VOICES OF DIANA D’ORVILLE
IN CONVERSATION WITH ANNIKA PURDEY
CONTRIBUTING EDITOR AT TATLER and FIRST WOMAN TO JOIN JAMES PURDEY & SONS BOARD
How do you stay on top of your game? A mantra / quote / spiritual practice that gets you through challenges?
Exercise. I am religious about my Pilates practice, five days a week, no excuses, I have done it for over 20 years. I did a meditation course in lockdown, and I love practicing that too. I also love yoga and tennis. My mantra is probably smile, as much as you can!
Covid undeniably accelerated underlying groundswells forcing the fashion, art & cultural industries to adapt/reinvent themselves in so many aspects– what is your vision on the future of fashion?
I think fashion pre Covid was going at such a fast pace, it was getting insane. I think everyone in luxury has had to reset in some way. I think the future will be less is more, with sustainability at the fore. I envision more thoughtful collections, the pandemic has given brands time to re think, consolidate and focus on what really matters to them, and their customers.
As you know, we are a sustainable luxury brand since inception & based in the South of France, blessed with a profusion of local natural products & a culture of slow living close to Nature.
What is your definition of sustainability? Does it influence your choices whether you purchase a luxury fashion item, home cleaning products or food?
Sustainability does influence my choices more and more. Luxury to me is an investment in the future. Purdey luggage is a great example of this, from using no or completely natural dyes, to the canvas on the bags being made with crushed nettles and cotton. It’s all about beautiful designs, that are durable, luxurious and ethical.
First three words that come to your mind when you think of Diana d’Orville!
Elegant, silks, the beautiful South of France. It’s one of my favourite places in the world, I am fortunate to visit most summers, to holiday with friends.
What did you dream of when you were a little girl -and what would you tell her today?
Well I always loved art and clothes, and I think like most young girls I dreamt of being a ballerina at some point! I have always loved talking to people, and have always been curious about many subjects. I also loved stories, writing, the theatre and visiting galleries. Now I would tell her to follow your dreams, be authentic to who you are and smile! Try to do what brings you joy as a person.
A typical day in the life of Annika?
Before Covid I would be taking my daughter to school before heading into central London, with full days of client meetings and usually client related events a couple of evenings a week. During Covid most aspects of my work moved online pretty seamlessly. Meetings are now on Zoom, and I am on calls a lot during the day. Homeschooling and working was quite challenging at times, but we got through it!
You host a dinner – who do you invite, what do you cook, what do you wear?
My dream dinner… it would be outside, on a beautiful summers evening preferably in the South of France! We would drink champagne followed by ice cold Minuty, and I would cook simple fresh fish, with lots of delicious salads, followed by some wonderful local cheeses and fruits. I like good chocolate so maybe something chocolatey too! My fantasy guest list would be a crazy mix of The Queen, Cary Grant and Grace Kelly, Albert Einstein, Coco Chanel, Rodin, Abraham Lincoln, Hubert de Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn! I would wear the Alhambra silk pyjamas by Diana D’Orville or one of her stunning silk kaftans.
Book, film, music of the moment?
I actually love autobiographical books, and books on topics that really interest me…art, interiors, gardens. I just read a great book on re wilding by Isabella Tree. I adore classic films my absolute favourite is To catch a Thief starring Grace Kelly and Cary Grant. I love music and dancing, my playlists are pretty eclectic, everything from disco to classical, and I live with teenagers so I’m pretty exposed to stuff they like too, everything from rap to Justin Bieber!
Your safe haven / dream destination?
My dream destination would have to involve the sea, the sun, and a beautiful beach. In Europe I adore the South of France and Mallorca, further afield I love the Caribbean, it’s the perfect place to escape long British winters. Antigua is a big favourite with my family, and St.Barts is on my bucket list.
First thing you’ll do & what will you never take for when life gets back to ‘normal’?
The first thing I will do is see my friends. I have missed them all greatly. The thing I will never take for granted again is the freedom to travel.
It was a pleasure. Thank you Annika!!
Click here to Annika’s instagram!
And to James Purdey & Sons here!