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Media Masters with Paul Blanchard
welcome to media Masters series of one-to-one interviews with people at the top of the media game editor-in-chief of Harpers Bazaar UK in 7 years running the comic magazines she has lost their art and at work sections as well as overseeing their annual women of the Year Awards she also launched the British edition of town and country in 2014 which he still had it's a previous positions including director of Vogue editor of The Observer magazine and a columnist for the Telegraph she's also written five books including a biography of Coco Chanel in September she knows on Instagram that she was moving on from magazines to concentrate on writing her next book is miss Dior the story of Catherine Dior Christian Dior sister and the woman who inspired him just thank you.
Just seen this is a great time to reflect on your career as you're leaving Harpers Bazaar to write a new book and miss Dior you must have been a difficult decision it was difficult because I absolutely love Harpers Bazaar and and I've loved.
Editor of Harpers Bazaar and indeed town and country which which I launched having said that I've always for a long time alternated between journalism writing books editing and and the kind of guy cure form of creative writing in fact.
I wrote my first book in which came out in 2001.
I left Vogue to so I've done this before Mr your is my sixth book and I know the process of what happens which is that I become almost like being possessed by a story by a subject and there are times when I just please just go away and leave me alone because I'm perfectly happy doing my job, but it gets a point where the story had such a grip on the that I have absolutely no alternative but to commit to writing the book when you sell incredibly busy, how do you make it?
Well, god, how do I make it all work? Well? I'm a very good advertisement actually for having a long career and when I talked to younger people in their 20s one of the pieces of advice that I want to give them which is you know you're going to work for a long time.
You got a long career ahead of you and and I I can look back because I am you know there was the youngest person in the room when I join the Sunday Times I was 21 and you know progressed quite rapidly but now I'm in my late 50s and 58 and you know so I've been working journalist for a very very long time and I think a career can have lots of different episodes, so sometimes there isn't time for everything and there is no such thing as having it all but I did have.
My Twenties and so I can do more you know now.
I have my son's are adults and I also think the more you do the more you do I manually with booking the magazine threatened with print circulation help people do this despite the motor digital.
I think you can predict the future, but I think that my backgrounds both in a real commitment to proper journalism proper proper storytelling.
I'm really really committed to authentic voices in journalism and indeed in writing books, but it's interesting because when I came to Harpers Bazaar it was on the the back of having written the biography of Coco Chanel which was absolutely long form in it's a long book.
It's a bit serious.
Of writing and it was a bestseller around the world and actually the person that hired me the two people that had me at Hurst at the time, but what I done with that Chanel biography they sort of I think hope that I could bring that audience to Harpers Bazaar which is of intelligent thoughtful in many cases professional women who love literature lover loves fashion and don't see fashion and feminism has been mutually exclusive so writer of you know you can reach a really big audience with a successful book and I thought well.
They're reading inference.
They bought my book and print so that the challenge is to reach them Monthly magazine and that was a challenge.
I set myself.
I thought of as many people read Harpers Bazaar as you know will buy my books then I will have achieved.
And what was Top of you to do this when he took over because that mean previously just can't even mind the half as archives for your Chanel book.
Did you think that the brand needed to marry his past with the future life? I love archives and every book that I've written and the book working on now has involved time spent in archives microfiche it sometimes.
It's you know.
It's letters it says it's and your and the case of the urine Chanel you know it's the original sketches.
You know by the designer, but I wrote a previous about Daphne du Maurier and that involve going you know to her archives at Exeter university and I'm going to the British Library and actually reading a right as handwriting talk about the power of paper when you see you know whether it's Charlotte bronte's handwriting on paper or Daphne du Maurier saw Coco Chanel
That tells you the power of the object you know the handwritten is extremely powerful and I love looking bizarre.
Had a very very rich archive because it was launched in 1867 is that what you find out about magazines distinctive identity or a woman or a man when it's by understanding the past.
I think that it's sort of shines a light into the future.
