DIANA D’ORVILLE PORTRAITS
The Diana d’Orville power suits are dedicated to and inspired by all women who, through their courage, engagements and work managed to realize their ambitions & desires their way.I think about them from sketches drawing to packing orders. Because each one is strong and incarnates Diana d’Orville values in her own way, I hope these portrait interview series will help others draw inspiration from them.
So « Here’s to all strong women : May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them!”
ISABEL GETTY’S INTERVIEW FOR DIANA D’ORVILLE
We had the pleasure to have Isabel Getty to inaigurate our Portraits – Voices of Diana d’Orville series. We hope you will have as much pleasure reading her interview as we did!
As a songwriter, singer, painter, art in all its forms definitely runs in your veins – Can you briefly walk us through your creative itinerary and especially through Jean Marlow’s story?
I’ve always been singing and writing poetry as a kid, only merging the two as a teenager when I became head of choir and the school band. I went on to the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU where I studied music composition and began experimenting with different genres. After graduating, I started a job as an assistant to the artist Marc Quinn, and in my spare time, I joined forces with two musicians from London who shared similar passion for blues and soul music. I began writing and creating the instrumentation on my computer, then recording my vocals before getting James and Ali (the two musicians) to add a guitar and piano riffs to my mixed instrumentation. After that, I put a few of the songs up on Spotify and iTunes under the name Jean Marlow, and before I knew it, I was sent a rush of emails, facebook messages and Spotify requests. Suddenly, people wanted to see us live, something that we had been doing from time to time as a way to practise our stage presence.
Also on a side note, I picked the name Jean Marlow for the band in the way that individuals aren’t identified, rather the name encompasses each band member’s alter ego, like the band Mazzy Star and Led Zeppelin. I picked Marlow because of Christopher Marlowe and I chose the name Jean after Jean Harlow, an actress who challenged social norms at the time by experimenting with androgynous fashion.
In terms of art, I’ve been drawing and painting my whole life. I did it as a hobby, specifically because I just couldn’t stop drawing, I’d be depressed if so, and designed the sleeve art for my band as well as other bands. My friends started asking for pieces and friends of friends wanted to buy pieces, and so I started doing alot of art on the side when I wasn’t working or playing with the band.
What inspires you when you paint? Are there any artistic references that drive your creativity or any movement/concept you feel close to and translate in your paintings?
My favourite painter is Egon Schiele, and you can definitely see his references in my work. I didn’t go to art school, much to my high school art teacher’s dismay, but instead began crafting my style by starting with the basics, the female form, and experimenting with different layers, stylistic qualities, tonalities and colours.
Each of Jean Marlow’s track has a very singular character and the power to transport through all emotional states (hello ‘Run Leon’!!!!!) –as a songwriter is there any particular time/place/state of mind you feel your best to write?
I love to travel, and I end up writing a lot of my music on planes and trains. I always enjoy getting lost in new places, experiencing different cultures and with that, colours, textures, smells and sounds. I also equally like how disconnected and quiet it can be when you travel, it allows you to reminisce, to understand, and to find resolution after a wonderful adventure (when I’m not freaking out in turbulence). I try to implement these experiences in my music through the instrumentation whilst also connecting it to the lyrics, which I have to confess are written about different characters in my life.
What do you hold on to in turbulent times?
I paint. I sing. I write. I read. I run. These four things really work when life gets bumpy. Being creative is a necessity for me and going too long without it starts to affect me.
What did you dream of when you were a little girl -and what would you tell her today?
When I was a little girl I dreamt of becoming a marine biologist and a pop star! I thought I could do both! I loved the ocean and all the wonderful animals that inhabited it, although I was scared to swim too far away from land and unable to look down at the deep blue below me. Nevertheless, the idea hypnotized and I pictured myself riding down in a little submarine, discovering new species.
I was also always singing at home, often jumping on my kitchen counter or sofa to perform for my family. At school, however, I was terrified to perform but was always forced to face my fear by being given the leads in my school’s musicals. Performing became a love-hate relationship.
I would tell my smaller self to never let anyone put her down, to be herself no matter what and that life will get bumpy but that everything does pass. Life is like a wave, sometimes high and sometimes low, but you just need to ride it because eventually you get to shore.
A typical day in the life of Isabel?
I wake up at 7.30am and make myself a strong coffee. After that, I go to the gym or I run for an hour. I start work (my day job is in real estate development) at 10am and will power through till 2pm. I have lunch and then get through the second part of the day, ending at 6pm. I then like to spend the next two hours painting, writing music or working on my guitar skills. I make dinner around 8ish and finish off the night with a good book or tv show. I just finished the book The Catcher In The Rye and so now I’ve switched it up and I’m watching Emily In Paris.
You host a dinner:
-who do you invite
This is a great question. I would invite Aristotle, Dolly Parton, Jesus, Stevie Nicks, Michelangelo and Bob Marley.
-what do you cook
I would make a big pasta pomodoro because who doesn’t like pasta, and pair it with a good red wine.
-what do you wear
I love bohemian chic dresses and robes so the Azadeh or the Agapea would be must haves! But you also know how much I love that Fuzuli coat of yours!
Book, film, music of the moment?
Books: The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck by Mark Manson & The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Films: Moonrise Kingdom, Pulp Fiction
Music: Hot Chocolate, Fleetwood Mac
Your safe haven / dream destination?
My safe haven is the Swiss Alps, especially in the winter months, there’s no prettier or calming country than Switzerland.
My dream destination… well there’s so many. I’d love to go to Nepal, Vietnam or Bhutan.
DISCOVER MORE ABOUT IZZY AND HER WORK HERE:
Jean Marlow on Spotify here
Jean Marlow on Youtube here