My cultural life
An arbiter of taste tells us what they’re reading, watching and more
Model, muse and luxury-travel writer Laura Bailey reveals her artistic influences
Bailey began her career in modelling, but this stylish polymath has since worked with Oxfam, writes a column for British Vogue, is the cultural ambassador for the British Fashion Council and a patron of The Photographers’ Gallery – as well as being a Chanel muse and ambassador for Save the Children. Now she is turning her sense of adventure to a new role, writing location-inspired reading lists and tips for Oetker’s glamorous hotels, from London’s Lanesborough to Hotel du Cap-eden-roc ( 5) in the south of France. ‘I’m happiest on the road,’ she says, ‘whether returning to a favourite place or discovering the new.’ (@laurabaileylondon; oetkercollection.com).
My favourite piece of music? If I had to choose just one it would be Nick Cave’s album, The Boatman’s Call. Alongside Leonard Cohen’s Songs from a Room and Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater – mostly for all the memories of boyfriends, girlfriends, dancing and adventures.
At the moment I’m listening to Everything Is Recorded by Richard Russell ( 3). I’m also obsessed with his collaborators, Infinite and Ibeyi, and went to see them all play live in a disused Hackney leisure centre last summer.
The books that have inspired me are
Jeanette Winterson’s The Passion; Gabriel García Márquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera, A Pair of Blue Eyes by Thomas Hardy and Michael Craig-martin’s On Being an Artist ( 1). My favourite films include Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’eclisse and Red Desert – both starring the fantastic Monica Vitti ( 4) – as well as pretty much everything by the Coen brothers. I have a favourite gallery in every city, but the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, a short train ride from Copenhagen, is a treat – the towering Giacometti statue ( 6) is a fantasy backdrop to my kids’ games of hide and seek.
The last play I saw in London was
Machinal at The Almeida, which starred my step-sister Emily Berrington. She was extraordinary. The Jungle and The Inheritance, directed by my friend Stephen Daldry, were also recent highlights. I will always treasure the photographs given to me by my friend Sam Taylor-johnson and paintings by Sophie de Stempel – especially one in oils of my son as a baby in my arms. I also have a tiny Tracey Emin watercolour drawing, I’m Always Here. My favourite place to visit in the world? I’m by nature a lone adventurer, most memorably travelling to Rwanda and Uganda to see the silverback gorillas, and crisscrossing Kenya ( 2) and Tanzania. But, when I want to fully relax, I return to the South of France and, when the stars align, to the fabled Hotel du Cap-eden-roc. All I really want for Christmas is a puppy, but I’ve been saying that for a while now. I want to treat my best friend, Leona, to a night in Paris at Le Bristol hotel, and pick up Chanel brooches and hair bows for the rest of my gang. I’ll buy skateboarding paraphernalia for my son and ice-skates for my daughter. But the best presents from them will be drawn or made – a poem, portrait, mug or a bowl.