You have to understand where you come from in order to understand where you might be going to and that's what I wanted to do with bizarre because bizarre really is the most distinct and unique title the is the longest established fashion magazine in the world, but the thing that so extraordinary about bizarre as it was launched in 1867 by
By the Harper brothers who published books and they had this idea that there would be women out there who read literature who also would be interested in in the latest Paris Couture as well as in art but also women that were passionately has a conviction about politics for the editor of Harpers Bazaar had was a campaigning journalist.
She campaigned against slavery and in favour of universal suffrage and therefore for women's rights to vote and yet this was a magazine that was also publishing Thomas Hardy it published Tess of the d'Urbervilles in serialised form by Thomas Hardy went on to publish, you know Henry James Virginia credible, and that's I have enormous you know conviction that literary tradition as well as the artistic tradition it published Chicago Picasso cocktail man.
As well as a commitment so great fashion and feminism and politics that this is a unique and very distinctive publication that can reach a unique and distinctive audience and did that massive heritage well-deserved heritage did that weigh heavily on you on your shoulders when you took the job because you know medicaid success of it, but you could also got it wrong.
I've never been frightened of a challenge, but I've also always been very true to my in so I've been offered editor ships of other magazines which I've turned down in the past because I felt that the magazine didn't like my own particular passions and have distinctive taste.
So I've never taken a job just for the sake of the status of a job.
I've always done it.
Because I actually believe that there is something in a magazine or another word for newspapers as well in what they stand for that reflects my own convictions and beliefs so it it's like falling in love with the right person so I loved Harpers Bazaar and and so it wasn't about you know me and my status and what I might get out of it.
It was more about loving something and it feels like someone actually the course bizarre feel like a person so it felt very personal and I felt that I couldn't say no to Bazaar there were many other magazines that I could have been the editorship and I would have said no to it, but I just come out of a writing and publishing a best-selling book so in a both my letting agents in my publishers.
So I was crazy not to write another book at that point but to take a magazine editing job.
There was only one magazine in the world that I would have said yes to and it was Harpers Bazaar and why did you feel it was about the limit on it, but I do feel there's something.
I've always worked on instinct when it comes to to my career.
It's something good leaving when something is it when you're at the top of your game rather than sort of presiding over decline decline exactly is very very strong position.
I also think that magazines and newspapers need change.
I think you know journalism thrives on change I have an extremely strong and all of whom I have had hired or trains.
I think that it's good for you know new Generations new blood but most.
lol and this is the real reason is the book this this book which I which is the story of a woman Catherine Dior Christian Dior sister yeah, it's an Untold Story of an unsung heroine has stories never been told and with all of my books their stories that have never been told before and I just felt this and when you feel committed and You Feel Like Falling In Love photography the years in the Editors share their neighbours are what have been the highlights there lies the teaching moment in the eyebrow raises the unexpected twists and Turns when I joined which was in 2012 actually been working I've been doing dummies for the launch of town and country and I haven't actually applied for the Harpers Bazaar job, but I suppose in doing town and Country as always also which is owned by Hearst and it has oldest title it's 100 more than
2 years old I had to think about what was the difference between desire and town and Country but how they might sit together so as I thought very deeply about how to magazines might be related and in the same family as symbiotics exactly so say that one of the highlights for me has been seeing you know how you can develop two titles side-by-side using the same team as well, so that's been a highlight another highlight was the launch of bizarre on an annual art magazine which I launched in 2013 and that I really really wanted to do because Bazaar has the extraordinary artistic Legacy in heritage, which had Always Been part of what gave it its identity but in the past when you look at the great artists.
They were largely men in Chicago Picasso Cocteau Man Ray and to begin with the first issue of bizarre there were no man we have to cover by Howard Hodgkin and then I thought about the idea of the female gaze so the female gaze is a term that originally part of the idea of a films actually as well as arts.
You know might there be a different way that women might interpret a view of the world and of themselves and then it was very interesting when you apply it to female artists and photographers.
How is it that women might produce imagery weather in the form of fashion photography or art works that is difference in a male gaze and so and the daughter of a of a Feather
I have the ideas of feminism have evolved and I suppose that I was really interested in exploring how women see themselves and the world so that was a definite highlight working with a team has been extraordinary and I would say discovering a sense of of sisterhood, so for me really everything I do as a writer and editor.
