Amy and her sixteen-year-old daughter Flora are friends and neighbors of mine when I am home in Manhattan. Like mother, like daughter—and like daughter, like mother—both of these women have tremendous grace and an independent approach to their personal styles. Besides being on all the best-dressed lists, and an art historian with degrees from Swarthmore College and Columbia University, Amy, as you may know, is Vanity Fair magazine’s Special Correspondent and writes wonderfully about design, fashion, art, vintage Hollywood and international society.
KOTUR: Name your desert island essentials?
AMY: Face creams.
FLORA: A book, not on a Kindle. I am anti-Kindle.
KOTUR: Do you have a beauty secret?
FLORA: Sleep, which I do not get enough of!
KOTUR: What do you wear on a fat day?
AMY: (Laughing, because she is reed thin and, enviably, never seems to gain an ounce even when she has tried.) I’ve been waiting to have a fat day all my life.
FLORA: I wear a big V-neck sweater and leggings.
KOTUR: Flora, how would you describe your mother’s style?
FLORA: Very chic, elegant, and quirky as well.
KOTUR: Amy, how would you describe Flora’s style?
AMY: High and low. She has couture mixed with vintage, mixed with near rags, mixed with bargain basement…
KOTUR: What do you never leave home without?
AMY: A purse. I was brought up to believe that a lady never leaves home without a handbag.
FLORA: Money and my phone.
KOTUR: Hot date night with your husband, what do you wear?
KOTUR: Flora, a hot date?
FLORA: Alice + Olivia.
KOTUR: When home alone, what do you wear?
AMY: A white terry robe. Or a vintage Fernando Sanchez caftan.
FLORA: One of my dad’s cotton shirts.
KOTUR: What do you wear to bed?
AMY: Jean Patou 1000.
FLORA: I usually just pass out in my school uniform.
KOTUR: How high is too high a heel?
AMY: If you can’t walk gracefully in them, or even run gracefully, then it is too high.
FLORA: Agreed. If you can’t run gracefully, they’re too high.
KOTUR: How old is too old for jeans?
AMY: Jeans are always less flattering than a skirt, and less comfortable than they are perceived to be, too hot in summer, too cold in winter…I don’t see any age limit but I think they are overrated.
FLORA: I don’t own a pair.
AMY: We’ve both given them up because there are so many other ways to dress.
KOTUR: Can you judge a book by its cover?
FLORA: I want to say no, but yes.
KOTUR: What’s your greatest extravagance?
AMY: Spoiling Flora
FLORA: Eating too much expensive food.
KOTUR: What are your guilty pleasures?
AMY: Sleeping too much.
FLORA: Eating too much chocolate.
KOTUR: A cheap thrill?
AMY: Bubble gum.
FLORA: Watching Jon Lajoie videos.
KOTUR: What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
AMY: The easiest way is usually the wrong way.
FLORA: Don’t worry about something that might happen in the future because you will drive yourself crazy.
KOTUR: What’s your favorite smell?
AMY: Flora’s head when she was a baby.
FLORA: Shoe polish. Wet paint.
KOTUR: What are you most proud of?
AMY: You’re talking to her: Flora.
FLORA: Getting a good grade in chemistry.
KOTUR: What are you least proud of?
AMY: Using sailor mouth in front of my daughter.
FLORA: The amount of time I spend on Facebook.
KOTUR: If you could meet someone from history who would it be?
AMY: Sigmund Freud.
FLORA: My mom when she was my age.
KOTUR: Yes or no to a nip and a tuck?
AMY: Depends who does it, but if well done then yes.
FLORA: Yes, but too much is unattractive.
KOTUR: How would you like to be remembered?
AMY: As a great mother and also as an inspiration both with my writing and for my interpretation of style.
FLORA: As a good-hearted person who can put an outfit together and look good!
KOTUR: Which of the various Kotur bags you have is your favorite?
AMY: The hobo-shaped python size large. Originally, I had it size-medium but then I swapped it with Sheila [Sheila Camera Kotur] who had the larger version. Of course mine was already ink-stained inside…
FLORA: I use my mom’s Kotur clutches all the time.
KOTUR: On a scale of one-to-ten, how good looking are you?
AMY: Lets’ say I am more Vogue than Playboy.
FLORA: Ask my boyfriend!