PENELOPE TAKES YOU INSIDE HER WARDROBE AS SEEN IN THE DAILY TELEGRAPH
Q. What’s your personal uniform?
A. My mantra for designing footwear is a reflection on how I dress day to day: “go anywhere do anything” meaning I wear clothes that allow me to walk to work, jump on a bus, and generally feel relaxed in what I’m wearing all day long.
Q. At what age did you find it?
A. I’ve always loved colour and my personal taste is not so different to when I was 20: eclectic, an admiration of artisanal techniques through history and classical references brought up to date.
Q. Where do you shop?
A. I buy lots of shirts from Uniqlo, boyfriend jeans from Grlfrnd, and Paul Smith cigarette trousers. In the warmer months I adore summer dresses – the Spanish brand Soler is stunning, the pieces are made to order and you can pick from a large variety of patterns.
There’s nothing better, though, than finding a little boutique that you feel you’re the first to discover. From my neighbour Pippa Small in Ledbury Road or the boutique Hetre in Alresford, to faraway places I’ll never forget like Sandy Lamu in Kenya, or Rodeo in the ski resort of Jackson Hole, all are special.
Q. Which pieces do you spend the most on?
A. Bikinis are an investment piece for me – I think it’s important for them to be very well structured to feel your best. My go to swimwear brands are Eres, Hunza G and Heidi Klein.
Q. And the least?
A. I love vintage clothing and often go to Portobello market to find special pieces and inspiration for my own collections. The traders have a brilliant eye for beauty. Their prices are reasonable if you weigh up the quality and rarity. And with vintage pieces, you know there won’t be anyone at the party in the same as you!
Q. What item in your wardrobe have you had the longest?
A. The first boots I ever made for myself, before my business became official. The Duchess of Cambridge was one of my first customers and she’s worn her long tassel boots for over 15 years. I think it’s a particularly British trait to wear “not new” so stylishly and now it’s become so relevant again as we try hard to become less wasteful.
Penelope Chilvers wears satin cigarette pants and black tee, with an Edie Ashley white linen jacket, made from sugar sacks, for her final show at Central St. Martins with Penelope Chilvers black mule wedges
Q. Who do you go shopping with?
A. I love to shop with my daughters. One is a professional stylist so really great for advice, the other makes sure I stay on the right side of quirky for my age. Both are kind and give me added confidence.
Q. What’s your beauty routine?
A. I love to walk to work, and swim in the morning. I’m a member of Soho House especially so that I can use their beautiful pool at White City House.
Q. What beauty products couldn’t you live without?
A. Everything from Neal’s Yard.
Q. What’s the secret of great style?
A. Putting colour together in an interesting way – and keeping your whites white!