Acclaimed fashion writer and former Fashion Director at Barney’s, Amanda Brooks, invites us to her Oxfordshire farm and tells Marie-Chantal about the perks of living in the countryside.
What do you like most about living in the countryside?
I love raising my kids and doing my writing in a peaceful, happy environment. I still work hard, but when I am finished I am riding a horse, walking my dog, picking vegetables in the garden or cooking. And there are so many great people where we live that I don’t feel I miss out on a social life.
Have you always loved to ride?
No. I rode here and there as a child, but I really picked it up when my daughter Coco was a toddler and became obsessed with horses. My husband loves to hunt, but he never just goes out for a ride, so it ended up being me that went out riding with her. Now, it is my favourite part of life on the farm. I feel so lucky to live with horses and be able to ride them as much as I do.
Zach looks quite the country gent! Does he let you dress him or has he chosen his own style?
A little of both. I buy him all his clothes, but then I let him put them together. He doesn’t like anything that is overtly formal – he doesn’t own a suit or even a tie, but he’ll wear a tweed or corduroy jacket when he needs to dress up. Both he and my husband like the “gentleman farmer” look.
Your photos are so atmospheric – what is your secret?
Partly because the area where we live is exceptionally beautiful and the other is that I think I have developed an eye for the kind of pictures I like to take. I was a photography major in university so I have had a lot of practice in creating an image with light, composition, and mood. After many years of practice, I guess I just know what feels like me.
Amanda Brooks is a fashion writer and consultant, she has written style related articles for Vogue, British Vogue and The New York Times, and worked for brands such as Chanel, Diane von Furstenberg and Tory Burch. In 2009 she published a book on fashion called I Love Your Style: How to Define and Refine Your Personal Style. She has also appeared as a fashion expert on The Today Show, The CBS Early Show, Inside Edition, and NPR Radio.