In This Issue

The World According To…Amanda Brooks

by Amanda N. Ross Photographed by Amanda Brooks
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
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Fashion writers often bandy about superlatives like “style icon” and “authority,” but it’s often misplaced. Heaping praise on Amanda Brooks, however, never feels hyperbolic. It seems like she’s held down every glamorous job a Bright Young Thing could have in New York, from her tenure as a Gagosian gallerina to assistant to Patrick Demarchelier, and, eventually, fashion director of Barneys. These days, Brooks’ life is decidedly more peaceful. She left the city for life in the English countryside to devote her energy to her favorite job yet: motherhood. Though she’s all but a full-fledged Brit at this point, Brooks still keeps one high-heel firmly planted in the city, often jetting back to New York for fashion shows, vacation, and signings for her two popular books, I Love Your Style and, more recently, Always Pack a Party Dress. We spoke with the indomitable Brooks about town, country, and Drake.


What’s your present state of mind?


Holiday oblivion.


What’s the coolest thing in your house right now?


My kids. They are much cooler than I am.


What’s been your biggest extravagance?


All the pets we have on the farm–-more than 25!


What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?


“Personal style is accepting who you are.” Diane Von Fürstenberg


Name a book that changed your life.


Being Mortal by Atul Gawande.


Who is the most interesting New Yorker you know?


I always have great conversation with my friend, designer and filmmaker Alex Olch. He’s a born and bred New Yorker and most embodies the spirit of the city.


Describe the biggest difference between New York and England in one word.


Pace.


Who is your favorite dinner companion?


Any of my childhood friends.


What do you collect?


God Speed the Plough mugs, mostly from eBay.


What’s your favorite cliché about New York? Least favorite?


A good hotdog from the street corner. A bad hotdog from the street corner.


What’s on your fall playlist?

My close friend, music supervisor Randall Poster, made me a playlist for the launch of my book Always Pack a Party Dress at J. Crew. It’s an hour and a half long, so I haven’t gotten sick of it yet. Favorites include “Brown Sugar” by D’Angelo, “Soulful Samba” by YoungHolt Unlimited, “Mama’s Pearl” by the Jackson 5, “Pretty Baby” by Blondie, and “Who Do You Love?” by YG and Drake.


If you could only pack a party dress by one designer, who would it be?


Valentino. Of course.


What’s your greatest extravagance?


Good shoes, always.


What keeps you awake at night?


The welfare of my children.


What’s your signature cocktail?


Elderflower gin fizz.


Where is paradise for you?


Keene Valley, NY.


What do you want to be when you grow up?


A chef. I’m happiest when I’m cooking. 


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