in your body is the same, no matter how you are stimulated. Also, most women don’t have orgasms from vaginal sex alone – only as few as How the conversation around 18 per cent of women do so regularly**, and it vaginas has changed all comes down to luck in the anatomical lottery. (Here comes the biology lesson: women with a MONOLOGUE larger clitoral head placed closer to the vaginal opening seem to come more readily from vaginal YEARS Eve Ensler’s play The Vagina sex, because the clitoris is indirectly stimulated to Monologues premiered in a larger degree during intercourse.) 1996 and inspired V-Day: It’s not just women figuring things out for a grassroots movement to themselves anymore, either. OMGYes – the end violence around women. fabulous instruction website for female orgasms, endorsed by Emma Watson – gets reviewed in VAGINAGATE the world’s major newspapers, pelvic floor exerIn 2012, US politician Lisa cises are standard practice in yoga and Pilates Brown was banned from classes, and Gwyneth Paltrow even advocates speaking on the House Floor putting stone eggs up there. All forms of masturbaafter saying ‘vagina’ in an tion and pelvic exercises should be applauded, abortion debate. because it is the best cure for every problem in bed, be it poor body image, lack of desire or no PUSSY GRABS BACK orgasms. Although vagina eggs are the biggest In 2016, video emerges of nonsense we’ve come across (sorry, Gwyneth), then-US Presidential it’s encouraging to see how brazen women are candidate Trump saying when it comes to taking control of their sexuality, women let him ‘grab them expecting pleasure and orgasms as the norm and by the pussy’. It inspired doing something about it. It’s just worth rememPussyhats (top, on the bering that fingers are free of charge, available catwalk) at the Women’s whenever and don’t require batteries.

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There are few things as exposing as sitting in a gynaecologist’s chair with, quite literally, a March and the phrase spotlight on your most holy hole. For us, it’s a job ‘Pussy grabs back’. like any other. But we’ve lost count of the number of times women say, ‘I’m sorry I didn’t have time NO PANTS to wax,’ as they climb into the chair. At times it feels as if we’re living in a dark, alternate, Black ALLOWED In 2016, Cara Delevingne Mirror-style reality where a normal, hairy vulva (below) modelled (pantless) is something to be offended by. A recent survey for Lady Garden, a by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust showed that one campaign raising awareness in three 25- to 29-year-old women do not attend of gynaecological cancer. their smear tests, with 34 per cent worried about Naomi Campbell did the the appearance of their vulva and 38 per cent of same in 2017. women concerned about smelling ‘normal’. Not only is this a huge worry in terms of detecting cerV-EXPENSIVE vical cancer, it shows the pressures women feel Last year, Tesco became the to conform to beauty standards: to be hairless first retailer to pay tampon and odour-free, hide our periods and achieve tax on behalf of customers. impossible goals. Other people’s judgements of our bodies seem more important than our own. In today’s sexualised culture, it can sometimes be easy to forget that our bodies are about more than appearance and performance, and that a naked body isn’t always about sex. It’s easy to base your self-worth on what you get up to in bed and, not least, the way you look. Women have wonderful bits down under and it’s there to be enjoyed, just the way you are, both alone and with one partner – or three. The Wonder Down Under by Nina Brochmann and Ellen Støkken Dahl (Yellow Kite, £14.99) is out on 8 March

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** Women’s Experience of Genital Touching, Sexual Pleasure and Orgasm , August 2017. Photographs: Getty Images, Instagram/@thatlookslikeasnatch, Rex Features, Wenn

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ON

bitching

Illustration by Jo Bell

GOSSIP IS EVERYWHERE – AT WORK, ON INSTAGRAM, IN THE NEWS. WE’RE ALL GUILTY OF IT, BUT IS IT REALLY THAT BAD FOR US, ASKS LIV SIDDALL

I’m a nice person. People tell me all the time how kind I am. I am yet to master a resting bitch face (the ‘anti-smile’ that Kristen Stewart and Victoria Beckham have, inadvertently or not, perfected). And yet, I’ve bitched about people I’ve been friends with for decades. Or about someone I’ve just met at a party. People at work. People I don’t even know. A blood relative. I’ve said it all. I’ve been mean about people’s appearances, I’ve judged people for their personal decisions, I’ve criticised people’s parenting. I’ve disapproved of people’s boyfriends, and told someone one thing, then told another something else. I’ve exaggerated, embellished, elaborated and fabricated until, like reaching a sort of terrible climax, the bitching for that day is out of my system and I shut up for a bit. Until someone else does something that I deem worth telling someone else about, and then I start it up again. My recent fascination with bitching began a few weeks ago, when a friend and I were discussing the hypothetical hell of having to listen to a tape of all the horrible things people have ever said about you behind your back. ‘Yeah,’ my friend added, ‘but wouldn’t it be worse to hear a tape of all the nasty things you’ve said about other people?’ A kind of audio burn book. Bitching – what we now call complaining about something or someone at length – is an addiction, really. You can tell yourself you’ll stop for a bit, or for good, then revert right away. But is the act really that bad for you? Last year, research by the University of Pavia in Italy found that gossiping, bitching’s very close first cousin, releases oxytocin, the ‘love’ hormone, or ‘cuddle’ chemical, which makes you feel closer to people. The study suggested that it dates back to times when obtaining information (read: finding out the goss) from the neighbouring village might actually be key to survival. In the modern world, bitching helps us deal with our families, form bonds with new pals in smoking areas and toilets, suss out new housemates and navigate work. Bitching can also be a form of survival. Whisper networks, an informal verbal and virtual chain of complaints and chatter between women and men, have largely been credited with helping take down the many powerful, serial abusers exposed in this age of #MeToo. They not only give people the courage to speak out, but offer a pool of resources to find the emotional, professional and sometimes legal protection they need in the process. In some industries, bitching is almost compulsory. Among many wholly positive things, the fashion world is often filled with it (which designer is going where, who is firing who and why that model was blacklisted by that photographer). Fashion has had its own #MeToo whisper network, as models gather the courage to speak out about mistreatment at the hands of photographers, stylists and casting agents. But the bitching can also take on a less helpful turn. E L L E

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Take Vanessa Friedman’s piece for The New York Times last year, entitled ‘Fashion’s Gossip Addiction’. ‘Gossip,’ she wrote, ‘seems impossible to stop, and it is getting worse. In Paris last week, there was more leaking going on in the maisons of Avenue Montaigne than in the Trump White House... I have never heard so much flagrant muckraking. I’d like to say this season was an anomaly but, actually, I think this may be the new normal. It’s all hearsay, all — or most of — the time.’ To complicate things, ‘bitch’, and the term ‘bitching’, are both very feminine words, and in the majority of cases are used to allude to women. But in actuality, men are just as bad. You probably know men who would never admit it, but who adore nothing more than vocally dissecting a mutual friend over a pint in the pub. Not forgetting the politicians and celebrities, too: Donald Trump and Kanye West have basically forged careers out of public take-downs, and David Beckham’s leaked emails about not receiving a knighthood (specifically targeting Katherine Jenkins’ OBE) were the ultimate high-end bitch-fest. But in the current climate – where woman-to-woman solidarity carries so much weight, in a world where women’s rights seem under constant assault – is bitching just a one-step-forward-two-steps-back situation? It seems mad to engage in negativity towards one another when now – more than ever – we need to do quite the opposite. What if we all took steps to think about how much we bitch, or listen to others doing it, and then rearrange the goalposts in our own heads and have more personal control over it? At the beginning of this article, I owned up to having said terrible things, and it was by no means easy to admit that to myself. Since starting to write this piece, I’ve thought more about what I say to people, and noticed when I am being bitched to. It’s definitely not easy to refrain from bitching; harder still to refrain from engaging when someone else launches a bitching session with you. It makes me think that this ancient act is just a part of life – it’s not going to go away, so best to arrange your own moral goalposts and indulge in it how you think best. Like chocolate, cheese and coffee, bitching is one of life’s pleasures – best enjoyed in moderation, with full knowledge of the damage (or good) it can do. I’m not going to sit here and tell you not to get together with your friends, drink loads of wine and talk solely about politics and weather. Just don’t get caught, keep it to a minimum, be careful who’s within earshot, and be comfortable when you remember that, whatever you may be doing, someone, somewhere, is probably having a good old bitch about you. And let’s be honest: I’ll probably get bitched about for writing this very article, so what can you do? Liv Siddall is a contributing editor of Riposte magazine and hosts a series of podcasts called Redundancy Radio, in which she interviews people about their jobs


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AS THE STAR OF THE YEAR’S BIGGEST BLOCKBUSTER, TOMB RAIDER, ALICIA VIKANDER IS A UP ABOUT SHEDDING HER FEAR OF TALL-POPPY SYNDROME, LEARNING TO SPEAK OUT,


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TRUEIT GR MODERN ACTION HERO WE CAN STAND BEHIND. THE OSCAR-WINNING ACTRESS OPENS THE REALITIES OF MARRIED LIFE AND THE JOY IN TAKING A BREAK. WORDS BY LOTTE JEFFS


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ALICIA VIKANDER HAD ME AT ‘HALLÅ’. The Oscar-winning Swedish actor, who is starring in this year’s biggest blockbuster, Tomb Raider, and happens to be married to the equally bankable Michael Fassbender, turned up to breakfast at the Haymarket Hotel five minutes early. Her cheeks were flushed from having walked the 52 minutes from north London (a perfect opportunity to catch up on the phone with her dad), hair swept back into a messy ponytail, wearing skinny jeans, white trainers and a chunky grey sweater. She doesn’t like to stand out, which she tells me is very Swedish, as her homeland suffers from tall-poppy syndrome, where, in a poppy field, if one flower grows higher than the others, it’s cut down. ‘You shouldn’t be too good, or do something different… In a way it’s great to grow up with that, as it makes you very grounded, but also a bit scared of standing out and making a big leap away from the rest of the group.’ Vikander took that leap at 15, when she moved from her family home to attend ballet school in Stockholm, and she’s been outgrowing the poppy field ever since. Critically acclaimed performances in Anna Karenina, Ex Machina, The Light Between Oceans, plus a Best Supporting Oscar for The Danish Girl, have led her to take on every video gamer’s fantasy survival bae Lara Croft in Tomb Raider. The film is a prequel to Angelina Jolie’s 2001– 2003 franchise (so Lara Croft is younger this time round), which, even back then, before social media, grossed a massive £305 million. It is set to bring with it millions of dollars worth of merchandising opportunities (hands up for an Alicia action figure) and what is sure to be a whole new level of global recognition for this unassuming star. ‘When they first called me about making a new Tomb Raider,’ Vikander says, ‘I was like, “Hasn’t that been done?” And then I realised there was a chance to tell a story about a girl that I think a lot of young people will relate to. When we meet her at the beginning of this film, she lives in a commune in Hackney and is a bicycle courier delivering food. You get to see her mature and turn into something exceptional.’ Vikander says Lara’s journey really resonated with her – particularly because she was the same age as Lara when she first came to London and lived with her girlfriends (a crew of Swedish musicians,

