Interiors: The queen of clutter
Illustrator and so-called 'socialite' Daisy de Villeneuve explains why she has crammed her London flat with so much colourful memorabilia
Sunday 30 September 2007
I like the Dickensian flavour of this part of London. My flat is nestled in a basement of an old townhouse in one of the leafy squares between Angel and Farringdon, which is really pretty in the summer.
This room is part studio, part kitchen and part living room. It's where I work, but it's also where I live. Sometimes I eat at my desk, balancing the food on my scanner and drop crumbs everywhere. I am pretty much a workaholic, but only because it's what I love.
I drew with felt-tips throughout my whole childhood, and as I got a bit older I thought, "Wouldn't it be funny to use them as a kind of art medium?" People say they give my illustrations a slightly naïve, raw quality. I keep all my pens in these antique tins that I buy in Michigan, visiting my family during the summer. Two are potato-chip tins and the large one on the floor used to contain lard - but I just love the vibrant colours and the artwork is great. They also have the name of towns I've been to visit, so they have some sentimental value too.
I like my space to be a reflection of me, which is why I keep so many of my drawings, books, records, and jewellery around me - like a collage of my life. There is so much stuff for people to look at - it keeps my guests busy for hours inspecting all the royal memorabilia or my collections of mugs. If anyone ever comments about something in my flat, I can tell them about the history behind it - rather than just saying, "I got it from Ikea". For example, the black-and-white framed picture above my desk is of David Bowie and Twiggy from his Pin-Ups album, as a memento from when my dad [Justin de Villeneuve] managed Twiggy during the 1960s. Next to it is a letter sent to my father in 1969 from the then Vogue editor, Diana Vreeland, with all the original markings she scrawled on it with a green pen.
I don't know why the papers always refer to me as a "socialite". My boyfriend finds it hilarious and teases me, because it's the opposite of everything I stand for. Of course, I've been to a couple of parties in my time, but I'm hardly Paris Hilton.
To see more of Daisy's work visit: www.daisydevilleneuve.com
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