I first met Isabella Cawdor when she was a guest at my wedding. Her husband Colin was an old friend of Christopher’s and they flew over from Scotland to celebrate with us. I noticed Isabella because of her romantic, dark purple velvet dress with floral cutouts, and she had a fuchsia rose tucked behind her ear. She was the very first one out on the dance floor, twirled around by Christian Louboutin, and I thought “Who is that gorgeous girl?” We didn’t get to know each other properly until a year a half later when Christopher and I were invited, along with one year old Coco, to visit them at their shooting lodge in the highlands of Scotland. That’s when I was really taken with Isabella. Everything about her life – her house, her kids, her clothes, her posture – was beautiful, but done natural ease and warmth. These days, the Cawdors are perhaps best known for their supermodel daughter Jean Campbell – who stars in the current Louis Vuitton and Burberry ads – but it is Isabella’s down to earth, chic country style that has me reeling every time I see her. ..
While I’m a fan of men in tweed jackets virtually anywhere I see them, as a woman I always felt that wearing tweed in the city was just too rustic a look for me. I indulged my attraction to them once or twice – I remember picking up a brown and cream herringbone one at the flea market about ten years ago, but it just sat there in my closet untouched until I admitted defeat and gave it away. Now that I live in the countryside however, I am free to move full steam ahead in my enthusiasm for tweed. For my 40th birthday last year, Christopher gave me a custom-made hacking jacking. Slightly intimidated by the expense, I went fully classic – a black and grey Harris tweed in a slightly feminized version of a traditionally masculine style. She is a thing of beauty – my jacket, that is – beautiful shape, perfect fit, well-considered details. But I am now craving something less conventional to add to the mix – maybe an oversized mens-style jacket with the sleeves rolled up? Or perhaps something even more fitted and feminine and stylised? When I’m on the farm I’d like something roomy enough that I can throw on over a sweater and drive in comfortably. But then when I join my husband to go on the occasional shooting weekend, I love the thought of channelling the more retro girly shapes from the 1930’s – matching jacket and skirt with maybe a bit of a hairstyle and some makeup. You get the look, right? As I want something authentic and non-fashion-y I’m determined to find something at a vintage shop. We’ll see what I come up with.