including Tove Lo) in East Hackney. ‘There’s an awful lot of pressure on you when you’re 20, 21; not really knowing what you want to do with your life – and that’s exactly the position Lara is in.’ Training for Tomb Raider was arduous. ‘For three months before filming, I started every morning with an hour’s workout. Then there was a lot of eating going on; I had to have five meals a day.’ She tells me: ‘I wanted Lara to be strong. I’m very petite myself, and I wanted the audience to find the action sequences plausible – to believe that she could do it, that she could lift herself up with her own body weight.’ One of the most demanding days of filming involved Vikander being thrown down rapids of a white-water-rafting course in north London (built for the 2012 Olympics) with her hands tied together, over and over again until they got the shot. I wonder what’s more difficult: making such a physically draining film, or a more emotionally taxing one, known as she is for her ability to plumb the depths of raw human experience. ‘It’s interesting,’ she says, ‘because with physical films, as long as you get home, you get a good night’s rest. Weirdly enough, it gives you energy in the end; it’s just really tough to go through at the time. When I think about some of the biggest, most emotionally draining scenes I’ve done – in The Danish Girl, for example – it’s not too different. I found myself having to go to sleep afterwards, but by the next day I’d be fine.’ For Vikander, it’s dealing with the emotional trauma in real life that’s most taxing. ‘I think in real life you hold back, you always try to pull yourself together. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t cry very often. I try to be fine about things, which I think is a very human thing. But as an actor, when you have stories to tell about these kinds of emotional moments, you have to push yourself to go there. I don’t keep this darkness hovering over me, though. It’s more like it comes out and it’s a physical thing [just watch her portrayal of a woman miscarrying in The Light Between Oceans for an example of this], and that makes it easier to walk away and move on.’ I get the sense that dealing with the real-life moments is something Vikander is still getting to grips with. I ask if she has ever lost someone she loves. ‘My mum was very ill a few years ago, and I was in the middle of filming – it was when my career was taking off, so my dad stepped in. It was an immense support.’ She says it was a ‘very tough time’, because she wanted to be at home with her family, but even her mother, who was suffering from cancer, said, ‘You can’t.’ It made her feel lonely, but she would stop herself from indulging such feelings because, she says, ‘What I’m going through is nothing compared to what she’s going through.’ Her mother is now in remission and recently starred in a play in Sweden (she is also an actor). Vikander attended the first night. ‘I just jumped on a plane, because I couldn’t miss it for anything in the world.’ Alicia was so overwhelmed by love and pride that she did that rare thing – she cried. ‘It was a total parent-child role reversal. They’d come to see me singing at school and I’d say, “Why are you crying? That’s just weird and embarrassing.” Well, that was me this time.’ Her mother Maria divorced her father Svante (a psychiatrist) when she was a child, but Vikander says she’s never had anything but a happy relationship with him and her five half-siblings from his other relationships. After Anna Karenina, when her career really took off, Vikander’s biggest fear was that she would lose touch with her friends and family. ‘I was terrified they wouldn’t be there when I went back.’ She tells me that, a few weeks ago, she met up with her oldest, closest friends.

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+ cream silk blous e, £1,70 0; and pink Black cotto n and silk gilet, £2,70 0; hat, £420 , LOCK & CO £300 , all LOUIS VUITT ON . Black felt

silk shorts ,


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s, n lea the r bo ot NC HY . Br ow 08 , bo th GI VE £6 , ns HY jea , GI VE NC ac k de nim th ch ai n, £5 03 £2 ,19 3; an d bl lea the r be lt wi W hit e sil k to p, TE RN . Bl ac k ES W IE SS JE fro m £6 99 ,


‘We had the best time together; nothing had changed. I’ve always been very aware of wanting to keep what is my emotional home and my family close to me.’ We talk about the importance of having an ‘anchor’ – a strong sense of what’s important that isn’t defined by superficial things – the films, the awards, the Louis Vuitton campaigns, the media frenzy over your heart-throb actor husband (Vikander married Michael Fassbender in Ibiza last October). ‘I have that anchor now,’ she says, smiling. ‘I felt a bit lost. I was maybe not so happy with myself for a while…’ And now she is in a good place, she wants to use her platform to help others. We meet amidst the wave of allegations against male movie producers and the topic of sexism in Hollywood hangs thickly in the air throughout our discussion: ‘I’ve been very fortunate that I haven’t had any sexual harassment on set. But I’ve been in situations where people in power have put me on the spot, or made me feel stupid and young when I wasn’t able to express myself publicly. Once, an older female costar actually said on my behalf, “That’s not OK.”’ She goes on to tell me that she wants to be this person now, looking out for her younger colleagues who maybe don’t have the confidence or experience she does. ‘I can now speak up and say that is not fine. I’ve been given the fortunate position now of not being, in the same way, afraid of losing my job, which is deep down the reason you don’t want to be in trouble. You don’t want to be difficult…’ While filming Tomb Raider, she was conscious of making Lara Croft appear attractive, as well as strong. ‘Sure, Lara is a sex symbol in some ways, but for me, what makes a woman or a man attractive is someone who dares to speak up; who dares to show their personality. It’s tough being a young girl at this time, you know? I’m now working in an industry that lives on creating an image, a fantasy, and I feel like I need to show younger women that’s the way it is. Even I was fooled [into thinking a woman in Hollywood needed to be a certain way]. When I first went to America to work, I was told, “Maybe you should wear heels and curl your hair when you go to meetings.”’ Vikander took that advice, but she didn’t feel good about it. ‘After dressing like that I thought, that was weird. I really felt compromised, like “Shit, I ended up there. I did it.” You know? I thought I was trying not to be like everyone else. I almost felt ashamed.’ It’s no wonder she needed a hiatus from Hollywood. ‘As an actor, there’s this underlying fear of never getting another job. Until now, I’ve always felt like I couldn’t stop, but I realised I had to take a break; I had to remember what it was to be me without work. I don’t have a clue what’s coming next, and I’m fine with that. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind, the past few years. I was thrown into so many new experiences that I could never have even imagined, so I couldn’t really prepare myself emotionally for them.’ Vikander and Fassbender recently moved to Lisbon. ‘When I met my husband, three and a half years ago, he had mentioned he’d been to Lisbon and loved it, and I knew friends who were moving there. And that was a time when I was just starting to feel really at home in London, but after Brexit I think I was like, “Meh, you know what, I want to stay in Europe.” I’ve fallen in love with the city and the fact that it’s just on the waterfront, close to nature, and I like the warm weather a lot. It’s a place that is just constantly alive. And they’re known for their sardines; I do love sardines.’

As much as I’m desperate to know the inner workings of their married life in the Portuguese capital, I understand the reasons Vikander wants to keep that part of her world private. It also means she is appreciated as an exceptional actor in her own right, and not the ‘wife of actor Michael Fassbender’, which is still a depressingly common narrative in Hollywood. What she does reveal is that the pair first met on the dancefloor at the Toronto International Film Festival, and then again, a few months later, on the dancefloor after the BAFTAs: ‘Yep, the first two times we met, we didn’t chat, we only danced.’ I can’t help but say out loud what we’re all thinking: ‘Sexy!’ Vikander laughs. ‘Actually, we didn’t talk until we worked together [in The Light Between Oceans, during which the pair fell in love]. Vikander and Fassbender like nothing more than hosting friends at home. ‘I love to get guests playing games,’ she tells me. ‘It’s like stepping on new ground for the first five minutes, and then people really, really enjoy it. Normally, you kind of just fall into patterns of how dinner parties should be – you should be polite and you should say these things. But I like to shake the box a bit.’ She continues, ‘I really enjoy hosting, throwing dinner parties or surprise parties for people and I can spend weeks planning them. I come up with games that introduce new people to one another. I spend hours with seating plans, even for a small dinner. It really makes such a difference. And I always try to put people next to someone they haven’t met before.’ Did she spend a lot of time doing the seating plan for her wedding? She nods gravely. ‘A lot of time… It’s gut instinct in the end, though, like, “These people will have a fun time together.”’ I have no trouble believing she’s a lot of fun, particularly after she tells me later, ‘I do love a drink. More and more, I love wine, but I like vodka Martinis or straight-up tequilas. I’ve taken to drinking straight, but I only ever have one or two, and I never really get drunk’. It’s no wonder Alicia Vikander is the life and soul of a party. She’s found love (and locked it down) with one of the sexiest men alive, she won an Oscar before turning 30, has a gregarious, loving family, good friends, and at her feet is a multi-million-pound film franchise, which, at a time when women in the movie business are still being variously disempowered, is about a petite, initially unassuming young woman kicking ass and saving the world. I think we can all agree: that’s definitely something worth celebrating. Tomb Raider is released on 16 March

E, M R ‘ FO M A K E S T W H AWOM AN A AN E M R O TI V E C A AT T ROMEON S I S S O DA R EP ’ W H PE AK U TO S

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black wool and silk dress , £1,80 0; Black wool and silk cape , £3,50 0; , all DIOR . Black leath er boots , £960 shirt, n and black and white cotto hat, £325 , LOCK & CO HATT ERS felt Black . from £699 , JESSI E WEST ERN

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+ n shirt, 5, MAIS ON MARG IELA . White cotto Came l cotto n and wool coat, £2,54 boots (just seen) , er leath n Brow . LES KOOP THE , £85, GANT . Black leath er skirt, £295 bolo tie, £89, both JESSIE WEST ERN from £699 ; and turqu oise and silver


HAIR: GE O RGE NORTHW OOD. MAKE-UP: KE L L Y CORNW ELL AT A GE NCYA RT ISTSLDN.COM. NAILS : A DAM SLEE AT ST RE E T E RS USING RIMMEL L O NDO N. PROP STYLIST : GIL L IA N O ’BRIE N AT LALALAND. TAILOR : M ICH AEL HUNT


TH IS PA GE s: co tto n Ga br iel le we ar ck wa rd s), sh irt (w or n ba sh irt (w or n £6 95 ; co tto n ; co tto n 70 £6 , p) to on £4 55 ; an d p, to u ea nd ba ,2 00 , al l £1 , irt sk de nim so ck s, n tto Co PR AD A. HE RE LL A. £8 .9 9, PA NT £1 30 , Le at he r sh oe s, CO . G. H. BA SS & £5 9, Go ld ea rri ng s, SC O TT . GE O RG IA NA s: co tto n Ch ris tia n we ar , 60 £3 , irt sh po lo GI EL A. M AI SO N M AR £3 95 , E. W oo l tro us er s, so ck s, n tto TA UT Z. Co HE RE LL A. £8 .9 9, PA NT rs, £1 50 , Le at he r tra ine O. AX EL AR IG AT su ed e s: ar we t er lb Co LA DE , 25 £6 et, ja ck £1 4. 90 , p, to n tto Co VA LI. irt , sk lle Tu . LO UN IQ CH AM P £4 65 , LO NG O PP O SI TE s: wo ol Ga br iel le we ar 90 , SO NI A po lo sh irt , £3 sk irt , RY KI EL . Ch iff on I. CC GU , 90 ,7 £1 £8 .9 9, Co tto n so ck s, A. LL RE HE PA NT s, £7 80 , Le at he r br og ue ST . AR HE LA GA BR IE tto n Be n we ar s: co 0, BE N po lo sh irt , £7 oo l SH ER M AN . W , tro us er s, £3 95 tto n so ck s, E. TA UT Z. Co HE RE LL A. £8 .9 9, PA NT rs, £1 50 , ine tra r Le at he O AT IG AX EL AR