I would say goes back to a beloved sister my younger sister Ruth and when we were little we literally met books and magazines together and we will draw them together and together so them with needle and thread together and we were each other's audience so she wrote for me.
I wrote for her.
We made these little books and then.
Things together and still got them.
I wish they are not sadly we are fabulous fabulous horrendous.
I know news judgement when I was 6.
I don't have them sadly but anyway I became a journalist when I was 21 and then my sister also became a journalist in when I was the editor of The Observer magazine Ruth was diagnosed with breast cancer and she was working for the Independent set a timer place where I had also worked in a we had parallel careers and she was diagnosed with breast cancer and it was very aggressive and she died less than a year after diagnosis and in that period so sorry to hear that.
She said to me that she wanted to write about it and so
And she was a writer.
You know that's how she made sense of the world and I think that cancer can make you feel I mean or any kind of terminal illness makes you feel that your body is being invaded and and your life becomes chaotic and you have no control over you know of your body anymore anymore.
She just giving birth to twins and they were you know they were babies when she was diagnosed and they were babies when she died but she's a column for me at the Observer called before I say goodbye which was enormously it really really resonated and I remember it was quite a fight for me at the Observer to publish that column because people said what he wants to read about breast cancer.
I mean I really wanted to do interesting day at that points.
So she died in 1997 and so she wrote these columns and this was before the days really you know of a digital or I mean email was barely functioning days and literally we received thousands and thousands and thousands of letters and before she died she asked if I would turn it into a book so as other columns but also you know there was some of my own writing there was letters to her friends and so I did with her husband Matt Seaton and it was a book that came out after she died called before I say goodbye and I really you know it was an act of of sisterly.
Love to that book but then the first book that I wrote and it took me sometime actually up to her death Before I wrote it but it's called if the spirit moves you and it is about.
But it's also about the relationship between sisters.
It's about relationship between the living and the dead and for a long time.
I think you know when I started writing that book.
I was working at Vogue can I left vogue and ordered to to write the book and commit to the Birkin for a long time now that I have the benefit of hindsight.
I felt that there was nobody that I could ever feel so sisterly about in the same way that my sister.
She was my sister, but she was also my best friend, but she was also my colleague you know in journalism and we talked about everything and we laughed so much you know about everything very very sister 200 mother is journalists so although we didn't work at the same place at the same time she works at independent after I've left there when I was a bit.
Commissions and so we were a really really you know we were kind of comrades and when I started in my career at the Sunday Times there were no women.
No there were there was such a handful of women in The Newsroom and I worked in almost entirely Mail Newsroom I was an investigative journalist traditionally male and then but I had my sister and then you know when she died.
I thought well.
I never find that again and working at Harpers Bazaar and building a team which is entirely women there's two really wonderful men that I work with actually on the team and there are male writers and photographers that I work with but it's a largely female team and many of them.
I'm old enough to be their mother but some of them.
You know I'm old enough to be an old assistant and I would.
We have created a sisterly environment to work in and that has been a very powerful thing to have to feel I think we've also reached an audience.
That is systole.
I think that we believe in we're essentially celebratory and at a time when you know something is not just digital universal kinds of places can feel filled with sort of Patriots and venom and aggression and abuse I would say that bizarre is at it's heart and that's been very important in finding an audience, but it's also very important for me to re-discover sister Venus so and it's interesting my sister was Ruth and you know I could have been the caravan literally ruthless person, but I didn't want to be ruthless.
I didn't want to be one of those kind of stereotypical.
Bitching heels Devil Wears Prada exactly what I wanted to do something different and that's what I feel like I've achieved sounds like that you you hold the memory of The Departed sister very close to your heart on on a daily basis, and is she still continues to inspire you to this day.
Yes, I would say the truth is still my reader you know I write for her.
I think about her.
You know everyday many times a day.
I feel it's really Margaret Atwood is a wonderful writer who I've had the privilege of commissioning in publishing in Harpers Bazaar that is one of the things.
