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Laura Bailey has honed her creative eye through photography and having co-founded fine jewellery brand Loquet London. This season she’s partnered with The Outnet to create a signature capsule collection.
What do your first 30 mins of the day look like, your morning routine?
I’m an early bird. These days I get up in the dark to run or walk with my two dogs, Frankie & Bambi, before I wake my kids at 7am and make breakfast before they head off to school. In an ideal world (not in lockdown..), I would play an hour of tennis or join a class at my local Bodyism gym before I start work, which might mean a shoot, meetings all over town or a day at my desk. I have no ‘normal’ day, I have quiet days and crazy days and somehow it all works out. But sport, and being able to organise all around my kids’ routine is key.
You started in the industry as a model, how did you discover your eye for design?
I have worked an unconventional model life, always combining shoots with my passions for writing, photography and travel, and creative direction including design. My diverse creative lives are entwined and cross-pollinating and I am always casting, pitching & collaborating, in all fashion fields. I have been so lucky to work with some of the best creative visionaries, from Karl Lagerfeld to Edward Enninful, and have watched and listened hard.
How did you know it was the right time to launch Loquet London and what were the stepping-stones to that point?
Loquet London has been a labour of love for Sheherazade Goldsmith and I. The shorthand and trust of an old friendship combined with Sheherazade’s idea for an innovative and romantic reinvention of the locket is a source of pride and inspiration and although I am less involved in the day to day I love watching the brand grow in style and we have just launched a limited-edition special collaboration with beloved artist Charlie Mackesy and another old friend Chantal Conrad, who has developed a brilliant miniature lens which allows secret messages to be embedded in a special Lumiere pendant. Mine holds a favourite Nick Cave lyric. It’s a kind of magic.
Each of the pieces you’ve designed for The Outnet capsule has been carefully crafted to emulate your signature style. What was the key DNA and which is your favourite piece?
The key DNA was simply timeless, iconic style, inspired by my passions for film and vintage. I wanted to create timeless pieces and to design a capsule whereby everyone can find a piece that works for them, and style it in their own way. I thought a lot about the one dress that you take on a trip, again and again, or the one piece in your wardrobe that you reach for when you want to simply feel your best. The black velvet ‘Isabella’ is the one I’ve been wearing the most, even from the first samples. It’s relaxed but chic, easy modern luxe.
Tell us about how this project supports Save The Children?
It was really important to me that this collaboration worked beyond the quest for the perfect party dress. Ten per cent of proceeds of each sale will go to support the brilliant work of Save The Children, a charity for whom I have long served as ambassador.
Do you feel more drawn to the creative or the business side of the brand and how have you grown the team to support this?
I am definitely more drawn to the creative side, though I am working hard on the business side too! One of the joys of collaboration is the freedom to play to strengths and ask for help. The team at Iris & Ink and The OUTNET have supported me every step of the way, and the entire process has been a joy and the best kind of challenge.
Do you have any mentors or guides and how does this help navigate the right path throughout life and your career?
My friendships with extraordinary women working in diverse fields are a source of immense pride, joy and inspiration. From fashion designer Bella Freud to journalist Christiane Amanpour, creative visionary Amanda Harlech to Cathy Kasterine, stylist and collaborator in my photographic work. I am extremely lucky to work in constant dialogue with such talent and intellect. I have relied heavily on my girlfriends for all kinds of guidance. They are my family.
And these days one of the greatest thrills and challenges is to serve as a mentor within my community via homework clubs, mentoring, and volunteering. I always try to share and pass on the same wisdom, kindness and sense of opportunity I was gifted when I needed it most.
How do you balance having both a professional and family life so well and do you have any rituals that help you relax if you do have five mins?
I’m not going to lie. It’s not easy. Motherhood is my most important role and has made me the happiest and most fulfilled. My kids are older now but I have learnt to be super organised and to plan around their needs. I want to work hard and to come home with adventure stories – but I also don’t want to miss a thing. I relax with my kids – in the park, with the dogs. We’re all sport mad and I box with my daughter and play tennis with my son. I love a hardcore massage once in a while or a movie night. I’m a voracious reader but my main solace comes via nature, even in the heart of London, the city I love that remains my forever inspiration.
How has social media affected the luxury industry and which platform has been most useful?
I have a slightly complicated relationship with social media as I’m desperately trying to get off my phone and be more mysterious! And I am strict as a mother re. tech and I’m hyper aware of the dangers and the pressures, especially for teens. But I also have to acknowledge that my iPhone has set me free, enabled me to work anywhere, take pictures constantly and travel light. Instagram has been a hugely important work tool for me in terms of connection, inspiration and community. As a photographer it’s given me a platform to control and share both my work and my influences and to amplify my passions and politics. It’s sometimes confusing. And I often promise to give it all up. It’s definitely ok to switch off from time to time. And to edit ruthlessly, but still be grateful for the good stuff.
Which Instagram accounts do you follow for inspiration?
Hard to choose – but here are 5 I love in diverse worlds-
Do you have any pre-bedtime rituals?
It depends on the day…. but usually Dog -walking, a Chanel no 5 bubble bath, the NY Times, Budd pyjamas, poetry, playlists via @stackradioapp, browsing @artsy, reading (currently the Trebizon school series by Anne Digby ) with my daughter. I’ve also been taking a supplement called Lyma Life, with breakfast and at bedtime, for a year now- and whilst I don’t pretend to understand the science, I think it might be magic.
If you were not on your current career path, which other role would you have chosen career-wise?
If I didn’t work in the arts I would probably have followed a sporting path, as a teacher or an athlete. And in my dream life, I’d mostly be playing tennis. Maybe I can still combine the two via sports photography and travel reportage. All worlds collide.
We love your style, what approach do you have to dressing?
Thank you! No rules. Making it up as I go along. Totally impulsive and mood-driven. Eclectic British Portobello princess/tomboy style. Something borrowed from my son or my boyfriend and a little black dress forever. I’m always ready to run, bike or kick a ball around.
This is ‘The Party Issue’ – how will you be celebrating this season?
2020 has been a year like no other. But it is even more important to me now to celebrate what really matters – health, friends and family. I don’t know yet what Christmas l will look like, or what will be allowed, but I feel sure I’ll stay close to home this year with a greater appreciation of simple pleasures, cooking with my kids, walks in the park and sometimes dressing up even with nowhere to go. I love (and miss!) a party but I also love the quiet intimacy of time out with cherished friends and am learning how to make even the simplest (maybe taken for granted) pleasures and rituals extra special in these times. A Winter Sunday stroll down Portobello Road, a movie night with my kids, a day trip to the countryside…
The Iris & Ink X Laura Bailey capsule collection is available at The Outnet
December’s – ‘The Party Issue’ – Download Now
The Gift Guide – Download Now
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