She was the Sunday Times Style’s Wardrobe Mistress, fashion features editor at Vogue and has now taken on the editorship at the Evening Standard’s ES Magazine. Laura Weir talks to Yawn about journalism, her ideal day in London and the best carbonara she’s ever tasted…
You’re about to become the new editor of ES Magazine, after a string of great roles - online fashion editor at Elle, fashion features director at Sunday Times Style, fashion editor at Vogue - in the spate of just a few years. And you're only 33…
I've had a rather rapid career trajectory. I remember being petrified of leaving Drapers, where I was fashion editor, to follow my ambition to work for Elle Online. I remember thinking that I should work at Elle because the combination of fashion and news was entirely me, I made it there, and then the rest of my career has followed very organically. I've always been incredibly happy to be working for fantastic titles, given my all and championed the brands that I've been working for - and then new opportunities just somehow seem to present themselves. It sounds very fortunate, and it is.
Admittedly, life wasn't always this glamourous. You did cover the DIY beat for Retail Week, didn't you...?
I cut my teeth as a DIY reporter and I adored it. The nuts and bolts of journalism are the same whatever subject matter you specialise in: a complete devotion to supporting and critiquing the industry you are writing about, an archive brain, knowing your subject inside and out, being accurate and honourable and always striving to get your name out there.
The ES role will take you out of an exclusively fashion remit into a more general lifestyle realm. Was that part of the attraction and challenge?
The editorship was a huge draw; the chance to lead an already fantastic and well-respected title into a new chapter is such an exciting opportunity. Fashion doesn't exist as an industry on its own. Fashion, food, culture are all intertwined - no more so than ever before I think
All this career high-flying must take its toll on your free time. Do you have much time to yourself? How do you spend it?
I must have time to myself because I spend hours scrolling Instagram! I love travelling and adventures. And equally, a sunny afternoon in my garden with a BBQ, friends and my cat sounds like heaven. A dinner with friends after work is a favourite pastime and recently my Kindle has reinvigorated my love of reading.
If you had the whole day to yourself tomorrow, what would you do?
I'd sleep in and have breakfast in bed (preferably I'd be waking up in London's Edition Hotel because the sheets are exquisite). Then I'd have breakfast in bed (their eggs are just to my liking) and wander to Green Park through Soho with Desert Island Discs in my headphones. I’d probably pick up a juice from The Juice Well on my way and walk down Burlington Arcade to admire the jewels. Then I would sit and read the Sunday Times cover to cover in Green Park in the sunshine, go and spend my heart out on Mount Street and Bond Street, before heading to the Sky Garden for dinner with my favourite people - I haven't eaten there yet and would love to try it.
You've just returned from a holiday in Italy. How was it?
It was heaven. Le Marche is completely untouched by tourists and the food is rustic, and I ate the best carbonara I've ever had at a local canteen called Caravana. Then we headed to Puglia (which seems to have been a popular destination this year judging my entire Instagram feed) and it was beautiful. The rock swimming just outside of the small town of Monopoli and the cute little town, Conversano, where our friends live were highlights.
As a fashion journalist you've tried on hundreds of outfits from different brands and designers. What's the best piece of clothing you've worn?
The best piece of clothing I have ever worn is impossible to answer but some of my favourites are: dresses by Prada, a joy to wear; shoes by Miu Miu where I enjoy a bit of feet eccentricity; navy cashmere jumpers from Marks and Spencer; my new Topshop denim skirt...and I could go on!
Quick fire bedtime questions
Night Cap or Night Cream?
Night cap, I don't like going to sleep with cream on my face. I have a cat and the combo of moisturiser and cat hair isn't ideal
Story time or FaceTime?
Storytime! FaceTime is a gift to humanity but it's irritating
PJs, shorts or Night T?
All of the above: PJs when I'm travelling, shorts in summer and a nightie if I'm staying at my grandparents’ house