Loved chatting to the super talented Fenn O’Meally for Soho House’s House Notes magazine. The profile covered everything from favourite books to running marathons.
The filmmaker, presenter and model shares her love for old school tunes, Art Deco villas and how a vintage trouser suit became her go to look.
‘I used to love fiction and that would be all I would ever read, but I am actually enjoying a lot of factual books and biography at the moment. I think it’s because I am a bit nosy and like to know people’s stories and what’s going on around me. I just read Graham Norton’s autobiography, which was brilliant, and the very funny Humans: A Brief History of How We F*cked It All Up by Tom Phillips. I was also recently given Pam Grout’s E-Squared by Reggie Yates, who is a bit of a mentor to me. It’s about a series of experiments that you can do to prove that our thoughts are powerful enough to create our reality.’
‘Get Down by Nas is the track I always come back to. I love old school R&B and hip hop like James Brown and De la Soul, and working with BBC Radio 1Extra, I have become a big fan of all different types of urban music. My parents have always been into rhythm and blues and my brother had a massive influence over my music taste. We used to watch Top of the Pops together, and he had this huge rack of CDs in his bedroom that we used to listen to. I remember him playing me Kanye West’s College Dropout for the very first time and and dancing crazily around his room to it.’
‘City of God is such a masterpiece. I have watched that film so many times. In my work as a filmmaker I really aspire to create something as timeless and classic as that, but I would also like to see more female directors working today. I loved Dee Rees’ films Bessie and the latest one, Mudbound, which stars Mary J. Blige. She directed it so beautifully. You can’t beat a good cheesy movie though and the one I would put on again and again is The Holiday.’
‘I am a bit of a boy when it comes to clothes. I love a good, solid trouser, possibly matched with something a bit more feminine. I was in a vintage shop sometime last year and I found this old Dolce and Gabbana pin stripe suit for my brother but it looked so good when I tried it on that I had to keep it for myself. It’s perfectly oversized and I wear it with a Nike crop top underneath or even just my gym kit. I am massive fan of Nike. They always manage to create the perfect balance between luxury and sportswear.’
‘I’m drawn to photography more than anything else. Tyler Mitchell is amazing. He was the first black photographer to shoot the cover for American Vogue and his shots are so strong and powerful. The cover shot was of Beyoncé and was incredibly empowering. I’m renting at the moment so can’t put any art up on my walls but if I could I would love something from Rupi Kaur. I love her combination of poetry with an image. It’s so delicate and beautiful.’
‘My all time dream interior is the set from the film I am Love. It was shot in Milan in this beautiful 1930s Art Deco mansion and is just so elegant and glamorous. When I am in New York I love rummaging around all the vintage interiors shops in Brooklyn. I always seem to end up spending far too much money! I recently bought my parents some gorgeous ‘Hay’ pieces over there too – they are a very sleek Danish design company and I literally wanted to buy everything.’
‘I am from the Midlands originally but I live in East London at the moment. If anyone comes to visit me in my neighbourhood I take them to Sager and Wilde on Hackney Road for a glass of wine. It’s a very chilled place. I had an amazing evening recently at Glasserie in Brooklyn – it’s a bar in an old glass factory in the Greenpoint area – but I am actually far more of a day person than a night owl. My favourite spot in all of London is the Pavilion Café in Victoria Park. It’s right around the corner from me and where I spend a lot of my time.’
‘I was in the south of France earlier in the month, making a short film for Chanel. We shot it in the perfume fields around Grasse, and while we were there we went to La Colombe d’Or in Saint Paul de Vence. It’s a restaurant and hotel up in the hills overlooking the Riveria, and Picasso and Matisse used to go and pay for their food with paintings and sculptures. The art is all around you as you eat which makes for a pretty amazing meal. When I’m not working though, it’s all about home cooked food. For me, a home cooked meal is the ultimate luxury.’
‘My dream dinner party guest would be Will Smith. He would be so brilliant to chat to, although I don’t think you would get to eat anything as you would be laughing so much! I get my drive and ambition from my Dad, but my mum is definitely my all time hero. She had breast cancer two years ago and she just sailed through it all while working as a headteacher. She’s one of the strongest people I know.’
I use a lot of Origins, particularly their ginseng range, but I am also loving the the Hydra products from Chanel at moment. The Camelia Water Cream is just amazing. It’s funny because I have been using Chanel’s Bronze Universal for years now and when I started working with them recently I told them how obsessed I was with it. They were very sweet and sent me a stash of it! I don’t really wear much make up but if I put Bronze Universal on it just sort of sets me up for the day and helps me feel polished. I use an SPF too and brush out my eyebrows but my beauty routine is fairly low maintenance. I have been travelling a lot this year and I am realising how important it is to drink loads of water on flights to make sure you stay hydrated.’
Detox / Retox
‘I run almost every day or do classes at Blok gym in Shoreditch. For me, detox and retox are really the same thing, as long as you get the balance right. It’s exercise that gives me life and helps me get into the right headspace. I just did the Hackney half marathon and I was on such an unbelievable high afterwards. Endorphins are so powerful you really don’t need anything else.’