You probably know them as a by-line, a name on a swing tag or a mention in the social pages but we know them as the coolest kids in town. They’re the fashion insiders who hardly ever get to face the spotlight. So we’ve decided to put them there. We’ve rounded up a few of our favourite people to discuss their lives, loves and passions and our next fearless individual is the inimitable Richard Waller.
Reading… 70/80/90 Iconic Australian Houses, the beautiful new book on domestic architecture by Karen McCartney. It’s beautifully written. We extracted images from it for inclusion within our current Nov/Dec issue as well.
Watching… True Blood season 4. I’m utterly hooked. And Mad Men is probably the most genius television ever made.
Shopping at… Pure and General, a brilliant new homewares store in Sydney’s Kings Cross, which is full of heirloom-quality pieces unearthed by merchant banker-turned-property developer-turned retailer Linda Gregoriou.
Vacationing in… New York this Christmas. Ten wintry nights staying at The Crosby Street Hotel in SoHo. Can’t wait!
People always ask me… What my own house is like. They assume it must be something special because of the magazine I edit. The fact is, it’s quite nice but there’s always room for improvement and further refinement!
If I wasn’t an Editor I would be… A shopkeeper (I’m not kidding), an architect, a film-maker, a school teacher, a fashion designer or maybe even a florist. At one point or another they all took hold of my childhood consciousness as things I might like to do when I grew up. I’ve still got a huge fascination with all of those professions.
The one collectors item I would love to own is… Can I request two items please (I’m greedy, and I work in interiors)? I’d dearly love an original Rene Lalique ‘Bacchantes Vase’ (it’s the one with the naked women dancing around the vase), and I’d love a Fornasetti ‘Leopard’ chest of drawers, which features the trompe l’oeil effect of a leopard prowling with feline grace across the front of the curved cabinet. By answering this question, I’ve realised that I’m clearly quite partial to classical/figurative elements and representations of the human or animal form in furniture and accessories. My partner however, isn’t.
What would I find in your refrigerator right now? Sadly, very little in the way of fresh food, but lots of bottles of champagne, and the three ingredients necessary for making Negronis (the great Florentine pre-dinner cocktail; equal parts Campari, Bombay Sapphire and Cinzano Rosso). Oh, and something non-alcoholic: Bonsoy (the King of Soymilk, from Japan) for my post-gym protein shake.
If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, with whom would it be? This is my favourite question! And the answer’s easy: Alessandro Botticelli, the mysterious Florentine painter of the early Renaissance. I have a lifelong connection to his paintings. I secretly suspect I was him (or knew him very well) in a previous life… That belief may or may not be as a result of drinking too many Negronis in the course of this current life…
How did you get your big break? Hmm… I suppose I got it by my Mum and Dad creating me in 1969. Life’s been remarkably good ever since. Career-wise, perhaps I haven’t had my biggest break as yet? I think you make your own luck along the way. My career to date has been the result of a lot of hard slog and loving what I do, and about being in the right place at the right time. All that said, I’ll always be grateful to David Clark for bringing me on as his deputy on Vogue Living in 2005, and I’m forever grateful that Karen McCartney selected me to succeed her as editor of Inside Out (in 2010).
When I retire I am going to… Live in my spiritual home of Florence for a year or two, or more… and find out more about my early, and infinitely more talented incarnation… and drink more Negronis. Not necessarily in that order!
Interiors are… For me, a source of endless inspiration and information. The longer I immerse myself in the subject I realise there is so much more to learn and absorb… I feel about the man-made built environment what many people feel about communing with the natural world. And even though I love nature, given the choice of a weekend walking in the bush or a weekend wandering around the rooms of an old palazzo, I’ll be opting for the interior journey…
Photograph by Mikkel Vang