Photographs by

LIZ COLLINS

Styling by

ANNE-MARIE CURTIS


Ga br iel le we ar s: wo ol jum pe r, £2 20 , CA RV EN . W oo l-b len d sk irt , £2 ,3 75 , CÊ LIN E. Co tto n so ck s, £8 .9 9, PA NT HE RE LL A. Le at he r sh oe s, £1 30 , G. H. BA SS & CO . Go ld ea rri ng s, £5 9, GE O RG IA NA SC O TT . Be n, as be fo re


s: vis co se Ga br iel le we ar ; tul le sk irt , 00 ,3 £1 , dy bo DI O R. £3 ,6 00 , bo th be fo re . as s, ck so n Co tto £1 30 , Le at he r sh oe s, CO . & SS BA H. G. 9, £8 s, ng rri ea Go ld SC O TT GE O RG IA NA ris tia n, Co lb er t an d Ch . Se re na bo th as be fo re T-s hir t, we ar s: co tto n DE NI M ER TH O M , 12 £1

LIZ COLLINS


Ga br iel le we ar s: co tto n ta nk to p, £1 65 ; lea the r sk irt , £2 ,9 75 , bo th CA LV IN KL EI N 20 5W 39 NY C. Co tto n so ck s, £8 .9 9, PA NT HA RE LL A. Le at he r sh oe s, £1 30 , G. H. BA SS & CO . Go ld ea rri ng s, £5 9, GE O RG IA NA SC O TT . Co lb er t an d Ch ris tia n, bo th as be fo re

LIZ COLLINS


s: wo ol Ga br iel le we ar A. P. C. , 35 £2 r, jum pe £3 80 , Ch iff on de ss, . Co tto n HU GO BO SS so ck s, £8 .9 9, A. Le at he r PA NT HA RE LL GA BR IE LA , 80 £7 s, oe sh he r be lt, HE AR ST . Le at OWN BR & K AC BL £8 0, r LO ND O N. Si lve ea rri ng s, £7 5, O TT . GE O RG IN A SC ol Ka tie we ar s: wo , M O LL Y jum pe r, £3 00 sc os e GO DD AR D. Vi EX A sk irt , £3 75 , AL n so ck s, tto Co G. UN CH tto n as be fo re . Co pl im so lls , £5 0, n an d SU PE RG A. Be as be fo re Ch ris tia n, bo th


Ga br iel le we ar s: ca sh me re jum pe r, £3 80 , GE NE VI EV E SW EE NE Y. Si lk sk irt , £1 ,3 80 , FE ND I. Co tto n so ck s, £8 .9 9, PA NT HE RE LL A. Le at he r sh oe s, £7 80 , GA BR IE LA HE AR ST . Go ld ea rri ng s, £1 11 , M EI -LI RO SE . Ha yle y we ar s: wo ol jum pe r, £1 95 , AL EX A CH UN G. Po lye ste r sk irt , £3 10 , M AS HA M A. Co tto n so ck s, £8 .9 9, PA NT HE RE LL A. Co tto n pl im so lls , £5 0, SU PE RG A. Be n, Co lb er t an d Ch ris tia n, al l as be fo re


s: co tto n Ga br iel le we ar CO AC H , 50 £1 T-s hir t, NG . x KE ITH HA RI , Si lk sk irt , £6 70 ES TW O O D. W NE EN VI VI £8 .9 9, Co tto n so ck s, A. PA NT HE RE LL £6 95 , s, oe sh r he at Le AR ST . GA BR IE LA HE fo re . be as s, ng Go ld ea rri fo re be as n, tia Ch ris

LIZ COLLINS


s: tul le Ga br iel le we ar , dr es s, £3 ,6 40 r be lt, ER DE M . Le at he tto n £2 0, RO KI T. Co so ck s, £8 .9 9, A. PA NT HE RE LL £1 30 , Le at he r sh oe s, CO . G. H. BA SS & £1 11 , Go ld ea rri ng s, M EI -LI RO SE . an d Ha yle y, Ka tie be fo re as l al n, tia ris Ch

LIZ COLLINS


Ga br iel le we ar s: or ga nz a an d la ce sh irt dr es s, £6 ,2 65 ; lea the r be lt, £4 00 , bo th M IU M IU . Co tto n so ck s, £8 .9 9, PA NT HE RE LL A. Le at he r sh oe s, £1 30 , G. H. BA SS & CO . Go ld ea rri ng s, £1 11 , M EI -LI RO SE . Ka tie , as be fo re . Co lb er t we ar s: ca sh me re po lo sh irt , £2 05 , VE DA . Tu lle sk irt , £4 65 , LO NG CH AM P. Ch ris tia n, as be fo re . Ha yle y we ar s: vis co se bo dy , £2 70 , BO DY ED ITI O NS . Tu lle sk irt , £4 65 , LO NG CH AM P. Co tto n so ck s, as be fo re . Co tto n pl im so lls , £5 0, SU PE RG A


Ga br iel le we ar s: tul le dr es s, sil k br a an d br ief s, al l pr ice on ap pl ica tio n, al l DO LC E & GA BB AN A. Co tto n so ck s, £8 , PA NT HA RE LL A. Le at he r sh oe s, £6 95 , GA BR IE LA HE AR ST . Go ld ea rri ng s, £1 11 , M EI -LI RO SE . Ha yle y an d Ch ris tia n, bo th as be fo re


s: Ga br iel le we ar 90 , £3 , irt sh lo po wo ol . Ch iff on SO NI A RY KI EL GU CC I. sk irt , £1 ,7 90 , £8 , Co tto n so ck s, A. PA NT HA RE LL £7 80 , Le at he r sh oe s, AR ST . GA BR IE LA HE , £7 5, Si lve r ea rri ng O TT . SC NA IA RG GE O AT LE SC BA B SE HA IR : EN CY . CA LL IS TE AG AR O N M AK E-U P: SH CL M HA IR DO W SE TT AT P US IN G AN D M AK E-U E CO CO UG RO EL AN CH D BL UE AN H US BL LIP NA ILS : E. EY M RU SE SH AT EL W A M EM CY US IN G FR AN K AG EN RN IS IN CH AN EL LE VE AN D LA NE W DA W N M O DE L: CR EM E M AI N. L AT TH E RU E LL IE BR GA S: KA TIE HI VE . DA NC ER ER T LA TT ER , CO LB NA RE SE E, M SO NE W O K, CO N BE , O RI ZZ SO N, HA YL EY W AT RN ER CH RI ST IA N TU TH AN KS BR ID GE R. W ITH TR O L TO SW IN G PA

LIZ COLLINS


Photographs by

MEINKE KLEIN

Styling by

JOANNA SCHLENZKA


THIS PAGE

Pink leather jacket, £3,500; and pink leather shorts, £1,320, both TOD’S . Silver leather boots, £1,950, DIOR . Steel watch (just seen), £1,300, TAG HEUER . Pink-gold diamond ring, £3,600, DIOR JOAILLERIE OPPOSITE

Leather jacket, £3,500, TOD’S . Acetate sunglasses, £319, FENDI


MEINKE KLEIN


THIS PAGE

Cotton T-shirt, £250, VERSACE . Viscose-satin trousers, £360; and leather sandals, £440, both EMPORIO ARMANI . Acetate and metal sunglasses, £306, DOLCE & GABBANA OPPOSITE

Cashmere-mix dress, £1,840; and metal and resin earrings, £830, both CHANEL . Leather shoes, £695, SERGIO ROSSI


MEINKE KLEIN


THIS PAGE

Silver sequin dress, £5,970, MICHAEL KORS COLLECTION . Silver leather sandals (just seen), £505, CHLOE GOSSELIN . Stainless-steel watch, £249, SWAROVSKI OPPOSITE

Silk-mix shirt, £700, ALBERTA FERRETTI . Cotton-mix trousers, £750, LOUIS VUITTON . Leather boots, £225, AEYDÉ . Leather bag, £1,490, BULGARI


THIS PAGE

Pink silk dress, £1,660, CHLOÊ OPPOSITE

Viscose jumper, £380, TIBI . Silk skirt, £795, VALENTINO . Leather shoes, £695, SERGIO ROSSI . Cotton socks, £5, MONKI


MEINKE KLEIN


MEINKE KLEIN


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Pink cotton shirt, £355, GUCCI . Polymix skirt, £325, SET . Pink leather shoes, £695, VERSACE . Pink acetate sunglasses, £166, MOSCHINO . Stainless-steel watch, £249, SWAROVSKI OPPOSITE

Cotton-mix dress, and leather shoes, both price on application, both DOLCE & GABBANA . Lurex socks, £5, MONKI


MEINKE KLEIN


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Nylon jacket, £75, DKNY SPORT OPPOSITE

Cotton trench coat, £1,695, BURBERRY . Crepe jacket, £1,295; and crepe trousers, £595, both SIES MARJAN


THIS PAGE

Lilac acetate sunglasses, £335, JIMMY CHOO. Pink silk-satin dress (just seen), £1,745, SALVATORE FERRAGAMO OPPOSITE

Pink silk-satin dress, £1,745, SALVATORE FERRAGAMO . Pink satin shoes, £606, TABITHA SIMMONS . Lilac acetate sunglasses, £335, JIMMY CHOO HAIR: PHILIPPE THOLIMET AT SAINT LUKE USING ORIBE HAIRCARE. MAKE-UP: NAOKO SCINTU AT THE WALL GROUP USING CHANEL ROUGE COCO LIP BLUSH AND BLUE SERUM EYE. NAILS: MICHELLE HUMPHREY AT LMC WORLDWIDE USING CHANEL LE VERNIS IN BALLERINA AND LA CRÈME MAIN. MODEL: IRIS LANDSTRA AT PREMIER MODEL MANAGEMENT. WITH THANKS TO TOKYOBIKE LONDON

MEINKE KLEIN


Photographs by

MICHAEL SANDERS

D MOTOCROSS DETAILS PUT A MODERN SPIN ON BIKER CHIC. REV IT UP...

