an interview with la gamine moderne


La Gamine and I go way back. Ok, maybe not way back, but we do have an unconventional friendship. I don't remember exactly when we met - it's must have been when we were ten or eleven. For five years, we fought each other - literally. That is, because we were exactly the same height, our martial arts teacher would always have us partner up, which always worked out well. Before and after class, we would have the best dressing-room chats. And we took our black belt test together - try finding something more bonding than that.

La Gamine (right) and my sister (left) during our black belt test

La Gamine and are more than old sparring opponents: we're friends. And though we've only been seeing each other once a year these days (I mean, years), every time we meet up, it doesn't feel like any time had passed. That's one way I can tell a good friend.

So we decided to meet up at Bareburger for a double-interview. And the following happened.

Hats or scarves?
I would have to say scarves, first of all because I think they're more stylish. Second of all, because in the summer you can wear light scarves, and in the winter, you can wear wooly scarves, and they also work as shawls or sarongs if necessary. They come in pretty colors or patterns. And also in the UK, where I usually am in the winter, it's only cold to wear a hat, like, one day a year, whereas scarves are always useful - and can be purchased in your college pattern.

Where do you usually get your scarves?
Oh boy...Zara has really nice scarves, to be perfectly honest. And there's this company called Boden - I just got this really nice chap scarf from there. And then my mom's closet is also a very useful source of scarves.

Small or big spaces?
Small spaces are nice because they're cosy and safe, but I'm also the sort of person who has the tendency to spread out a lot. I live a sort of organized chaos, like 'this is the space where I'm messy and this is the space that stays clear'. My bedroom's pretty small, but I mean, it's New York. [pause.] I take that back - my bedroom's really small.

Where would you most like to live?
I've developed this theory that once you've lived in New York or London, the only two places that you can live are New York or London. So I would have to say New York or London. In theory, I think I would like to live in Hawaii and be one of those surfing hippie people, but I think I could probably tolerate that for two or three months and then I would probably get really bored and restless and come back.

Our meal arrives. La Gamine has ordered an artichoke salad, and I a cranberry blue-cheese salad (one of my favorite flavor combos). We much on, discussing a wide range of topics from the Oxford dating scene to the accuracy of zodiac signs.



Describe your handwriting.
My handwriting...I think the most accurate way to describe [it] is that I learned how to write in French school in Austria, and then moved to America and went through the school system here, and then moved to Britain soooo...that literally describes my handwriting. I greatly struggle with American cursive because it's so different from French cursive and it's just like, "you're writing wrong". Now I'd say it's kind of a smushed American cursive, but then I still do "f's" the French way and "r's" the British way.

Who is your style icon or fashion inspiration?
Kiernan Shipka is my automatic answer. Partially because she can actually pull off Miu Miu runway clothing while looking like a normal person, and she has a really nice classic sense of style. Who else...Audrey Hepburn. Definitely Audrey Hepburn. I guess I like classic things, but some days I wake up and I'm channeling my inner punk rocker, and then I'm like "Avril Lavigne is my style icon" (though not really). Oh, and Audrey Hepburn can pull off capri pants - there's a debate about whether or not capri pants should be considered an item of clothing in my household. So yeah.

What is your idea of the world's most boring job?
Probably working in a mailing room. No, actually, working as a dishwasher in a diner would be the world's most boring job. I have this OCD thing about touching other people's dirty plates, so that would be an issue. Anything too monotonous would be an issue.

Even though you're a creature of habit?
I'll do the same thing every single day for a month, and then I'll discover a new way something, and then do that thing every day for a month, and change again - so it's like I'm both a creature of habit and...change-y. It's weird. Ideally, I would like to work for a publication or something similar, where you're always doing the same things, but with regard to different topics.

Science or religion?
Both, I guess. Overall, I would say I'm an empiricist, but I'm also quite spiritual in some ways. I think that, in general, people put too much faith in the scientific method because there's a lot that can go wrong with it. [...] This comes from someone who is quitting her science degree for theology, actually [laughs].


At this point, I'm about to end the recording when her face suddenly illuminates as she blurts out: "My answer to 'Science or religion?' is philosophy."

Make sure to check out La Gamine Moderne's wonderful blogPinterest and Tumblr!

 

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