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21-12-2006
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Lady Amanda Harlech
This thread could arguably go in the Behind The Lens thread...??

http://www.style.com/vogue/feature/081202/index.html




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21-12-2006
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There is just now a thread on her? I love Lady Harlech, she's classy and cool

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21-12-2006
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Awww major karma for opening a thread for her,she soo deserves it.I was searching if there was one a couple of days ago,so thanks!

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21-12-2006
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Amanda with Karl in Milan!


Credit:Style.com!

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21-12-2006
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She's so lovely in her own classic way.

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21-12-2006
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beyond gorgeous

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21-12-2006
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I find her fascinating, too. US Vogue had a great feature about her a while ago w/ amazing photos of her at her country house---If I find them I'll try to scan them later...

I've always liked these photos of her:





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22-12-2006
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I LOVE her!

style.com


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23-12-2006
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style


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23-12-2006
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Who she's fab
Who is she ??? I don't know her

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23-12-2006
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She's Karl Lagerfeld's lieutenant and John Galliano's former Muse; Harlech's world sounds like pure fantasy, but Sarah Mower finds her surprisingly practical as she mixes high fashion with life on an English farm.
First sighting: a glimpse of a wiry stable girl in dusty black breeches, beat-up riding boots, and a pink sweater, raking raven hair off her makeupless face at the gate of a redbrick farmyard. We're in Shropshire, England, a place so far-flung the British call it the forgotten county. The journey takes three hours by perilously bumpy train from London and a further hour by car. But the figure waving hello isn't the help. This is Amanda, Lady Harlech, 43—horsewoman, mother, building-site director. There are seven horses in her stables, fifteen builders, plumbers and plasterers in her farmhouse, a flock of sheep in the hawthorn-fringed fields running down to the River Severn at the edge of her 52 acres, and a view of the black Welsh hills in the distance.

Second sighting: Amanda, hair twisted into a chignon, in black silk pants and a strict black buttoned-up-to-the-neck whipcord jacket trimmed with a spotless white piqué collar and turned-back cuffs, skittering on spiky Manolos out of her second home, the Paris Ritz. This is the Chanel Lady Harlech—confidante and collaborator to Karl Lagerfeld and former longtime conspirator of John Galliano. She hails a cab to dash over to the Café Marly, where preparations for the Chanel cruise show are in full kerfuffle. The driver looks in the rearview mirror and exclaims, "Quel beau tailleur, madame!" French taxi drivers? Fashion-awareness? Bien sûr! It's such a classic Paris set piece, we burst out laughing.

The suit is, of course, Chanel couture, and the person wearing it with such upright presence carries the aura of a fashion-world legend—a romantic, mysterious, aristocratic creature and a member of the Best Dressed List Hall of Fame to boot. But then again, which boot? The riding one or the spiky Manolo? What eludes even most insiders is the question of Lady Harlech's true identity. What does she do? "Muse" is hardly a job description, and even if it is, she's not called that, or anything else for that matter, in her paid employment at Chanel, which she carries out between Paris and Shropshire every few weeks ("Five hours door to door on a good run").

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23-12-2006
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Article continued...
People do make assumptions, on the other hand, about what the lady is—wafty, delicate, eccentric, fey, grand, titled, and rich usually come into it. She became Lady Harlech when she married Francis Ormsby Gore, sixth Baron Harlech, in 1986. His was a notoriously glamorous but tragic family: Francis's father, who had been ambassador to the United States and a friend of the Kennedys', died in a car crash soon before his son's wedding; Francis's sister Alice, a sixties It girl, died in poverty of a drug overdose. Amanda and Francis lived in the tumbledown remnants of the huge family estate, hard-hit by death duties; had two children, Jasset, sixteen, and Tallulah, fourteen; and divorced twelve years later. Going further back, some also remember Amanda Grieve in her 20s, then a junior fashion editor at Harpers & Queen magazine, running around like a New Romantic raggle-taggle vagabond with John Galliano, milliner Stephen Jones, and Manolo Blahnik. ("There would be me in flowery, shredded thirties dresses, long black wig, and a crown of ivy, walking round in the day," she remembers.) Even earlier, there was her English-student manifestation at Oxford, the wraith in tattered Chinese dressing gowns, with a white-painted face and kohled eyes, fatal to every man who set eyes on her. One sent a funeral wreath when she told him she didn't love him. Another lovelorn swain slept on the floor outside her door at Somerville hopelessly keeping watch. Thus, the faintly unbelievable legends of Amanda—the woman who has entranced two of the greatest designers of our times. Can she be real?