Styling by

B E N E D E T T A D E L L’O R T O


Silk vest, £390; leather skirt, £3,000; silk scarf, £770; oxidised silver bracelet, £600; silver bracelet, £160; and leather bracelet, £260; all SAINT LAURENT by ANTHONY VACCARELLO . Silver earrings, £50, DODO . Helmet, stylist’s own


THIS PAGE Black leather jacket, £6,540; black leather choker, £1,360, both HERMÈS . Black cotton-mix T-shirt, £300, MARCO DE VINCENZO . Black leather cap, £325, DSQUARED2 . Silver earrings, £50, DODO. OPPOSITE Black plastic coat, £1,615, CALVIN KLEIN 205W39NYC . Black Lycra bikini, £130, NORMA KAMALI . Earrings, as before. Helmet, stylist’s own


MICHAEL SANDERS


MICHAEL SANDERS


THIS PAGE Polyamide dress, £19,823, BALMAIN . Leather boots, £1,070, MOSCHINO . Silver earrings, £50, DODO. OPPOSITE Black leather top, £730; black tulle skirt, £1,400; black leather boots, £1,070; black leather choker, price on application, all MOSCHINO . Earrings, as before


THIS PAGE

Silk jacket, £1,130, MAX MARA . Cotton top, price on application; cotton jumpsuit, price on application; both ISABEL MARANT . Silver earrings, £50, DODO. OPPOSITE

Black leather jacket, £5,728, VERSACE . Earrings, as before. FASHION EDITOR: CH AR L O T T E D E FFE . HAIR: L E O N G U R M A N AT ART D E P A R T M E N T . MAKE-UP: J O D I E BOLAND AT SEE MA N A G E M E N T . MODEL: ZU ZU TA D E U S H U K A T FO R D M O D E L S

MICHAEL SANDERS


E H T IN S N A E J

THE UTILITARIAN STAPLE HAS EVOLVED LIGHT YEARS FROM ITS AMERICANA

WHEN IT COMES TO STYLING, THERE ARE NO HARD RULES. BIBBY SOWRAY MEETS THREE DENIM


Blue denim shirt, £110; white cotton shirt (worn underneath), £75; and blue denim jeans, £175, all POLO RALPH LAUREN . Tan leather boots, price on application, RALPH LAUREN

ROOTS – JUST TAKE A LOOK AT THE SS18 RUNWAYS. THE FABRIC’S APPEAL LIES IN ITS VERSATILITY.

Photographs by

Styling by

MEINKE KLEIN

HARRIET STEWART

AUTHORITIES, FROM THE EMERGING TO THE ICONIC, TO DISCUSS THE EVOLVING POWER OF BLUE


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Hair: Philippe Tholimet at Saint Luke Artists using Oribe Haircare. Make-up: Naoko Scintu at The Wall Group using Chanel Rouge Coco Lip Blush and Blue Serum Eye. Nails: Michelle Humphrey at LMC Worldwide using Chanel Le Vernis in Ballerina and La Crème Main. Model: Mackinley HIll at IMG London

There’s a photograph of Ralph Lauren, his wife Ricky and their three children, David, Andrew and Dylan, in the garden of their East Hampton home in 1977. They’re all smiling and holding hands as they walk towards the camera. They’re all wearing denim. There’s another, of Ralph and Ricky in a limousine on their way to a charity gala in the same year. Ricky’s wearing a black jumpsuit, Ralph’s in a tuxedo jacket… and jeans. In fact, if you look back at Ralph’s countless catwalk bows over the years you’d be hard pushed to find one in which he’s not wearing them. They’re his signature. Like Coco and her pearls or Karl and his fingerless gloves, Ralph has become synonymous with jeans, and they have played a key role in shaping him into one of America’s greatest success stories. With Polo Ralph Lauren, he brought casual wear to the massThis London-based designer es, enthusing women with a desire makes denim with the prefor comfort and informality in their cision usually reserved for off-duty wardrobes – and denim haute couture. Her handwas the basis. ‘I think it’s one of the biggest woven fabrics can take hundreds of hours to create phenomena of our time,’ he says from the – sometimes thousands. It’s slow fashion, literally. company’s New York headquarters. ‘This ‘We put a lot of care into everyday pieces,’ says one denim fabric, five pockets. It repre- the designer from her east London studio – her SS18 sents different things to different people at collection recreated 10 wardrobe ‘staples’ using different times. And it keeps going.’ intricate textile techniques. The result: sheer denim He has spun his very own American that looks as though it has been woven from spiderdream out of the fabric, building a fash- web-like yarns. It earned her recognition at The Fashion empire from humble beginnings in ion Awards 2017 (she’s a three-time nominee). ‘What the Bronx by designing for the type of I love is to create those fabrics, but instead of making woman he admired – the one who wore it something you’ll wear once, make it into the most jeans and her boyfriend’s jacket. ‘They popular piece of clothing in the world,’ she says. mean so many different things to me perSteinmetz, now 32, founded her label in 2013 sonally,’ he adds. ‘I remember the pairs after completing a Masters at Central Saint MarI wore and why I wore them.’ Personally, tins under Louise Wilson. She now holds a coveted he favours ‘rugged cowboy jeans, worn place on London’s emerging-design-talent scene, out, with button flies and a sort of cowboy alongside Rejina Pyo, Molly Goddard and Michael connotation to them’ – perhaps because Halpern. Raised in France, her love affair with denim, of his love for utility fabrics and clothes surprisingly, hasn’t been life-long. ‘As a kid, I wasn’t designed for a purpose, something he has attracted to it,’ she admits. ‘When I was 14, I started spoken of many times. to experiment with clothes. I was interested in denim It’s this sense of ease and unfussy because there were a lot of elements you can mix up.’ functionality, innate to Lauren, that has The resurgence of denim, she ponders, might be allowed Polo Ralph Lauren to become down to the influx of prominent female designers in a poster brand for authentic denim, the industry, such as Maria Grazia Chiuri at Dior, the kind you wear when you’re at your and the points of view they bring. ‘It is so much more most relaxed. Just look back at those interesting to focus on something that is part of our fabulous family photos for proof. reality, not some sort of fantasy,’ she says. ‘All the women in fashion are really working around that.’ Sustainability is a core principle for Steinmetz – considering it can take up to 10,000 gallons of water to produce one pair of jeans. This has led to innovations such as new fabric created from old denim and Blue denim shirt, £110; plastic bottles. ‘It’s a challenge, but it’s worth it,’ she white cotton shirt (worn adds. ‘My aim in life is, when I am 70, I would like to underneath), £75; and blue denim jeans, £175, be able to put all the denim I’ve made next to each all POLO RALPH LAUREN. other; a thousand examples of that same pair of jeans Tan leather boots, price on in different fabric techniques. I want to put it out there application, RALPH LAUREN that a pair of jeans can be more than a pair of jeans.’


That the Swedish fashion house is indelibly linked with denim is something of an accident – one that’s become a little piece of fashion folklore. So it goes that, in 1997, founder and creative director Jonny Johansson, then aged just 26, created 100 pairs of five-pocket unisex jeans with red stitching and gave them to friends and family to wear. Long before social media or the internet could play a part, Johansson made a pair of jeans go viral. It was an honest approach that defined the brand’s philosophy: clothes should do the talking. ‘It became a big success unexpectedly,’ admits Johansson from his base in Sweden. ‘Back then, we were called ACNE [Ambition to Create Novel Expressions], and it was a collective built on Warhol’s Factory idea, doing film, advertising and music. We discussed how to enter womenswear and quickly realised that five-pocket jeans are the Coca-Cola of fashion. The point was to not just be a denim brand, but a fashion house as well, which we are now. Denim just happened to be the thing we started with.’ Johansson has long had an interest in the staple. He recalls looking at his mother’s jeans as a kid, ‘thinking I wanted to redo the pockets. I know I suggested a change to her.’ For him, denim’s generic nature makes it the perfect canvas: ‘It is always contemporary and needs to be classic and timeless, if you ask me.’ It’s this typically Scandinavian attitude (where simplicity, minimalism and functionality are key) that has made Acne so appealing for more than 20 years. It’s also why, last year, he refocused the brand’s denim offering with the introduction of Blå Konst (‘blue art’ in Swedish), narrowing the range of jean styles to just three each for women and men. ‘I wanted to purify and elevate it; reconsider denim by refreshing the pieces. It was important that we looked at every single design detail from the beginning, so I wanted to give the resulting collection a new name: Blå Konst,’ he explains. ‘It became clear to me that I wanted a tight edit with very specific styles: a boyfriend cut, straight and then skinny.’ Each season, the permanent collection of jeans is accompanied by a seasonal offering. For SS18, Johansson has been inspired by artist Gabriel Kuri’s interest in everyday objects: chewed gum becomes an abstract print on denim jackets and shorts, while blown-up images of receipts adorn other items. Though now a fully fledged fashion brand, Acne Studios’ denim remains key in its story. ‘It will always be part of our foundation, a pillar of our house. Because it never goes out of style.’

Embroidered blue denim jacket, £1,080; white cotton T-shirt, £165; embroidered blue denim jeans, £994, all FAUSTINE STEINMETZ. Black and white leather loafers, £130, G.H. BASS & CO

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Blue denim jacket with paint detail, £420; and blue denim shorts with paint detail, £270, both ACNE STUDIOS BLÅ KONST . White cotton socks, £8.99, PANTHERELLA at SOCKSHOP.CO.UK.

Black leather loafers, £130, G.H. BASS & CO


a be uty elle

Words and beauty by

SOPHIE

BERESINER

Photographs by

SASCHA HEINTZE

‘THE TUCK’, where your hair is tucked into a jacket or jumper, has evolved into a new-and-improved version that lets the ends have a say in your finished style. It also gives a nod to the western trend, as seen at Calvin Klein and a long list of others. Easy and chic with a ribbon on top. Or scarves, even.

REAL IR

T H I S S E A S O N , Y O U R N A T U R A L T E X T U R E I S QUE E N . M A K E I T WOR K F O R Y O U


A LOW, RELAXED PONY, as seen at Maison Margiela, scores major points for effortlessness, extra ones for chic and, if you release and then wave a section in the front with tongs, even more superior-styling cred. To finish, shake a few ostrich feathers over freshly sprayed roots (as we’ve done here) and you’ve basically won the whole damn day.

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T H I S PAG E Cotton dress, S O N I A R Y K I E L . OPPOSITE

Cotton shirt, P R E E N BY THORNTON BREGA Z ZI . P R E V I O U S PAG E Cotton dress, S I M O N E R O C H A . Silk scarf, OLIVIA VON HALLE

WITNESS THE MOST ROMANTIC, interesting, universally flattering and Pinterest-able hairstyle we’ve ever

conceived. The magic here is in the contrasting textures: French or herringbone plait odd sections and secure them at the crown in a more-random-the-better arrangement. The pulled-out sections look much cooler on a ‘natural’ base than a super-smooth sleek finish.


T H I S PAG E

Cotton jacket, FAU S T I N E STEINMETZ. OPPOSITE

Cotton and silk coat, S I M O N E ROCHA

OK, THIS ONE YOU MAY NEED SOME EXTRA HELP WITH, but we defy you not to take this page to your hairdresser (particularly the one responsible for this, Syd Hayes) and fall utterly in love with the result. Works best on naturally messy hair; 100 per cent festival appropriate.


EVEN IF YOUR HAIR is naturally wavy, it will still always look better with a little technical intervention – and tongs are a ‘natural’-finish saviour. Always rough-dry hair with your fingers, then blast with a hairdryer and brush for a smooth finish. Take random sections, curl them round a large barrel tong, then shake and rake out with your fingers. Fingers = natural finish. New mantra.

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REDKEN B A BY L I S S Sheer

Volume Rotating Hot Brush, £80. S Y D H AY E S gold hair pins, from £65

Texture Rough Clay 20 Matte Texturizer, £15

Cotton shirt, I S A B E L M A R A N T.

