My personal style signifier is a Slim d’Hermès watch that is the perfect expression of who I am. It is a big masculine watch in silver, and I alternate between brown and black leather straps. I love the simplicity of this piece. €5,650; hermes.com
The last thing I bought and loved was a pair of traditional Venetian slippers in midnight-blue velvet. They are chic and, more importantly, are completely comfortable and can be worn with everything from jeans to more tailored pants. Dittura Massimo slippers, from €35; ditturamassimo.it
And the things I’m eyeing next are Pierre de Ronsard rose bushes and a trellis for the garden at my country home in Calvados. These old-fashioned pink and white climbing roses bloom well into the autumn.
If I didn’t live in Paris, I would live in Normandy, near Deauville and Trouville. It’s the sea that I can’t live without, but the surrounding countryside is gorgeous too. I love the little markets, especially the fish market in Trouville, and this part of the world just feels very small and separate. L’Etoile des Mers is one of the best places for fresh, inventive lunches and the proprietress has a big personality that adds to the fun. For an excellent selection of clothing – just like Paris's Leclaireur but unknown – I love the Anne boutique. Everything it carries – especially designs by Laurence Bras – suits me perfectly, so there’s almost no need to shop in the city. Anne, 26 Rue Gambetta, 14800 Deauville (anne-deauville.fr). L’Etoile des Mers, 74 Rue Gambetta, 14800 Deauville (+332-1463 1018)
An object I would never part with is a reproduction of Rodin’s hand called Main Dite de “Pianiste” . I bought this little sculpture 25 years ago and I think it’s symbolic of craftsmanship and creativity. I’m part Italian and tend to talk with my hands, so this piece is very special to me.
An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is the Garden of Eden on the island of Giudecca in Venice. This secret garden, which is closed to the public, was planted by an Englishman in the late 1800s, and it’s still full of jasmine, orange blossom, magnolia, rose – all mixed with the salty Venetian air. It is such a simple, beautiful place and I had an immediate emotional response to it – so much so that I created a fragrance, Un Jardin sur la Lagune, that reflects its blooms throughout the seasons. Hermès Un Jardin sur la Lagune, £89 for 100ml EDT; hermes.com
A recent “find” is the new Eataly in Le Marais. This Italian grocery concept store is very new to Paris, and I love its range of diverse yet simple products. In addition to buying delicious cheeses and pastas, it’s fun to just people-watch here. My mother is Italian, so I’m nostalgic for really good Italian ingredients. 37 Rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie, 75004 Paris (eataly.net)
The last meal that truly impressed me was at Alain Passard's Arpège. He creates vegetable dishes using produce from his organic gardens in incredibly inventive ways. I’m always surprised – last time it was by the sugary tomatoes, a vegetarian tartare and truffles that were in season. Passard always intrigues me with dishes that are not only good for the tastebuds but for the nose as well. 84 Rue de Varenne, 75007 Paris (alain-passard.com)
My favourite website is Husqvarna, a site that is all about my lawnmower, a current obsession. I also read The Business of Fashion, Le Monde, Le Figaro and The Washington Post for the news of the day. businessoffashion.com. husqvarna.com. lefigaro.fr. lemonde.fr. washingtonpost.com
My style icon is Inès de la Fressange. She is at once simple and elegant, and I love her taste, her voice, her humour – she is the embodiment of French style and can make even a simple white shirt look extraordinary. Best of all, she’s human, not too perfect.
The best gift I’ve given recently was taking my whole family to a horse-jumping show at the beautiful Grand Palais in Paris. It was a great moment: the spectacle of the horses and finery, as well as the wide-eyed appreciation of my children and grandchildren.
And the best one I’ve received recently was the arrival of my first grandchild, a little girl.
If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose Le Marais in Paris. I particularly love the boutiques at the Musée Picasso for unusual gifts. Derrière is a festive place for lunch in a home-like setting; I’ll often order the red tuna ceviche. Leclaireur Sévigné is my favourite concept store for its sharp edit of all the best clothes designers. Derrière, 69 Rue des Gravilliers, 75003 Paris (+331-4461 9195; derriere-resto.com). Leclaireur Sévigné, 40 Rue de Sévigné, 75003 Paris (+331-4887 1022; leclaireur.com). Musée Picasso, 5 Rue de Thorigny, 75003 Paris (+331-8556 0036; museepicassoparis.fr)
The last music I downloaded was The Complete Island Recordings by Bob Marley & The Wailers. I love reggae and this set is perfect for the atelier or for listening to at home. Marley’s rhythms and melodies remind me of relaxing holidays.
In my fridge you’ll always find natural Greek yoghurt, all kinds of berries and fresh wasabi for my salads and for using as a spread. I love Ruinart champagne, so there is usually a bottle of that too. I always have a selection of cheeses at hand but never in the fridge; the French don’t refrigerate cheese, ever! ruinart.com
The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is Camille Claudel. Her sculptures are full of life and animation. I particularly love a light green work called La Valse – or The Waltz – that has an incredibly human feel.
An indulgence I would never forgo is raspberries – in all seasons. I look for them everywhere, but they are especially good at this time of year.
The best book I’ve read in the past year is The Letters of Frida Kahlo: Cartas Apasionadas by Martha Zamora. I was touched by her vivid writing – letters to friends, family and, of course, her partner Diego Rivera. She was passionate and funny.
My favourite room in my house is my bathroom, a serene oasis with plenty of white, soft light and quiet. Bathtime is a very égoiste moment for me, and every night, no matter the hour, a long soak is part of my bedtime ritual.
The grooming staple that I’m never without is Shu Uemura’s Color Lustre Shampoo for colour-treated hair. It’s sulphate-free, very moisturising and has a light musk rose scent. $48 for 300ml; shuuemuraartofhair-usa.com
The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe is a pair of jeans by Jacob Cohen. I usually opt for slim-cut jeans, but these have a looser fit and I find that I wear them all the time. I can create an elegant silhouette with just the addition of a tailored jacket and a great scarf. €299.95; voustenjeans.com
The person I rely on for personal grooming and wellbeing is Hélène at Le Salon in Deauville for my hair colour. She has a delicate touch and always finds just the right red for me. In terms of my eye health, I rely on Le Collectioneur de Lunetier, an optical shop in Neuilly that supplies the round black frames by Moscot that I wear every day. Le Collectioneur de Lunetier, 34 Rue Madeleine Michelis, 92200 Neuilly-sur-Seine (+331-4624 8778; lecollectionneurlunetier.com). Le Salon, 106 Avenue de la République, 14800 Deauville (+332-3114 9600)
The best souvenir I’ve brought home is a stuffed deer’s derrière from Mexico. It sounds odd, but it’s actually quite funny. I’m not a fan of animal trophies, but this piece is more like a sculpture.
If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be a doctor. I can’t think of anything more important than saving lives.
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