I feel most proud of and has career highlight, but she wrote a wonderful book which is based on a series of lectures that she gave up Cambridge which is where I studied literature and
The writing is negotiating with the dead which is a wonderful and Rich phrase, but I think it's true that the writing is shaking with the dad's, but I will say that so is editing if you are editing a great Legacy title like Harpers Bazaar I mean I have come in the footsteps of great editors who have commissioned great photographers in a Richard Atherton the greatest fashion photographer of the 20th century was largely discover snow it was a visionary editor of Harpers Bazaar UK Diana vreeland.
Who was the fashion editor of Harpers Bazaar the most single most influential editor of The Last 10th century, so that the dead don't feel dead to me, but I feel very alive to me when I think.
About Carmel snow or Diana vreeland, or indeed, you know the women that I've written about in books Daphne du Maurier Coco Chanel I find myself you know as it were negotiating with an almost daily basis and what I do at Harpers Bazaar because I've learnt so much from these women but when it comes to my sister.
Yes, she was really talented writer.
Who is she had lived would have gone on to write many books would have gone on to have been one of the great journalists and writers of her generation and she died too young but I think that as a consequence I have very important to know the life that we all know life doesn't go on forever.
You know nobody lives forever, but life can also be.
So then you expect so you live it to the full do the things that you believe in and that you want to do and don't do the things that you don't believe in and don't want to do and I think about my room is about that interesting my roof.
You know Ruth my sister.
I do think what would she have done but I was so thank you know her last year when she knew she was dying and lots of things you didn't want to do anymore she stopped doing them such as well.
You know seeing people that she didn't like you know right stuff that she didn't believe in when I talk to younger people and we don't live in a totalitarian regime were very lucky.
We live in a democracy.
We are free as journalists and writers to write for the people that and the platforms that we believe in and I think.
Sense of freedom is incredibly important and I'm not sense of empathy that sense of Curiosity and other people you know how that translated into the big interviews that you had long you.
Can you manage to book some very big names for example the recent encounter with Michael Kors I think that yes, I am not frightened of asking the emotionally resonant questions and I think the but what Unites us know as humans is Love and loss you mention Michael Kors who's a wonderful interview and he's very open and he took very openly you know about that kind of the aid and swept across the world and you know that I'm of an age to remember that I lost friends to AIDS but it's interesting I was thinking about this because there's
Addition of of my CHANEL book that is going to be published and I was writing a new introduction.
I was thinking of Karl Lagerfeld who died at the beginning of this year the beginning of 2019 and my first interview not that long after my sister's death and you know people when they think about fashion think that it you know it's all about the surface of things.
It's all about forth.
It's not about being able to Beneath the surface of things and every beautiful glossy surfaces has a hidden depths and yes, there is absurdity and frivolity in fashion that fashion can provide really important clues as to who we are and how we feel I'm in Virginia Woolf who wrote for Harpers Bazaar said that clothes change our view of the world.
Wild few of us, but when I think to that the many interviews that I had with car when he was hugely important to to my career and and you know as a mentor as a somebody that I wanted to come do good work for he that very first encounter.
We were both breathing and as a con.
I was on a frayed to ask him about the death of the man.
He has loved so I'm not frightened in talking about and disappointment and you know I've lived through you know the end of of my first marriage.
I mean I think that'd be able to talk about grief about disappointment about lost hopes as well as hopes and dreams and joy I think to be able to try and connect with people on an emotional level.
Is what I do it seems to meet with the opposite of the the Instagram approach where you only ever put the good stuff on to like Instagram and I do use it and I do I don't just put the good stuff on and it and some of the things that I have posted on the anniversary of my sister's death in September I posted something very very personal of the lines of poetry from a wonderful poet called Mary Oliver who is it happens we published it was my sister who introduced me to marry Oliver's work when she was dying when we was dying and I posted some lines of poetry and then wrote about how I still helped you know over 20 years since that has an enormous response and similarly when Carl died so and you know if I'm feeling blue I am.
On Instagram so yes, it's I don't just get on the surface of things.