Gold hair pin, Words and beauty styling: Sophie Beresiner. Stylist: Felicity Kay. Hair: Syd Hayes for Babyliss. Make-up: Sharon Dowsett at CLM Hair and Make-up using Chanel Neapolis: New City Spring/Summer 2018. Nails: Emma Welsh at Frank Agency using Chanel Le Vernis in Giallo Napoli and La Crème Main. Model: Camille Linnea at The Squad

S Y D H AY E S

B A BY L I S S

3Q Hairdr yer, £120

KEVIN MURPHY

Bedroom Hair Hairspray, £21. L’ O R É A L PROFESSIONNEL

Rebel Push Up Mousse, £15

AV E D A Texture Tonic, £21. S H O W B E A U T Y Working Texture Spray, £30. B A BY L I S S Smooth & Wave, £130

IN A SEASON WHERE THE ACCESSORY RULES, the best way to show yours off is with an understated hairstyle. This is a half-half knot, in that you’re pulling up half your hair into a knot, then pulling half of that knot back out, so it’s softly structured, as seen at Victoria Beckham. It’s only improved with a chic statement pin, like this.

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Collage by

KELSEY FREEMAN

P

ACNE IS ON THE RISE, BUT THERE’S NO ONE-STOP, ONE-POP SOLUTION WHEN IT COMES TO SPOTS. FROM HORMONAL BREAKOUTS TO BACNE, WE SHOW YOU HOW TO TACKLE EACH OF THEM, (BLACK) HEAD ON

Words by

JOELY WALKER


Photograph: Karina Twiss. * The Telegraph , January 2016

ACNE FIGURES HAVE HIT AN ALL-TIME HIGH, with more of us than ever suffering from the skin condition well beyond our teens, and newspaper headlines claiming we’re experiencing an ‘acne epidemic’*. Have our increasingly hectic lifestyles and subsequent stress levels finally pushed our skin to breaking point? Or, in our Facetuned world, where flawless perfection is just an app away, is it any wonder our obsession with spots has officially peaked? Whatever the underlying cause, one thing is certain: we’re not sitting back and taking it lightly. From types and triggers to treatments, consider this your ultimate cheat’s guide to dealing with spots, featuring the latest innovations that will help you up your acne arsenal. So let’s start with the basics… Although every spot type differs in appearance, they all start life in the same way – or, rather, the same place. ‘Acne can occur anywhere that hair follicles are present,’ explains expert dermatologist Dr Sandra Lee (aka @DrPimplePopper, with 2.6 million followers and counting), which is why you can get spots practically anywhere on your body, apart from the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet. But it’s not follicles causing the problem – rather, the sebaceous glands that come with them. As we know, these tiny glands are responsible for our skin’s natural oil and sebum production, which our skin needs for daily protection and hydration. However, if sebum production goes into overdrive, your skin is going to tell you about it. ‘Our skin constantly regenerates and sheds dead cells, but if these settle and get trapped within sebum, they can cause noninflammatory acne. If bacteria is also present, it can lead to an infection, otherwise known as inflammatory acne,’ explains Dr Lee. It’s a common misconception about skin that you’re in the clear if you make it to your mid-20s with barely a blackhead, but that’s not the case. In fact, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, 54 per cent of women over 25 are said to have some form of facial acne, ranging from mild (with less than 30 comedone spots present) to moderate (from 30 to 100 non-inflammatory, inflammatory or a combination of both) and severe (with visible evidence of scarring linked to cystic acne). Whether you land on this dermatology scale or only encounter the odd pimple, it’s important to know what type of spot you’re dealing with. This is crucial, because those red bumps on your cheek are likely to be an entirely different breed of spot to the white pimple on your back (more on that later) or the black dots setting up camp on your nose. By identifying the enemy, you can plot the best plan of attack. First up, blackheads. One of the most common forms of mild, non-inflammatory acne, these little black dots are actually open

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comedones clogged with dirt, debris and oil. Surprisingly, it’s not the aforementioned content that causes their dark appearance, but the oxidisation process when they come into contact with air. On the flip side, whiteheads are closed comedones, meaning the dead skin and oil is unexposed to the environment and trapped under a fine layer of skin. For these types of acne, dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting (of YouTube channel Dr Sam in the City) recommends regular retinoids (vitamin A products) for their two-pronged approach: unclogging pores and preventing clogging in the first place. But be warned: you need to approach these topical actives with caution, as they can quickly cause irritation, such as flaking and short-term sensitivity. A new wave of retinol products mean more targeted delivery systems with much less irritation, but it’s still important to take a slow-andsteady approach. Start with low percentage over-the-counter retinol or retinol-derivative serums, such as cult hero Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum with Retinol, £32, which contains the key active ingredient at 0.03 per cent. Monitor how well your skin tolerates it and, if you think it’s ready, move on to formulations such as La Roche Posay Redermic Anti-Wrinkle Treatment, £29.50, or SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.3, £51.45, both with 0.3 per cent retinol. If you really want the big guns, think about 0.5–1 per cent formulations like those found in ZO Medical’s Brightenex range (from £66 to £96), or speak to a dermatologist about prescription-only pure retinoic acid. With all percentages, space out your applications at first, to give your skin time to adjust. Up from blackheads and whiteheads come papules and pustules, which signify that bacteria is involved and has migrated from non-inflammatory to inflammatory territory. ‘They appear as bulging white bumps with a red base and are often painful to touch,’ explains Dr Lee. ‘Pustules indicate a localised infection and pus – hence the name – and can appear anywhere on the body.’ For this type of acne, Dr Bunting suggests treatment with topical agents, such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, which are powerhouses at reducing oil, exfoliating and unclogging persistent pores. For daily prevention, try Glossier’s new Solution Exfoliating Skin Perfector, £19, which sent Instagram into overdrive with before-and-after pictures proving the power of daily acids. For quick action on a single lone ranger, opt for a targeted treatment, such as Origins Super Spot Remover, £15.50, which will also help whiteheads and blackheads. Finally, cysts and nodules typify more severe acne forms. ‘These are the most painful, stubborn types of inflammatory acne that are buried deep within the skin, otherwise known as cystic acne. They swell easily, are painful when pressed and, most of the time, nothing can be expressed from them. If you believe you have this type of


1.

Once you’ve sussed your spot type, you can move on to your triggers. One of the most obvious culprits are androgen hormones, 2. which kick-start sebum production and cause clogging and breakouts around the week before and during your period. But it’s not just our bodily hormones causing trouble: dietary hormones can also leave skin susceptible to spots. ‘Dairy contains androgens that trigger our sebaceous glands in the same way,’ explains Dr Bunting: ‘More interestingly still, stress triggers this same response.’ But before you chuck out the cheddar and vow an oath to oat milk, take into account that dairy is a staple food group that humans have eaten for centuries. Yes, links have been found between dairy and adverse reactions, but finite research that proves an indisputable ‘How to pop a spot’ pulls up 20,600,000 connection is yet to be found (there results on Google, so we know you’re is hope!). That said, in some cases it interested. If you really, really have to pop, could be worth cutting dairy for a full follow Dr Pimple Popper’s foolproof method. skin cycle (approximately six weeks) and monitoring how your skin reacts. PICK YOUR BATTLES If you are spot-prone, sugar could ‘Blackheads are open at the skin’s be exacerbating the situation. ‘There’s surface, and thus the easiest to extract. a belief that a high-glycemic diet with Whiteheads and inflammatory an excess of refined carbohydrates, pimples can be more difficult, because including sugar, rapidly raises your they’re covered by skin.’ blood glucose and insulin levels, which may be associated with more frequent breakouts,’ explains Dr Lee. The bad COME CLEAN news is we tend to crave these foods ‘Cleanse your face and press a warm when we’re feeling hormonal and facecloth against the pimple for a few stressed, thus giving our skin a double minutes. This will help soften inside the whammy of the bad stuff. You know the pore, allowing for easier excavation.’ drill: eat slow-releasing-energy foods that keep you fuller for longer and help curb cravings. Failing that, scoff CHOOSE YOUR TOOL the chocolate anyway and invest in an ‘Some blackheads will emerge with just the pinching pressure from your fingers. amazing concealer that covers withIf not, use a blackhead-removing tool out looking cakey, such as NARS Soft to apply targeted pressure.’ Matte Complete Concealer, £24. Ultimately, we all want to be happy and content in the skin we’re in. If acne KNOW WHEN TO STOP is preventing that – beyond the odd ‘It’s time to stop if you no longer see any pimple and blackhead that have out‘pimple’ contents, and certainly if you stayed their welcome – it’s time to get only see blood. It may not be a pimple strategic. Find confidence from knowthat can be expressed.’ ing there are more solutions now than ever, but don’t get bogged down in them. If you want guidance, making an THE ZIT KIT appointment with a dermatologist can 1. NEUTROGENA Visibly Clear Light Therapy Targeted not only work wonders for your skin, Acne Spot Treatment, £29.99. 2. MARIO BADESCU Drying but will give you a personalised proLotion, £15.5O at Liberty.co.uk. 3. LA ROCHE POSAY Effaclar A. I. Targeted Breakout Corrector, £12. 4. MIO gramme to follow; like having a personClean Slate Workout Wipes, £27 for 25. 5. ORIGINS al trainer to show you the ropes rather Super Spot Remover Blemish Treatment Gel, £15.5O. than going into a new gym with all the 6. NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer in Custard, £24 gear and no idea. You’ve got this.

acne, seek the help of a professional dermatologist, as prescription oral or topical medication is often necessary,’ advises Dr Lee. For this type of advanced acne, treatments such as draining and shrinking injections can also be beneficial. On the body, the back and bum seem to get the brunt of the acne action (thanks to their naturally higher concentration of sebaceous glands), but they shouldn’t be grouped as one and the same. ‘Just like facial acne, back acne [or bacne] develops when pores become plugged up with dead skin and oil,’ explains Dr Lee. ‘On the other hand, bottom acne is caused by folliculitis, which is an inflammation of the hair follicle that’s caused by infection or irritation. It can come from poor hygiene, sweat and tight-fitting clothes.’ So no, don’t skip that post-yoga shower because you didn’t sweat that much, and keep some anti-bacterial workout wipes, such as MIO’s Clean Slate Workout Wipes, £27 for 25, in your gym bag. For all spots, there are several treatments you’ll find at dermatologists and specialised facialist clinics that can help treat acne from the get-go. LED light therapy uses a combination of different light spectrums that penetrate the skin for healing and spot prevention, including blue light (targeting acne-causing bacteria) and red light (for soothing inflammation deeper within the skin). Try Sarah Chapman’s LED Light Therapy, £70 for 30 minutes, which uses the award-winning, souped-up Dermalux machine for the very latest in light technology. Alternatively, take your spot work home with you and try one of the new-wave light devices, such as Foreo’s Espada, £129, with T-Sonic pulsations that propel the blue light further into the skin (where the real change happens), and Tria’s Positively Clear Acne Clearing Blue Light, £199, which is gentle enough to use daily to prevent problematic pores. When you can feel a spot brewing, call on Neutrogena’s Visibly Clear Light Therapy Targeted Acne Spot Treatment, £29.99 – a nifty pen that you hold over the culprit to kill bacteria and reduce redness. Win, win.

