Rita Konig first caught my eye when she was on the cover of Brooke de Ocampo and Jonathan Becker’s book, Bright Young Things. Since then I have followed her decorating and journalistic pursuits which include her best-selling books Domestic Bliss: Simple Ways to Add Style to Your Life and Rita’s Culinary Trickery. Her columns also regularly grace the pages of magazines like BritishVogue and Harper’s Bazaar.
We recently met for lunch with a mutual friend and I loved her poetic aesthetic and charm. We both hail from creative mothers and she has a self-deprecating Bridget Jones humor, which being half Brit myself, I appreciate. I chose her as a muse for her whimsical style and spirit, and her great knowledge of design history. And she tells a great story…
KOTUR: What’s in your makeup bag?
Rita: Lots of lip glosses and NARS lipsticks- my favorite is Damage. Also Jo Malone Vitamin E Gel.
KOTUR: Do you have a beauty secret?
Rita: Good lighting!
KOTUR: What do you wear on a fat day?
Rita: I have this magenta tie-dye cashmere scarf I bought at I Pezzi Dipinti which is quite handy. I also think jewellery for a fat day is quite good. It makes you feel better and it keeps everyone’s eyes up here, around your face.
KOTUR: How would your female friends describe your style?
Rita: I think they’d say I was chic but I’m a mess all the time…definitely a bit of a tumble together.
KOTUR: Is there anything in your wardrobe you should get rid of but can’t?
Rita: My grandmother’s couture Dior dresses that don’t fit me. They would only fit a generation of stick people I will never give birth to…
KOTUR: What do you never leave home without?
Rita: My telephone. And I try to remember my door keys.
KOTUR: What do you wear to bed?
Rita: Mostly, nothing.
KOTUR: Have you ever worn anything you’re now embarrassed by?
Rita: Yes, almost everything when I look back at old pictures of myself.
KOTUR: How high is too high a heel?
Rita: I don’t think it exists. Too high is impossible to walk in, but sometimes I do it anyway. Even if they don’t get worn, I’ll eventually display them up on the mantle piece.
KOTUR: If you could live in any other time in fashion, what would you choose?
Rita: I’d like to have been Georgian because it was the most beautiful time- art, architecture, dresses and jewellery. I think in England, it was our best moment.
KOTUR: What’s your most recent purchase?
Rita: Well, yesterday I bought a pair of Marc Jacobs pants and a Celine stripey top. But before that there was a Lanvin maxi skirt…
KOTUR: Can you judge a book by its cover?
Rita: I judge every book by its cover.
KOTUR: What’s your great extravagance?
Rita: Bed linen and the endless laundering of it. I like Percale sheets – it’s like sleeping on paper – or Egyptian cotton. And old linen that’s been washed a lot.
KOTUR: Guilty pleasure?
Rita: Movies on Sunday mornings.
KOTUR: What are your bad habits?
Rita: Too many to list…pudding?
KOTUR: Cheap thrill?
Rita: Swedish Fish sweets.
KOTUR: The best advice you have ever given?
Rita: Never accept the first offer.
KOTUR: What’s your idea of a great holiday?
Rita: Not moving much.
KOTUR: What are you most proud of?
Rita: I think my books.
KOTUR: What do you least proud of?
Rita: My lack of being able to get down to it and go to the gym.
KOTUR: What’s your idea of pure bliss?
Rita: Sinking into a hot bath when it’s cold and snowing outside.
KOTUR: Who would you like to be reincarnated as?
Rita: I think one of those adventurous 18th century women.
KOTUR: Yes or no to nip and tuck?
Rita: I kind of think slightly yes, but it scares me to go under anesthesia for vanity.
KOTUR: What part of your body would you change?
Rita: Oh, my legs for sure, and maybe my arse. You couldn’t put my current arse on top of very good legs. I can cope with the rest.
KOTUR: How would you like to be remembered?
Rita: I would like to just be remembered actually…
KOTUR: 1 out of 10, how good looking are you?
Rita: That’s horrible. I’m English, so I can’t possibly answer.
Portraits courtesy of Michael Lustig