I think Instagram can be really liberating for creative people be there photographers textile designers, you know because you can reach an audience without having to go no through layers of staff.
I think that it can be very creative and very empowering what other memorable interviews of you had and encounters along the way the car was always surprising always memorable donatella Versace who have interview twice the first times of you.
Don't wanna tell her formidable woman formidable woman and it was not that long after his death and again, so not that long after my sister's dad.
So Gianni Versace died in 1997 as did my sister.
ASDA Princess Diana actually and we donatella went the first amount of you.
You know and we talked about this subsequently was in a really bad way well, understandably.
So yes, she was she was suffering you know she was in the throes of grief and we talked about that and that was an intern really you know stayed with me haunted me.
I think that ghosts are really interesting when you ask people if they have any ghosts in their life because ghosts you know you can be haunted.
Not just by the dead but as I think I've said before by disappointments by lost loves so I would say Donna there was a powerful interview Karl Lagerfeld Natalie Portman who I've just interviews actually for the September issue of Harpers Bazaar was really interesting.
Interview she is the face of Mr your and so she was interested to hear my research actually into Catherine Dior because this just haven't taken place before people didn't know about the fact she was in the French resistance and then Natalie Portman in a who had lost members of her family in the Holocaust was was it was very very powerful to be able to talk about how she was the modern in embodiment of of misty or because she's the face of the ad campaign of a real woman Catherine Dior who was in the French resistance and who fought for freedom so that was a memorable interview in terms of the logistics.
So is it hard to get the kind of protective layers and PR surrounding areas does like Natalie Portman but I've always said that we won't give either.
Copy approval or picture approval to
And I think that people you know have to trust me.
I've been writing very big view since my early 20s and an editing titles in a for a long time and so we are as I say trees are cut down to make this magazine.
So let's write about the people that we we feel passionate about the role of the dead trees.
Yes, we admire so if somebody doesn't want to be interviewed all you know that's fine.
I'm not in the kind of process of of cornering somebody if they want to do it.
They want to do if they don't they don't and yes there are more and more layers.
I would say they that has changed but nevertheless.
I think the people I would hope.
We do get great interviews.
I mean Julia Roberts did have first interview with a British title in 10 years with with Harpers Bazaar and Kristen Stewart did an incredible cover interview recently for October issue, and and actually made headlines around the world because she took very openly about being told you know you can't hold your your girlfriend's hands in public in case your photograph because that will stop you getting cast in a Marvel movie and that really was picked up around the world, but she spoke very openly because this was the third time she been interviewed by Harpers Bazaar and she felt safe, so it is a question of making people feel safe to talk in an intimate way in the same way that you and I talking open me because really why do an interview if you're not going to be open you boys taking an intellectual approach to fashion I was doing.
Podcast and I found a quote from you saying there's no rule that if you are interested in fashion, you can't be interested in books well indeed.
It was Diana railings said something along the lines.
I miss quoting her without literature.
There would be no fashion and I think that's that's absolutely true that you look at how great writers and some of the greatest scenes in literature involved clothes, so whether it's Jane Eyre and chips the night before she supposed to be marry Mr Rochester and and you know the madwoman in the Attic the Unknown first Mrs Rochester descends the stairs and tears James wedding dress up you know this great gothic scenes in literature the women and white whether it's Wilkie Collins or Charles Dickens miss Havisham you know in her tattered white wedding dress.
Daphne du Maurier one of the most shilling scenes ever written which is when the second Mrs de winter goes into Rebecca's bedroom and there's the sinister Mrs Danvers you know housekeepers the keeper of the flame and and the whole thing sinister encounter between Mrs Danvers and the second Mrs de winter takes place over Rebecca's clothes.
I need a brilliant on clothes in the way red dresses and red gowns can also be a symbol of state of being some versive as well, so I'm so fast that symbolism and you look at Virginia Woolf Orlando where I mean she was writing about gender fluidity you know back in the day back in the day.
So of course how much more than being over it's about next season's trend.
It's amazing that when you do unistudy literature some of these so-called new issues of the day that she been around since time.