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e lle p ro m o t i o n

get

fresh Saying goodbye

to winter layers and getting ready for spring can be as daunting as it is refreshing. Much as a lighter, brighter, new-season refresh appeals there’s the (not so) small matter of getting ready for ‘the big reveal’ ahead. The cooler months won’t have just affected your hair and skin, but your nails too, leaving them in need of extra care. And with fresh, healthy, natural-looking beauty one of SS18’s key trends — for nails as well as skin — getting the basics right has never been more important. Start as you mean to go on by taking control of your nail care at home with Sally Hansen. From quick daily cuticle care to complete salon-worthy manicures, it has everything you need to get your nails in shape for the season ahead – and to keep them strong, healthy and cared-for over seasons to come. Find out more at sallyhansen.com/uk. Buy the Sally Hansen range at most Boots stores and boots.com

Models do not endorse featured products. Photographs: Imaxtree, Getty Images

SS18 beauty takes the natural look to the next level. Work it from your tips to your toes with perfect nails from SALLY HANSEN


CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT S AL L Y H AN S E N

Cuticle Mas s Cream, £4.45 5. S AL L Y H AN S E

Advanced Hard d As Nails, £4.95 5. S AL L Y H AN S E N

GO NATURAL

THE LINE OF BEAUTY

R IG HT Miracle

Gel nail polish in ‘Ocean Daze’. £ 9 .9 9 . SALLY HANSEN ( A ll c o lo ur s f r o m t h e li m i t ed edi t i o n , ‘Destination Wedding’ collection)

Nail art has taken a minimalist turn for SS18: think a single stripe, dot or a flash of colour at the tip accenting a natural base. To help keep yours in tip-top shape, treat your nails to a nightly massage with Vitamin E Nail & Cuticle Oil.

Want to channel this season’s natural look but concerned your nails have seen one salon manicure too many? Don’t despair: Gel Rehab, is an intensive, overnight, treatment that strengthens nails damaged by salon UV light gel (and helps conceal that damage while it does it). Want something to protect fragile nails? Apply Advanced Hard As Nails to bare nails and under nail tips as a base coat for colour such as a barel y t relooking poli such as limited-e tion Miracle Gel il polish in ‘After tar’ (£9.99, below ).

Gel Rehab, £9.99. S AL L Y H AN S E N Vitamin E Nail & Cuticle Oil, £6.95.

BRIGHT EYES Even the boldest beauty looks are built on a natural, healthy-looking foundation this season. Balance a flash of colour on eyes or lips with an equally strong nail colour such as limited-edition Miracle Gel nail polish in ‘Just Maui’d’ (£9.99, top left) and pair it with nail care from Sally Hansen.


MADEM -OIS ELLE

‘When you’re ready, take a deep breath and I’ll start your chosen track,’ says the kind woman in charge, who I have the urge to attach myself to like a koala up a eucalyptus tree. Boom! I’m in. I peer through the glass door and watch bright red numbers count down three minutes. A few fluffs of dry ice whizz past my eyes, and I half imagmyself as Scott lost in the Antarctic. on’t feel the dry, biting cold until 30 conds before the end, when my legs l like ice and I start to shuffle-dance Stormzy in my padded shoes. Then I’m out, giddy, high, elated yo is clearly great for endorphins). In under five minutes, I’m giving it my all at a HIIT and Run class. The interval training and treadmill pounding shake the winter blues from my shoulders, and I feel more alive than I have done in months. After class, I bound upstairs like a baby deer to meet Gideon, who’s waiting to give me my nutrition instructions for the week. ‘Consume all meals within a 10-hour window. No booze. Eat a 20-gram portion of protein at each meal. Eat plenty of plant foods. Eat carbohydrates at lunchtime, along with plants and protein. Chickpeas, lentils and legumes are great to eat at night, along with veg, salad and protein to support sleep. Matcha tea is good. Drink one sirt juice – kale, rocket, parsley, lovage, green apple, lemon juice, matcha tea – per day. Good luck!’ Still high from cryo, I’m out of the door like an energetic puppy on speed. Matcha and green tea, great for boosting metabolism, are easily picked up at the supermarket, ditto the ingredients for the sirt juice. And the cryo chamber? At £90 for three minutes, and with only a few in the UK (Harvey Nichols in London also has one), I’ve figured out a way you can try this at home, kids. (Brace yourselves.) For a similar effect, you can have a freezingcold shower for three minutes before you exercise. I knew you’d love that idea. How I adore the upbeat rhythm of spring, bossy yellow daffodils nodding towards the sun, me dropping a dress size and four pounds in a week. It was brutal, yes, but even after three days, my stomach began to flatten, my skin shone and I felt far more energetic than I had in ages. By day five, I knew I’d be ready to face all the new-season white trousers you could throw at me, and could finally do up the zip on my Marants. Spring, come and get me, baby. I’m ready.

Cold feet? That’s only part of the problem as our intrepid columnist tries to freeze and cycle her way to ultimate fitness

I SHOULD’VE, COULD’VE, would’ve gone to the gym in winter, but I forgot. A fact I now regret, given the sun has finally got his hat on. With the excess of Christmas still firmly attached to my bottom, there’s only one thing for it: taxi to Harley Street. Just kidding. I’m off to the gym, and you’re coming with me. I fell out of love with gyms yonks ago. All that commitment and hard-to-cancel memberships, charging for extra towels and lost membership cards – some gym chains are far too ‘computer says no’ inflexible. Not so at KXU, a pay-as-you-go gym based nowhere near my house, in Sloane Square, London. Why go to a gym that takes two trains and an hour to get to? As chic as a boutique hotel and filled with the kind of happy energy that reminds me of my best nights out on the dancefloor, this ain’t

Illustration by

JO RATCLIFFE

just any old gym, this is a modern-fitness Mecca. It also has a cryo chamber, where I plan to freeze my ass off. Let me explain. The temperature in the cryo chamber drops to -90 degrees, which is why you’re allowed in for only three minutes. More than eight and it’s death by freezing, and there’s no way I’m willing to die wearing black shorts, a cropped top, face mask, headband (to cover my ears), gloves and North Face padded shoes. Non. In my infinite, let’s-cramtwo-months-worth-of-exercise-into-six-days wisdom, I plan to jump into the cryo chamber every day for the next six days. It doesn’t end there. After each cryo session, I’ll head straight to the exercise studio for 45 minutes of intense cardio. All this just to get back into my Isabel Marant tight white flares? Correct. I haven’t concocted this madness alone: Gideon, a senior bod at KXU, assures me I’ll survive a week of extreme cold, caffeine and exercise. Apparently, by combining three minutes of metabolism-boosting cryo with strenuous exercise and matcha green tea, I should see fat loss (note, not weight loss – let’s not fixate on the scales) in a relatively short period of time. That’ll be the reason I’m wearing this ridiculous outfit, scared absolutely witless.

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TOP SHELF, LEFT TO RIGHT: MILLER HARRIS Lumière Dorée Hand Cream, £18.

AESOP Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser, £40. NARS Smooth & Protect Primer SPF50, £26. NIOD Hydration Vaccine, £35. SISLEY PARIS Powder Brush, £46. 3INA The Chubby Lipstick in 110 and 113, £8.95 each. MR NATTY Sky Rocket Comb, £17. BULY 1803 Dressing Comb, £52. KIEHL’S Daily Reviving Concentrate, £38. DAVINES DEDE Hair Mist, £19.45

THIRD SHELF, LEFT TO RIGHT: L’ARTISAN

PARFUMEUR L’Ambre Candle, £54. SHISEIDO Eyelash Curlers, £19. IS CLINICAL Super Serum Advance+, £72. ATELIER BLOEM Nieuw Amsterdam EDP, £160 for 10 0ml. SANA JARDIN Tiger By Her Side, £180 for 10 0ml EDP. BAREMINERALS Ageless Genius Firming & Wrinkle Smoothing Serum, £48. ELIZABETH ARDEN Advanced Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum, £39. BYREDO VETYVER Hand Wash, £20. BULY 1803 Sandalwood Seed Oil, £85. AESOP Blue Chamomile Facial Hydrating Masque, £33. L’OCCITANE Shea Butter Travel Size, £9. Pot, st ylist’s own

SECOND SHELF, LEFT TO RIGHT:

ODACITÉ CaR Vital

Glow Wild Carrot Serum Concentrate, £50. 3INA The Shadow Paint in 700, £8.95. From back: NARS The Brightener brush, £65. NARS The Intensifier brush, £60. SISLEY PARIS Eyeshadow Smudge Brush, £37. 3INA The Shadow Paint in 703, £8.95. NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base, £19.50. Glasses, stylist’s own. NARS Mie Kabuki Brush (just seen), £43

B

BOTTOM SHELF, LEFT TO RIGHT:

Le Labo bag and scissors, st ylist’s own. PERRICONE MD Citrus Facial Wash, £36. INGENIOUS BEAUTY

AN APOTHECARY-INSPIRED CABINET, FOR ALL YOUR OLD-SCHOOL BEAUTY NEEDS Styling by

SOPHIE BERESINER

Ultimate Collagen+ Supplements, £55. URBAN APOTHECARY

Photographs: Peter Guenzel

Smoked Leather Dif fuser, £35. BULY 1803 Baobab Seed Oil, £44. Bottle on side, st ylist’s own. EVO Spike 22 Hairbrush, £4.95. AESOP Parsley Seed Anti - Oxidant Serum, £49. SHISEIDO Eyelash Curlers, £19. ANYA HINDMARCH

Anya Smells Small Cof fee Candle, £50. FRESH Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy- Booster Face Mask, £52

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SKINMATICS

Your three-step skincare routine, simplified

Tata Harper Clarifying Cleanser, £60

+

+

Bobbi Brown Remedies Skin Brightener No 42, £30

=

Clinique Moisture Surge 72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator, £36

BE BY JOELY WALKER

As a beauty editor, my left hand has seen a thing or two. I can’t try everything on my face (I’ve made that mistake before and ended up with hives), but my hand? That gets all the good stuff. Rarely a working hour goes by without it being subjected to some sort of swatch-testing. So when something makes it from my hand to my face, it means it’s got the goods to back it up, and then the serious testing begins. One pipette of La Roche Posay’s satisfyingly gloopy Hyalu B5 Hyaluronic Acid Serum, £37 (above), every night for two weeks worked wonders. Redness flare-ups were controlled, rogue dry patches around my nose were gone and my habitually sensitive skin was left in an all-round state of calm. My fiancé even commented on how good my skin looked – and this is the man who took a week to notice I’d dyed my hair brown. Win.

Dior’s new skincare concept is like Facetune in a bottle. Combine one or two serums – such as Capture Youth Glow Booster, and Capture Youth Redness Soother, £75 each (both above) – with the range’s Advanced Crème, £75 (right), for a bespoke regimen. We’re obsessed.

SUBLIME SKIN N Shiseido’s Essential Energy range contains pearl extracct, which pretty much says it all in terms of just how good yo our skin looks after using it. The Moisturizing Gel-Cream, £ £59, delivers impressive illumina ting effects, but with zero shine.

BRILLIANTLY BRIGHT J–B J BEAUTY

Japan is overtaking rtaking Korea where cult beauty is concerned, and hydration is the cornerstone of its skincare. We’re heroing Beauty Pie’s Japanfusion Pure Transforming Cleanser, and Japanfusion Hydra Prep Lotion, £35 each (both above), to make you look and feel luminous.

