Former British VOGUE Editor-in-Chief Alexandra Shulman Reflects On a Life in VOGUE – Episode​ 14 of The Grace Tales Podcast


"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

You can purchase Alexandra's brilliant new book Clothes… and other things that matter here and follow Alexandra on @alexandrashulman

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Amelia Freer with client Boy George

Like so many women, British celebrity nutritional therapist and best-selling author Amelia Freer just assumed she'd one day be a mother. But as she ended her thirties, she suffered a spate of miscarriages - including one that occurred while Freer was appearing on live TV, promoting one of her best-selling books - and doctors told her to prepare for a life without children.


Her chances of becoming pregnant, they said, were incredibly low. "It was quite brutal to accept that my future was going to look different to how I had imagined," she says. "But I don't think I really accepted it or gave up, I just quietly hoped for a miracle. I saw it as yet another of life's hurdles and I do have an attitude of just seeing how things turn out." It's this attitude – and a healthy dose of reproductive luck, of course – that saw Freer fall pregnant at 41 with her first child. Her beautiful daughter, Willow, is now two and a half.

During her pregnancy, Freer's attitude to health stayed as sensible as it has always been. With a focus on gut health, vegetables and good fats, Freer has always steered away from fad diets and trend-based superfoods when it comes to her clients (who include Victoria Beckham, James Corden and Sam Smith, among others). Victoria Beckham has said Freer taught her "so much about food; you've got to eat the right things, eat the right healthy fats."

She's written four books (her fourth book Simply Good For You celebrates the joy and the nutrition of food, and features over a hundred delicious, quick and non-nonsense recipes that are as healthy as they are tasty). Her third book, Nourish and Glow: The Ten Day Plan was borne of Freer's no-nonsense approach to nutrition. Based on a modified version of the Mediterranean diet, Freer says the book is a great place to start for anyone looking to improve their nutrition. As in all of her work, there's an emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy fats and complex grains.

We caught up with the inspiring Freer to talk motherhood, the experience of miscarriage and more. In our conversation, we cover:

-The joy and the nutrition of food.
-The psychological and social aspects of nutrition.
-How Amelia's approach is driven by 'Positive Nutrition' and it's not perfectionist.
-Why we aren't understanding that diets simply don't work.
-What should we actually eat in a day?
-How many of us are dehydrated and how this has a massive impact on our wellbeing.
-Pregnancy loss and her motherhood journey
-How to nurture our bodies after we have children.
-Time management and the power of "no"

To find out more about Amelia Freer, go to ameliafreer.com

Amelia Freer

Amelia Freer holding her book Simply Good For You

Amelia Freer with her daughter Willow

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