If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair, but the hand sanitizer and the electric toothbrush. We asked designer and London-based shop owner Alex Eagle about the water bottle, makeup remover, and suede slippers she can’t live without.
So there are lots of reasons why I’m enjoying getting older, and one of them is revisiting past books I’ve loved. I first read The Secret History when I was a student, and it was a perfect moment to read it because it felt like that was semi my life. There’s also a big pleasure trying to read again after having two children consecutively. With constant travel and trying to be a mother and juggling life, I’m always on the phone, so I’m really trying to unplug and refind my love of literature and reading.
The S’well water bottle keeps things hot, which I love because I love tea. Or I’ll fill it up with filtered water, and shove a little bit of ginger or mint in there before leaving the house. We’ve eradicated all plastic water bottles from the house, but we still drink some mineral water out of bottles. I’m really trying to get it all down to just filtered water. Eradicating glass is next. We’re getting there.
I mean, it’s just a great makeup remover — it’s simple, but a classic. There’s kind of not much to say about it, other than it just works, you know? I wish they’d make it in a glass bottle, that would be my only comment. But I love it, and you don’t need huge amounts of it.
There’s a shop called Cloth House right near me in Soho, which I love going to with my kids. The owners have been there for ages. They have such beautiful fabric there: Japanese cotton, linen, block prints. And then there are all these ribbons — the colors are so inspiring. Like, the perfect shade of mustard yellow, or mint green, or a bright red. It’s also just a fun thing to do with my kids — wrapping gifts or making little bows for my daughter’s hair, or whatever it is. It’s a really old-school place, and it appeals to the child in me. When I was young I spent all my pocket money buying fabrics and ribbons. [Editor’s note: If buying ribbon outside of the U.K., Cloth House will charge additional international shipping fees.]
I’ve been given one of these for Christmas by Santa Claus — i.e., my mum — every year since I was about 11, maybe even younger. The diary sits next to my bed as a reminder to write things down. Since we type everything, my handwriting is getting appalling, but, still, there’s something nice about writing things down. And nowadays, with my iCal on my phone, it’s not about just what I’ve got coming up appointment-wise, but it’s about writing little funny things that my kids say, or interesting things that happen at work, little observations and stuff. Still, it’s a constant struggle to make myself do it — it doesn’t actually come as natural as it did when I was growing up.
What’s really nice about this is that it’s foolproof, I’ll just do a little bit on top of my cheeks. You don’t have to be a makeup artist to be able to use it. The packaging again is so clever — it’s magnetic — and it’s the perfect size. I’m not great at being patient and putting on makeup, so I do love things that are, you know, time-saving and fun to use. Gucci Westman is a genius, and is also just gorgeous herself; I’ve always been inspired by her.
My friend Karina had this at her house and she served it to me — it’s absolutely delicious. And there’s just something so nice about taking time to make your tea the old-school way; there’s something almost ceremonious about it. I love the Earl Grey one, I have it with a little splash of almond milk and put it in my favorite cup. We all drink a lot of tea in my household. It makes a lovely hostess gift as well.
This oil is great because it keeps your tan lasting for longer, and the melagrana scent is really beautiful and fresh without being too overpowering. It’s a great unisex kind of smell, definitely not too feminine. I put it on after the shower, it soaks in beautifully and leaves a lovely gleam without being too oily.
I pick it up at one of my favorite places in Florence; the shop is next to the old Santa Maria Church — it’s been there forever. I will also buy it in London — I used to live near one of the Santa Maria shops here, and the woman who ran it used to look after my spare set of keys for me. Still, there’s something about buying it in Florence that feels like such a treat.
I’ve worn this Frédéric Malle scent for like five or six years. Taxi drivers are always commenting on how nice it smells. I can’t even smell it on myself anymore — I’ve worn it for so long. But I feel like it has a fresh, clean sheet smell mixed with something sexy, but without being too earthy. There’s something kind of mysterious about it. You can’t totally pin it to a specific thing; it’s like its own thing.
It’s hard to describe what this does, and it’s not a replacement for something else. It just gives you this beautiful light-pink, iridescent glow! I mean it’s not makeup, so it’s not, like, a fake glow; it’s also very moisturizing. It’s the last thing I put on, then I don’t bother with makeup. Maybe eyebrow pencil, mascara, and some lip balm, and that’s it.
I’ve worn Charvet slippers for about ten years; they’re so comfortable and they last for ages. My husband bought me my first pair, and I’ve lived in them ever since. I put them on as soon as I get in the house, and I’ve got a pair at my cottage as well. I travel with them — you can wear them instead of flip-flops or sandals because they’re so comfy. And they have great classic colors. I’ve gotten a bit braver with the shades. I got a really beautiful kind of bubblegum pink last time I was in Paris for Fashion Week. But I live in my red ones — they’re just a perfect, deep, bright red. [Editor’s note: We could only find Eagle’s favorite red color on Mr Porter, where it is only available to ship to South Korea.]
I’ve done two collaborations with them now. They’re so light and so practical, and everyone from my dad to my stepkids and everyone around me loves them. They’ve hit this amazing tone of being simple, chic, and pared-back, but desirable to everyone. They’re also very durable, but the actual case itself is really light.
This dress is just perfect — it’s made by a friend of mine who lives in Florence, she makes everything there. It’s the most beautiful linen, quite thick, but still really comfortable on a hot day. You can wear it for a day around Venice or Florence, then wear it in the evening too. It’s sophisticated but still laid-back — it’s a perfect holiday dress. I mean, it’s ideal with a tan.
I’m definitely not alone with loving the Bottega clutch. I think it’s become a kind of phenomenon with fashionistas and beyond. They’re beautifully crafted, and it’s just nice to grab — the leather is so sumptuous. It feels like something you’re going to be able to keep forever. It’s nice to have something from Daniel Lee’s first season at Bottega; it feels like a future classic. You can wear it during the day, you can wear it in the evening, and it fits inside your handbag if you’re traveling. My son gave me a mini-one for Mother’s Day — well, he’s 2, so my husband actually bought it — I love it.
I’ve got quite a sweet tooth; I could eat this by the spoonful. I put it in everything — coffee, tea, yogurt. Obviously bees are endangered so we’ve got to enjoy honey while we can. But Carole Bamford from Daylesford puts so much effort into the land, the farmers, the environment, and locally sourcing things — just keeping that kind of craftsmanship and farming alive in Britain. You feel like you are buying a product that is as thoughtful as it is delicious. [Editor’s note: If ordering from outside the U.K., Daylesford says to contact the company directly about your order using the email address or phone number listed here.]
One of the most important parts of my business is making bespoke tailoring — there’s no waste involved. It’s not like designing something and making 100 and hoping people will buy them. People can come in and choose the fabric, and if it needs to be fixed or mended or taken in or let out, we can tweak it for them as well. It’s really made to last a lifetime. We use Loro Piana fabric — I love their linen. I’ve got a really beautiful raspberry-red linen one currently that I’m loving, and also an Yves Klein blue one with yellow lining. Those are really fun because it feels like you’ve made an effort because of their color without actually making an effort. I wear them to parties with Manolo heels and fabulous jewels, or I pair them with trainers and T-shirts and go to all my fashion-show appointments. Or I can get on a plane at 6 a.m. and fly back that same day — it looks smart for my appointment and I feel like myself, which is really important.
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