Absolutely and Orlando Virginia Woolf it is a very good indication of that.
I just one of my big head of campaigns that has been quietly going on for quite some time as the I don't feel that fashion has been taken seriously in to use the terrible words mainstream Media I think that there is this sense.
I mean we take it we engage with it on a playful level at Harpers Bazaar but also you know seriously it's a massive industry and yet if you look at the big broadcasters, you know they don't do anything there isn't a fashion editorial fashion reporters.
You know it's really treated as an afterthought and you look the amount that is dedicated to sport you know why I'm so it relevance what's wrong with indulge in a little Chanel and if you look at Chanel
So you can look at the history of of how women define themselves as being independent the little black dress and the 1920s turning the colour of mourning after the death of the first world war you know when everybody had every woman has lost somebody a husband a son and father a brother a lover and you know they were black and then chanelle turns the colour of a grief into the little black dress which becomes the badge of an independent courageous, you know feminist woman and the fact that broadcasters cannot really seem to be able to engage with that.
I still find shocking and disappointing you consistently champion winning within the creative Industries the Harpers women of the Year Awards have the last Real breakthrough.
I think that women have often been successful in certain areas of the creative industry, so
You know actresses leading ladies in Hollywood I think that's where we have champions women who have been under-represented is in art so artists that are really finally getting their due who you know maybe have been working and you know for years and have been known to within the kind of interactions of the art world, but haven't reached the wider audience we have champions and I feel proud of that.
I think you know and writers are now getting there.
They're due recognition.
I think for a long time the if you looked at the shortlist of the big literary prizes they often it would be like that has changed at you.
I mentioned Margaret atwood's who's really has you know reach the the worldwide Fame that is heard you the women of the year.
Is incredibly personal to you? Is it not feels really personal because it is a celebration of sisterhood.
It's a celebration of women from lots of different areas from art as well as fashion from literature as well as politics and campaigning that we really really my best this will be my eighth women of the Year Awards as editor and indeed my final one and one of the things that feel so personal about it.
Is that it's at claridges and has been since I became editor and after my sister died.
I launch something for the lavender trust which was a charity that raises money fundraising for younger women with breast cancer and some of the those events that the fundraising events took place at claridges.
And you know I look back on it and then women that helped me with that like Nigella Lawson Sophie Dahl thandie Newton you know really came and supported me Emma Thompson in a show of sisterhood and so that's took place long before the women the Year Awards started at claridges, but I do feel there's a very very personal connection to the place and to the Spirit of it which is that have been systole of town and Country you've also overseen the growth of that title and its international expansion in circulation.
How have you managed to get to ride their horses at once with the same team producing both titles the team including me that does town and Country we just love it.
I mean I know this may not.
Sound true, but it really is true.
It genuinely is a pleasure because we are writing about the things about Britain that we loved everything from you know Corgis in the Queen's cottages cottage gardens to stately homes and you look at the kind of also the huge popularity of the Crown and Downton Abbey and town and country which really does represent that the Dream of that britishness, how is very very popular so without any kind of real you know plan for world domination.
We did a little bit of research and found that town and country for example its saturation was 7% in the United States and it was being sold in bookshops.
It was being sold at Barnes and Noble so I think that it's like loving something I mean I
I'm interested as you can probably tell in Chanel into your in those stories, but I'm also a passionate gardener, so I'm doing and writing and editing the things that I love has anyone ever accused you of being lazy.
No because you seem to me to be the most busy industrious focused and disciplined person.
I am not disciplining your work.
I take probably would do me good to switch that is I would say just sit down and just you know do nothing but the closest I get to that kind of meditative states is gardening.
Just sort of you.
No thinking about what it is that I'm doing in the garden.
So yeah, I mean your background is actually as a punk and you were brought up in a very bohemian home.
Yes, I did grow up in an extraordinarily bohemian home my parents were really when I was born and they were 60s Radicals and my mother was and remains a woman a very strong convictions.
She was she was always going on demonstrations.