First scene first. We're in Amanda's kitchen in Shropshire, having just done the tour of the farm she's recently bought and is knocking back into its original configuration. She'd warned me on the phone, "You're very welcome to come, but there are builders everywhere, my clothes are in boxes, and I've no idea what I look like because I haven't seen a mirror for two weeks! Just don't come in your slingbacks." One thing Amanda Harlech is known for is her imagination, her highly descriptive way of talking, an ability to conjure up visual images of heroines escaping through Russian forests at night, or demimondaines drifting through opium dens in kimonos. So, forgive me, I thought she must be exaggerating.
Once we've swerved past a man pushing a barrow of wet cement through her sitting room, ducked under the scaffolding in the hall, seen there isn't a chair to sit on in the whole house except for the kitchen, I'm reforming my received opinion of her fast. The walls and floors in the roomy house are bare, furniture is piled under dust sheets, and when we stick our heads into what will be her "boudoir" ("There'll be a huge rail there, a daybed there; it's going to be my only girly room") there's nothing but a daunting stack of moving boxes. Ripping open the top of one, we look down on an arsenic-colored brocade puffed-sleeve off-the-shoulder Galliano evening dress, and then give up. Her treasures would be damaged in this dust if we opened them up, and that, I can see, would kill her. "My Paris wardrobe, which they store at the Ritz for me, has all the couture dresses," she explains. "They're packed with tissue paper and hung properly because I know how long it takes to make one of them, and it's not something you just throw on the floor. In the country I keep everything that isn't being worn currently, but I'm constantly bringing things back from Paris that go clunky or not the right shape, as things do—but I don't ever want them to go. There's a whole story attached to every one of them: It belongs to me; I know what it was made for, why it was made, what happened then—it's not just a dress."


This collection is a well-curated, living archive rather than a hoard of dead fashion: It's how Amanda Harlech sources her timeless but always time-sensitive appearance. "Conspicuous consumption of the latest thing is not what I like, but reinforming something very beautiful that you love with a new little something, that's what it's all about." Her creativity lies in eking out unexpected possibilities from her possessions. Habitually disregarding what clothes were first intended for (she has been known to drape her clothes around her houses as decor), she layers, alters, shortens, twists, and takes out the scissors. "I have this pouch of tricks that travels with me everywhere, with all those adapting things: brooches, skinny belts, a leather thong, pearls, chains, and the very important safety pin!" What sets her apart is the fact that the effect ends up precise and refined, and always true to herself. As Karl Lagerfeld puts it, "She's not a fashion victim. Style is the opposite of fashion victim. It doesn't mean you stay the same all the time—Amanda dresses differently because fashion becomes different. Her basic personality remains unchanged, but she has enough personality to adapt it to following moods of fashion. She creates her own look. She would take an apron and make a look out of it. . . . "
By the end of the house tour, I've watched the unbelievable Amanda turn very believable indeed. It's not so much that she's a hands-on organizer—she's up to her knees and elbows in it. Lounging on daybeds, being fragile? Forget it. Don't imagine lap-of-luxury wealth, either. This is a working woman, a single parent with school fees to pay, running a building project that would break the nerve of a lesser person. She starts to describe her vision for the house in her poetic way. "It will be one bit very, very refined, and one bit unfinished. That's me. I wanted a house with an outside ballroom—I can imagine a marquee with bands playing and with tables covered with sheets and food and people running down to the river. . . . " By now I'm convinced she'll see it through, make her most extreme dream happen, just as she used to conjure up a world in a set for John Galliano's shows.

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23-12-2006
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Article continued...
She also told the truth about the mirrors: There are none, unless you count one little makeup stand that I spied shoved halfway under the bath. Ability to rough it is integral to her style. It brought to mind the words of her friends. Set designer Patrick Kinmonth said, laughing, "Oh, Amanda! She loves mud and cement as much as she does the finest couture dress!" Vogue editor-at-large André Leon Talley exclaimed, "In Paris we see this glossy veneer of the Chanel muse, but behind that is just a deeply practical Englishwoman, living in the hinterlands, who can go out in the yard and feed the chickens, groom her own horses, feed her brood, and get her hands dirty." Lucy Ferry testified, "She has a love of extremes. I think she's happiest being in a very stylized romantic situation, and then casting that off to tramp on the moors to catch a wild yearling to break in." And Lagerfeld declared, "She is not a fluffy romantic. She has so many horses, children, and all that—and to build up a house, you have to be tough. She's the iron fist in the velvet glove."
The Chanel muse is now rustling up bacon sandwiches on her Aga, talking about Tallulah and Jasset, who are away at boarding school, and her boyfriend, Neil Gittins, a farmer ten years younger than she. "Met hunting. Picked me up, courted me! It's very important to have something you agree about. My thing is both horses and clotheshorses. Neil's very happy with that. I think he just wishes I would wear Chanel suits more—all the time! He says, 'Why don't you wear them?' But I say, 'If you knew the work that has gone into those clothes—I am not going to sit down in a field in it and ruin it with grass stains!' There's a time and a place. I can't do that to my shoes, either."

