Lorraine Maisel


Who are some of your favourite local designers? I love Chiefs of Angels. His style is grungy and very different; it just adds a little bit of an edge to your wardrobe. Boys of Soweto is another brand I love – he has such unusual pieces, like a bulletproo­f vest with the label on the back. And then there’s Helon Melon; her stuff is amazing. And there’s a boutique at Hyde Park Corner called Shankara, where I buy a lot of stuff.

Whose style do you admire? Iris Apfel. Her glasses, her jewellery… I used to wear big pieces years ago, but I’ve kind of gone off it. All the jewellery I wear now is from

Elegance Jewellers at Melrose Arch. And, of course, Philippa Green. My fiancé bought my engagement ring from her. It’s made of brass and it has a big orange stone – it’s very me. She is so talented.

Flats or heels? Flats! I would fall off six-inch heels. There are three things I have a weakness for: sunglasses, my rings from Philippa Green and shoes. I have a room that’s just got shoes in it.

Tell us about the room full of shoes. Converse is my love beyond love. I have at least 15 pairs. No wild designs, though; I’d rather wear a black or white pair with a wild outfit. I love brogues. And I have these chunky Marni sandals that I’ve worn for probably 10 years. I also love Zara’s shoes. Don’t let me go overseas! I came back from a two-day business trip with eight pairs of shoes.

You have quite the sunglass collection! I’m very blessed; sunglasses always look good on me! And a hat – I can wear any hat, although I seldom wear hats. I buy most of my sunglasses from a company called Valley Eyewear in Australia.

Do you like thrift shops? I think it’s very important to thrift. You always get a beautiful piece at a good price. There’s a thrift place that sells designer clothing called Snob Shop in Johannesbu­rg; I buy from them all the time. I bought a little baby Lanvin crossover bag, a pair of navy-blue Kirk Geiger sandals, which I love, and a beautiful pair of Todd’s.

Hunting for gems is something of a hobby for you. I was a fashion stylist before I had my PR agency, so I’ve been in fashion all my life. What you need to know is that you don’t have to buy expensive clothing to look good. It’s just about having the eye to find the right thing. And also looking at your body and your skin tone.

Do you ever change up your look?

All the time. I get bored very easily. This time last year I had naturally grey hair with a big coif like Elvis. Elvis is the love of my life; I have him tattooed on my arm! I like reinventin­g myself every couple of months. I’m 59 this year, and I try not to look like mutton dressed as lamb, but I like to be fashionabl­e. I won’t wear a tight mini skirt or anything like that. Ten years ago, I was much heavier than I am now. It wasn’t easy to find fashionabl­e things in bigger sizes; I could only really wear these big black tent dresses. Then I had gastric bypass surgery and lost 40 kg. So now I can walk into any shop and find things in my size.

‘I came back from a twoday business trip with eight pairs of shoes.’

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