Thursday, 30 July 2009

The Fabulous Phoebe Arnold

Photography by Alistair Allan

Phoebe Arnold 
Fashion Editor - LOVE Magazine

Born and bred in London in 1983, Phoebe was a model before studying for a science degree at Cambridge University. After passing this, Phoebe changed direction completely and landed a job with uber-stylist Katie Grand at POP Magazine. When Katie sold POP and Conde Nast gave her the opportunity of starting a brand new magazine - the hugely successful style bible LOVE, she took Phoebe with her as Fashion Editor.

A sought after stylist, Phoebe works with Chloe, Roksanda Ilincic and is a consultant for Ben Grimes and Lily Parker's new label LPBG. Phoebe lives in Stockwell and is moving (with her vast collection of clothes) to a storage unit in Kennington.

In the Closet with Phoebe

How do you describe your style?
It probably changes quite a lot. I'm not really sure, it’s instinctual. Actually quite often the more I think something is a little revolting the more I like it!

Who are your style icons?
Marlene Dietrich, David Sylvian, Spandau Ballet, Diane Keaton, Michelle Heaton, the list goes on...

The gorgeous David Sylvian

Whose wardrobe would you most like to own?
C S Lewis's

Do you have any beauty secrets?
Smiling helps and a touch of confidence

Do you exercise?
Erm, I walk to work from Stockwell to Clerkenwell and I sometimes take the stairs instead of the lift, does that count?

Which make up do you love?
I don’t really wear any make up

Is there anything about your body you dislike?
Perhaps it's better to do this the other way round. I quite like my hands

Who does your hair?
Richard Mortimer bleaches my hair for me, though we don’t do it as often as we should. It's mostly quite rooty. I wear a lot of hats

What is your current favourite outfit?
I have some marvellous new Scott Crolla shirts from the 80's that I love, some old gold brocade trousers, and black velvet slippers (good with a pair of white socks... until Michael died)

Photography by Jackie Dixon

Which item do you turn to in a wardrobe crisis?

What is the oldest thing in your wardrobe?
A small family of moths that have been resident for several years. Frighteningly annoying and difficult to get rid of. I have a lot of old fur, silk shirts and old hats too but they're about to be moved into storage.

What is the one item of clothing you couldn't live without?
I’d miss knickers. Commando just isn’t as fun as it sounds

What is your most successful party outfit?
The RIP POP (Magazine) gravestone I wore last Halloween, though it wasn’t very successful for getting around in, I forgot to cut arm holes in it

Which vintage items do you own?
Erm, lots

Who are your favourite designers?
Giles, Chloe, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Miu Miu, Yves Saint Laurent

What are your favourite high street shops?
It varies. Occasionally all of them get something very right. At the moment Cos has some lovely suede and leather pantaloony trousers

What is the most expensive item in your wardrobe?
A double barrel shot gun in a big metal safe. It’s a secret though

What is your best bargain?
I buy a lot on Ebay for very little

What is your favourite handbag?
Chloe Paraty bag

The Chloe Paraty bag

What are your favourite shoes?
Louis Vuitton purple and gold sandals with layered soles and funny springs in (difficult to describe but truly delicious)

Do you wear jewellery?
Not really. I'd like a pocket watch again

What are your favourite sunglasses?
I don’t really wear those much either. I can't see all that well in them

What would you save if your house was on fire?
The living creatures. Myself, my dog for example, the mice could probably look after themselves

Q and A

What's in your pocket/handbag right now?
An oyster card, my credit card, lots of loose change (I never use a wallet. I don’t like everything to be in the same place at the same time, its more likely to get lost), a rubber in the shape of a loaf of bread, some safety pins, a pair of shoes, some contact lenses, a black felt tip pen, a magnifying glass on a piece of string and some cigarettes

What keeps you awake at night?
The ghost of Lilian Baylis

How did your childhood affect the person you are today?
I broke my nose three times, I now only have one nostril

Which famous person is your all time crush?
Woody Allen

What qualities do you look for in a man?
Spectacles, good humour and good socks

What are your eating habits like?
There isn’t much that’s habitual about them apart from the fact that they’re terrible

If you had to have one last meal what would it be?
Something delicious like a cheese sandwich

What are your favourite restaurants?
Bistrotheque in Bethnal Green, Bob Bob Ricard in Soho, Tayyabs in Whitechapel (they thought I was Princess Diana and treated me accordingly)

What are your secret London addresses?
Rippon Cheeses in Pimlico, Bramah Tea and Coffee Museum on Southwark Street, Mint Vintage on Earlham Street, the new pop-up restaurant in Peckham – Franks Café and Campari Bar – on the top of a multi storey car park is fun, the Albion Pub in Barnsbury, Ye Olde Mitre and the Gunmakers in Clerkenwell, Franklins in Kennington, Deptford Market, and there's a new vintage shop on Stoke Newington Church Street that’s wonderful

The Albion, Barnsbury N1

What would you have on your tombstone?

What's your worst fear?

What's your philosophy?
Always behave like a duck. Keep calm and unruffled on the surface but paddle like the devil underneath

Which animal would you most like to be?
Perhaps I should say duck here, but I'm just not that fond of water!

What are your guilty pleasures?
Cigarettes and Haribo

What was the last play you saw?
I'm ashamed to say I can't remember!

What did you last download?
A song – Taste of Sugar - Hmm Hmm, it's fun.

What are your favourite TV shows?
Psychoville is my current favourite, it's brilliant

What were the last good films you watched?
Hmm, let me think about this one...

What are your favourite books?
I like dictionaries and encyclopedias. The back of the A to Z for choosing a good address and More Dash Than Cash, an old Vogue book, for style and advice

Dorothea Barth Jorgensen by Willy Vandeperre

Who are your favourite models?
At the moment it's Ranya, Dorothea, Kim Noorda, Guinevere, Alice Gibb, Meghan Collinson, Nanou

Kim Noorda by Paul Empson

Which magazines do you read?
Erm, I read a lot of magazines but obviously LOVE is my favourite

What makes you laugh?
Comedian, Stephen Wright, elephants standing on their heads, puns, the sitcom Pulling - I've just watched both series back to back, Ricky Gervais - don't sit on the wall if you're an egg, tickling, funny jokes. I laugh quite a lot.

What irritates you?
People taking up too much room on the pavement. Slowness. Flying ants. The number 4. Kitten heels.

Who would be your dream dinner party guests?
Woody Allen of course, and Stephen Wright (though maybe not both of them together), Winston Churchill, Henry VIII, God (just to see if anyone turns up), James May - I have a big crush on him too, Paul Merton, Charles Darwin and Francis Galton, Kermit, I should probably add another girl or two for balance shouldn't I? Actually no, I just prefer boys

What has been your proudest moment so far?
I can't remember, but I'm looking forward to the next one.

If you could be anywhere on earth right now, where would it be and who would be with you?
Can I be in space instead? I’d love to go there. And I suppose I’d better take an astronaut with me just in case, if he could be funny and interesting that would be nice too.

The new issue of LOVE Magazine is out on 24th August

© Interview by Christina Lindsay July 2009

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