From my earliest memory, my family has spent each summer by an idyllic lake in the Connecticut countryside, where we neighbor the Childs family – model/dancer Michelle and her husband, Star, a Yale forestry grad and environmental consultant.
Michelle Stevens Childs still looks the part of the 70’s Supermodel she once was, her VOGUE cover girl beauty has transferred unquestionably to her youngest offspring, Quincy. Today, blissfully ensconced in the countryside, Michelle teaches NIA, a California-based school of dance, from her home studio. Michelle’s pace has mellowed somewhat from her halcyon days in New York, dancing ’til dawn at Studio 54. Contrasting the sleek, sharp styling of those heady city days, Michelle is now most at ease in her work-out garb, or dressed down in denims. Country life truly suits Michelle– sartorially and personally.
Quincy Childs, the youngest of Michelle’s children, currently a Junior at prep school, is entering her 9th year performing in the Nutcracker Suite, the Christmas season’s quintessential ballet. Those enviable endless legs, and her impeccable poise, both dead give-aways of her passion for dance. Quincy’s style is casual in the nonchalant way that the off-duty ballerina wears so well, with a little glamorous dress-up thrown in for the right occasion. As you can imagine, for a girl so used to being ‘en pointe’, even the most ridiculous of stiletto heel must be a breeze.
Meet mother and daughter here…
KOTUR: What’s in your makeup bag?
Quincy Childs: Liquid eyeliner. I love eyeliner from the 60’s. But usually if I’m going to put on makeup I put on mascara and maybe under-eye concealer. Buxom Lash by Bare Escentuals is the best mascara I’ve ever used – I would definitely recommend it.
Michelle Stevens Childs: I would answer the same. I’ve even just started wearing liquid eyeliner after seeing how good my daughter looks.
KOTUR: Name your dessert island essentials?
Michelle: I think I would take my family, my dance studio, because I can’t be away from that for too long, and my animals too; everything that surrounds me right now.
Quincy: First and foremost, I want get off the island somehow, so I probably take a Genie and a lamp. I would have to say my iPod, and I have these really obnoxious headphones. I warm up to ballet with music, I can’t really warm up any other way.
K: When home alone, what do you wear?
M: Well I wear dance clogs and my skinny white jeans and a sweater.
K: How about you Quincy?
Q: I always wear socks, which is kind of weird but honestly, if I don’t have company I always wear my socks.
K: Michelle, is there a most treasured item in your wardrobe?
M: Things from my mother. I would never part with them. She had a beautiful style. She lived in a small town in Oklahoma and she had a sophistication of her own. Back then, they had trunk shows quite often, designers like Oscar de la Renta would come to Oklahoma City, and people will gather and buy the clothes. That’s how I learned designer labels when I was very young.
Q: Actually my most treasured item are my mom’s mother’s Italian high knee boots from the 1970s. I guess all of our treasured items are from my grandmother, and we are all the same size feet, so…
K: How high is too high a heel?
M: For me, too high heel is when I can’t straighten my legs and stand up at the same time, it’s ridiculous.
Q: As for me, I don’t know, nothing is as painful as point shoes for ballet, as I need to be on my toes all day. I feel like a really high heel will always be a luxury as far as comfort goes!
K: Can you judge a book by its cover?
M: No I don’t think so. It’s sort of a cliché that’s not really true. I think you’d be better off reading the back summary.
Quincy: Yes I definitely agree with my mom.
K: What’s your greatest extravagance?
M: My husband. Haha…He’s pretty extravagant in his own right… No I would say if I want to pamper myself, it’s with facials.
K: And how about you Quincy?
Q: I guess I have a lot of perfume because I always buy a perfume and then get bored of it, and want to buy another one. I guess that would be my biggest extravagance. I really have far too many, but I just love perfume.
K: What are your guilty pleasures?
M: I love, Quincy and I both love, Dairy Queen.
Q: There’s a really big Dairy Queen right next to our ballet school ironically, and we pretty much go every other night.
K: What’s the best advise you’ve ever been given?
M: For me I think it’s that beauty comes from within.
Q: For me, I don’t know, I think people live their lives too quickly, so I think it’s important just to enjoy the little things.
K: What are your bad habits?
M: I eat a lot of chocolate, I think chocolate is my weakness.
Q: Okay, well I think I just spend a lot of time online shopping but not actually buying anything, more like browsing on net-a-porter, and shopbop. And I like reading fashion blogs and music blogs, scouting on the internet for new music… I spend a lot of time doing that – too much time!
K: What are you least proud of?
M: My technical stupidity! I don’t understand technology as well as I would like…
Q: My main thing would be starting a book, and actually finishing it… right now I am in the middle of 7.
K: What is your pure bliss?
M: Pure bliss would be by my husband, Star. He’s blissful to me.
Q: I would say being on stage for me, just because it’s Nutcracker season; definitely there is no other feeling like it, it’s really special.
K: Who would you like to reincarnated in your next life?
Q: OMG that’s really hard!
Michelle: My life has been so great; I think I would just be myself all over again. My modeling career was so good to me. It’s just I think I did it at a right time for myself, on a personal level, and the industry was wonderful to me. Arthur Elgot is my hero, just the most amazing photographer. It just has put me in contact with so many wonderful people and places.
KOTUR: If you like to meet someone from history, who would that be?
Quincy: If I could meet someone, and I say this maybe because I’m a dancer, it would definitely be George Balanchine. I’d love to meet him.
K: How about you Michelle?
M: I’d like to meet the artist Georgia O’Keeffe. I love her work. She’s so interesting.
K: Yes or no to nip and tuck?
M: 90% no, and maybe time will alter that response, but at the moment, 90% no.
Quincy: It really depends – I don’t judge anyone who does or who doesn’t.
KOTUR: What would you like to achieve before you die?
Quincy: Well I guess I’d like to make my parents proud in whatever I do.
Michelle: I think I would just like to achieve a happy, healthy life for not only myself, but for my family, in whatever way I can make that happen. Happiness and health go hand in hand…
KOTUR: Favourite Kotur bag?
Quincy: We have 2, and we claim the both of them.
Michelle: We have the Black evening clutch, that’s Quincy’s favorite, that used to in my closet and now it’s always in Quincy’s…
Quincy: And also a Jardine’s clutch in woven straw that also travels back and forth between us…
KOTUR:On a scale 1 to 10, how good looking are you?
Michelle: It’s not a good day to answer that question!
Quincy: I don’t know. No one is 10, no one is 0… you can’t put number on looks.