Glycolic acid is the smallest alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), which, in layman’s terms, means it gets deeper into your skin, faster. SkinCeuticals’ Glycolic 10 Renew Overnight, £75 (left), is pretty much the best at-home-strength peel money can buy, getting rid of dry and dead cells.

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COLOUR DRAMA

YSL’s Couture Palette Collector Pop Illusion, £42.50 (left) is (almost) too pretty to use. The gold makes m for a subtle highlight, while the brights are highly pigmented. Try the bblues together for eyes that get you noticed.

MAKE-UP

LASHES FOR DAYS

Maybelline’s Total Temptation Mascara, £8.99 (left), is the high-street mascara you’ve been waiting for. Volume? Check. Length? Check. No clumps? Check. As a bonus, it’s infused with coconut, leaving lashes feeling soft and conditioned.

IF YOU TRY ONE THING THIS MONTH

Charlotte Tilbury: make-up artist, entrepreneur, skin saviour. Her newest launch – Hollywood Flawless Filter, £38.50, a super-creamy, illuminating foundation – is the kind of much-hyped product you’ll never regret buying. Think backstage-model-worthy glow.

BEAUTY LEXICON

Y

NEXT- LEVEL HIGHLIGHT

MAC DIRECTOR OF MAKE-UP ARTISTRY TERRY BARBER (@TERRYBARBERONBEAUTY)

Hourglass’s Vanish Flash Highlighting Sticks, £38 each (left), offer lightweight, blendable, insanely precise highlighter application. Plus, they’re available in five shades, meaning cheekbones, here we come!

‘Blush is back and it’s slightly overemotional. Nice to celebrate a bit of awkward femininity after all that power-chiselling.’

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EEYE EYE Thee second incarnation of K Kenzo World, £55 for 5 50ml EDT (left), formullated by genius fo perfum fumeer duo Francis Kurkdj urkdjiann and Maïa Lernout, is as cool, fresh sh and unique as you’d expect.

CAN NDY CRUSH N H BY SOPHIE BERESINER

My thing about smells is this: like many people, I attribute a memory to them. I went to the Jardin Majorelle in Morocco, fell in love with a very pricey perfume that would always remind me of it, didn’t buy it, and have regretted it ever since. Louis Vuitton also bases its perfume philosophy in travel; there’s something especially emotive about going on a journey. The latest, Le Jour Se Lève, £185 for 100ml EDP (above), is like a smell celebration. Now I just need to schedule a trip somewhere to forever associate it with…

Pradaa’ss Ca Candy Sugar ar Pop, £88 for 80ml EDP (below), is not, in fact, f edible – although it does smell good g enough to eat. Apple, pp peac p and green citrus make the house’s lates offering ideal for the new seasoon.

V FRAGRANCE CV SUKI WATERHO OUSE MY FIRST FRAGRANCE M E M O R Y … is running around d my

THIS IS ENGLAND The dream is to own all five of Jo Malone’s perfectly petite limited-edition fragrances. Choose from Jo Malone English Field Colognes in Oat & Cornflower, Primrose & Rye, Poppy & Barley (all above, from top), Honey & Crocus, and Green Wheat & Meadowsweet, £47 each for 30ml. The suprise standout for spring? Oat & Cornflower – warm, delicious and nutty.

grandmother’s garden, making her a ‘fragrance’ with lavender and cat nip. THE FRAGRANCE I’M WEARING N O W … is Salvatore Ferragam mo Amo

DP (right), Ferragamo, £87 for 100ml ED which has jasmine and rhubarb in it. It’s a kind of sexy, day-to-nightt scent. BEST THINGS IN A

I love woody smells; to. they remind me of farms I’ve been b

FRAGRANCE…

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SHADES TO WANT

O.P.I.’s Lisbon collection = a minibreak in a ppolish. Try O.P.I. Infinite S ine Gel Lacquer in Shin (fro top) A Red-vival City,y un, Sea And Sand In My Pants, and Closer Thhan You Might Belém, £14.25 each, for an instant boost.

THE NEW BRANDS THE UK HAS BEEN WAITING FOR

Niche Miami brand IGK brings us the Expensive Alma Oil Hi-Shine Topcoat, £25 (above), which you use in the shower to seal the hair cuticle for mirror shine. Look out, too, for the Mistress Hydrating Hair Balm, £25, and Pre-Party Hair Strobing Glitter Spray, £15. Meanwhile, Mr Smith Volumising Shampoo, £25, and Volumising Conditioner, £27 (both right), give ultimate minimalist -bathroom shelf appeal – so chic.

Compiled by Emily Pritchard, Joely Walker and Sophie Beresiner. Photographs: Graham Walser at Hearst Studios, Jason Lloyd-Evans, Getty Images, Imaxtree, Instagram/@sukiwaterhouse

HAIR PERFECTION We know it’s expensive, BUT considering beauty insiders hoard anything by Sisley, the news of its first haircare range is very exciting. If you buy anything, make it th the Hair g Fortifying Rituel Revitalising Serum, £135, whhich leaves hair stronger and denser, or the Precious Hair Care Oil, £75. If youu get a pay rise, buy everything. e It’s that good.

HAIR & SHIN NY, HA APPY Head & Shoulders: pause before you oveerlook this trusted d brand; it’s not just j for dandruff sufffferers. An unhealthy scalp = damag ged cuticlees, which leads to dull, lackluustre hair. A little scalp lovee goes a long way, so try Suprême Moissture Conditioner, £4.99 – truust us, you’ll be amazed.

B BEST IN N SHOW ‘Wip Wipe all the polish off the brush and lightly swipee pastel brights across your nails for this chic tw weed effect. You can’t go wrong.’ @MARIANNEWMAN USING CND VINYLUX AT THE SS18 ANDREAS KRONTHALER FOR VIVIENNE WESTWOOD SHOW

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SOPHIE SAYS

ELLE BEAUTY DIRECTOR SOPHIE BERESINER TACKLES YOUR BEAUTY WOES AND FRAGRANCE DILEMMAS

Q

I HAVEN’T FOUND A WOMEN’S PERFUME I LOVE YET. WOULD IT BE WEIRD TO WEAR A MEN’S FRAGRANCE?

Morning Chess, £155 for 100ml EDP

DOLC E & GABBANA STELL A McCARTNEY

Stella, £60 for 50ml EDP

Velvet Amber Sun, £200 for 50ml EDP

CHANEL

Bleu de Chanel, £72 for 100ml EDP

DIOR Sauvage, £83 for 100ml EDP

LE L ABO VETIVER 46 ,

£120 for 50ml EDP

ACQUA DI PARMA

Blu Mediterraneo Cedro di Taormina, £64 for 75ml EDT

My first answer is nothing is weird in beauty (unless you count the entire Eighties). The rules are there aren’t any rules, and you, of course, have the choice to wear anything you damn well please. Saying that, you probably find men in, say, jogging bottoms and a hoodie attractive (no? Just me?), but does that mean you’d feel sexy wearing them yourself? I am a definitive member of the non-binary school of scent, and I wear, almost exclusively, unisex fragrances. If I go for a women’s perfume, it will be an atypical floral – something like Stella McCartney’s Stella, which is all powdery white flowers, but with an amber twist that makes it distinctly ‘dirty’. It’s not by design, just my natural nose-attraction. More and more brands are going entirely unisex, and just as my husband has a beautiful floral tattoo on his very masculine forearm, I love it when he wears peppery, bloomy scents such as Tom Ford Café Rose. My unisex brands of choice? Le Labo, Burberry Bespoke, Vilhelm Parfumerie, Acqua di Parma and the Dolce & Gabbana Velvet Collection. But that was not your question. May I recommend the following conventionally ‘masculine’ scents, based on my own personal experience? Dior Sauvage, in my book, is the ultimate definition of maddeningly sexy, in part down to my love-scent association (older man, wrenching smell-memories), and in part down to the crisp bergamot notes, which make me want to eat it, never mind wear it. Also, as an aside, its sibling, Eau Sauvage, was apparently designed to stimulate a sex-hormonal response in women. Who wouldn’t want that, right? I make my husband wear Chanel Pour Monsieur so I can love it on him but also get the backdraught settling on my own clothes. And there’s Prada L’Homme – the original is popularly worn by women, but I’m predicting Prada’s new, lighter addition, Prada L’Homme L’eau, will follow in its footsteps to amass a cult following. Apparently, around a third of all men’s fragrances are actually bought by women to wear themselves, so if all those women are ‘weird’, you can happily join their ranks.

GE T IN TOUCH WITH SOPH IE NOW @S O P H I E B E R ES I N E R #S O P H I ES AYS

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Photographs: 3 Objectives

WILLOW, WEST LONDON VILHELM PARFUMERIE


o ex l re Edited by

SUSAN WARD DAVIES

Collages by

GUS & STELLA

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MOROCCO

IN NEED OF A SPRING REBOOT, SUSAN WARD DAVIES HEADS TO MOROCCO FOR A NUTRITION AND PILATES RETREAT

Your heart is a pretty big deal, so it’s scary when it malfunctions. Mine started missing beats after an intense period of stress – an unpleasant, dizzying sensation that makes you feel as if you can’t breathe. After a series of alarming A&E dashes – the first of which had me wondering if a will by text message would be valid – and a battery of tests, it turned out I had a slow heart rate that is more prone to skip beats. In some people the condition is made worse by exercise but, for me, raising the heart rate can kick it back into a normal rhythm – like bashing a wonky TV. Not a big fan of long-term medication, I decided to get fitter, healthier and de-stress instead. When Ezzahra, Marrakech, came on to my radar with its promise of targeted nutrition and intensive Pilates, it was a no-brainer. I know you can’t swing a dumbbell without hitting a Pilates class in London, so heading to Morocco to find one may seem a little decadent but, somehow, getting on a plane gave the whole new-leaf-turning aspect of the retreat more weight and was therefore more likely to be effective. A private estate of three traditional villas outside Marrakech, Ezzahra runs Pilates retreats twice a year: four-day courses with spa treatments on demand, a nutritionist, guaranteed sunshine and enough free time for reading by the tranquil pool or taking trips into and around Marrakech (the new YSL museum is worth the plane fare alone). And it’s good for solo travellers, as owner Tamara Stewart-


Wilson runs the retreats like a fun house party, making sure singletons don’t feel left out. Set in the Palmeraie, a 54-square-mile oasis of palm trees to the north of the city, the main house, Ezzahra, sleeps 14, with two smaller villas, Alkhozama and Azzaytouna, sleeping four and six respectively. The look is all shady courtyards, terracotta tiles, ornate archways and tinkling fountains, with each room styled differently. Mine had a wall of framed mirrors, a fabulous tadelakt bathroom and French doors leading to the large pool set next to a bedouin tent, in gardens of date palms and orange and pomegranate trees. I met my fellow retreaters at lunch, eaten, as are all meals, around two communal tables on a terrace outside the main house. Our group of 12 included just one man (half of a married couple, possibly here under duress); the rest were women in their 30s and 40s, a mix of singles, pairs of friends and one group of four – all here for a fitness overhaul. Lunch was a gourmet feast, with nutritional therapy expert Andrea Carroll Langan working with Ezzahra’s kitchen to produce Moroccanstyle food incorporating all the health-boosting elements we needed – protein, carbs, fruit and veg, healthy fats and pulses – bound up into treats like berry and coconut icecream, aubergine salad, saffron fish brochettes with avocado salsa, and ‘chocolate’ mousse made from avocado. The days had an easy rhythm: up at 7am to swim, then a one-hour Pilates session before a healthy breakfast of seeds, smoothies, yoghurt, dates, almond butter, eggs, avocado and fruit. Then there was time for the pool or a trip either side of lunch, with spa treatments, hammams and one-to-one sessions with Andrea and the BASI-trained (Body Arts and Science Institute) Pilates instructors, Victoria Turner and Mike Scott, slotted in before the evening mat session.

