“The night before I felt dreadful, waiting for something I didn’t necessarily want to happen” – these are the words Alexandra Shulman wrote in her personal diary when she was offered the position of editor-in-chief of British VOGUE, a position she held and adored for over 25 years.
Alexandra was awarded the CBE in the 2018 New Year’s Honours list and she is currently a columnist for the Mail on Sunday, a contributor to a variety of newspapers and magazines and a Vice President of the London Library. She has written two novels, Can We Still Be Friends (2012) and The Parrots (2015) and Inside Vogue: The Diary of My 100th Year (2016). In her most recent book, Clothes… and other things that matter, she delves into her own life to look at the emotions, ambitions, expectations and meanings behind the way we dress.
From the bra to the bikini, the trench coat to trainers, the slip dress to the suit, she explores their meaning in women’s lives and how our wardrobes intersect with the larger world – the career ladder, motherhood, romance, sexual identity, ambition, failure, body image and celebrity.
In today’s conversation we discuss:
- How as a child, she realises early on that everything was a story.
- Her mindset when she was appointed the editor of British VOGUE when she was 34.
- Her new book Clothes… And Other Things That Matter.
- Chronicling life through the VOGUE filter.
- Why being fired is one of the best things that can happen to you.
- Why despite being a nervous person, she’s never had any anxiety about work.
- How it took her until you she was well into her 50s, to value contentment rather than to focus on being happy.
- Why motherhood was the greatest compliment to her career
- Our changing consumption habits
- The reality of maternity clothes
- How she met her partner in a tracksuit
- Whether or not she was a relatable editor
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