interview: Frances Wasem
Model Yasmin Le Bon on Topshop, tea Parties and pilfering shoes
MY INFLUENCES My maternal grandmother, Mary Ashmore, was incredible. She and the pictures of my mother Patricia in the 1950s, formed a style ideal I’ve aspired to ever since. Azzedine Alaia has also been a major influence on my style. I’m sure quite a few of my children were conceived – and perhaps even born – when I was wearing his clothes.
MY MOST TREASURED HAND-ME-DOWN A gold chain-link cuff that probably dates from the 1940s, hers and then my mother’s, and I love wearing it because of the sense of history. If I had my time again, I’d pilfer more from the shows. I did once run off with a pair of fabulous open-toed perspex platforms from Chanel.
I SPENT MY CHILDHOOD... drawing pictures of clothes. My father taught photography, and I wanted to be a photographer. That’s partly why I still love to model; I find creating an image hugely enjoyable.
MY PERSONAL STYLE... is hit and miss. I never know how I want to look in the long term, but there’s always a story behind my outfit – sometimes it’s from a book or a film – and generally no one gets it but me.
MY MOST RECENT DISCOVERY... is Topshop’s incredibly fine T-shirts with a rolled sleeve. You know you are going to live in them.
I’D LIKE TO RAID THE WARDROBE OF... Wallis Simpson. Her clothes were so streamlined and she wore them so well. They were also a little masculine, and her flat-chested style appeals to me. Until recently I would have picked men’s wardrobes, in particular Steve McQueen’s and Bruce Lee’s. Wearing men’s clothes gives you a completely different attitude and view of the world. I’m not intimidated by the masculine side of myself.
NOTHING GIVES ME MORE JOY... than finding a beautiful hand-painted teacup and saucer. My husband Simon is obsessed with making traditional tea, and I like having tea parties with lots of different cups.
MY FAVORITE FASHION MOMENT It has to be Vivienne Westwood’s Paris show in 1993. Naomi Campbell fell off her shoes, and I will remember it forever. All the other models refused to wear the ultra-high platforms, and palmed them off on her. The next morning, Naomi and I bought the papers and spent the day crying with laughter.
ON MY S/S 07 WISH LIST Lots of Manolo Blahnik shoes, a long satin Alberta Ferretti column dress, a printed silk dress and white shirt from Loewe, and an old Hermes Constance Shoulder bag.
YASMIN’S FASHION FILE
My favorite place for vintage is ALFIES ANTIQUE MARKET (023 7723 6066); if I’m free I go to the VINTAGE FASHION FAIR (023 8543 5075) in Hammersmith; for shoes, MANOLO BLAHNIK (020 7352 8622); for jewelry, SOLANGE AZAGURY-PARTRIDGE (020 7792 0197) and Boucheron (020 75149170); and for t-shirts, the Boutique at TOPSHOP (020 7636 7700).