Essentials: Life's little luxuries

Essentials: What they buy and where they get it. Each Monday we take a look at the consumer habits of shoppers from all walks of life
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Indy Lifestyle Online
Name: Lisa Armstrong

Occupation: Fashion Features Director for Vogue magazine.

Where do you buy your clothes? Whistles, Joseph, Warehouse, Oasis, Liberty, Browns, plus Christa Davis who sells clothes from her workroom next to a bus depot in W9.

Because? I love Whistles because it stocks a good range of designers from Dries van Noten to quirkier ones, as well as their invariably brilliant interpretations of catwalk looks. Ditto Joseph, Warehouse and Oasis - great take-offs of Dolce and Gabbana and Prada this season. Liberty has great variety, tightly edited collections, Browns offers first class attention and the clothes in Voyage are pretty, although they have become a bit of a uniform. However, it's the infamously haughty staff's quaint attitude to service that is really entertaining. I've recently discovered Christa Davis and her equally colourful, romantic clothes. Plus she's a lot nicer.

Are your knickers from M and S? I always forget to pack knickers so end up shopping at airports, widely extravagant lingerie shops in Italy, market stalls... anywhere.

Describe the style of your home. A work in progress.

Where do you shop for it? John Lewis is just about my favourite place in the world, not least for its frumpy school uniformly ambience which belies its wonderful kitchen and fabric departments, which have quite a lot of stock you lust after in The Conran Shop (which I'm also fond of). And the staff could teach Voyage a thing or two. David Gill's furniture in Fulham inspires me to live elegantly (as yet unachieved). The room sets at ABC carpets on West Broadway New York almost end up convincing me that $1,200 on bed linen is money well spent, while Crate and Barrell - a US Habitat equivalent - has reasonably priced goodies. Alfies antiques in NW8 is a wonderful source for Thirties lights, and the junk shops in Kensal Rise have cheap furniture spilling out on to the pavement to tart up and make pretty for children's rooms.

Chucked out your Chintz? I didn't have much - my house is pretty minimalist. But the IKEA ads made me want to get more; I thought they were abysmal. I hate the idea of the home being turned into yet another dominion of seasonal fashion. Also, they were hopelessly outdated - some of the sharpest trend-setters in the business have homes filled with rose patterns and clutter.

Describe yourself as a shopper. Not a very dedicated one. I don't have the patience to go through the changing room rigmarole too many times. Also I am maddeningly indecisive. I'm a demon with postal shopping, however, although mainly for my daughters and the garden (also sheets and towels from The White Company). Perhaps it's because I can spend days mulling over the choices. If I could, I'd get all my clothes mail order but the only company selling the kind of thing I like through the post is a US one called Pippers, and really you need to be under 12 years old to look your best in it...

Left: black dress with drawstring detail, pounds 42.99, from Warehouse, 19-21 Argyll Street, London W1 and branches nationwide, enquries 0171- 3554196.

Below left: embroidered crepe dress, pounds 46.99, embriodered cardigan, pounds 34.99, diamante drop choker, pounds 5.99, available at Oasis, 292 Regent Street, London W1 and branches nationwide, enquiries 0171-4521032.

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