A passing American fashion editor who stayed at Amanda's marital home, Glyn Cywarch, in Wales, once shrieked to find she'd neatly cold-stored her Fendi gray mink in the domestic freezer alongside the pheasants from a shoot. That's the kind of thing that gets her a reputation for English eccentricity. From the British perspective, though, this would count as a resourceful idea, with a dash of the upper-class virtue of economy thrown in. Don't gallop off with the notion of Amanda as a typical English lady, however—her style fits no category. Most parsimonious Englishwomen would look on her choice of a Chanel couture gossamer-fragile black silk chiffon beaded asymmetric dress as an inexcusable extravagance; Amanda, conversely, selected it for its utility. "You can wear it with a T-shirt and white trousers underneath. It's so useful!"

A week later, we scene-shift to Paris, on a mission to inspect more of her clothes and find out, once and for all, what she does for a living. Part of her value to Karl Lagerfeld is as an intellectual sparring partner, who can as easily differentiate between Bal de Rose dix-neuvième siècle pink and Pop Art pink as summon deep resources of literary and cultural reference. "We work on the phone, in faxes, letters, in Paris, not in Paris," he says. "It's something we cannot explain, because we do not work like other people. We work our way. Improvise. I like the idea of working with somebody who is not there 24 hours in the routine, somebody who can talk with detachment."
In her room at the Ritz, Amanda throws her three wardrobes open for inspection. First, though, she's removed the couture jacket, stuffed it with tissue paper, hung it up, and pulled on a sweater in a twinkling. And here are her treasures: an ivory satin Vionnet gown, a red-and-gold-embroidered Chinese coat, her grandmother's black velvet full-length dressing gown (relined in white silk by the Ritz), a navy blue Chanel ready-to-wear bias-cut skirt with a trailing fishtail, a gray wool Norman Norell fifties bolero jacket, a fuchsia grosgrain swashbuckling John Galliano coat lined in yellow. There are pieces picked up in the eighties: "This is the morning coat I used to wear to Harpers & Queen with a hat and a two-foot veil. Very useful now." There are the newest little somethings: a gauzy Rick Owens jacket, a scoop-back AF Vandevorst top, a superskinny Hedi Slimane man's tux, altered and fitted by him. Then there are the pieces she's customized, like a Galliano black velvet gown with the sleeves and front cut out. Or the ones that have multiple uses, like the tiny delicate lace camisole bought by Karl for her at a vintage store, which she might wear over a blouse or tied as a cummerbund as the mood strikes. Essentially, though, it's tiny jackets, long skirts and dresses, long coats. And it's all mostly evening. "I wear evening in the day all the time!"

Then, of course, there are her Chanel couture, dating back to a long black coat made for winter 1997, the first season she was hired by Karl. That arrival was a watershed experience, both professionally and sartorially, after twelve years at John Galliano. "It was a high-speed grand prix compared to working with John, which was a small setup. Decisions were quick and slick and fast." She marveled at the workmanship and then the effect of it on the body. "Chanel is very simply constructed—apparently but not internally. But it's very easy to wear, and that was quite sexy. It gave me a lot more freedom—it wasn't about corsets and lacing and layers; suddenly there was a speed to dressing. And the clothes really don't date, maybe because of the rightness of line and proportion. It isn't about a trend; it's about a body."
As she gestures, it's obvious that to move on to questions about gyms and workouts would be redundant—one look at the steely sinews in her arms, her instinctive ramrod posture proves Amanda takes riding to the point of athleticism. The discipline informs her elegance, gives her body youthful suppleness. When I get around to asking about her attitude to her age, the reply of a pragmatic British sportswoman comes back. "It's great being 40. I was more tired in my 30s, because of working and having children and so on. I feel like I have more vision, and I'm easier with people. I think 50 will be the same. My only worry is, aged 60, 70, 80—will I be able to do the competition still?" She has hopes for how she will look later on. "There is that thing that when women get older, they cut off their hair, but I'm going to wear mine up in ornate coils, like my grandmother did. And hopefully my face will get better, my nose get bigger and bonier."

Right now, she has a fine face, feline green eyes, high cheekbones, skin slightly weather-beaten. "I think with beauty, never overplay your hand," she says, laughing. "I do eyes, not lips. The one thing I use is lots of black eyeliner. Eve Lom skin care, which is just very sensible." No fancy hairdressers for her, either. Her signature black hair is dyed at Toni&Guy in the local Shropshire town. When it comes to dressing her age, she admits to a couple of adjustments. "There are things I wouldn't inflict on others now. I wouldn't wear a mini, and I'm not one to be wearing hardly any clothes. I'm not going to wear a scrap of ball gown and a red hat in the snow, as I did."
And how does she feel about being up there in the Best Dressed Hall of Fame? The green eyes glint. "Oh, it's very, very flattering. Also very encouraging. I think it means, keep on dressing!"

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21-04-2007
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its a shame she's so underrated- but i'm glad she's not just another celebrity/muse. To me Lady Harlech is the essence of chic.




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21-04-2007
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^^please post the sources of your images so that they won't have to be deleted per tfs guidelines...

thanks

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