Plum Sykes, the English-born fashion-writer, novelist, socialite, and Vogue contributor knows a thing or two about fashion. Author of Bergdorf Blondes, The Debutante Divorcée
and her latest, Oxford Girl, Sykes work is inspired by her life in the fashion world. As a Vogue contributor, Sykes travels the globe with a keen eye for style, always looking for her next interview subject.
The Fashion Spot: Your wardrobe is incredible. Whose style are you loving right now?
Plum Sykes: I'm very into Kate Middleton right now. I just love that she is actually sort of not trendy. I think it's really cool that she's not trendy and that she looks very classical. She reminds me a little bit of Carolyn Bessette in a way that she dresses very sort of simple and modern. The other day, she wore this fabulous navy blue suit that was from 2007, from Amanda Wakeley, who's a very discreet English designer, who would not be known internationally. She looks fabulous in it!
I think it's very inspiring for your average girl to think actually it's not all about having a stylist and getting a different bag and different shoes for every single thing that you've got. If you've got class and character, you can actually get away with the same dress or five year old suit at a major social event. I love these sort of natural English beauties.
tFS: It's funny you mention Kate Middleton because I've read that you're being cited as inspiration for the her wedding dress! (Editor's Note: Sykes wedding dress was designed by friend, Alexander McQueen. This interview was conducted prior to the the Royal Wedding.)
PS: I've heard this too but I'm not sure if it's true, dear! I'm very flattered if it is true. But I'm not really sure if she's gotten McQueen to do her dress or anything. I have no idea. The world is waiting. I get rung up pretty much every two hours with someone asking me that question! I've asked the McQueen people and they're like, 'We don't know who's designing it!' I think it's great that it's so hush-hush, it's pretty clever of [Middleton]. It's the opposite of a publicity whore, she's like a publicity Puritan. She's got more publicity than any woman in the world by just being.
tFS: What's the best part about writing for Vogue?
PS: The best part of it is that I really do get to meet these amazing fashion people and do these amazing stories! The other best part of it is that I don't have to go to the office everyday! I love going to the office but not 24 hours a day like I used to. I couldn't honestly have two children and a husband and a nice life where I'm not having a migraine all the time if I was actually doing a 24 hour a day corporate job. That job is very corporate when you do it as a staffer. I did it for 7 years or something before I become a contributor but I always aspired to become a contributor. I was pretty determined that I wanted to write from my West Village apartment because I felt like I never spent any time at home when I was there full time. I was at the office all day, parties all night, and on the plane on the weekend to go somewhere. It was all work but it was incredibly interesting, I can't complain at all.
tFS: Sounds like the most incredible experience.
PS: I still get really, really excited about interviewing people! I'm going to interview someone very, very famous in the middle of May and I'm really, really excited about it! These people are very, very inspiring people and that doesn't really change. I would say that interviewing movie stars, the excitement of that does wear off a little bit, they're not really as interesting as you think they are from their roles. Fashion designers are amazing to interview.
I'm more interested in new, young stylish girls than just the next famous person. Really, really famous people now are so guarded that they're not very interesting to interview. They've got their brand to protect and all that kind of stuff. The young fresh girls of 20 are really, really amusing and they have a really fun life!
tFS: You've got to have some great fashion advice up your sleeve. Please share!
PS: Anna Wintour [said] that she liked to have very few good clothes that she wore a lot rather than lots of things that she hardly ever wore in her wardrobe. I think that's a brilliant way of organizing your sartorial life because we all know what it's like to go and shop, buy things that don't really fit or half an outfit. She shops in outfits which can then be interchanged. I have to say now that I'm older I actually do have far fewer clothes but they're better clothes and I wear them all over and over again.
Most people don't realize that you can actually wear quite cheap clothes and they can look very, very good if they fit well. Or you can wear expensive clothes that don't fit and they look terrible, like sort of a too tight Dolce & Gabbana dress will look really cheap.