You know I remember a really early memory I've got two very early memories of her one was of her demonstrating against the Berkeley Square and then the others of her taking me and my sister to see the Rolling Stones play live it was the free live concert at Hyde Park and was wearing a white dress and that made a big impression on me and she continued she never gave up on her convictions and she she still alive and she still a woman of strong.
But am as well as protecting against the Vietnam war and you know CND and she was one of the very earliest Greenham Common women so we went to live at Greenham Common to protest against the Americans cruise missiles there and she lived there you know in a tent throughout quite some time through you know cold Winters and I haven't got the courage.
She really is and I think that there's probably things that I've done in my career that she wouldn't necessarily have agreed, but it's so my first job was at the Sunday Times and I don't mind me asking the question and how did she like you taking Rupert Murdoch she didn't approve and but you know somehow we have for all our differences remains closed.
And I do admire her convictions, so even though I'm working for the capitalist press.
You know which is I can't imagine she could really of approved off in a x I think it's good to have principles and good to have convictions and there are certain things that you know I would do I do have lines that I would not cross well.
Yes, you do a day's work for a day's pay you involved in the capitalist system, but you haven't shakeable principles as a journalist.
Yes, I really don't report I do feel very strongly also you know about the me too movement for example and about not working.
I think they're young man who has been abused as well as young women but I do feel that it is important to stand up and say what you believe in and I did learn that from my mother.
Will moves in mysterious ways you have fellow fashion commentator Trinny Woodall to thank for meeting your husband Philip yes got you.
Really done your research well, so I can't I have to help me with the research to be fair.
I asked ad-hoc and me well.
That's a good question, so I'll tell you the story so I split up with my ex-husband and you know we are friends and we have a relationship not just a second husband actually, but I didn't I thought I'd just judiciously yeah, I did that so anyway.
I was writing my book about Chanel and I had my tooth and my friends and I really thought I'd never ever ever going to fall in love again.
I'm never going to go on a date again, so I was invited to a dinner party by Trini and I nearly didn't.
Because I don't know her but she invited me to a dinner party and he was also Sophie she was giving I think it's dinner party with Sophie I seem to remember.
It was like on time ago and I just feel like a hanger-on.
She needed some it had something to do with Sophie I think but but don't quote me on that but anyway I ended up at this dinner party and and the last one was changed at the very last minute and so it's quite by chance.
I ended up sitting next to somebody and I was clearly been set up with the man on my right and he was clearly being set up his left but he was on my left and I was on his right.
We found ourselves talking and he asked me what I was writing the first one.
He has me my name and he recognised my name is up.
But I was working on and I told him I was researching this book about Coco Chanel and he asked him very good questions and made some very good suggestions and so they rang me up the next day to ask me out to the theatre, and I rather than graciously said that I didn't want to go to the theatre, and you know I wasn't up for going out on dates, but give him his due.
He wasn't fought off by this and anyway we did go up to Scotland together and he helped me uncover the sort of totally Untold Story of coco.
Chanel's time is Scotland salmon fishing and we went discovered these fishing records together which showed Chanel salmon fishing with the Duke of Westminster Winston Churchill anyway listener.
I married him.
So yes, I have Trinity to thank for it, but I also have Coco Chanel to thank for the meeting my really.
Husband Philip now you've said what's immediately next once you have exited bizarre, but what's next in the long term in the medium to long-term? What are you going to do for the next two years and decades into the future and I would say that is because of my sister's death so I think maybe a year ahead and so for the next year.
I'm going to be writing my book about Catherine Dior we my husband and I bought a house in the country and just to removed in the process of moving in I know I've got a real long-distance marathon to do on the book.
I've done a lot of research, but the material is very powerful because it involves the second world war is involved.
You know the resistance collaboration constant.
Camps it involves, what does liberation look like in a what does a liberated woman look like when you think of Catherine Dior who did Survive The Terror or tails of the second world war so it's powerful material and I just got to sort of right every day and know that I'm going to wake up the next right.
That's what I'm looking at and I never think beyond that because I have learnt you know that life can be shorter than you might expect.
So you know live each day as it comes and cherish the people you love and cherish the places and the people you love just another conversation.
It's been absolutely fascinating.
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