I’m not sure how many of you will have heard of Diane, she writes the blog A Shaded View On Fashion and holds cult status amongst the fashionata for her support of original designers and film makers. I’ve loved her from afar for many years (her blog is ten years old this year, being one of the first bloggers) so was thrilled to get a chance to interview her at Liberty for the launch of her fragrance collection.
She looks a little intimidating, right? She is NEVER seen out of her black attire, including shades and spider jewellery, which is designed by her friend Mario Salvucci. She has a duskily quiet voice too, to match her queenly look. She turned out to be lovely; articulate, kind and thoughtful. Another girl-crush moment, but I pulled myself together and we had a chat…
How did being a grown up women help you with creating your perfume collection?
Hmm, well the thing is, back when I was a designer, I really wanted to make a fragrance, it’s been in my mind for a long time, but it got put on the back burner. And I never think of things like age or gender really, it’s like if someone said ‘who’s the person you’re making this for?’ it could be somebody 20 or 80, a man or a woman.
Of course if you’ve lived life longer, you know what you want. Working with Celso Fadelli (Intertrade’s CEO, they developed the collection together) he said I’m not wishy-washy with my decisions, I know what I like, I know who I am and I know that the fragrances should reflect dimensions of my personality.
I had such fun doing it too, I’m always creating new things, that’s what I love to do. Making the fragrances took a long time, we went through more than 100 trials, but Celso said to me ‘it’s a journey, it’ll take as long as it takes’.
I like that you’re not wishy washy!
I’m not really into trends, I like things that are timeless. Maybe trends make fashion continue, but I like traditional old values and modernness….it’s why I like Liberty.
I only do things -and maybe this goes with age as well- I really want to do, that I really enjoy, and only work with the people I like. My pleasure is doing what I like with the people I like, it makes me happy.
It’s a matter of not thinking about age and living your life, because the reality is, I don’t think you ever feel your age. You might have some physical issues, but in your spirit, in the way you look at life, you feel ten or twenty years younger than what you are.
And older creatives are getting noticed more, aren’t they…
Look at advertising campaigns now, Joan Didion, Joni Mitchell, that’s wild! It’s a huge change and it’s relevant because the older market is the biggest market! We’re all living longer, as I always say to my friends, retire? I’ve no time for that. I think it’s important to keep working, keep creating, look at Karl Lagerfeld…He’s doing how many things? And we’re not even supposed to know how old he is…
Many of our readers find themselves in a perfume rut, having worn the same scent for years, what advice would you give them on trying your collection?
Well, I’m one of those people who used to be like that! I wore for decades, Guerlain Vetiver For Him, I kept going back to it. Then I wore Avignon by Comme des Garcons. So your readers should know that this collection is coming from someone who is like them.
I also created it like a story, imagining what I wanted the person wearing it to feel like, because it’s nice if you can match the fragrance to your mood.
Here’s the collection in Diane’s own words….
To Be Honest it’s slightly like churches, it gives you that serene feeling like you get in a church, soothing, like meditation. I loved going to churches, right from when I was little, all the rituals, I didn’t so much like confession, but….
Wanted Woody, more carnal, more sexy, spicy and oriental. Also has a note like leather, some vetiver, some wood, I think it’s more sensual.
In Pursuit Of Magic This is a little citrusy, invigorating, tart, it’s empowering. (This, for the record, was my favourite).
Shaded More elegant and dressy, one for the evening, this one has a marine, salty edge, it’s very easy to wear.
All the fragrances are available at Liberty and if you can pop in I really urge you to try them, just look at the amazing scent domes (below) you can play with if you do. Diane’s done this whole fragrance adventure with such style and thought and It’s a super-competent collection for a first time maker.
I have been wearing and loving them all, and everyone who’s come across me and my little set of testers has been impressed too. If you pushed me I’d say my fav’ is In Pursuit of Magic closely followed by To Be Honest.