Sibylle’s Style Diary: Interior Designer Geoffrey Bradfield on Being Influenced by Fashion Icons
This week’s style diary guest is the luxury interior designer Geoffrey Bradfield. The famed, high-end interior designer, who has worked with Oliver Stone and Gertrude Vanderbilt’s estate, is as comfortable in New York as he is off in distant parts of the world where he loves to travel. And no matter where he is, one thing is sure—Geoffrey Bradfield will always look very sharp.
Sibylle Eschapasse: Describe your style?
Mr. Bradfield: My taste in general is rather conservative. I probably have a distinctive look, but I am not that aware of it. I am fastidious in my dress—I think I was born wearing a tie—from a school uniform straight into the army [one brief exception being the flower child era].
I have a more traditional dress sense than most. I favor classic, navy pinstripe suits. I like the fellows in my office to always wear jackets and ties. I prefer the girls on my staff to wear black or dark colors…this is not regimented, however. When we have clients meetings, I do like a sense of unified costume. Many designers are more flamboyant and artsy. I really think it’s a matter of personal preference.
Ms. Eschapasse: If a close friend were to describe your personality in three words, what would they be?
Mr. Bradfield: Creative. Perfectionist. Generous.
Ms. Eschapasse: How did your style evolve since you were a teenager?
Mr. Bradfield: I spent several years in London, in my youth, and wore my hair on my shoulders, and experimented with fashion—a right of passage for a teenager. It was the apex of “Swinging London,” Carnaby Street and Kings Road. And easy transition followed with a more age-appropriate image.
Ms. Eschapasse: What is the wildest thing you ever wore?
Mr. Bradfield: Perhaps the most wild thing is, what I was not wearing, in a ’60s moment: but for a wreath of flowers in my hair, tripping on a beach in Ibiza.
Ms. Eschapasse: How do you dress on workdays versus weekends?
Mr. Bradfield: Weekdays are formal: suits and ties. Weekends: blazers with khakis or jeans—more often than not, with a tie.
Ms. Eschapasse: What are three accessories you can’t live without? What’s one item that makes you instantly more confident?
Mr. Bradfield: My Van Cleef cufflinks, a pair of Prada sunglasses, and my iPhone 6.
Ms. Eschapasse: What’s one item that makes you instantly more confident?
Mr. Bradfield: My black Amex Centurion credit card.
Ms. Eschapasse: Who have been your greatest fashion influences?
Mr. Bradfield: Ossie Clark and Yves Saint Laurent
Ms. Eschapasse: Who is your style icon?
Mr. Bradfield: Alexander McQueen
Ms. Eschapasse: What does having style mean to you? In other words, please define style.
Mr. Bradfield: ‘Style’ for me, is a combination of understated, yet daring elements that prove to be timeless.
Ms. Eschapasse: What is one purchase you’re most proud of?
Mr. Bradfield: I have spent a great deal of money on my collection of wristwatches, which is one of the few pieces of jewelry that a man can wear.
Ms. Eschapasse: What would you pay a lot of money for, and what would you never pay much money for?
Mr. Bradfield: Shoes and belts. I would never pay much money for blue jeans.
Ms. Eschapasse: When you go on the red carpet, how do you want your outfit to make you feel? Which designers can achieve that?
Mr. Bradfield: That I am wearing the outfit, not vice versa.
Ms. Eschapasse: Which designers can achieve that?
Mr. Bradfield: For me, the red carpet is formal and Black Tie. I don’t like a deviation from the classic. It would be hard to beat bespoke Savile Row tailoring.
Ms. Eschapasse: What do you think of how others dress and what’s your advice to people who would like to develop their personal style?
Mr. Bradfield: Certainly not everyone, but in general, it’s too distressing to comment. My advice would be: Lose weight, be born with a trust fund, or marry well.
Favorite color: White
Favorite cologne: Christian Dior Eau Sauvage
Favorite restaurant in NY: Daniel
Favorite drink: Vodka Martini extra dry, straight up with a twist
Favorite movie: “La Grande Bellezza” or “The Leopard”
Favorite book: “Essence of Style” by Joan de Jean
Favorite quote: “We must never forget that art…is a form of truth.” —John F. Kennedy
Sibylle’s “Style Diary” is a column that explores style from the perspective of choices, and what that means for different people, with personal advice from some of the most stylish people in New York.
Sibylle Eschapasse is from Paris and now lives in Manhattan. She is a journalist and a contributing writer to various publications. Sibylle is also the author of a children’s book, “Argy Boy a New York Dog Tale.” She may be reached at [email protected]