If that scene was unfolding today, this guy might have been able to track the elusive young lady down. Such is the power of the Internet, that when a putative It Girl’s lovely visage pops on our radar, we can find out all about her. So it is that when a variety of writers, editors, and photographers first notice and are riveted by a spectacularly willowy young woman with a wild if perfect Afro and effortlessly elegant, but never precious, ensembles is spotted this season in the audience at the London shows, a little investigating reveals that she is Julia Sarr-Jamois, since November the fashion editor of Wonderland magazine. (Part of the fun of covering fashion is discovering stylish originals in the bleachers—sometimes the very best looks aren’t on the runways.)
When she meets me at the Café de Flore in Paris, where she is covering Fashion Week for Wonderland (because well, the Internet is nice, but it’s always great to talk to and meet and feast your eyes on someone in the flesh) Sarr-Jamois is wearing a gray Balenciaga sweatshirt, Givenchy leather-topped leggings, and, she points out proudly, her brand-new zipper-laden Alaïa gladiator boots. “It’s their first outing, they’re comfortable so far!” But lest all this glamour strikes you as just a bit too serious, she cuts the mood with a vintage Versace purse, purchased in Bali for a song.
Sarr-Jamois is half Senegalese and half French. She’s 22, and left college to pursue an internship at I-D magazine. She tried modeling a bit in her teens, doing campaigns for Fred Perry and Diesel, but decided she wanted to do something more creative, which is how she got interesting in styling. “I’m sure if I had been doing amazing shows it would have been modeling,” she says of her brief runway career.
Like so many fashion professionals, Sarr-Jamois started early: She was always trying to spice up her school uniform with something like patterned tights, or wearing a black coat instead of the regulation grey, and she”s had her trademark hair style since she was in her mid-teens. Now, freed from the constraints of a rigid academic atmosphere she freely mixes: Alaïa and American Apparel, Margiela with her favorite Marks & Spencer cashmere jumper, either towering stilettos or a pair of Churches brogues, “the more battered the better.” Sarr-Jamois loves sportswear: “Give me a good sweatshirt anytime!” she tells me. Especially if it’s Balenciaga, I say, and we laugh.
Sarr-Jamois has a special place in her heart for vintage, the best examples of which were raided from her mum’s closet. “My mother had a stall selling vintage in the Brixton market in the eighties. All my best denim, my dark jeans, are from her!” she admits.
“I live in London, but I would love to work in Paris for a while—I have family here,” she confides. Wherever Sarr-Jamois is, one suspects that her great good looks will be popping up on the Web, and in our collective consciousness, more and more as subsequent fashion seasons unfold.