THOROUGHLY MOORISH E z z a h r a ’ s v ib r a n t s u r r o u n d in g s , in c l u d in g t h e s u it e s , p o o l a n d c o mmu n a l a r e a s

“It was good to get ADVICE from a nutritionist with a PROPER scientific background”

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Andrea specialises in targeted nutrition, and explained that my lack of focus is due to a protein deficiency (just porridge and berries for breakfast). She prescribed an almond-butter sandwich or wholegrain crackers with olive tapenade, hummous, lentil dip or cottage cheese mid-morning to keep blood-sugar levels stable and improve concentration. For brain and heart health, she advised getting plenty of anti-inflammatory Omega-3, found in oily fish, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and flaxseeds. Protein and/or healthy fats with each meal or snack, she said, reduce the rate of absorption of sugars into the blood stream, allowing for a slower release of energy and improving concentration. For the Pilates, we split into two groups with either calm Mike or statuesque Victoria, the latter of whom’s manner was part Miranda Hart/part school-games captain, jollying us into more repetitions as we stretched and planked in the early sunshine or pink dusk. I loved the house-party atmosphere, the food was the most delicious healthy food I have ever eaten and there is so much fake nutrition news around that it was good to get advice from a nutritionist with a proper scientific background. By the end of the four days, I felt more toned, fitter and energised by the combina-

tion of exercise and healthy food. I bought a mat, a stretchy band and jars of almond butter. Since then, I concentrate better and, while I haven’t kept up the daily Pilates sessions (but I will, I will), it got me into the right frame of mind and instilled what I hope will be lifelong eating habits. A four-night Pilates retreat at Ezzahra (ezzahra-morocco.com) starts from £1,350pp. The next retreat runs 16-20 May 2018, and there’s also one in November. British Airways (ba.com) has return direct flights from London Gatwick to Marrakech from around £97.


BO DY AS T EM P LE Kamalaya on Koh Samui allow s gue s ts to tap into the ir s pir itual s ide

SOPHIE BERESINER HEADS TO KAMALAYA FOR AN EMOTIONAL OVERHAUL

After four unsuccessful rounds of IVF, I had one more chance before I had to give up completely. Physically I was doing all the right things: healthy eating, bathing in cider vinegar and Himalayan salt – really. But with every crushing negative result came a bigger issue: a growing distrust of my own body and an increasing sense of pessimism. What if it’s my fault? What if these feelings are bringing on negative outcomes? I’m not good at meditating, as I have a very busy mind, and I’d previously discounted the idea of a holistic resort. Yet one phone call with Kamalaya’s naturopath changed my opinion. She recommended an ‘Embracing Change’ programme, with its focus on emotional wellbeing. I was assured I’d leave with restored emotional balance and tools to use at home. I signed up on the spot. On the south coast of Koh Samui, wellness retreat Kamalaya is built around a cave in the jungle, once used by monks for meditating.

This encapsulates the essence of the place – it’s as soul-soothing as you could imagine. The retreat focused on ‘community’, so we were encouraged to eat at a communal table, where the Thai menu offered choices for strict ‘detoxers’, as well as ridiculously delicious ‘still-healthy’ dishes for the rest of us. I could feel the stress leaving my body as soon as I saw my villa, which had few frills but spectacular views of the jungle meeting the sea, a huge balcony with daybeds and an outdoor bathroom.

“Built around a CAVE IN THE JUNGLE, it’s about as SOULSOOTHING as you could imagine”

Photographs: Getty Images, Rex Features, 4Corners

THAILAND

My road to emotional health started with Smitha, a life-enhancement mentor with the kind of unblinking eyes you imagine can see inside your soul. I was sceptical as to what could be done in four sessions, but a guided meditative ‘regression’ to my childhood was amazingly effective and I left with more selfunderstanding than I’d gained from years of cognitive behavioural therapy. I was also given a session with a TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) practitioner, which helped cure a panic attack that had lingered for my first two days. The mildly uncomfortable cupping that followed was said to cleanse the liver, which, according to TCM, is where we hold a lot of emotional distress. Next up were a series of massages varying from the traditional to a Chi Nei Tsang ‘internal organ massage’, which left me feeling light and weirdly happy. Between various stress-reduction workshops, gym sessions, a day trip snorkelling and drinking coconut milk straight from the shell, something shifted in my psyche. I hadn’t suffered anxiety since day three. I felt healthy, but not in an extreme-detox way – I had a warm tint to my skin and such clear insight into my character and emotional strength that I left feeling supremely positive and fulfilled. My story doesn’t end in the way I had hoped. While the final round of IVF was successful, the pregnancy did not progress beyond six weeks. But the important part is how I coped with it. Sad and frustrated, of course, but with a resilience I didn’t know I was capable of. Kamalaya tweaked my attitude and will forever hold a special place in my heart. I hope to return with my children – by whatever means they come to me – in the future. Wellbeing Escapes offers a seven-night ‘Embracing Change’ programme at Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary (wellbeing escapes.com) from £3,255pp. British Airways (ba.com) has return flights from London to Koh Samui from around £700.

I N HARMONY The t r eat m ent r o o m s and p o o l at K a m ala y a

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1. Acetate sunglasses, £300, DIOR. 2. VOTARY Blemish Rescue Oil, £35. 3. Stainless-steel water bottle, £29, THE UPSIDE at MATCHESFASHION . COM . 4. Plastic visor, £265, DIOR . 5. Canvas bag, £645, BALENCIAGA at NET-A-PORTER.COM. 6. Polyester and PVC yoga cushions, £5,340 for two, CHANEL. 7. Cotton socks, £85, GUCCI . 8. CLINIQUE Workout Makeup SPF 40, £29.50. 9. NARS Monoi Body Glow, £44. 10. TAN-LUXE The Body Illuminating Self-Tan, £42. 11. CLINIQUE Workout 24-Hour Mascara, £20. 12. Polyamide-mix bodysuit, £170, VAARA . 13. CHANEL Blue Serum Eye Concentrate, £57. 14. LE LABO Body Cream, £28. 15. Leather and cotton trainers, £780, LOUIS VUITTON

Styled by

HARRIET STEWART 3. 2.

4. 6.

1.

5. Collage by

GUS

8.

& STELLA 9. 10. 7. 12. 11.

Photographs: Graham Walser at Hearst Studios. Edited by Susan Ward Davies

14. 13.

SUITCASE :

15.

SEARCHING FOR FITSPO ? NEW GYM GEAR AND WORKOUTGRADE SKINCARE WILL GET YOU MOVING IN NO TIME

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THE VIBE:

THE LOOK:

THE LOCATION:

WE LOVED:

On the south west of the island, in the Le Morne peninsula, the resort sits beside the dramatic Le Morne Brabant mountain, a Unesco heritage site, which was a refuge for escaped slaves in the 19th century. If you drive 31km east to La Vallée des Couleurs Nature Park, you can hurtle through the jungly treetops on the third-longest zip line in the world.

THE FOOD:

With five restaurants on site, you won’t go hungry. Our top picks were the tandoor smoked Australian lamb chops with Greek yoghurt and ginger at Simply India, grilled prawns in the feet-inthe-sand Boathouse Bar & Grill, seared yellowfin tuna at Atsuko, and the kaffir lime fish cake with tamarind sauce and sweet pickles at Bangkok-inspired Floating Market (ask for a waterside table).

Special mention goes to the impressive Iridium Spa, with its 12 large treatment rooms, sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi and terrace. We loved being whisked from the airport in the hotel’s Jaguar XJ, plus the exhilarating kite-surfing lessons. St Regis Mauritius (stregis.com), Le Morne Peninsula. Suites from £295, B&B. Inspiring Travel Company (inspiring travelcompany.co.uk) offers five nights half board from £1,725 pp, including flights and transfers.

Collages: Gus & Stella

Ranged along the kind of perfect white beach we fantasise about all winter, this colonial-style hotel on the site of a former sugar plantation has 172 light and airy suites, all facing the Indian Ocean. Interiors are pale and calming, with lots of white and neutrals, cooling ceiling fans and huge rain showers. Go for the St Regis Villa if you really want to splurge, with its infinity pool, three plunge pools and private gym.

You check in here to chill, not to party. It also feels like the hotel was designed with honeymooners in mind, so expect a lot of loved-up couples. Life here is all about do-nothing beachside luxury, and there’s a huge library, state-of-the-art spa and butlers on tap. Surfers love it for the famous One Eye wave, a spectacular reef break you can see from the hotel.

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DRIVE:

RIDE:

Words: Susan Ward Davies. Photographs: Thomas Salt for Bentley Motors, Alamy, Getty Images, Instagram/@redbullhangar 7

DRIVE SOUTH EAST from Munich airport on the B304, through Wasserburg am Inn and Obing towards Landhaus Tanner for a lunch break, then continue to pretty Salzburg in time for kaffee and kuchen at Hotel Sacher. The journey back on the B20 and A8 is the most scenic – with all the mountains, rolling hills and churches, it’s straight out of The Sound of Music, which was filmed around Salzburg.

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THE BENTAYGA is Bentley’s answer to the SUV – a racy, sleek model with easy handling that belies its size. Then there’s the interiors: hand-stiched leather and polished wood, with luxe details such as a Breitling clock and cigar lighter. Lane-switching technology stops you veering off-piste on the Autobahn, and, despite its hefty size, it takes just four seconds to go from 0-60mph (it’s the world’s fastest SUV).

ALPINE

ROAD TRIP

IF YOU’RE A FAN OF SCENIC ROUTES, YOU’LL LOVE THIS RUN BETWEEN MUNICH AND SALZBURG

S

:

T BIO-HOTEL Stanglwirt (hotel stanglwirt.com) is also a farm, with doe-eyed cows and organic food. Stop at Landhaus Tanner (landhaustanner.de) for schnitzel, while at Ikarus Restaurant, Hangar 7 (hangar-7. com), guest chefs do monthly stints: ours, Quique DaCosta, conjured up 11 theatrical courses, including soft cheese ‘ ebbles’ and quorice ice cr

STAY:

THE GRANDE dame of Salzburg, Hotel Sacher (above) has 111 elegant rooms, some with balconies overlooking the Salzach river. Expect marble bathrooms, period furniture and a complimentary Sachertorte – the richest chocolate cake you will ever eat. Walk across the nearby footbridge, which is covered in lovers’ padlocks, into the heart of the cobbled old town. Sacher.com. Superior rooms from £263.

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