In town last month for her new stores at Ion Orchard and MBS, the designer and president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America shares her style picks, indulgences and why she adores New York.
She designed four rooms in Claridge’s, her favourite hotel
Travel essentials: “I’ll always have with me: sunglasses, a scarf, and my iPad so I can read or play solitaire. In my suitcase: hiking boots by German outdoor label Lowa, a great statement coat, a pair of heels and a dress that doesn’t wrinkle – always by DVF, of course.”
Most trusted hotel: “(The five-star) Claridge’s in London. It’s iconic, luxurious and glamorous – everything a hotel should be.”
Next holiday destination: “I’d like to visit Mongolia to sleep under the stars.”
DVF’s latest wrap dress: the Riviera, with a floaty chiffon skirt
Chill-out haunt: “I love walking on the High Line in New York towards the galleries in the Chelsea district. There are always a lot of people since it’s a free public park (but it still gives me a sense of peace). That’s something I love about the city: that you can find your own space to think and gain clarity, despite the crowd.”
Favourite Manhattan restaurant: “Orso, which does rustic Italian fare and is located in the Theater District. I like heading there after a show – it feels like (old-school) New York.”
Must-visit art institutions: “(I’m a contemporary art fan) so I love the Pace and Gagosian in New York’s Chelsea neighbourhood. I’m also very excited to welcome the Whitney Museum building, which opened at the start of May, into the Meatpacking District.”
Reading list: “I’m into biographies about powerful women and their lives, and recently shared a list of my favourite for International Women’s Day. They include (online fashion retailer) Sophia Amoruso’s #Girlboss, American historian Robert K. Massie’s Catherine the Great (about the 18th-century Russian empress) and Barbara Leaming’s Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis.”
What’s new at her stores: “Both the revamped boutique at Ion Orchard (#03-01) and the new one at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands (#B2-18) reflect an updated concept that not only highlights our ready-to-wear, but also our accessories and costume jewellery line… I call this phase the brand is going through ‘legacy’, because it’s about getting back to its roots: great items like our jersey dresses that women can wear anywhere, and be effortless yet sexy while on the go.”
American brands to look out for: “We just announced the nominees for this year’s CFDA Swarovski awards, and they’re always emerging names with a fresh point of view. Under womenswear, there’s Rosie Assoulin, Ryan Roche and Public School.”
An adapted version of this story first appeared in Female’s June issue, out on newsstands now.